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?