This weekend we celebrate the anniversary of the Final Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the three children of Fatima and the amazing miracle known as, “The Day the Sun Danced.” or the “Miracle of the Sun”. What happened at Fatima, Portugal 101 years ago? Many of you may know the history, but I suspect that many others do not. In Spring of 1916 an angel appeared to the three children shepherds of Fatima: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, three times over the six months and the third time with a chalice and a large host, and gave them communion. He taught them to pray and offer their sacrifices in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all of the offensive sins of humanity.
On May 13, 1917, Mary the Mother of God appeared to them and encouraged them in the same way, validating the words and instructions of the angel, who had also revealed himself to be the Guardian Angel of Portugal and the Angel of Peace. (http://www.theholyrosary.org/fatimaapparitions) Mary asked them to return to this place on the 13th of each month for the next 5 months. There she revealed to them that the war (WWI) would end soon, but that if sufficient people did not repent and begin to pray the rosary daily, Russia would rise up to scourge the world and the Church, and that there would be a great sign in the night sky just before this punishment begins (the stellar phenomenon happened in Jan. 1938 and WWII began shortly thereafter with the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia). She also revealed a third secret that was supposed to be revealed in 1960.
Then came the final apparition on Oct. 13, 1917, where Mary gave the sign she promised to prove who she was and the validity of her messages. Over 70,000 people witnessed the “Miracle of the Sun.” at Fatima that day. Photos were published in “O Dia” (the Daily) a large newspaper of Lisbon under the title “The Miracle of Fatima”. It is said that the miracle could be viewed as far away as 100 miles and that there were another 130,000 who saw it from a distance. It had been raining very hard since the day before and all night. The dirt road leading to the apparition sight was impassable do to the mud and number of people trying to get there. Everyone was soaked to the bone and some were sunk nearly to their knees in mud. The rain stopped suddenly and the sun came out; it then began to spin and rotate in the sky in a very irregular manner. It then came toward like it was going to crash into the earth. Everyone screamed thinking they were going to die. Then it returned to its normal place in the sky—but everything was dry! Scientists have calculated that the dryness produced by the miracle would have required more energy than 4 times the amount of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, yet no one was harmed: Incredible but true! Pope Emeritus Benedict called Mary’s messages at Fatima the most important for our time, and Pope Francis has dedicated his whole Pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima.