“THE” Miracle

At mid-day October 13, 1917, after raining all night and morning, the clouds parted and the sun was clearly visible but appeared as a silver disc. The sun appeared to spin and cast shafts of various colors of light in every direction. It painted the people, the ground, and the trees in yellow, blue, white and other colors. Then it stopped its color
show and began to “dance in the sky” as reported by the witnesses. Then, suddenly,
and terrifyingly, the sun loosed itself from its’ position in the sky and plunged toward earth. Just as quickly, it returned to its’ normal position in the sky.

Atheists say that you cannot prove the existence of God. Christians say that you cannot disprove it. A common refrain is that belief in God is a matter of Faith. Even in this day and age, maybe it is possible to prove the existence of God. Most people will never witness a miracle (although some think that everything is a miracle). I’m talking about an event that violates all the known laws of physics. Such an event, especially if it was predicted, would certainly prove God’s existence. If someone told you that they had witnessed such an event, you probably would not believe them.
How about 70,000 witnesses?? Or more?

The “Miracle of The Sun” occurred on October 13, 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. This is not an event of ancient history but of modern times (my father was 8 yrs old). It was recorded by newspapers of the time and, yes, by enough people to fill a football stadium. I always knew about the miracle at Fatima but I had never seen actual pictures of that day.

Part of the crowd at Fatima
It had been raining prior to the miracle

The full story of The Miracle of The Sun is long and detailed, so to summarize:

Three shepherd children living in Fatima, Portugal saw a vision of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the field where they were watching sheep. The apparitions appeared six times, between May and October 1917. At the first apparition they were told to return on the 13th of each month. Although the children were punished by their parents for lying and the parents were ridiculed by the community, the children continued to go to the appointed place for the apparition and on each successive occasion the crowds that accompanied them grew larger. (No one but the children could see or hear the apparition). Rumors about the apparitions spread throughout the area and much of Portugal. 

The three shepherd children: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta

At the fifth occurrence of the apparition, the children told the beautiful Lady (She had not yet truly identified herself) that no one believed them. The Lady replied that She would provide a sign at mid-day of the next meeting. This sign would show the people that the children were telling the truth.

With six months of rumors and discussion about these events, it is not surprising that such a huge crowd assembled at Fatima on the day of the predicted sign. The crowd consisted of believers, unbelievers, newspaper reporters, university professors, etc.

On that 6th meeting, October 13, 1917, the miracle occurred at mid-day just as promised and was witnessed by tens of thousands of people. In addition to the thousands waiting in the Cova da Iria, there were many persons who witnessed the event from as far as 20 miles away.

 

The news story
A picture is worth a thousand words

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might ask if testimonies of the witnesses were recorded. In fact, they were. In 1959-60, John M Haffert  traveled to Fatima and other locales to interview the remaining living witnesses that he could find. He recorded their accounts in a short book entitled “Meet-The-Witnesses”. Reading the accounts of the witnesses is fascinating (you can skip the intros and prologues and go to chapters 9 & 10 to find most of the witnesses). The book is online in PDF format —->Go Here.
Even the newspapers of the day had reporters at the Cova and their accounts were exactly the same as the rest of the people who witnessed the miracle. Keep in mind that the government in Portugal at that time was dominated by the same Communist-Atheist ideology that was consuming Russia.
Here is a video of the author of the book, Meet-The-Witnesses:

There is another online book by Father John de Marchi that is a good read. He lived in Fatima from 1943 to 1950 and was well acquainted with Sister Lucia, the oldest and only survivor of the three visionaries.
The book can be found here.

So what is the bottom line here? For me, it can be summed up in a question.
How can you dismiss an event like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

An interesting corollary to the story of the Miracle is based on something the Virgin Mary told the three children. Among other things, She told them that people must pray for the “conversion of Russia”.
At the time of the miracle, Portugal was in the grips of a communist/atheist government. At the same time, Russia was falling prey to this same ideology where religion was prohibited and the only allegiance allowed was to the state.

Around 1930, the Catholic Church instituted prayers for the conversion of Russia to be said at the conclusion of Mass. The prayers were discontinued in the early 60’s.
Catholics who lived before and during the cold war may remember these prayers.

In the interim between the Miracle of the Sun and today, a funny thing happened. Russia got religion; or maybe, more accurately, Russia is getting religion. Freedom of religion is part of the Russian constitution. According to estimates of religion in Russia, over 50% of the people are of the orthodox christian faith. President Putin is a baptized christian.

Are these radical changes the result of many prayers or is it just a coincidence ??
I’m afraid I don’t have the answer. 😀 😀