Miracle of the Sun
Alleged Miraculous Event Witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 People



 
Miracle of the Sun - The Miracle of the Sun in Fatima on October 13th, 1917
Alleged Miraculous Event Witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 People

The Miracle of the Sun is an alleged miraculous event witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 people on October 13th, 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.

Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on October 13th, 1917.

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky.

It was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds.

The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world. Anecdotally, some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became "suddenly and completely dry."

Estimates of the number of witnesses range from 30,000 to 40,000 by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século, to 100,000, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra, both of whom were present that day.


The event was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted by the three children on July 13th, August 19th, and September 13th, 1917.

The children reported that the Lady had promised them that she would on October 13th, reveal her identity to them and provide a miracle "so that all may believe."

According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes. The three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.

 
Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the ensuing months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles.

The special reporter for the 17 October 1917 edition of the Lisbon daily, O Dia, reported the following, "...the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy purple light was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds...The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands...people wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they."





Miracle of Fatima

Unsolved Mysteries

On Sunday, May 13th, 1917, ten year old Lucia Santos and her younger cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were tending sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fatima in Portugal.

Lucia described seeing a woman "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."

Further appearances took place on the thirteenth day of the month and continued for several months afterward.

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the children six times between May 13th and October 13th, 1917.

In the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fatima and told them that she had been sent by God with a message for every man and woman living in our century. She also provided a miracle that was witnessed by over 70,000 people.


Fatima Portugal 1917

On October 13th, 1917 a crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in number, gathered at the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal. According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky.

Many skeptics believe that the event was natural and meteorological in nature. But, how does one explain that the event occurred at the exact time predicted by three young children?

The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher.

De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principals at undisturbed length.

In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that, "their ranks (those present on October 13th) included believers and non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men. Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony. Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun."



Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi's several books on the matter.
  • "Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people." ― Avelino de Almeida, writing for O Século (Portugal's most widely circulated and influential newspaper, which was pro-government and anti-clerical at the time Almeida's previous articles had been to satirize the previously reported events at Fátima).
  • "The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly swift and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat." ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem.
  • "...The silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds... The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands... people wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they." ― Reporter for the Lisbon newspaper O Dia.
  • "The sun's disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible." — Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.
  • "As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multicolored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees." ― Dr. Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarém, and a priest.
  • "I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment." — Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima.
  • "On that day of October 13th, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda..." — Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.

Miracle of the Sun


Miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on October 13th, 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.

Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural extra-sensory phenomenon.

Schwebel notes that the solar phenomenon reported at Fátima is not unique: there have been several reported cases of high pitched religious gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of lights in the sky.


Many years after the events in question, Stanley L. Jaki, a professor of physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, Benedictine priest and author of a number of books reconciling science and Catholicism, proposed a unique theory about the supposed miracle.

Jaki believes that the event was natural and meteorological in nature, but that the fact the event occurred at the exact time predicted was a miracle.

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on October 13th, 1930. On October 13th, 1951, papal legate Cardinal Tedeschini told the million gathered at Fátima that on October 30th, October 31st, November 1st, and November 8th, 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.

Some people also think this may have been a UFO sighting similar to the event in Phoenix, Arizona known as the Phoenix Lights.