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October 13 Miracle of the Sun!

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    October 13 Miracle of the Sun!

    The Miracle of the Sun (Portuguese: Milagre do Sol), also known as the Miracle of Fátima, is a series of events reported to have occurred miraculously on 13 October 1917, attended by a large crowd who had gathered in Fátima, Portugal, in response to a prophecy made by three shepherd children, Lúcia Santos and Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The prophecy was that the Virgin Mary (referred to as Our Lady of Fátima), would appear and perform miracles on that date. Newspapers published testimony from witnesses who said that they had seen extraordinary solar activity, such as the Sun appearing to "dance" or zig-zag in the sky, careen towards the Earth, or emit multicolored light and radiant colors. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.

    The local bishop opened a canonical investigation of the event in November 1917, to review witness accounts and assess whether the alleged private revelations from Mary were compatible with Catholic theology. The local priest conducting the investigation was particularly convinced by the concurring testimony of extraordinary solar phenomena from secular reporters, government officials, and other skeptics in attendance.[1] Bishop José da Silva declared the miracle "worthy of belief" on 13 October 1930, permitting "officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima" within the Catholic Church.[2]

    At a gathering on 13 October 1951 at Fátima, the papal legate, Cardinal Federico Tedeschini, told the million people attending that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the Sun from the Vatican gardens.[3][4] The early and enduring interest in the miracle and related prophecies has had a significant impact on the devotional practices of many Catholics.[5]

    There has been much analysis of the event from critical sociological and scientific perspectives. According to critics, the eyewitness testimony was actually a collection of inconsistent and contradictory accounts. Proposed alternative explanations include witnesses being deceived by their senses due to prolonged staring at the Sun and then seeing something unusual as expected.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

    Beginning in the spring of 1917, three Catholic shepherd children living near Fátima reported apparitions of an angel, and starting in May 1917, apparitions of the Virgin Mary, whom the children described as the Lady of the Rosary. The children reported a prophecy that prayer would lead to an end to the Great War, and that on 13 October of that year the Lady would reveal her identity and perform a miracle "so that all may believe."[13] Newspapers reported the prophecies, and many pilgrims began visiting the area. The children's accounts were deeply controversial, drawing intense criticism from both local secular and religious authorities. A provisional administrator briefly took the children into custody, believing the prophecies were politically motivated in opposition to the officially secular First Portuguese Republic established in 1910.[14]

    Estimates of the number of people present range from 30,000 and 40,000, by Avelino de Almeida writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século,[15] to 100,000, estimated by lawyer Dr. José Almeida Garrett, the son of a professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra.[16][17]

    Various claims have been made as to what actually happened during the event. According to many witnesses, after a period 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 people, and the surrounding clouds. The Sun was then reported to have careened towards the Earth before zig-zagging back to its normal position.[18][19] Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became "suddenly and completely dry, as well as the wet and muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling".[20] Not all witnesses reported seeing the Sun "dance". Some people only saw the radiant colors. Several people saw nothing. [8][21][22][23] According to skeptic Brian Dunning, "An old black and white photograph of the actual sun miracle event shows a lot of dark rain clouds behind some trees and the sun poking through. There is certainly nothing in the photograph that looks unusual, but of course a photograph is static. Whatever the crowd saw was not interesting enough to be noticeable in a photograph".[9][10]

    The three children (Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto) who originally claimed to have seen Our Lady of Fátima also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.[24] In the fourth edition of her memoirs, written in 1941, Lúcia said that on the occasion of their third visit to the Cova da Iria, on 13 July 1917, she asked the Lady to tell them who she was, and to perform a miracle so that everyone would believe. The Lady told her that they should continue to come to the Cova each month until October, when the requested miracle would occur.[18]

    I want you to give your reasons for why or why not this is worthy of belief.

    Location of Fátima

    Descriptions of the events reported at Fátima were collected by Father John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher. De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting research and interviewing the principals at length.[25] In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that, "[t]heir ranks (those present on 13 October) 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."[26]

    De Marchi authored several books on the subject, such as The True Story of Fátima. They include a number of witness descriptions.
    • "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 Catholic newspaper Ordem.[27]
    • "... 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.[26]
    • "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." —  De Marchi attributes this description to Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.[28] Theologian Father Stanley L. Jaki wrote that it was actually given by Dr. José Almeida Garrett, a young lawyer, and is often mistakenly attributed to his father, a professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra,[16] named Dr. Gonçalo de Almeida Garrett.[29]
    Part of the crowd looking at the Sun during the event
    • "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. Manuel Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarém, and a priest.[28]
    • "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 Fátima.[30]
    • "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 ..." —  Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.[31]
    De Marchi also drew on the newspaper account written by Avelino de Almeida, a journalist sent by the newspaper O Século, who described in detail the reactions of the crowd.[32]


      When I was five years old, after my mother won custody of us, my Dad kidnapped us and tried to raise us in Fatima Portugal. Fatima was the name of Muhammad's favorite daughter, a symbol of purity, virtue, wisdom, modesty, and spiritual excellence in Islam. Fatima was originally the name of the Arab Virgin Queen of Heaven, Moon Goddess. She was also the Source of the sun. Interesting this is where the vision "Miracle of the Sun" took place.

      It converted many atheists who witnessed the miracle and showed up to mock the event!


        Catholic Church recognition[edit]
        The event was declared of "supernatural character" by the Catholic Church in 1930. A shrine was built near the site in Fátima, which has been attended by thousands of faithful.[33]

        Pope Pius XII approved the "Fatima apparitions" in 1940. Four times during the week that he declared the dogma of the Assumption of Mary (33 years after the actual event said to have occurred in Fátima), Pope Pius XII claimed to have witnessed the same "Miracle of the Sun".[34][35] At 4:00 pm on 30 October 1950, during a walk in the Vatican gardens, he arrived at the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and began to see the miracle. He described himself in handwritten notes as "awestruck."[34] He saw the same miracle on 31 October, again on 1 November (the date of the definition of the dogma) and then again on 8 November. He wrote that on other days at about the same time he tried to see if he could observe the Miracle of the Sun, but was unable to. He confided this information to a number of Vatican cardinals, to Sr. Pascalina Lehnert (the nun in charge of the papal apartments and his secretary) and finally to handwritten notes (discovered in 2008) that were later placed on display at the Vatican.[34]

        In 2017, Pope Francis approved the recognition of a miracle involving two of the children involved in the Fátima event, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, which paved the way for their canonization.[36]

        Believers' explanations[edit]
        Within Catholicism, the event is seen as the fulfillment of a promise by Mary, mother of Jesus to the shepherd children who said she appeared to them several times before 13 October 1917. According to the children's accounts, Mary, referred to as the “Lady of Fátima”, promised them she would perform a miracle to show people they were telling the truth, and so caused the crowds to see the Sun make "incredible" movements in the sky.[37] Catholics have regarded Mary as a powerful "miracle worker" for centuries, and this view has continued into the present.[38] Various theologians and apologetic scientists have discussed the limits of scientific explanations for the event and proposed possible mechanisms through which divine intervention caused the solar phenomenon.[citation needed]

        Fr Andrew Pinsent, research director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University, states that "a scientific perspective does not rule out miracles, and the event at Fatima is, in the view of many, particularly credible." He states that a usual prejudice involves a lack of understanding of the scope of scientific laws, which merely describe how natural systems behave isolated from free agents. Concluding that the event is "a public miracle of the most extraordinary kind and credibility", he sees the year of the event, as connected to significant historical milestones that call for Fátima's message of repentance: Protestantism in 1517, Freemasonry in 1717 and Atheistic Communism in 1917.[39]

        Theologian, physicist, and priest Stanley L. Jaki, concurs, concluding that by divine intervention, a coordinated interplay of natural meteorological events, an enhancement of air lens with ice crystals, was made to occur at the exact time predicted, and this is the essence of the miracle.[40] He assumed as fact that the Sun did not move since observatories did not perceive any solar movement and the vast majority of the Earth's populace did not notice it either.[citation needed]

        Jaki described the phenomenon thus:

        ...a sudden temperature inversion must have taken place. The cold and warm air masses could conceivably propel that rotating air lens in an elliptical orbit first toward the earth, and then push it up, as if it were a boomerang, back to its original position. Meanwhile, the ice crystals in it acted as so many means of refraction for the sun’s rays... Only one observer, a lawyer, stated three decades later that the path of descent and ascent was elliptical with small circles superimposed on it. Such an observation would make eminent sense to anyone familiar with fluid dynamics or even with the workings of a boomerang. There is indeed plenty of scientific information on hand to approach the miracle of the sun scientifically... The carefully co-ordinated interplay of so many physical factors would by itself be a miracle, even if one does not wish to see anything more in what actually happened. Clearly, the "miracle" of the sun was not a mere meteorological phenomenon, however rare. Otherwise it would have been observed before and after, regardless of the presence of devout crowds or not. I merely claim, which I did in my other writings on miracles, that in producing miracles God often makes use of a natural substratum by greatly enhancing its physical components and their interactions.[40]
        According to Jaki, the faithful should believe that a miracle occurred at Fátima, and "those who stake their purpose in life on Christ as the greatest and incomparably miraculous fact of history", need to pay attention to facts that support miracles.[41]

        Father De Marchi believed related miraculous phenomena, such as the Sun's effect on standing water from heavy rains that immediately preceded the event, to be genuine. According to De Marchi, "...engineers that have studied the case reckoned that an incredible amount of energy would have been necessary to dry up those pools of water that had formed on the field in a few minutes as it was reported by witnesses."[20] De Marchi wrote that the prediction of an unspecified "miracle", the abrupt beginning and end of the event, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, reports of sightings by people up to 18 kilometres (11 mi) away, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination or mass hysteria unlikely.[42] De Marchi concludes that "given the indubitable reference to God, and the general context of the story, it seems that we must attribute to Him alone the most obvious and colossal miracle of history."[42]

        Leo Madigan, a former psychiatric nurse and local journalist at Fátima in the late 20th century, also dismisses suggestions from critics of mass hypnosis, and believes that astonishment, fear, exaltation and the spiritual nature of the phenomenon explain any inconsistency of witnesses descriptions. Madigan wrote that what people saw was "the reflection of the Lady's own light projected on the Sun itself".[43]

        Philippe Dalleur, a priest and faculty philosophy at the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross in Rome, studied photographs of the crowd taken by "O Seculo" photographer Judah Ruah. In his analysis of shadows, Dalleur states there are two light sources, one being the "silver sun" described by witnesses - but at wrong elevation to be the Sun. He states that testimonies of witnesses who observed phenomenon from a distance place the "silver sun" neither at the azimuth of real Sun, nor at any fixed azimuth - but invariably at the direction of Fatima, concluding that the "silver sun" was real luminous object over Fatima.[44]


          Last time I heard the word Fátima was watching the 1983 James Bond movie "Never Say Never Again"

          S.P.E.C.T.R.E. assassin Fátima Blush

          Click image for larger version

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