Ave Maria! I was caught by surprise when, browsing Marian news online, I encountered a decent article about Our Lady of Fatima in the Washington Post. They apparently published the article for the 100th anniversary of Fatima, because it’s a very important a celebration in the Catholic Church. The article provides some of the evidence in favor of the Miracle of the Sun and only gives a couple sentences to the skeptics’ explanations. The Washington Post included a link to Sister Lucia’s biography on amazon, so a fair number of their readers will likely purchase her extraordinary testimony. The Washington Post has over 100 million readers, so this could lead to conversions.
About 2 p.m., some began to see what later became known in the Catholic Church as “the Miracle of the Sun.” The rains that had plagued the day ceased, and the sun emerged from behind clouds to spin and tremble for 10 minutes.
“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,” reported O Seculo, a Lisbon newspaper.
The strange phenomena included odd colors.
“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,” said José Maria de Almeida Garrett, a science professor from Coimbra, Portugal, who was at the scene.
Onlookers from as far as 25 miles away noted the strange phenomena in the sky.
There were scientific reasons put forth for what had happened: Perhaps the witnesses had stared at the sun too long. Perhaps it was a combination of optical effects and a real meteorological shift caused by the weather and the cloud cover.
But the miracle was acknowledged as “worthy of belief” by the Catholic Church in 1930.