Three little children
predicted a public Miracle. They identified the date, place and
time. And something actually occurred as predicted. This cannot be simply dismissed as
hoax, or an illusion. Something really happened there. The Church was
skeptical, even to the point of trying to thwart it.
Afterwards, newspapers wrote about it worldwide. They referred to
it as the "Miracle of the Sun".
Incorruptible Jacinta Marto (born 1910 - died
1920) exhumation and reburial photos
Jacinta Marto at age 7 was one of the three original
visionaries at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. She was born in 1910
and died in 1920. In both 1935 and 1951 her body was exhumed
and in each instance, her body was found to be incorrupt. The
Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima was built on the site where the
three children first saw "a lady brighter than the sun" and
Jacinta's tomb has remained there since 1951.
Aside from atheists,
non-Catholic Christian groups find the events of Fatima to be a very
difficult hurtle to overcome. For a different reason, many of
these Christians simply regard Mary as essentially a birthing
vessel. For that particular reason, Marian Apparitions appear
to be uniquely Catholic, as most other forms of Christian
based beliefs are unable to understanding Mary's role. A
comparative or proportional analogy would be the Arc of the Covenant
from the Old Testament, Jewish Talmud or Torah. The Arc was so
Holy, that God gave very specific instructions as to how this Vessel
should be built. Every single detail, as from what wood should
be used, from what metal to be employed, from how to hold it, to how
to carry it, etc. And God doesn't only provide these details
once, He does so twice. God even warned that if it starts to
tip, or starts to fall, don't touch it. This is a Holy thing.
When the Israelites built this Container and place the Ten
Commandments within, it possessed incredible power. Armies who
held it before them, won their victories. Recall the story of
when the Israelites were transporting the Ark in an ox-cart, they
hit a bump and it started to tip, someone put their hand up to
balance it and was struck dead. God warned them, don't touch
it, this is a Holy thing. King David, when he recovered the
Ark, in Jewish tradition, every seven steps he did a little dance
proclaiming "we got the Ark back!" We recall the Bible story
of how he got into an argument with his wife, who accused him of
making a fool out of himself. He said to her: "You don't
understand. We got the Ark back! We got the Ark back!"
He knew there was tremendous power there. And if there was so
much power because the things in the Arc were touched by the Finger
of God, how much more power would there actually be in the Container
that held the actual Finger of God? And not just the Finger,
but the Hand. And not just the Hand, but the whole Body of God
Incarnate. And how much more Holy of a Vessel would you need
to hold that? And that's what Mary is. And how much more
purity and power is there in Mary, the Living Ark, Mother of God,
German Army invaded France in August 1914 occupying large areas of
that country. In 1916, the Battle of the Somme raged (an
offensive by the British and French armies against the German Army).
This was one of the largest battles of the First World War
which left 2.25 million casualties on the Western Front. In
1917, far removed from the evil and ferocity of war, three young
children tended their sheep on peaceful Serra da Estrela Mountains
of Portugal. They could not read or write and had little or no
knowledge of the war. They were certainly unaware of the
critical events taking place at that time in Russia. Russia
was the world's largest single state ruled by the Tsar. The
Industrial Revolution brought about nearly slave labor conditions
and worker revolts. In 1905, a group of unarmed peaceful
demonstrators including woman and children (organized by Father Gapon) marched to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II. They
were gunned down by the Imperial Guard, the death toll was in the
hundreds. The event became known as Bloody Sunday (2).
The Tsar's advisors became increasingly under control of Rasputin,
who had Nicholas's wife believing his supernatural powers assisted
in keeping their son alive, who had hemophilia. Rasputin was
involved in his early years with satanic cults and seemed to have
supernatural powers of satanic origin. It was also widely
believed that he was having an affair with the Empress. Russia
suffers heavy casualties in 1914, when it is drawn into WWI.
Russian statesmen lure Rasputin into a trap and kill him.
1917, Russia falls into complete disarray, with rebellion, riots and
starvation. The Tsar's government collapses, and soon
afterwards Rasputin's prophesy of the death of the Royal
family is fulfilled. The provisional democratic governments
prepared for an election. Enemies of the Imperial regime
returned to Russia, the revolutionaries came back from abroad.
Stalin returned from Siberia. Lenin returned to Russia from
Switzerland in April 1917. The Russian Revolution of 1917 is
the most important secular event in the history of this century,
just as our Lady of Fatima (which came at the same time) can be
described as the most important religious event of this Century.
Perceptibly, the two events are closely related. In 1917,
Portugal is drawn into the war, but in many Portuguese small
villages, the issues and rise of Marxism are little known.
Such issues would certainly be unknown to the Fatima children.
Portugal's new government promised that there would be an end of
faith and religion within two generations. Legal notices were
placed on Church, Convent, Parish and Rectory doors warning that
Priests, Nuns and members of the Clergy were forbidden to appear in
public wearing religious attire, under penalty of imprisonment.
In Lisbon and other large Portuguese cities, Church property was
seized. Hundreds of Priests and Nuns were imprisoned.
The Catholic Mass was forbidden, and marriages were authorized by
civil contract only. The great monasteries and abbeys were
converted into barracks and government buildings. In the
cities, Church authorities experienced a reign of terror.
In the remote village of Fatima, conditions were less severe, they
still had their Priest. On May 13, 1917, in the grassy
depression amongst the hills outside the village, 10 year old Lucia
dos Santos and her two cousins Jacinta and Francisco first see the
Lady of Fatima. According to Lucia's transcripts, "It was a
clear day, the sun was shining. At noon time we saw a flash of
lightning. We began to run, then ahead of us we saw a
beautiful Lady about sixteen years of age, dressed all in white.
She was surrounded by a brilliant radiance. We stopped about
five feet away from where She was standing, on top of a small
evergreen. She said, "Do not be afraid". I asked where
She came from. "I am from Heaven", She said. "I come to
ask you to come here for six months in succession, at the thirteenth
day, at this same hour. Then I will tell you who I am and what
I wish". Our Lady then asked the children if they would be
willing to accept certain sufferings that would come to them, and
offer those sufferings to God, so that sinners would be converted.
Lucia replied, "Yes, we will". They were asked to pray the
Rosary every day, to obtain peace for the world and an end to the
war. She then began to rise into the sky out of view.
Francisco sees the apparition, but cannot hear what is said.
Jacinta and Lucia see and hear, but it is Lucia alone with whom Our
her cousins not to tell anyone what happened. Seven year old
Jacinta, who cannot contain her happiness, tells her parents.
They are puzzled, but know that their two youngest children are
truthful. When the story reaches Lucia's mother and father,
the reaction is different. Lucia's mother was a devout
Catholic, and was in total disbelief. There were harsh words
and threats to get her child to give up this tale. The next
apparition would take place June 13th. It was the feast day of
Saint Anthony. The holiday atmosphere was eagerly awaited by
all the children in the village. The three children are not
diverted and return to the Cova, as Our Lady requested. As
soon as the children pointed out those who were there the spot where
the lightning came from previously, the lightning came again.
The children told the people to kneel, that Our Lady was there.
No one else sees the Lady of Fatima, but the children say She was
there, the same way, in the same place. Lucia speaks freely
with Our Lady and asks Her to take them to Heaven with Her.