The Sixth Apparition at Fatima - October 13th
Sixth Apparition - October 13th, 1917

During the last three apparitions, Our Lady promised the children that the last time She would appear, in October, She would effect a miracle that everyone would see and thereby believe. Lucia had repeated this promise to others and the news of it had spread like wildfire throughout the whole country. Think of it, being warned ahead of time that a very great miracle would happen not a hundred years from now but within the next thirty days. The expectation, the anxiety of waiting for this tremendous sign weighed heavily on believers, especially on the children’s families. Unbelievers sneered at the prediction and the enemies of the Church called it a huge hoax that the Church was trying to put over on the people. For them, October the thirteenth would be a day of great celebration, the day when the hoax would be revealed and the Church completely discredited.

The children were greatly saddened at the unbelief of so many, but they had full trust in the goodness of Our Lady; so they had no worries. Their families, however, were tormented, especially by the neighbors, so many of whom would not believe in the apparitions. They even threatened the family with severe penalties if this promise turned out to be a hoax.

“My family was extremely worried,” Maria dos Anjos, Lucia’s oldest sister, stated. “The closer the day came, the more we insisted with Lucia that she give up this dream of hers. We would all have to suffer because of her imaginings. Father scolded her often, though he never struck her. Mother was not so easy. One rumor was going around that they would place bombs at the Cova da Iria to scare everyone that went there. Some people suggested that their mothers lock the children in a room until they denied the whole story. We did not speak of it in front of Lucia, but we were frightened and we
wondered what was going to happen to us. Some others suggested we take Lucia away some place where no one could find her. We didn’t know what to do.
“Mother wanted to do what was right, but she didn’t understand. ‘If it were Our Lady,’ mother lamented, ‘She could have performed a miracle already, start a spring or something else. Oh, how will all this end?’ But the children showed no fear at all. I went to the children one day as they were speaking together at the well. ‘Have you decided yet that you saw nothing? They are warning us that they will throw bombs at our homes,’ I said. ‘Tell it only to me and I’ll tell the Pastor. Do you want me to tell him? Do you?’ Lucia frowned but did not speak. Jacinta, with tears in her eyes, said very softly, ‘Yes, you may do as you wish, but we have seen!’”

Lucia’s mother was so panic-stricken by the thought of impending disaster that on the morning of the twelfth, she jumped out of bed, ran into Lucia’s room and begged her to go to Confession. “People say we’re going to die tomorrow; they’ll kill us if the miracle doesn’t happen.”

“If you want to go to Confession, mother, I’ll go with you,” she answered very calmly, “but I’m not afraid. I am positive that the Lady will do what She promised to do tomorrow.” After this, nothing more was said about confession.

Things were different in the Marto home. Nothing could shake the belief of Senhor Marto. He tells how the Pastor of Porto de Mós came with one of his parishioners, a few days before the thirteenth. He wanted to make the children contradict themselves. He questioned Francisco and got nowhere. He wanted to talk to Lucia and Jacinta but they had gone with a donkey to Boleiros to bring home some lime. The priest wouldn’t wait for them to return, but went after them with the older boy, John. He was going to force the children to deny their story, or else he would do something drastic.

“Listen, good girl,” the priest said to Lucia, “you are going to tell me that it is all an invention. Even if you don’t admit it, I’ll say it is and I’ll have it spread everywhere, and you won’t escape either.”

Lucia did not say a word, but Senhor Marto spoke up, “The best thing to do is to telegraph everywhere immediately.”

“Exactly what we should do! No one will come here on the thirteenth,” the priest said triumphantly.

The man with him said, “This is nothing but witchcraft.”

Senhor Marto became very angry at this, so Jacinta vanished because she abhorred any display of anger. Then her father said to the priest, “If you’re going to do that, leave the children alone. No one will stop you from doing what you please.” Senhor Marto took Lucia and John home, followed by the priest and his companion. They saw Jacinta sitting on the porch combing another little girl’s hair.

“Listen, Jacinta,” said the priest, “so you did not want to tell us anything. Lucia has told the whole story. It’s a lie.”

“No, Lucia told nothing,” she answered very firmly. He kept insisting but Jacinta was just as insistent. They were baffled by the firmness of the child, so much so that Senhor Marto thought they would come to believe in the apparitions. Then the man took a coin out of his pocket to give to Jacinta.

Senhor Marto reached out his hand to stop the man, “Stop. That should never be done!” he said.

“Can’t I at least give your son John something?”

“It is not necessary,” the father answered, “but if you wish, you may.”

As they were going, the priest turned to Senhor Marto and said, “You have played your role well.”

“Well or not, I don’t know. But here in my house, this is the way we do things. You did not succeed in making the children contradict themselves. Even if you did, I would have stuck to my belief that they have been speaking the truth.” Senhor Marto was a good father, loyal always to his children even as they were loyal to him, because they all believed implicitly in God and His Holy Mother Mary.

On the morning of October 13, 1917, fear and panic prevailed in Fatima. Rain was pouring from the heavens, a sad beginning for the glorious day promised by Our Lady and the children. The rain, however, did not dampen the spirits of the many thousands of people who came from every section of Portugal to witness the miracle promised.

Even the daily newspapers, until now so inimical to the happenings at Fatima, sent reporters to the scene, and since for days afterwards they carried long articles on the unusual events, we will use excerpts from the newspaper accounts to give an authentic history of the occasion.

“Nearby communities, towns and villages, emptied of people,” said the reporter for O Dia, a Lisbon newspaper. “For days prior to the thirteenth, groups of pilgrims traveled towards Fatima. They came on foot, buskins on their brawny legs, food bags on their heads, across the pine groves, where the cowberries seem like drops of dew upon the verdure, along the sands, where the windmills rotate. A slow and swaying gait swung
the hems of their skirts from side to side and waved orange kerchiefs upon which sat their black hats.

“Workers from Marinha; farmers from Monte Real, Cortes and Marrazes; women from distant hills, the hills of Soubio, Minde and Louriçal; people from everywhere whom the voice of the miracle had reached, left their homes and fields and came on foot, by horse or by carriage. They traveled the highways and the roads, between hills and pine groves, which for two days came to life with the rolling of the carriages, the trot of the donkeys and the voices of the pilgrims.

“Fall gave tints of red to the vineyards. A chilly and piercing northeaster, forerunner of winter, waved the transparent poplars along the margins of the rivers.

“Over the sands, the white sails of the windmills rotated. In the woods, the green tops of the pines bowed to the wind. Clouds slowly closed the skies, while the fog rolled in with light, soft puffs. In the vast beach of Vieira, the sea foamed, roared and coiled in high waves, as the sinister howl of its voice traveled over the fields.

“All night long and into early morning, there fell a persistent rain. It soaked the field, saddened the air, and chilled to the bone the men, women and children and the beasts plodding their way towards the hill of the miracle. The rain kept falling, a soft, unending drizzle. Drops trickled down the women’s skirts of coarse wool or striped cotton, making them as weighty as lead. Water dripped from the caps and broad-brimmed hats onto the new jackets of their suits for seeing God. The bare feet of the women and the hobnailed shoes of the men sloshed in the wide pools of the muddy roads. They seemed not to notice the rain.

“They went up the hills without stopping, illuminated by faith, anxious for the miracle promised by Our Lady to the pure and simple children who watched sheep, for the thirteenth at approximately 1:30 p.m., according to the legal time.” (But according to the sun, this hour would correspond to noon in Fatima because the sun at that moment was at its highest point in the sky.)

“A murmur drifting down from the hills reached us. It was a murmur like the distant voice of the sea lowered faintly before the silence of the fields. It was the religious songs, now becoming clear, intoned by thousands of voices. On the plateau, over a hill, or filling a valley, there was a wide and shuffling mass of thousands upon thousands of souls in prayer.”

O Século, another Lisbon newspaper, carried an extensive article on the occurrences of the day. Their reporter chose for his observation point the road between Châo de Maçâs and Ourém. “Along the road, we met the first groups going to the holy place, many walking more than ten miles, men and women, most of them barefoot, with the women carrying bags on their heads, topped with their heavy shoes, while the men leaned on their sturdy staffs and carried their umbrellas as a precaution. Saying the Rosary in a sad rhythm, as if immersed in a dream, they seemed unaware of all that happened around them, disinterested in either the landscape or the other wayfarers. A woman broke out with the first part of the Hail Mary, the hailing; her companions took up in chorus the second part, the supplication. With slow cadenced steps, they threaded along the dusty road, among pine groves and olive orchards, so that they might arrive before nightfall at the place of the apparition. There in the open, under the cold light of the stars, they
planned to sleep and get the best places near the blessed holm oak to enable them to have a better view.

“As they entered the town, some women, already infected by the environment with the virus of atheism, joked about the great event. ‘Aren’t you going tomorrow to see the saint?’ one asked. ‘Me? No! Not unless she comes to see me!’ They laughed heartily but the devout went on indifferent to anything which was not the motive of their pilgrimage. All night long, the most varied vehicles moved into the town square carrying the faithful and the curious, and also old ladies, somberly dressed, weighed down by their years. The ardent fire of faith shining in their eyes gave them heart to leave for a day the little corner in the home from which they were inseparable.

“At dawn, new groups surged undauntedly and crossed through the villages, without stopping for a moment, breaking the early morning silence with their beautiful religious hymns. The delicate harmony of the women’s voices made violent contrast with their rustic appearance.

“The sun was rising, though the skies presaged a storm. Dark clouds loomed directly over Fatima. Nothing would stop the crowd converging from every road on towards the holy place. Oxcarts dragged slowly alongside those who came in luxurious automobiles, gliding swiftly along the road and continually sounding their horns. There were carriages of all types: victoria chaises, landaus, and wagons fitted out for the occasion with seats, and crowded to the limit.

“Almost all brought besides food, a bundle of straw for the animals, which the poor man of Assisi called our brothers, and which carried out their tasks so bravely. Once in a while, one could see a small wagon trimmed with ornaments, small bells jingling softly as it moved along, yet the festive mood was discreet, manners were reserved, and the order perfect. Though little donkeys trotted along the side of the road, there were great numbers of cyclists who had to perform real feats to keep from tumbling.

“About ten in the morning, the skies became overcast. Soon it had turned to rain. Sheets of rain, driven by a chilly autumn wind, whipped the faces of the pilgrims, drenched the roads, and chilled the people to the bone. While some sought shelter under the trees, against the walls or in scattered houses, others continued their march with impressive endurance.

“The road to Leiria dominates to a great extent the wastes of Fatima where it is said the Virgin appeared to the little shepherds. Parked along this road were the carriages of the pilgrims and the sightseers. The majority of the pilgrims, the thousands that came from many miles around and from the provinces, gathered about the small holm oak, which, in the words of the children, the Vision chose for Her pedestal. This was the center of a great circle around which the devout and other spectators ranged themselves.”

Some estimated the crowd at the Cova da Iria this day to be at least seventy thousand persons. A professor of the University of Coimbra, Dr. Almeida Garrett, after careful consideration, placed the number at over one hundred thousand. “There were so many people there even on the twelfth,” said Senhora da Capelinha, “that the din could be heard even in our hamlet. The people spent the whole night in the open since there was no shelter for them. Before the sun rose they were already up, praying, weeping and singing. I came very early and was able to get close to the holm oak. The trunk was the only thing left of it but I had adorned it the night before with flowers and ribbons.”

Away at Lucia’s home, everyone was disturbed. Senhora dos Santos was sad as she never had been before. She feared that this was Lucia’s last day on earth. Tears running down her face, she looked at her daughter who tried to cheer her. “Don’t fear, mãnezinha, little mother,” Lucia said with a caress, “for nothing will happen to us. Our Lady shall do what She promised.”

When Lucia was ready, Senhora dos Santos decided to go also, “for if my daughter dies, I want to be at her side.” Accompanied by her husband, she took Lucia to Jacinta’s house. The house overflowed with people; scores upon scores pressed outside, waiting for the children. “The curious and the devout filled the house to the limit,” Ti Marto recalls. “It rained hard and the road was a mire; it was all thick slime. My wife was worried.

There were people over the beds and the trunks, soiling everything. ‘My dear, don’t let it bother you,’ I calmed her. ‘When the house is full no one else can come in.’ When the time came for me to leave after the children, a neighbor took me aside and said in my ear, ‘Marto, you’d better not go for you may be mistreated. The children, as they are only children, no one will hurt them. But you are in danger of being harmed.’ ‘As to me,’ I replied, ‘I’m going in my good faith. I’m not afraid at all. I’ve no doubt as to the good outcome.’ My Olimpia was very frightened, practically at her wit’s end, recommending herself to Our Lady. She awaited the worst, as priests and many others presaged only evil.

“The children were as much at ease as they could be. Francisco and Jacinta hadn’t a care in the world. ‘Look’ said Jacinta, ‘if they hurt us, we’ll go to Heaven, but pity them, for they shall go to Hell.’

“A lady from Pombalinho, no less than the Baroness of Almeirim, had brought two dresses for the girls, a blue one for Lucia and a white one for  Jacinta. She dressed them herself and placed garlands of artificial flowers on their heads. It made them look like little angels. We left the house under torrents of rain. The road was oozing mud but it did not keep the women and even the fine ladies from kneeling before the children.
‘Don’t do that, women!’ I had to say again and again. They believed that the children had the power of the saints.

“After many struggles and interruptions, we came at last to the Cova da Iria. The crowds were so thick, that it was difficult to pierce through them. It was then that a chauffeur took my Jacinta in his arms and, pushing along, opened a way to the posts with the lanterns, continually shouting, ‘make way for the children who have seen Our Lady!’

“I followed them closely, but Jacinta seeing me pressed among the people, feared for me. ‘Don’t push my father,’ she broke out. ‘Don’t push my father!’ “The man set Jacinta on the ground near the holm oak, but the crush there was so great that the child began to cry. Francisco and Lucia placed her between themselves. “My Olimpia was on the other side, I don’t know where, but my comadre, Maria Rosa dos Santos, was close by the children. I was a little distance away and suddenly became aware of a fiendish looking man bearing down on my shoulder with his staff.

‘The trouble begins,’ I said to myself. The multitude swayed back and forth until the moment came when everyone stood still and quiet. The time had come for the apparitions, it was noon by the sun.” “There was a priest close by,” Senhora da Capelinha tells, “who had spent the night near the holm oak and he was saying his breviary. When the children arrived, dressed as if for First Communion, he asked them about the time of the apparition. ‘At noon,’ Lucia responded. The priest took out his watch and said, ‘Look, it is already noon.’ ‘Our Lady never lies. Let us wait.’ A few minutes went by. He looked at his watch again.

‘Noon is gone. Everyone out of here! The whole thing is an illusion!’ “Lucia did not want to leave so the priest began pushing the three children away. Lucia, almost in tears, said, ‘Whoever wants to may go away, I’m not going. I’m on my own property. Our Lady said She was coming. She always came before and so She must be coming again.’ Just then, she glanced towards the east and said to Jacinta, ‘Jacinta, kneel down; Our Lady is coming. I’ve seen the flash.’ The priest was silenced. I never saw him again.” The hour of the apparition had arrived; the miracle that was promised had begun to take place.

“Silence, silence, Our Lady is coming,” Lucia cried out as she saw the flash. Our Lady came. Her snow-white feet rested upon the beautiful flowers and ribbons with which Senhora da Capelinha had adorned the tree. The faces of the three children assumed an unworldly expression, their features becoming more delicate, their color mellow, their eyes intent upon the Lady. They did not hear Lucia’s mother warning her to look closely so as not to be deceived. Lucia inquired of the Queen of Heaven:

“What does Your Grace want of me?”

“I want a chapel to be built here in My honor. I am Our Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every day. The war will end soon and the soldiers will return to their homes.”

“I have many things to ask of You: to heal some sick people and to convert some sinners, etc.”

“Some, yes; others, no.

“People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.”

Then growing sadder: “They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

“Do you want anything more?”

“Nothing more.”

“Then neither will I ask anything more of You.”

As Our Lady took leave of the children, She opened Her hands which emitted a flood of light. While She was rising, She pointed towards the sun, and the light gleaming from Her hands brightened the sun itself.

“There She goes; there She goes!” shouted Lucia, without for a moment taking her eyes from the beautiful Queen of Heaven. Lucia did not afterwards remember having said these words, though Francisco and Jacinta and many others distinctly heard her.

Lucia said later that she had no recollection of it. “I was not even aware of the presence of the people. My purpose was not to call the attention of the people to it; I did it, carried away by an interior movement which impelled me to it.”

The echo of Lucia’s shout came back in a huge, immense cry of wonder and astonishment from the multitude. It was at this precise moment that the clouds were quickly dispersed and the sky was clear. The sun was now pale as the moon. To the left of the sun, Saint Joseph appeared holding in his left arm the Child Jesus. Saint Joseph emerged from the bright clouds only to his chest, sufficient to allow him to raise his right hand and make, together with the Child Jesus, the Sign of the Cross three times over the world. As Saint Joseph did this, Our Lady stood in all Her brilliancy to the right of the sun, dressed in the blue and white robes of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Meanwhile, Francisco and Jacinta were bathed in the marvelous colors and signs of the sun, and Lucia was privileged to gaze upon Our Lord dressed in red as the Divine Redeemer, blessing the world, as Our Lady had foretold. Like Saint Joseph, He was seen only from His chest up. Beside Him stood Our Lady, dressed now in the purple robes of Our Lady of Sorrows, but without the sword. Finally, the Blessed Virgin appeared again to Lucia in all Her ethereal brightness, clothed in the simple brown robes of Mount Carmel.1

As the children stared enraptured by these most beautiful heavenly visions, the countless thousands of people were amazed and overpowered by other miracles in the skies. The sun had taken on an extraordinary color. The words of eyewitnesses best describe these stupendous signs. “We could look at the sun with ease,” Ti Marto testified; “it did not bother at all. It seemed to be continually fading and glowing in one fashion, then another. It threw shafts of light one way and another, painting everything in different colors, the people, the trees, the earth, even the air. But the greatest proof of the miracle was the fact that the sun did not bother the eyes.” A man like Ti Marto who spent all of his days in the open fields with his flocks and tended his garden under the hot sun of the Portuguese hills, marveled at this fact. “Everybody stood still and quiet, gazing at the sun,” he went on. “At a certain point, the sun stopped its play of light and then started dancing. It stopped once more and again started dancing until it seemed to loosen itself from the skies and fall upon the people. It was a moment of terrible suspense.”

Maria da Capelinha gave the author her impressions of this tremendous miracle. “The sun cast different colors, yellow, blue and white. It trembled constantly. It looked like a revolving ball of fire falling upon the people.” As the sun hurled itself towards the earth in a mighty zigzag motion, the multitude cried out in terror, “Ai Jesus, we are all going to die here; Ai Jesus, we are all going to die here.” Some begged for mercy, “Our
Lady save us”; many others made acts of contrition. One lady was even confessing her sins aloud.

At last the sun swerved back to its orbit and rested in the sky. “Everyone gave a sigh of relief; we were still alive, and the miracle promised by the children had come to pass.” Our Lord, already so much offended by the sins of mankind and particularly by the mistreatment of the children by the officials of the county, could easily have destroyed the world on that eventful day. However, Our Lord did not come to destroy, but to save.

He saved the world that day through the blessing of good Saint Joseph and the love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for Her children on earth. Our Lord would have stopped the great World War then raging and given peace to the world through Saint Joseph, Jacinta later declared, if the children had not been arrested and taken to Ourém. “What you do to these My least brethren,” warns Our Lord, “you do to Me.”

“I cannot give details of this apparition; it took place on the thirteenth of October, at the height of the sun and in a change of light that gave us the understanding that She showed Herself as such: Our Lady of Carmel.”

The miracle had come to pass at the hour and day designated by Our Lady. No one was disappointed, no one but Our Lady, perhaps, Who had said the miracle would have been much greater if the children had not been so mistreated. Many thousands of people in the Cova da Iria and in neighboring villages witnessed the overwhelming signs. Their reports are of intense interest. There are slight variations in their descriptions of the events, though all agreed it was the most tremendous, the most awe-inspiring sight they ever witnessed.

Some idea can be had of its effect on the people by reading the newspaper accounts of the day.

“At one o’clock, solar time, the rain stopped,” O Dia reported. “The sky had a certain greyish tint of pearl and a strange clearness filled the gloomy landscape, every moment getting gloomier. The sun seemed to be veiled with transparent gauze to enable us to look at it without difficulty. The greyish tint of mother-of-pearl began changing as if into a shining silver disc, that was growing slowly until it broke through the clouds. And the
silvery sun, still shrouded in the same greyish lightness of gauze, was seen to rotate and wander within the circle of the receded clouds! The people cried out with one voice; the thousands of the creatures of God, whom faith raised up to Heaven, fell to their knees upon the muddy ground.

“Then as if it were shining through the stained glass windows of a great cathedral, the light became a rare blue, spreading its rays upon the gigantic nave... Slowly the blue faded away and now the light seemed to be filtered through yellow stained glass. Yellow spots were falling now upon the white kerchiefs and the dark poor skirts of coarse wool.

They were spots which repeated themselves indefinitely over the lowly holm oaks, the rocks and the hills. All the people were weeping and praying bareheaded, weighed down by the greatness of the miracle expected. These were seconds, moments, that seemed hours; they were so fully lived.”
O Século, another newspaper of Lisbon, carried a more detailed account of the extraordinary events. “From the height of the road where the people parked their carriages and where many hundreds stood, afraid to brave the muddy soil, we saw the immense multitude turn towards the sun at its highest, free of all clouds. The sun resembled a plate of dull silver. It could be stared at without the least effort. It did not burn or blind. It seemed that an eclipse was taking place. All of a sudden a tremendous shout burst forth, ‘Miracle, miracle! Marvel, marvel!’

“Before the astonished eyes of the people, whose attitude carried us back to biblical times, and who, white with terror, heads uncovered, gazed at the blue sky, the sun trembled and made some abrupt unheard-of movements beyond all cosmic laws; the sun danced, according to the typical expression of the peasants.

“On the running board of the bus from Torres Novas, an old man whose stature and gentle, manly features recall those of Paul Deroulede, turned toward the sun and recited the Credo in a loud voice ... I saw him later addressing those about him who still kept their hats on, begging them vehemently to take their hats off before this overwhelming demonstration of the existence of God. Similar scenes were repeated at other places. A
lady, bathed in tears and almost choking with grief, sobbed, ‘How pitiful! There are men who still do not bare their heads before such a stupendous miracle!’

“Immediately afterwards the people asked each other if they saw anything and what they had seen. The greatest number avowed that they saw the sun trembling and dancing; others declared that they saw the smiling face of the Blessed Virgin Herself; they swore that the sun turned around on itself as if it were a wheel of fireworks and had fallen almost to the point of burning the earth with its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively.”

The testimony of another witness, Dr. Almeida Garrett, professor at the University of Coimbra, is most informative and corroborates the others. “As I
waited,” he said, “with cool and serene expectation, looking upon the place of the apparitions and with a curiosity that was fading because the hour was passing away so slowly without anything to arouse my attention, I heard the rustle of thousands of voices. I saw the people stretched out over the
large field turn about from the point upon which their desires and anxieties had converged so far to the opposite side, and they looked up at the sky. It was almost two o’clock war-time or about noon, sun-time.

“The sun had broken jubilantly through the thick layer of clouds just a few moments before. It was shining clearly and intensely. I turned to this magnet that was drawing all eyes. It looked to me as a luminous and brilliant disc, with a bright well-defined rim.

It did not hurt the eyes. The comparison (which I heard while still at Fatima) with a disc of dull silver, did not seem right to me. The color was brighter, far more active and richer than dull silver, with the tinted luster of the orient of a pearl. “Nor did it resemble the moon on a clear night. Everyone saw and felt that it was a body with life. It was not spheric like the moon, neither did it have an equal tonality of color. It looked like a small, brightly polished wheel of iridescent mother-of-pearl. It could not be taken for the sun as though seen through fog. There was no fog at that time. (The rain and the fog had stopped.) The sun was not opaque, veiled or diffused. It gave light and heat and was brightly outlined by a beveled rim. The sky was banked with light clouds, patched with blue here and there. Sometimes the sun stood out alone in rifts of clear sky. The clouds scuttled along from west to east without dimming the sun.

They gave the impression of passing behind it, while the white puffs gliding sometimes in front of the sun seemed to take on the color of rose or a delicate blue. “It was a wonder that all this time it was possible for us to look at the sun, a blaze of light and burning heat, without any pain to the eyes or blinding of the retina. This phenomenon must have lasted about ten minutes, except for two interruptions when the sun darted forth its more refulgent, lightning-like rays, that forced us to look away. “The sun had an eccentricity of movement. It was not the scintillation of a celestial body at its highest power. It was rotating upon itself with exceedingly great speed. Suddenly, the people broke out with a cry of extreme anguish. The sun, still rotating, had unloosened itself from the skies and came hurtling towards the earth. This huge, fiery millstone threatened to crush us with its weight. It was a dreadful sensation.

“During this solar occurrence, the air took on successively different colors. While looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around me darkened. I looked at what was nearby and cast my eyes away towards the horizon. Everything had the color of an amethyst: the sky, the air, everything and
everybody. A little oak nearby was casting a heavy purple shadow on the ground.

“Fearing impairment of the retina, which was improbable, because then I would not have seen everything in purple, I turned about, closed my eyes,
cupping my hands over them, to cut off all light. With my back turned, I opened my eyes and realized that the landscape and the air retained the purple hue. “This did not give the impression of being an eclipse. While still looking at the sun, I noticed that the air had cleared and I heard a nearby peasant say, ‘This lady looks yellow.’ As a matter of fact, everything far and near had changed now. People seemed to have jaundice. I smiled when I saw everybody looking disfigured and ugly. My hand had the same color...”

The testimony of this learned man demonstrates how difficult it is to describe adequately the marvelous signs that occurred in the skies on this day. October the thirteenth, 1917, was a day to remember for all the people who witnessed these events. The reporter for the Ordem, a newspaper of Oporto, wrote about it in these words: “The sun was sometimes surrounded by blood-red flames; at other times it was aureoled with yellow and soft purple. Again it seemed to have the swiftest rotation and then seemed to detach itself from the heavens, come near the earth and give forth a tremendous heat.”

Another witness, the Reverend Manuel da Silva, wrote a letter to a friend on the evening of the thirteenth, in which he tried to describe the events of the day. He spoke about the morning’s rain and then, “immediately the sun came out with a well-defined rim and seemed to come down to the height of the clouds. It started to rotate intermittently around itself like a wheel of fireworks, for about eight minutes. Everything became almost dark and the people’s features became yellow. All were kneeling in the mud.”

Inácio Lourenço was a nine-year-old boy at the time, living in the village of Alburitel, ten miles away from Fatima. He is now a priest and he remembers this day vividly. He was in school. “About noon,” he said, “we were startled by the cries and exclamations of the people going by the school. The teacher was the first to run outside onto the street with all the children following her. The people cried and wept on the street; they
were all pointing towards the sun. It was ‘The Miracle’ promised by Our Lady. I feel unable to describe it as I saw it and experienced it at the time. I was gazing at the sun. It looked so pale to me; it did not blind. It was like a ball of snow rotating upon itself. All of a sudden it seemed to be falling, zigzag, threatening the earth. Seized with fear, I hid myself among the people. Everyone was crying, waiting for the end of the world.
“Nearby, there was a godless man who had spent the morning making fun of the simpletons who had gone to Fatima just to see a girl. I looked at him and he was numbed, his eyes riveted on the sun. I saw him tremble from head to foot. Then he raised his hands towards Heaven, as he was kneeling there in the mud, and cried out, ‘Our Lady, Our Lady.’

Everyone was crying and weeping, asking God to forgive them their sins.

After this was over, we ran to the chapels, some to one, others to the other one in our village. They were soon filled. “During the minutes that the miracle lasted, everything around us reflected all the colors of the rainbow. We looked at each other and one seemed blue, another yellow, another red, and so on. This increased the terror of the people. After ten minutes, the sun resumed its place, pale and without splendor. When everyone realized the danger was over, there was an outburst of joy. Everyone broke out in a hymn of praise to Our Lady.”

As the miracle came to its end and the people arose from the muddy ground, another surprise awaited them. A few minutes before, they had been standing in the pouring rain, soaked to the skin. Now they noticed that their clothes were perfectly dry. How kind was Our Lady to Her friends who had braved rain and mud, and put on their very best clothes for Her visit.

The Bishop of Leiria wrote in his Pastoral Letter that those who witnessed the events of this great day were fortunate indeed. He said, “The children long before set the day and hour at which it was to take place. The news spread quickly over the whole of Portugal and although the day was chilly and pouring rain, many thousands of people gathered...

They saw the different manifestations of the sun paying homage to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, who is more radiant than the sun in all its
splendor. This phenomenon, which no astronomical observatory registered, was not natural. It was seen by people of all classes, members of the
Church and non-Catholics. It was seen by reporters of the principal newspapers and by people many miles away.”

These are his official words, spoken after long study and careful interrogations of many witnesses of the apparition. There is no possibility of error or illusion when close to a hundred thousand people concur in their testimony. God in Heaven had called the people of the world to join with the heavens in paying honor and glory to His Blessed Mother, Mary
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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See also this Our Lady of Fatima Chapel's newsletter for this occasion of the Miracle at Fatima - October 13, 1917
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for the Occasion of the Sixth Apparition at Fatima on October 13, 1917 & the Miracle of the Sun



"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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