Apparition of 13 October A.D. 1917
During the night of 12-13 October it had rained throughout, soaking the ground and the pilgrims who make their
way to Fátima from all directions by the thousands. By foot, by cart and even by car they came, entering the bowl of the Cova from the Fátima-Leiria road, which today still passes in front of the large square of the Basilica. From there they made their way down the gently slope to the place where a trestle had been erected over the little holm oak of the apparitions. Today on the site is the modern glass and steel Capelhina (little chapel), enclosing the first chapel built there and the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima where the holm oak had stood.
Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco
As for the children, they made their way to the Cova amid the adulation and skepticism which had followed them since May. When they arrived they found critics who questioned their veracity and the punctuality of the Lady, who had promised to arrive at noon. It was well passed noon by the official time of the country. However, when the sun arrived at its zenith the Lady appeared as she had said she would.
“What do you want of me?” I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.
“Yes. Yes.” “Will you tell me your name?” I am the Lady of the Rosary.
“I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them? ” Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!
“And is that all you have to ask?” There is nothing more.
As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver.
“Look at the sun!”
From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.
After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel. [Only Lucia would see the later, presaging her entrance into Carmel some years later.]
This would be the last of the apparitions of Fátima for Jacinta and Francisco. However, for Lucia Our Lady would return a seventh time, in 1920, as she had promised the previous May. At that time Lucia would be praying in the Cova before leaving Fátima for a girls boarding school. The Lady would come to urge her to dedicate herself wholly to God.
As the children viewed the various apparitions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph the crowd witnessed a different prodigy, the now famous miracle of the sun.
The Miracle of the Sun
(Pope Pius XII was granted extraordinary and privileged Grace of seeing the Miracle of the Sun in the Vatican Gardens)
O Seculo (a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper):
From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were
congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: “A miracle! A miracle!
Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, 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.
Standing at the step of an omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Senhor Joao da Cunha Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.
Identical scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: “How terrible! There are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!”
People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively….
Pius XII Saw “Miracle of the Sun”
Handwritten Note Reveals Pope’s Experience By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, NOV. 4, 2008- According to his own testimony, the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption saw the “miracle of the sun” four times.
This information is confirmed by a handwritten, unpublished note from Pope Pius XII, which is part of the “Pius XII: The Man and the Pontificate” display. The display opened in the Vatican to the public today and will run through Jan. 6.
A commissioner of the display and a Vatican reporter for the Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, explained to ZENIT that the note was found in the Pacelli family archives. It describes the “miracle of the sun,” an episode that until today had only been affirmed by the indirect testimony of Cardinal Federico Tedeschini (1873-1959), who recounted in a homily that the Holy Father had seen the miracle.
Pius XII wrote, “I have seen the ‘miracle of the sun,’ this is the pure truth.”
The miracle of the sun is most known as the episode that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on Oct. 13, 1917. According to the Fatima visionaries, Mary had said there would be a miracle that day so that people would come to believe. Thousands had gathered at the site of the visions, and the sun “danced,” reportedly drying instantaneously the rain-soaked land and spectators.
Confirming the dogma
Pius XII’s note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens.
He said he saw the phenomenon various times, considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.
The papal note says that at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30, 1950, during his “habitual walk in the Vatican Gardens, reading and studying,” having arrived to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, “toward the top of the hill […] I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen.”
“The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle,” he recounted. And one could look at the sun, “without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it.”
The Holy Father’s note goes on to describe “the opaque sphere” that “moved outward slightly, either spinning, or moving from left to right and vice versa. But within the sphere, you could see marked movements with total clarity and without interruption.”
Pius XII said he saw the same phenomenon “the 31st of October and Nov. 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again Nov. 8, and after that, no more.”
The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, “but in vain — I couldn’t fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled.”
Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of the papal apartments, declared that “Pius XII was very convinced of the reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four occasions.”
Son of Our Lady
Tornielli told ZENIT that there was always a close link between the life of Eugenio Pacelli and the mystery of the Virgin Mary.
“Since childhood,” he said, “Eugenio Pacelli was devoted [to Our Lady] and was registered in the Congregation of the Assumption, which had a chapel close to the Church of Jesus. A devotion that seemed prophetic, since he would be precisely the one to declare the dogma of the Assumption in 1950.”
The future Pope celebrated his first Mass on April 3, 1899, at the altar of the icon of Mary “Salus Populi Romani” in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. “And then,” Tornielli continued, “Eugenio Pacelli received episcopal ordination from Pope Benedict XV in the Sistine Chapel on May 13, 1917, the day of the first apparition of the Virgin of Fatima.”
As Pope, in 1940, he approved the Fatima apparitions, and in 1942, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As well, Pius XII often spoke with Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima, and he asked her to transcribe the messages she received from the Virgin. He thus became the first Pope to know the “third secret of Fatima,” which Pope John Paul II would later make public.
Letter no. 110 from Luisa Piccarreta to Frederico Abresch
The Sanctity of living in the Divine Will is symbolized by the SUN, which does good to all, gives Itself to all, denies Itself to no one, and while almost holding the earth on Its lap (giving to each plant, to some color, to some sweetness, to some fragrance – things which are all different and distinct among each other), yet, while doing so much good, the SUN never says a word; It allows Its light to be trodden by our steps; It follows us everywhere, and all the glory and honor is of God, who made It SUN. Such is the soul who lives in the Divine Will, whom the Lord uses to do good to all, and from whom He receives glory and honor, as if all had loved Him.
Book of Heaven – April 28 A.D. 1934
In every Act that the Divine Will does, It calls all creatures in order to give the Good that Its Act contains. Example: the sun.
I am always in my dear Inheritance of the Fiat. I feel Its sweet Empire that holds me absorbed and so invested that It does not leave me the time to lament for the privations of my beloved Jesus, alas, so sorrowful for me. The multiplicity and Infinity of Its continuous Acts impose themselves over me, in order to have me present and participating in the Good that they contain, and to tell me how much It Loves me, and ‘How much do you love Us?’
So while my mind was lost and remained enraptured in seeing that It always wanted to give me of Its Own, and therefore It wanted me present in Its Acts. What Goodness! What Love!
So my Sovereign Jesus, surprising me, told me: “My little daughter of My Volition, your Jesus has the commitment of Manifesting the Secrets of My Divine Will, Its Love that It reaches, that It does not know how to be, nor can It be, if It does not give of Its Own in a continuous way to the creature. You must know that when My Will does an Act, It calls all creatures into Its Act. It wants them all to Itself in order to give to each one the Good that that Act possesses, such that everyone is enclosed in her Act and they receive the Good of the Divine Inheritance, with this difference: that one who is in Our Will voluntarily and for love, remains possessor of It; and one who does not stay, the Good does not remain lost, but It awaits Its Heiress, one who knows how to decide to Live in Our Will in order to give her possession of It. And with Liberality all Divine We give her the interest of the Good assigned to them, that is, the effects, in order to have that she would not die of hunger for the Goods of her Creator, because Our Will possesses by Nature the Universal Virtue, and therefore in every Act of It, It calls everyone, It embraces everyone, It involves everyone, and It brings Its Divine Goods to everyone.
“Symbol and image of this is the sun, which having been Created by My Fiat with Its Universal Virtue, it brings its light to everyone, it does not deny it to anyone, and if some one would not want take the good of its light, the sun does not destroy the light that pertains to that one, nor can it destroy it, but it waits for when that one decides to take the good of the light. The sun does not deny itself; it immediately gives itself, and even to such that when one decides to not directly take the good of the light, it gives him the interest by means of other created things in which the sun has its prime act. In all created things, to some the sun gives the fecundity and maturation, to some the development and the sweetness—there is no created thing in which the sun does not give of its own. Therefore the creature taking food makes use of the plants; he takes the effects and the interests that the light gives them, that pertain to it, and that voluntarily he does not take.
“My Will is more than sun. In all the Acts that It does It calls and holds all creatures present, and It brings Its Divine Goods to everyone. Now one who Lives in Our Will, since she possesses as her property the Good that My Volition has given her in every act, she feels in herself the nature of the Good, because the Good is in her power. Goodness, Patience, Love, Light, Heroism of the Sacrifice, are at her disposition, and if she has the occasion of using them, without effort she uses them, and if she does not have the occasion to use them, she always possesses them, as so many noble princesses who form the Honor, the Glory, of the property that My Will has given her. It happens as to the eye that possesses sight. If it is necessary that she must look, that she must help herself with sight, she does it. If it is not necessary, she does not lose the sight, but she keeps her eye, as glory and honor that she possesses her eye that sees.
“To possess My Will and to not possess the virtues as in one’s nature, is almost impossible, it would be like a sun without heat, like a food without substance, like a life without heartbeat. Therefore one who possesses My Will possesses everything as Gifts and Property that My Divine Volition brings with Itself.” Fiat!!!
Kisses to the sun
Book of Heaven – April 7 A.D. 1929
… Now, while I was under the empire of the sun, of the wind, of the vastness of the azure heavens, my sweet Jesus moved in my interior in a sensible way, as if He did not want to be outdone by the sun, by the wind, by the heavens; and He told me: “Beloved daughter of my Volition, today everyone makes feast because of your exit. The whole celestial court felt the gaiety of the sun, the joy of the wind, the smile of the heavens, and all ran to see what was new; and in seeing you invested by the light of the sun that was kissing you, the wind caressing you, the heavens smiling at you, they all comprehended that the power of my Divine Fiat was moving the elements to celebrate Its little newborn. Therefore, the whole celestial court, uniting with all Creation, not only makes feast, but feels the new joys and happinesses that my Divine Will gives it because of your exit. And I, being spectator of all this, not only make feast within you, but I do not regret having created the heavens, the sun and all Creation; on the contrary, I feel happier, because It is enjoyed by my little daughter. The joys, the contentments, the glory of when everything was created are repeated for Me – when Adam innocent had not yet made the note of sorrow of his rebellious will resound in the whole Creation, which broke the gaiety, the happiness, the sweet smile that my Divine Will had in the sun, in the wind, in the starry heavens, to be given to creatures. In fact, my daughter, by not doing my Divine Will, man put his clashing note in Our work of Creation, therefore he lost the accord with all created things, and We feel the sorrow and the dishonor that there is a string out of tune in Our work, which does not produce a beautiful sound; and this sound out of tune moves away from the earth the kisses, the joys, the smiles which my Divine Will contains in the Creation. Therefore, one who does my Will and lives in It is the note of accord with all; her sound contains a note, not of sorrow, but of joy and of happiness, and is so harmonious that all perceive, even the very elements, that there is the note of my Will in the creature; and as though putting everything aside, they want to enjoy she who possesses that Will by which they all are animated and preserved.”
Jesus kept silent, and I said to Him: ‘My Love, You have told me many times that one who lives in your Divine Will is a sister to all created things. I want to see whether my sister light recognizes me. And do You know how? If, in looking at it, it does not dazzle my sight.’
And Jesus: “Certainly it will recognize you. Try and you will see.”
I looked straight into the center of the sphere of the sun, and the light seemed to caress my pupil, but without dazzling me, in such a way that I was able to look into its center, at its great sea of light. How clear and beautiful it was. How true it is that it symbolizes the infinite, endless sea of light of the Divine Fiat. I said: ‘Thank you, oh Jesus, for letting me be recognized by my sister light.’ And Jesus resumed His speaking: “My daughter, even from the breath is one who lives in my Will recognized by all Creation, because each created thing feels in that creature the power of the Fiat, and the supremacy which God gave her over the whole Creation. Look and listen, my daughter: in the beginning, when Adam and Eve were created, Eden was given to them as their dwelling, in which they were happy and holy. This garden is a simile of that Eden, though it is not as beautiful and flowery. Now, know that I have permitted your coming to this house, which is surrounded by a garden, for you to be the new Eve; not Eve the tempter, who deserved to be put out of happy Eden, but Eve the reformer and the restorer, who will call again the Kingdom of my Divine Will upon earth. Ah! yes, you will be the seed, the cement on the wood worm that the human will has; you will be the beginning of a new happy era, and this is why I centralize in you the joy, the goods, the happiness of the beginning of Creation, and I love to repeat the conversations, the lessons, the instructions which I would have given if man had not withdrawn from Our Divine Will. Therefore, be attentive, and let your flight in It be continuous.”