Several questions regarding the events at Fatima, Portugal in 1917...

I want to learn as much as I can before I present a case for the events of Our Lady of Fatima. I have just finished reading Our Lady of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh and am currently reading Documents on Fatima & the Memoirs of Sister Lucia. I have a few questions that were not explored enough in adequate detail or not explored at all in the books:

-Conspicuously absent from the books are articles from Portuguese newspapers reporting the Miracle of the Sun. Can anyone link me to a resource which has published these articles? Wikipedia has an entry on the Miracle of the Sun and quotes from some of the articles, but I would like a more complete and reliable resource.

-Were the first two messages that were imparted to Saint Lucia by Our Lady published or otherwise publicly revealed before Lucia’s memoirs? I had previously thought that the three children spoke of the first two messages to all those who were curious. However, I have not found any documentation of the children speaking about their vision of Hell and/or the Blessed Virgin’s request for the consecration of Russia. This is an important detail, I think. If they were first revealed in Saint Lucia’s memoirs, skeptics can claim that the first two messages have no prophetic value because they were revealed after the events they “foretold.”

-I have read, I’m not sure where, that part of the reason Our Lady’s prophecies were so remarkable is because no one, at that time, could have thought that communism would take over Russia. Is this true? Why would there be so much incredulity over this possibility?

-I have also read tha theret were witnesses to the Miracle of the Sun kilometers away from the Cova da Ira, but I have not seen any documentation to attest this. In particular, I read of an atheist poet who saw the miracle. Can someone please refer to me a resource which has published the testimonies of these witnesses?

-How does one effectively respond to the charge that the Miracle of the Sun was the result of eye strain from staring at the sun too long?

Is the miracle of the sun the result of eyestrain? How did it happen that thousands of people saw the same things? If something natural happened to their eyes, they would not have seen the same things. I think my eye doctor would have something good to say about this, but unfortunately I don’t need to have my eyes checked for a new prescription for my glasses right now.
I recall reading and buying a book on Fatima which spoke of the experiences of people miles away and also spoke of the articles journalists there wrote (who didn’t try to explain away the miracle of the sun, even some of them wrote for Socialist newspapers) but unfortunarely I have just moved and all my books are in boxes. But this information has been published.

n?

This is an excellent point. There is no reason to think that even if the Miracle of the Sun were the result of eye-strain that all 100,000 of the witnesses experienced the same effects.

I recall reading and buying a book on Fatima which spoke of the experiences of people miles away and also spoke of the articles journalists there wrote (who didn’t try to explain away the miracle of the sun, even some of them wrote for Socialist newspapers) but unfortunarely I have just moved and all my books are in boxes. But this information has been published.

Perhaps you can recall the name of the book?

n?

???

C’mon, CAF. I expected to be astounded with your insight and knowledge on this matter. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think I may have found an answer to my second question from Father de Marchi’s book:

During the July apparition our Lady confided a secret to the children, the two first parts of which were only divulged after the Second World War had broken out. The third part, sealed and written in Lucia’s own hand, is at present in the possession of the bishop of Leiria and will be opened only in 1960.

ewtn.com/library/MARY/TSFATIMA.htm

This is somewhat discouraging. I’ll have to do more research, but I had previously thought that Saint Lucia and the two other children discussed the first two messages freely and openly with those who were curious. Of course, this hardly diminishes the evidence we do have for the veracity of the miraculous events at Fatima, but it is somewhat discouraging nonetheless.

Sorry, I can’t recall the name of the book. I mentioned it in case someone else can identify the title.
By the way, if someone could post the newspaper articles from the reporters there, this would not be very helpful, because they would have been in Portugese.

Here is a link from EWTN that copies the article from O Dia, Lisbon, Oct 17, 1917, which by the way, was a major anti-clerical newspaper.

Thanks for this great article. I see was wrong and the contemporary newspaper articles are available in translation.

No kidding, I discovered that web-page several minutes before you posted this. :slight_smile:

It is, for the most part, a good resource which compiles many of the sources I have read about in the books I have read. However, the testimony of the atheist poet is cut-off too soon:

On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda…

All of the resources I have found so far only provide this excerpt of the testimony. I wish I could find the rest of it.

What do you guys think about Saint Lucia revealing the three messages imparted to her only after the outbreak of WWII?

I would also recommend this site for information about our Lady’s appearance at Fatima.fatimacrusader.com

I’ll be sure to check out the website more in-depth when I have time, thank you.

I have done some more research, and it seems that the whole notion of “the three secrets” is a bit of a mistake. In reality, there was only ever one message that was imparted, but that message had three parts. All three parts were held as a secret until 1927-1935. WWII started in 1939. So it would seem that the messages still held some prophetic value, but I would have to search more rigorously to be definitive.

Perhaps because the media was controlled by the atheistic government that tried to suppress all knowledge of the apparitions. Remember, freedom of the press is uniquely American and even today is unheard of in most of the world.

I don’t think the issue was that communism would take over Russia, but that it would spread throughout the world. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was an internal affair of the Russian state. It wasn’t so uncommon for a government to be changed in a country to arise shock and surprise, but to insist that such an upheaval would spread beyond the borders of that country and infect a good portion of the world would have been (and would still be today) laughable.

Yes, scientists and doctors have confirmed that over exposure of staring at the sun too long can produce similar observed phenomenon on the part of the observers as what was reported at Fatima. Do you know what else those experiments proved? That do such a stupid thing will more than likely result in permanent eye damage. But no such damage was reported by the thousands of observers at Fatima. Therefore, one can conclude that something supernatural occurred – either the observed phenomenon was not caused by staring at the sun too long or that the people stared at the sun for very many minutes and were somehow protected from eye damage. Either way, it’s a miracle. (I myself don’t think that tens of thousands of people would have simultaneously stared at the sun uninterruptedly for minutes on end waiting for ‘something’ to happen).

I am sorry for replying so late to you, JMJ_coder. I am still researching this topic, but my attention was drawn elsewhere for a time. :o

This is an excellent point. Can you direct me to this experiment?

I am trying to find the testimony of Olimpia Marto, mother of the two younger children. I have read that she testified that her children ecstatically predicted their deaths to her and to pilgrims. This would be another piece of evidence that prove the veracity of the events because 1) what child would predict their own deaths, and ecstatically at that? 2) their predictions were right!

Can anyone find this testimony?

Here’s a link to the experiment (which is meant to try to debunk Fatima): meessen.net/AMeessen/MirSun.pdf

For the fact of the eye damage, contact your local opthamologist or optometrist and ask “what will happen if I stare too long at the sun?” and “how long is too long?”. :wink:

Because the Pope and the Bishops and the priests of the Catholic church do not obey the Holy Mother of God regarding Fatima, the world will continue to suffer. Since 1960, the Catholic church and the world have been blown off course because the third secret was not revealed. The way Our Lady wanted Sister Lucy to do. And now, all the priests and Bishops act like the don’t know what is going on. When they are standing before God Almighty to recieve their judgement, what are they going to say when Jesus asks them why they didn’t obey His Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth?

There was also the issue of the ground and clothes drying rapidly. It had been raining most of the day, and the ground was muddy, as mentioned in an article in “O Seculo”, the government newspaper which was anti-clerical. I read somewhere the energy required to dry all the clothes and muddy ground so quickly should have vaporised everybody. This is often overlooked. There were actually 2 miracles - the dancing sun, and the extraordinarily rapid drying.

Finally there is the fact it took place on the specific day stated by Mary previously. That was the only reason 100,000 people were at the place on the 13th October 1917. She’d only been appearing on a monthly basis.

Lastly the emphasis at the time would have been on the tangible miracles, not the children’s testimonies. At the time the business about Russia and Communism would not have made much sense, and nobody at the time would have wanted to know about a ‘worse war’ which would follow a bright light in the sky.

From another site - "On January 25-26, 1938. On that night a bright red light, likened to the blaze of a gigantic fire, filled the evening sky, and was seen across Europe and even in parts of North America and North Africa. It was determined to be a most extraordinary aurora borealis. Sister Lucy expressed reservations on this, but wrote in her third memoir on August 31, 1941 that no matter what cause the light could be attributed to, “God made use of this to make me understand that His justice was about to strike the guilty nations…”

If God were to send a prophet today with dire warnings, not many people would want to believe him. And the chances are the prophecies would only become clear with hindsight anyway, especially if they were couched in a peculiar way.

More on the energy required, lifted from the following EWTN site -

ewtn.com/library/mary/apparit.htm

" … and, finally, completely dried clothing and grounds despite the fact that it had been raining heavily for several days right up to the time of the apparition (Scientists have estimated that it would take the energy equivalent to a two megaton nuclear explosion to completely vaporize the water accumulated at Fatima)."

Oh please, spare us this nonsense. :rolleyes:

First off, it’s NOT “Saint Lucia.” She has not been canonized. Secondly, here’s a book. Click on the image.

tanbooks.com/shop_image/large/fati0046x.jpg

Nice cover! How is the content, though? I have a three books on the subject, now, and I could not justify another one unless there was new material.

This book contains some of what you were asking for, like articles from secular newspapers covering the events at the time.

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