Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fatima children

L to R: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta
Today is the anniversary of the big miracle of Fatima. Three children had a vision of a lady on May 13, 1917, and she appeared to them on a few other occasions. The last apparition took place on October 13 where thousands of people were present, seeing the sun dance and other miraculous happenings. At first the children were apprehended by police, questioned and threatened. But everyone could see for themselves that what they saw was true, an apparition that was later approved by the Vatican. The children were Jacinta and Francisco Marto, brother and sister, who died soon afterwards. The third girl Lucia dos Santos survived and died recently while living as a Carmelite nun in a convent in Portugal.
The apparition as depicted in a stained-glass window
As early as July 1917 it was claimed that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on October 13, so that all would believe. What happened then became known as the "Miracle of the Sun". A huge crowd, variously estimated between 30,000 and 100,000, including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. The incessant rain had ceased and there was a thin layer of cloud. Lúcia, seeing light rising from the lady's hands and the sun appearing as a silver disk, called out "look at the sun". She later had no memory of saying this. Witnesses later spoke of the sun appearing to change colors and rotate like a wheel. After a canonical inquiry, the visions of Fátima were officially declared "worthy of belief" in October 1930.

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