Today marks the anniversary of the "Miracle of the Sun" in Portugal in 1917. Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to 3 shepherd children with a message of prayer and penance, promised a miracle to the faithful who came to Cova de Iria hoping for a glimpse of the glorious apparition seen only by the children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. On this day, which began with heavy rains, soaking the people and turning the ground to mud, the sun appeared to hurl towards the earth, sending the crowds into sheer terror. Then, just as suddenly, it veered back towards its place in the sky.
When atheists and blasphemers start in on me because of my faith, I urge them to read about the events of Fatima, not because of the miracle of the sun but because of the improbability of 3 ignorant uneducated children fabricating such a tale. The political climate was such that it was dangerous to be a Catholic and there was nothing to be gained by inventing a tale of a beautiful lady appearing to the children and urging them to spread her message to consecrate Russia to her, pray the Rosary and make many sacrifices for the salvation of sinners. The apparitions began on May 13th and occured on the 13th day of each subsequent month. Sister Lucia died on the 13th of the February. Pope John Paul II, who credited the Virgin of Fatima with saving his life, was shot on May 13th, the Feast of Fatima. As St. Therese once said, for those with faith the size of a mustard seed, our Lord moves mountains. I think it would very difficult to hear the story of Fatima and not at least be moved to ask some questions.
And let those of us who believe remain committed to praying the Rosary daily and offering many penances and sacrifices to save souls from falling into Hell.