Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Miracle of the Sun

As promised, the 2nd part of the post on the apparitions at Fatima. This post concerns the eye witness accounts and descriptions of the Miracle of the Sun which was predicted by the visionaries after the Blessed Virgin revealed it to them and witnessed by a crowd of thousands.

Modified from Wikipedia.

The Miracle of the Sun is a miraculous event that was witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on 13 October 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal[1].

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky[2]. It was said to be significantly less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds[2]. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern[2], frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world[3]. Witnesses reported that the ground and their previously wet clothes became completely dry[4].

Estimates of the number of witnesses range from "thirty to forty thousand" by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século[5], to one hundred thousand, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University[6], both of whom were present that day[7].

The miracle was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fatima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted in advance by the three children on 13 July [8], 19 August [9], and 13 September [10] 1917. The children reported that the Lady had promised them that at mid-day on 13 October in the Cova da Iria the Lady would reveal her identity to the children[11] and provide a miracle "so that all may believe."[12]

According to witness reports, the miracle of the sun lasted approximately ten minutes[13]. The three shepherd children, in addition to reporting seeing the actions of the sun that day[14], also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people[15].

The most widely-cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher. De Marchi spent seven years in Fatima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principals at undisturbed length[16]. 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."[17]

A photostatic copy of a page from Ilustracao Portugueza, October 29, 1917, showing the crowd looking at the Miracle of the Sun during the  Fatima apparitions.

A photostatic copy of a page from Ilustracao Portugueza, October 29, 1917, showing the crowd looking at the Miracle of the Sun during the Fatima apparitions.

Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi's several books on the matter.

  • "Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people." ― Avelino de Almeida[18], writing for O Século (Portugal's most widely-circulated[19] and influential newspaper, which was pro-government and anti-clerical at the time[18] Almeida's previous articles had been to satirize the previously reported events at Fatima)[20]. However, Almeida had not abandoned the Catholic faith[21].
  • "The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast 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 newspaper Ordem[22].
  • "…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[23].
  • "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." ― Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University[24].
  • "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 multi-colored 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. Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarem, and a priest[24].
  • "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 Lourenco, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima[25].
  • "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[26].

While De Marchi's states that "Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused", Kevin McClure states that he had never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research he had done in the previous ten years[27].

No scientific accounts exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have "danced", and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than forty miles out from Cova da Iria[28].

It has been alleged that the fact that an unspecified "miracle" had been predicted in advance, the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied nature of the observers as including both skeptics and believers alike, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any causative factor, all reasonably preclude the theory of a mass hallucination[29]. That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometers away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria[29].

Visionaries claimed that the apparition now known as Our Lady of Fatima had promised in July, August, and September, that a miracle would occur on 13 October 1917 "so that all may believe". Pio Scatizzi, S.J. describes events of Fatima and concludes

The ... solar phenomena were not observed in any observatory. Impossible that they should escape notice of so many astronomers and indeed the other inhabitants of the hemisphere… there is no question of an astronomical or meteorological event phenomenon …Either all the observers in Fatima were collectively deceived and erred in their testimony, or we must suppose an extra-natural intervention[30].

This miraculous even was not confined in time and space as Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens in a heavenly confirmation of the momentous decision he had made in proclaiming a dogma ex cathedra.[41].

Here's what Time magazine has to say:

Millions of Roman Catholics revere a spot near Fátima, in Portugal, as the scene of a miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary. In Fátima last week stood Federico Cardinal Tedeschini, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. To gathered pilgrims he brought momentous news.

On three successive days, Oct. 30, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 1950, said the Cardinal, the miraculous vision of Fátima was repeated for Pope Pius XII: "The Holy Father turned his gaze from the Vatican gardens toward the sun, and there was renewed for his eyes the miracle of this valley." Nov. 1 was the day the Pope proclaimed the dogma of the bodily ascension of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

9 comments:

Lauren said...

Very cool! Thanks for the second part.

Pablo said...

Salutations.

I noticed you have not listed

http://www.traditionalcatholicism.org

and

http://sanjuandiego.blogspot.com

on your list of Catholic Websites and blogs.

What is your opinion of them?

May God be glorified.

pablo

aston said...

A non-malay even though he is more capable and more qualified but cannot:

Be – the prime minister of the country
Be – the deputy prime minister of the country
Be – the head of any branch of the armed forces in the country
Be – the head of department in a ministry
Be – the head of state of the states with no rulers
Be – the head prefect of a national school
Be – the IGP of the country
Be – the nominated as the best of the best in the school
Be – the secretary-general or deputy secretary-general of a ministry

What is worse is that the PM goes around telling people, repeating a crazy lie, by saying that – “We do not practice racial discrimination in our country”.

Did the MCA and MIC leaders agree to this in 1957?

Did the people in Sabah and Sarawak also agree to this in 1963?

I think malays will keep on to give rubbish answer!

ruyom said...

Show me when do the malays consult or ever extend their hands in friendship. Do the malays really treat non-malays with equity and fairness?

Seriously, I think all races in Malaysia treat each others at arms length. The malays expect other races to kowtow to them and never the way around. For example, Chinese and Indians were made to learn and study malay culture but the malays are not made to learn and study Chinese and Indian culture.

Why do the malays have to be in a superior position (oppressive one at that) all the time? What is wrong for Malaysia to have, say a Chinese chief justice or an Indian chief of armed forces or even a prime minister!

How do we expect them to continue with their goodwill if we do not ever treat them with equity and fairness? I think the malays are paranoid and are projecting their own insecurity onto others.

That is my point and it is time that we begin to envision the land of ours from an inclusively point of view instead of exclusivity point of view. We have to begin this starting point somehow, somewhere and the time is now.

You are wasting your time by presenting the facts. Fact means nothing to them and you should know that by now. The Malaysian Muslims are seriously stupid and severely retarded. I am simply having fun. I work with them everyday and I cannot describe to you their inability to formulate simple logic.

As an adult trying to make it in the real world, I have developed a clear understanding of what goes on around me.

And this what I believe is the real situation in Malaysia. As long as the malays get their way in how things are done in Malaysia - there will never be any serious development in Malaysia.

This is the fundamental. Please avoid giving example of successful malays, because economically, the numbers are too darn low to mean anything. Negligible they call it.

Malays must realise that as humans - they are I suppose equal. But as peoples, they have attitude that is exactly like the aborigines of Africa. Completely hopeless, no matter what you give them.

The malays can never win - for as long as they chose to do things the way it is done now. Eventually, the other races would consume them economically, and they would be second class citizens. This is a matter of time.

My opinion is - the only way for them to succeed, is to take away all special rights and learn to get by on their own abilities. The stupid and weak malays would die - and only the bright ones would survive.

They are doing themselves a favour by taking away their special rights. Because look around you, the other races are getting stronger because our weak ones are dying.

We will continue to get stronger. And there will be a day, when we control all the financial means in the country. Then it is a matter of buying off each one of you puny malays - and then take over the country.

jodie said...

I am currently studying in the Australia, I grew up with the slogan "Malaysia Truly Asia" - however, this is not true, it seems more like "Australia Truly Asia" and let me explain why I think so - when I first landed here, I saw a multi-cultural society consisting of people from various ethnic backgrounds.

It doesn't even matter if the person has landed on the moon, you will only be awarded if you can prove that you deserve it. Your well being here depends on who you are (your personality), and what you can contribute!

Unlike Malaysia, where opportunities are given to the malays, regardless of what they are worth of. Shame! As a Malaysia citizen myself, I am ashamed to tell fellow Australia citizens that I am from Malaysia, because they all know that people like malays are given privileges.

The malays have no pride in themselves and that is why they will never ever be able to compete on a level playing field. There is so much discrimination among the other races that there is no sense of pride whatsoever in being a Malaysian.

Your eyes are open now because you are in the Australia. That is the difference between a developed country and a third world dump!

San said...

Then let me re-quote Lee Kuan Yew:

Singaporean politician Lee Kuan Yew of the PAP, who publicly questioned the need for Article 153 in parliament, and called for a "Malaysian Malaysia".

In a speech, Lee Kuan Yew bemoaned what would later be described as the Malaysian social contract:

"According to history, malays began to migrate to Malaysia in noticeable numbers only about 700 years ago. Of the 39% malays in Malaysia today, about one-third are comparatively new immigrants like the secretary-general of Umno, Dato Syed Jaafar, who came to Malaya from Indonesia just before the war at the age of more than thirty. Therefore it is wrong and illogical for a particular racial group to think that they are more justified to be called Malaysians and that the others can become Malaysians only through their favour."

Eventually, and Singapore became an independent nation in 1965, with Lee Kuan Yew as its first prime minister.

yuking said...

Dear Mahathir, 22 years you left us nothing but:

- A generation of poor non-malays who is gangsters or selling DVDs
- AP issues
- A useless currency in the ringgit
- IC Project in Sabah
- Keris waving political party members
- MAS in deficit
- Proton in financial trouble
- Racial divide
- Tongkat generation
- World most expensive tolls anywhere in the city

And now, after being out of politics, you suddenly talk a lot of malays this and that when you had 22 years in power and you did absolutely, jack shit.

Please old man, you want to make a change, it is too late now. All you can do is look at that man in the mirror and cry before you meet your almighty maker.

fargowin said...

The truth hurts.

The Chinese or the yellow race is what brings progress. Just look at Asia……….is enough.

Whether they do it internationally or locally they will survive.

We can distinctly see the lowering of Malaysia standards of living as the percentage of Chinese in this country goes down.

In the 70s we were tops with 40 over percent of Chinese and today with only 25 percent we are far behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea.

Main reason is the number of such Chinese migrating to these countries - the best ones and rich ones.

Next ten years as the percentage goes even lower, we would be nearing Indonesia or Philippines.

Meanwhile enjoy your stay and the good time.

On the whole as the Chinese spreads out throughout the world, the average standards of these will have much higher standards of living over others.

Smartbandwidth said...

Well done! Thanks for sharing information about the Miracle of the Sun!

Today is the eve of our Lord God Jesus Christ's Divine Birth in 6 BC. Tomorrow is the 223rd day of the year and the 223rd prime number is 1399 which is the prime of Mary (4197) = 1399 prime X 3. The 1399th day from/including October 13th, the Miracle of the Sun day, brings us to August 11th, the Divine Birth of our Lord.

The sun will rise tomorrow morning over Lake Michigan here in Chicago - the 41st Latitude north - at EXACTLY 5:55 am which is the advent of the Leo (356th) minute of the New (555) Day which is one minute from the End (554) of darkness.

If you stand on Oak Street Beach here in Chicago - which is located at the northern end of Michigan Avenue - and look eastward you will be standing on the EXACT spot that is in line with the center roof of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

41 is the prime of the phrase from John 8:12 "I Am the light of the world" as follows:

I (9) Am (14) the (285) of (66) the (285) world (56934) = 97375 = 41 prime X 2375.

Lake Shore Drive - which is the highway that runs along the shore of Lake Michigan past Oak Street beach and downtown Chicago is highway #41.

The word "Chicago" is, numerically, Chicago (3893176) which is composed of the following:

1) Chi (389) prime which corresponds to the Greek letter "X" which stands for "Christos" which is where the english "Christ" originated from.

2) 31 prime which is the prime of The (285) Lord (3694) God (764) = 4743 = 31 prime X 153

3) Go (76)

The 76th prime number is 379 which is composed of 23 prime plus Leo (356). 23 corresponds to I (9) Am (14) = 23 prime which is our Lord's original name and title given to Moses on Mt. Sinai - ie. "I Am...the Lord thy God..." Exodus 20:2.

And when you combine 23 and 89 - the prime of Leo (356) = 89 prime X 4 - you will come up with 2389 which is the Leo (356th) prime number.

The Winter Solstice each year begins on the Leo (356th) day of the year. This is the day that the Sun stops falling in the northern hemisphere where our Lord lived. And on Christmas Eve, exactly Sun (135) days from August 11th, the sun begins it's first 1 degree rise which will be completed on Christmas Day which is the day that we celebrate the provincial Divine Birthdate of our Lord God Jesus Christ.

Thanks again!

My God Bless you!

Peace and God Bless,

Fred Smart