The Miracle of the Sun and a Public Witness for Our Lady

The stunning Miracle of the Sun, described below in an eyewitness account, was a modern miracle testifying to the truth of the Catholic Faith and Our Lady’s exalted role in the economy of salvation. It was heaven’s seal of approval on the veracity of the Blessed Virgin’s many predictions, which were both dire and heartening: World War II, a future annihilation of nations, Russia spreading her errors, famine, persecution of the Church, suffering for the Holy Father, and the loss of souls to hell, on the one hand; on the other, the conversion of Russia, a period of peace granted to the world, and the salvation of souls.

Given the cataclysmic nature of what is at stake, is it any surprise that 70,000 people were treated to a stunning display in the skies over Portugal?

We are living in the midst of what Our Lady predicted. Russia has spread her errors. In China, Ukraine, Russia, and other communist-enslaved nations, possibly as many as a hundred million people have been butchered or starved to death in a modern barbarity which makes the tyranny of the ancient world look puny by comparison. The Church and the papacy have been relegated to a marginal role in the public affairs of men and nations. Wars — useless, unjust, and futile wars — rage the world over, effecting little else than stamping out the remnants of Christendom. Worse yet, the way of salvation has been obscured so badly that many Catholics, even ecclesiastics, are confused regarding the necessity of Jesus Christ and His one true Church for salvation.

But there is hope. The Blessed Mother loves us. Because she does, she has given us a weapon with which to fight in a just, spiritual warfare. The words of Sister Lucy to Fr. Fuentes on Dec. 26, 1957, tell us what that weapon is. Her insistence in these words should make us stand up and take notice:

“Look Father, the Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or, above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”

That the hand-picked emissary of heaven should thunder so loudly from her Carmel about an issue pertaining to our peace and salvation would make us fools for ignoring her. Wouldn’t it?

Then let’s do something about it!

October 13 of this year is the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. The American TFP is organizing a Public Square Rosary Campaign to use this “historic moment to proclaim the message of Fatima and honor Our Lady,” as they put it on their web site. Conversion is one purpose of the campaign. At the miracle almost ninety years ago, the 70,000 witnesses included “atheists, communists, and anti-Catholics,” some of whom converted to the true Faith. “The Public Square Rosary Rallies will remind the man on the street in 2007 that conversion is possible.”

Even the conversion of America, which we so ardently desire? Yes!

In a true spirit of Catholic militancy, the campaign aims at honoring God publicly. We must not underestimate the import of exercising public acts of religion: “Secularists attempt to drive religion and morality out of the public square. Children in public schools are suspended, for example, when they pray grace before meals. That cannot continue! Catholics have the duty to oppose the secularist agenda. We openly honor God and respect His rights. 2,000 Public Square Rosary Rallies will make the point.”

Father Feeney used to make the point that what we do together is better than what any one of us does by himself. He applied this to everything the Order did, including study — but, most of all, he applied it to prayer. Perhaps he was echoing Saint Louis de Montfort, who said in The Secret of the Rosary: “Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down His Mercy, and Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering.”

As Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we find the foregoing reasons for supporting the Public Square Rosary Campaign very appealing. (More reasons can be found here.)

The enemies of the Christian name hate those who wish to follow the narrow way of salvation. A peaceful yet triumphalistic display of the Catholic virtues of faith, fortitude, and religion will show the world that there are still men and women who will stand up for the truth without embarrassment, in spite of the world’s hatred. Our profession of faith will embolden others to do the same. We will not be cowed into submission by the secularists. We will not accept their baby murdering, their sanctioning of sodomy as normal, their pornography, their blasphemies against Our Lord and Our Lady. We will make a public act of reparation and pray for their conversion.

Let us heed the words of Our Lady to Saint Dominic: “The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.” Our Lady is a fighter from way back, and she wants us to fight the spiritual combat. Will you join the battle? We will be at the rally in Keene, New Hampshire. Check here for other locations across the country.

An Eyewitness Account by Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett,
professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, Portugal

It must have been 1:30 p.m when there arose, at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time.

The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy. I was looking at the spot 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. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.

Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet…turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. [During this time], the sun’s disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.

During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described, there were also changes of color in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything 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 had assumed an amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. 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.

Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was truly terrible.

All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them. Finally, I must declare that never, before or after October 13 [1917], have I observed similar atmospheric or solar phenomena.

Professor Almeida Garrett’s full account may be found in Novos Documentos de Fatima (Loyola editions, San Paulo, 1984)
(Taken from