The 100th Anniversary of our Lady of Fatima’s Apparition in Portugal 1917

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Tu’uu Mata’afā Tiufea Mulipola Peato Mikaele

Tu’uu Mata’afā Tiufea Mulipola Peato Mikaele

Compiled by Tu’uu Mata’afā Tiufea Mulipola Peato Mikaele


PART III

Continued from page 21 of the Sunday Samoan 21st May 2017. Part II last Sunday, we published the 2nd - 5th Apparitions inclusively. Part III today we bring you the 6th and the final public Apparition and the miracle of the dancing sun.


SIXTH APPARITION 

On October 13, 1917, a crowd estimated at about 70,000 or more found their way to the Cova da iria because of reports that a great miracle would take place. The children had to be guided to the holmoak tree because of the converging crowds.

They saw the flash of light and Mary appeared before them. Lucia asked what she wanted and she responded, “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary.

Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." As before, Lucia told the Blessed Mother the petitions people had requested of her, to which She responded, "Some, yes; others, no. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins." Then she grew sadder and said, "They must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended."

Lucia then asked, “Do you want anything more?” to which Mary responded, “Nothing more.” Rising into the air and opening her hands towards the sun, she pointed towards the sun with light emanating from Her hands. Later, Lucia did not remember shouting, “There she goes! There she goes!” At the same time, the clouds parted and the sun appeared as a dull grey disk, pale as the moon.

To the left of the sun, the children saw Saint Joseph from the chest up, holding the Child Jesus. Together they made the Sign of the Cross three times over the world. To the right of the sun, Our Lady was dressed in the blue and white robes of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Lucia was given the privilege of seeing Our Lord dressed in red as the Divine Redeemer, from the chest up, blessing the world. Beside Him stood Our Lady dressed now in the purple robes of Our Lady of Sorrows. Finally, She appeared clothed in the simple brown robes of Mount Carmel.

 

MIRACLE OF THE SUN

As the crowd watched, they did not see all the visions to which the children were favored, but they were able to gaze directly at the sun as it faded and glowed in different ways. It gave off amazing shafts of colorful light in various directions as it appeared to spin and dance.  Suddenly, it appeared to zig-zag downward, hurtling toward the people. Many screamed out in terror, many begging for mercy, others praying the Act of Contrition.  As suddenly as it had appeared to be falling toward them, the sun swerved back into its orbit and took its normal place. The rain had stopped and everything, including the muddy ground, was dry. The promised miracle had indeed occurred. The day of the miracle was rainy and many came carrying umbrellas. People in the crowd stared in awe at the sun after the miracle. Notice how dry everything appears, in spite of all the rain falling just minutes before. The promised miracle drew a crowd that many estimated to be at least 70,000. 

 

EYE WITNESSES 

And there were witnesses to the Miracle from some skeptical and some who were present or observed from a distance including the Portugal owned newspaper. Readers will remember that this Portuguese were Anti Catholics Government. They arrested and held the children in custody convincing them to say the thing was all a ‘’Hoax’’ and would give them a variety of sweets in return.  The children did not accept the offer instead they reply by yelling back to the authority officials saying ‘’ No, No, No, No……We saw and talked to the woman actually. She said she was from heaven. No lies, no lies. Let us go to the cova please..’’….

 

SECULO NEWSPAPER - a Portugal Lisbon pro government, anti- clerical. Edition of May 13th reported as annexed to this article" At one o'clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly grey in colour, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light.

The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that the eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The grey mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds.

A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground.... 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. The blue faded slowly, and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass.

Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of the women. They were repeated on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. 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? 

 

O DIA NEWSPAPER –another Portugal Lisbon Daily Newspaper, Edition of 17 October 1917 reported that ‘’We looked easily at the sun, which for some reason did not blind us. It seemed to flicker on and off, first one way, then another.

It cast its rays in many directions and painted everything in different colors--- the trees, the people, the air and the ground. But what was most extraordinary, I thought, was that the sun did not hurt our eyes. Everything was still and quiet, and everyone was looking up. Then at a certain moment, the sun appeared to stop spinning.

It then began to move and to dance in the sky until it seemed to detach itself from its place and fall upon us. It was a terrible moment.  TI MARTO [father of Jacinta and Francisco] said ‘’The sun turned everything to different colors, yellow, blue and white. Then it shook and trembled. It looked like a wheel of fire that was going to fall on the people. They began to cry out, "We shall all be killed!" Others called to our Lady to save them. They recited acts of contrition.

One woman began to confess her sins aloud, advertising that she had done this and that.... When at last the sun stopped leaping and moving, we all breathed our relief. We were still alive, and the miracle which the children had foretold, had been seen by everyone. 

 

MARIA  de CAPELINHA [one of the earliest believers] said ‘’I was looking at the place of the apparitions, in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening, and with diminishing curiosity, because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention.

Then I heard a shout from thousands of voices and saw the multitude suddenly turn its back and shoulders away from the point toward which up to now it had directed its attention, and turn to look at the sky on the opposite side.  It must have been nearly two o'clock by the legal time, and about midday by the sun.

The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it, and shone clearly and intensely. I veered to the magnet which seemed to be drawing all eyes, and saw it as a disc with a clean-cut rim, luminous and shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the comparison which I have heard made in Fátima---that of a dull silver disc. 

 

It was a clearer, richer, brighter color, having something of the luster of a pearl. It did not in the least resemble the moon on a clear night because one saw it and felt it to be a living body. It was not spheric like the moon, nor did it have the same color, tone, or shading.

It looked like a glazed wheel made of mother-of-pearl. It could not be confused, either, with the sun seen through fog (for there was no fog at the time), because it was not opaque, diffused or veiled. In Fátima it gave light and heat and appeared clear-cut with a well-defined rim. 

The sky was mottled with light cirrus clouds with the blue coming through here and there, but sometimes the sun stood out in patches of clear sky. The clouds passed from west to east and did not obscure the light of the sun, giving the impression of passing behind it, though sometimes these flecks of white took on tones of pink or diaphanous blue as they passed before the sun. 

It was a remarkable fact that one could fix one's eyes on this brazier of heat and light without any pain in the eyes or blinding of the retina. The phenomenon, except for two interruptions when the sun seemed to send out rays of refulgent heat which obliged us to look away, must have lasted about ten minutes. 

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. Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people.

The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible. During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described in detail, there were changes of color in the atmosphere.

Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything an amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. An oak tree nearby threw a shadow of this color on the ground.

Fearing that I was suffering from an affection of the retina, an improbable explanation because in that case one could not see things purple-colored, I turned away and shut my eyes, keeping my hands before them to intercept the light. With my back still turned, I opened my eyes and saw that the landscape was the same purple color as before.

The impression was not that of an eclipse, and while looking at the sun I noticed that the atmosphere had cleared. Soon after I heard a peasant who was near me shout out in tones of astonishment: "Look, that lady is all yellow!" And in fact everything, both near and far, had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice, and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive.

My own hand was the same color. All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind, and without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them. 

 

Dr. ALMEIDA GARRTT, PhD [Coimbra University] He wrote ‘The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureole in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat. 

 

Dr. DOINGOS COELHO [reported in the newspaper Ordem] He said ‘The sun appeared with its circumference well defined. It came down as if to the height of the clouds and began to whirl giddily upon itself like a captive ball of fire. With some interruptions, this lasted about eight minutes. The atmosphere darkened and the features of each became yellow. Everyone knelt even in the mud.... 

 

Fr. MANUEL PEREIRA da SILVA [in a letter to a friend] He wrote ‘’We made our arrangements, and went in three motor cars on the early morning of the 13th. There was a thick mist, and the car which went in front mistook the way so that we were all lost for a time and only arrived at the Cova da Iria at midday by the sun. It was absolutely full of people, but for my part I felt devoid of any religious feeling. When Lucia called out: "Look at the sun!" the whole multitude repeated: "Attention to the sun!" It was a day of incessant drizzle but a few moments before the miracle it stopped raining. I can hardly find words to describe what followed. The sun began to move, and at a certain moment appeared to be detached from the sky and about to hurtle upon us like a wheel of flame. My wife---we had been married only a short time- -- fainted, and I was too upset to attend to her, and my brother-in- law, Joao Vassalo, supported her on his arm. I fell on my knees, oblivious of everything, and when I got up I didn't know what I said. I think I began to cry out like the others. An old man with a white beard began to attack the atheists aloud and challenged them to say whether or not something supernatural had occurred. 

 

 SENHOR ALFREDO da SILVA SANTOS [Lisbon villager] He said ‘’There may have been many former atheists in Fátima that day, but there were plenty in Portugal, nonetheless, to charge hallucination. For those the Lady provided witnesses who were not at the scene and could not have been subject to collective suggestion. On that day of October 13, 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.... 

 

ALFONSO LOPEZ VIEIRA [observed from a distance of approximately 25 miles away]: I was only nine years old at this time, and I went to the local village school. At about midday we were surprised by the shouts and cries of some men and women who were passing in the street in front of the school.

The teacher, a good, pious woman, though nervous and impressionable, was the first to run into the road, with the children after her. Outside, the people were shouting and weeping and pointing to the sun, ignoring the agitated questions of the schoolmistress.

It was the great Miracle, which one could see quite distinctly from the top of the hill where my village was situated---the Miracle of the sun, accompanied by all its extraordinary phenomena.

I feel incapable of describing what I saw and felt. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt the eyes. Looking like a ball of snow revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zigzag, 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. Near us was an unbeliever who had spent the morning mocking at the simpletons who had gone off to Fátima just to see an ordinary girl. He now seemed to be paralyzed, his eyes fixed on the sun.

Afterwards he trembled from head to foot and lifting up his arms fell on his knees in the mud, crying out to our Lady. Meanwhile the people continued to cry out and to weep, asking God to pardon their sins. We all ran to the two chapels in the village, which were soon filled to overflowing.

During those long moments of the solar prodigy, objects around us turned all the colors of the rainbow. We saw ourselves blue, yellow, red, etc.

All these strange phenomena increased the fears of the people. After about ten minutes the sun, now dull and pallid, returned to its place. When the people realized that the danger was over, there was an explosion of joy, and everyone joined in thanksgiving and praise to our Lady.’

 

To be continued……..

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