Apparition of 13 October 1917
During the night of 12-13 October it had rained throughout, soaking the ground and the pilgrims who make their way to Fátima from all directions by the thousands. By foot, by cart and even by car they came, entering the bowl of the Cova from the Fátima-Leiria road, which today still passes in front of the large square of the Basilica. From there they made their way down the gently slope to the place where a trestle had been erected over the little holm oak of the apparitions. Today on the site is the modern glass and steel Capelhina (little chapel), enclosing the first chapel built there and the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima where the holm oak had stood.
As for the children, they made their way to the Cova amid the adulation and skepticism which had followed them since May. When they arrived they found critics who questioned their veracity and the punctuality of the Lady, who had promised to arrive at noon. It was well passed noon by the official time of the country. However, when the sun arrived at its zenith the Lady appeared as she had said she would.
“What do you want of me?”
I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.
“Will you tell me your name?”
I am the Lady of the Rosary.
“I have many petitions from many people.
Will you grant them? ”
Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He
is already too much offended!
“And is that all you have to ask?”
There is nothing more.
As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver.
“Look at the sun!”
From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.
After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel. [Only Lucia would see the later, presaging her entrance into Carmel some years later.]
This would be the last of the apparitions of Fátima for Jacinta and Francisco. However, for Lucia Our Lady would return a seventh time, in 1920, as she had promised the previous May. At that time Lucia would be praying in the Cova before leaving Fátima for a girls boarding school. The Lady would come to urge her to dedicate herself wholly to God.
As the children viewed the various apparitions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph the crowd witnessed a different prodigy, the now famous miracle of the sun. Among the witnesses there were the following:
O Seculo (a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper):
From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: “A miracle! A miracle!
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.
Standing at the step of an omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Senhor Joao da Cunha Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.
Identical scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: “How terrible! There are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!”
People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively….
From the Book of Heaven
Vol. 20 – 10/13/26 – How the Divine Will shall form the eclipse for the human will.
I was fusing all of myself in the Holy Divine Volition, and while I was going around in It, doing my acts, my beloved Jesus moved in my interior and told me: “My daughter, each act, prayer and pain that the soul makes enter into the light of My Will, becomes light and forms one more ray in the Sun of the Eternal Volition.
These rays form the most beautiful glory that the creature can give to the Divine Fiat, in such a way that, seeing Itself so glorified by Its own light, It invests these rays with new knowledges that, converting into voices, manifest to the soul more surprises about My Will.
“But do you know what these knowledges of Mine form for the creature? They form the eclipse for the human will. The stronger the light is, the more the rays are, and the more strongly the human will remains dazzled and eclipsed by the light of My knowledges; in such a way, that it almost feels impotent to act, and it gives field to the action of the light of My Will. The human will remains occupied within the action of My Will, and it lacks the time, the place, to make its own will act.
“It is like the human eye when it stares at the sun: the strength of the light invests the pupil, and lording over it, it renders it impotent to look at other things; but in spite of this, the eye has not lost its vision. It is the strength of the light that has this power: it takes away any other object from one who looks at it, and allows him to look at nothing but light.
“I will never take free willing away from the human will—a great gift, given to man in creating him, that makes creatures distinguishable as to whether they want to be My true children, or not. But, rather, with the light of the knowledges about My Will, I will form more than solar rays, and whoever wants to know them and look at them, will be invested by this light; in such a way that, eclipsed, the human will will take delight and love in looking at this light, and will feel fortunate that the action of the light takes the place of its own. And it will lose love and delight for other things. This is why I am saying so much about My Will—to form the strong light, because the stronger it is, the greater is the eclipse it forms in order to occupy the human will.
“Look at the sky—it is an image of this. If you look at it at night, you see it studded with stars; but if you look at it during the day, the stars no longer exist for the human eye. However, they are still at their place in the sky, just as at nighttime. Who had this strength to make the stars disappear, though they are present in the full daylight? The sun. With the strength of its light, it eclipsed them, but did not destroy them; and this is so true that, when the sun begins to set, so do they return to make themselves seen in the vault of the heavens. It seems that they are afraid of the light, and they hide to give field to the action of the light of the sun, because, in their mute language, they know that the sun contains more effects of goods for the earth, and it is right that they give field to the great action of the sun; and so, as homage to it, they let themselves be eclipsed by its light. But as the eclipse ends, so do they make themselves be seen—present at their place.
“So it will be between the Sun of the knowledges about the Supreme Fiat and the human wills that will let themselves be illuminated by these rays of light of My knowledges: these will bring the eclipse to the human wills that, in seeing the great good of the action of its light, will feel ashamed and afraid to act with the human will, and will give free field to the action of the light of the Divine Will.
Therefore, the more you pray and suffer in It, the more knowledges you draw to be manifested to you, and the stronger the light becomes, so as to be able to form the sweet eclipse for the human will. In this way, I will be able to establish the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat.”