Evidence For Our Lady of Fatima and other Miracles?

Dear all,

I just had a peaceful discussion with an atheist friend. She was initially neutral towards Christianity, but after witnessing some Christians doing hypocritical things in the name of religion, she became dubious about how Christianity came to be. While she acknowledged that we have a perfect system that is capable of explaining everything, she believes all of these plausible explanations are attributable to brainwashing and self-hypnosis. She questions why we don’t have any proof - archaeologically or scientifically, that certain miracles we claim are more than brainwashing or self-hypnosis.:frowning:

I myself have had some spiritual experiences, but I can not make them into visible evidence. Sometimes I even find it difficult to describe these things in words. So I know how difficult it is to document a miracle scientifically.

I am also aware that only God can make Himself revealed. And if a person has closed his/her heart, even if a miracle happens right under his nose, he would not acknowledge it. (Actually I think that is why she’s got the impression that we can’t prove any miracle happened because of God.)

She is a person who strives for righteousness, and she will be better in God’s hands than with me debating. However, I would still like to know if there are any evidence that miracles DID happen when God interfered, or any evidence that the Bible is NOT some folklores made up by a group of people that happened to be used by people who wants power. The Dead Sea Scrolls and historian accounts are considered unreliable by some. Do we have other archaeological discoveries or detailed documents that cover these matters?

For example, everyone says that newspapers reported the Our Lady of Fatima event, but does anyone know which newspaper that is?

I believe there are a few saint canonized lately that are responsible for miracles, and the investigation should be documented by Vatican. Are we accessible to these documents?

Some saints and exorcists have dealt with miracles or supernatural events (such as Padre Pio and Fr. Gabriele Amorth). Do we have any documents for that?

Forgive me for being such a nerd, and I am not asking because I am too attached to miracles to neglect greater miracles - that God cleanses our sins and builds us into better persons. I only wish to know that when I talk about these things to other people, I am certain that I am telling them the truth, and I am able to tell them why this is the truth. I HAVE ran into widely-spread Catholic stories that warped up the truth a little bit, so I know it CAN happen.

Anything?

Oh, by the way! My friend’s aunt is Protestant (though their church has some very dubious practices that I think it is a cult), but she has been diagnosed with cancer. My friend challenged that if her aunt can be healed by prayer, she might believe that God is real. It might not be the perfect motivation, but please pray for her, if only it can help by any bit. Thank you!

You are right, challenging God is never recommended!

Prayers anyway…you may want to make a seperate post in the intentions forum as well.
It’s listed on the right of this page…
Lord Jesus, lead all souls to heaven
especially those most in need of thy mercy.
Our Father…Hail Mary x10
Glory Be…Fatima Prayer…Amen!

When talking with an atheist, we often talk right past each other. The problem is that the atheist, having not yet encountered God, interprets what you say as being proof of God’s existence. he is looking to find why You believe. For the person who has already encountered God, proof of his existence is not important, so you are instead discussing your experiences with him. Some of these experiences are miraculous. Some are not. We don’t know God ONLY through miracles.

So when we talk about miracles, the atheist is looking to these miracles as the reason why YOU believe. But the atheist doesn’t realize that you ave already encountered God and do not need the miracle to prove anything. The miracles were NOT done to prove God to the atheist, yet they will assume that Christians only believe BECAUSE of these miracles.

See what I mean how we talk right past each other. Please be careful of that.

Our Father…Hail Mary x10
Glory Be…Fatima Prayer…Amen!

Thank you very much! I would do as you advised.:thumbsup:

The newspaper “O Seculo” from Portugal sent a skeptical reporter to cover the event from a newspaper with socialist leanings. His account can be found in the daily version of the “O Seculo” newspaper from the day after the Miracle of the Sun. The local parish priest, Father Ferreira, was also skeptical and sometimes actively discouraged the young seers. He was very much taken aback by the miracles. The news magazine “Ilustracao Portuguesa” (I wish I could make those cute Portuguese diacritical marks) published photos from Fatima describing the unexplained dryness of the soil following heavy rainfall, and published first person accounts from former skeptics who were convinced that what they saw was an absolute miracle.

If you look up the Wikipedia article for “Miracle of the Sun”, it has an extensive discussion of the newspaper coverage, etc.

However, I don’t expect this to convince your friend. Those who do not believe can always find some non-miraculous explanation or simply write it off as mass hallucination. Also, for every vision or private revelation, there are people on the scene who see nothing. When there are multiple visionaries, often they don’t even all see and hear the same things.

For myself, I don’t need a miracle to believe in Mary, and I have precious little interest in whether anyone else is convinced. I don’t say that to be rude, but I don’t go around proving that the Real Presence is in the consecrated host either. If people wish to open their minds and receive the gift of faith, I’m happy to pray for them, but I don’t go around proving things I believe. It’s not necessary and is unlikely to be effective.

Thank you. That is surely something to be careful about. I do find that my answer that tries to prove a different point is often interpreted as my effort to prove “God exists” or “the Church is right”, when I am perfectly aware that my answers can not prove that, and I am only trying to say something else. We have both agreed to stop the debate anyway, although she is still under the impression that we are similar to MLMs and God is only our imagination. But no human words alone can solve this, only God.

I might be wrong, but I am under the impression that miracles can often be the first step that leads people to God, especially for those who know little about religion or spiritual things, and were raised up atheist. I myself and many of my protestant friends believed because of many miracles happening before our eyes and on ourselves, and it is only later on that we discovered a richer and more profound wisdom and love in the divinity. It is truly nothing compared with greater things like love, but even this little thing is a great gift that can be very powerful.

Now back to my question. I am not saying that we should evangelize people only by showing them miracles, but I just find it hard to believe that we do not have more detailed and more formal documents on miracles we are already declaring. The truth does not contradict itself, and as a matter of fact, I find the answers on this website most convincing when the original sources are cited. So if there is a source for these documents to be found, or if there is a valid reason for certain documents to be kept from public, I would like to know.

There’s video footage.
Be at peace.

Canonization is a long, detailed process of investigation.
Read this:
catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/the-process-of-becoming-a-saint.html

The Wikipedia page is very helpful! I understand your concerns and I feel the same way. But it is just good to know that the event was truly recorded by a magazine, and it is not only a story! (Forgive my disbelief, but I am often skeptical about what people say until I am convinced. Perhaps because I am weak. I know I am a hard case for God, but he loves me enough to give me all I need :wink: )

I’ve also read similar articles before, but I wonder if there are any more details on how the miracle is determined a miracle and unexplainable by natural causes.

May I ask what video footage are you mentioning?

God bless!

You might Google our lady of Akita.

A wooden statue that talks and bleeds

And it is verified.

I want to thank you for your question. My husband and I have been having conversations about your question since before the weekend.

I very much like discussing strategy, as in how to present the faith to people who are outside the faith. When someone hears about Fatima and they do not want to hear more, are hostile to it, I then know their hearts are hard ground. So what’s a good strategy? Know that you can try to take a swing at the hard ground, and then move on, knowing that God can work on their hearts, over decades if need be. Don’t feel you have to win them over in a discussion that lasts a week.

I find folks that are hostile to anything Catholic, and are not Christian, usually find all other kinds of things fascinating. UFOs, paranormal activity, mysteries like the pyramids and ancient cultures, etc. If there was a documentary on tv, they would be interested to watch it. However, if scientists discuss the Shroud of Turin, let’s say, they would call it brainwashing. Whatever science degree the testers might have, it doesn’t count for anything in their mind.

One strategy we (husband and I) liked was to have a discussion just to highlight their own bias, to show themselves how very unscientific they really are.

Offer them this scenario. A meteor has come in a flaming ball landing in the desert. Scientists locate it, bring it to the research lab. The meteor was in 5 pieces, broken on impact, the 5 pieces being different sizes. They weigh each piece carefully and find that each piece weighs exactly the same as the other pieces, plus all 5 together weigh exactly the same as one piece. Regardless if they put 1 piece on the scale, or 3 pieces, the weight is the exact same weight. The scale must be broken. They bring another scale and have the same results. Then another scale is brought in. Somehow this meteor is breaking all the known rules of physics.

Would this situation be of interest to them?

If there was a tv documentary, would they want to watch it?

I would find this story very interesting. Would you?

You know what I am really referring to is the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. The blood properties have this characteristic. It’s not a pretend meteor on some show like the X Files. It’s real, studied by scientists.

  1. The diagram of this blood corresponds to that of human blood that would have been taken from a human body that very same day. The blood is real. It is made up of five-unequal clots, but each clot weighs exactly the weight of the five clots weighed together, be it 15.85 grams.

michaeljournal.org/juvdm/enseignements/lanciano/page.01-eng.html

Are they still interested in looking into it further?

Of course there’s more to the Eucharistic miracle story that is absolutely fascinating.

If all you do is show them how heavily biased they are, you’ve done something significant. It may open up other conversations, or make them harass you for being some fanatic. The answer is simply “You are not as scientific as you think you are.” If they accuse you of being brain washed, the reply is simply that you could accuse them of the same thing, and here’s why. You refuse to look at the Miracle of Lanciano for no other reason than that it’s Catholic. If it was a meteor that was studied, you’d be all over that."

How do you like that strategy? Does it take a good swing at that hard earth of their heart?

Thanks for the topic. We enjoyed our conversation very much!

“Determined” by whom? There wasn’t much need for the Vatican to “verify” a miracle in this case, as it wasn’t being relied upon for someone’s canonization, etc.

I am a little baffled as to why you would argue things like Fatima to people outside the faith, when many Catholics who are “inside the faith” do not believe in Fatima or in other private revelations, and there is no requirement from the Vatican that they do so.

You have to pick your battles when discussing with people outside Catholicism who are hostile to it. I would pick a battle that is actually part of official Church teaching, not one that the Church, while very open to its message, has declared optional for believers.

The original poster presented Fatima to someone and was asking how to proceed so I addressed the question.

I think the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus would be a good one that fits your criteria.
We have the written testimony of people who witnessed it.

Then there is the miracle of life.

The miracle of birth.

The miracle of creation itself.

You didn’t mention that the reporter’s photographer was a Catholic but despite his best efforts he himself saw nothing and was quite disappointed that those around him did.

Nor did you mention that the priest heavily censored details because he couldnt accept the first apparition which the children clearly reported as wearing a dress short enough to show her knees.

It is a common misconception that the blood pellets from the Lanciano miracle all weigh 15.85 grams together and separately, but this is false. That was an assertion from “scales” used in 1574.

Linoli and the WHO exams showed differently:

The actual total clots weight is 16.505 grams, that of each of them is 8 grams, 2.45 grams, 2.85 grams. 2.05 grams and 1.15 grams.

Miracles are only effective for conversion as singularities.
If you weren’t there then only testimony is left.
And testimony has considerably less “objective” coercive force.

In the end faith is still necessitated.

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