Miracle in Fatima began when Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. The three children were Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. Mama Mary, as she was fondly called by the children, asked that people pray the rosary and offer sacrifices to convert the sinners. The first apparition occurred May 13, 1917 and ended October 13, 1917.
In this apparition, the Lady confided to the children three secrets.
The first secret was the vision of hell. The three children were shown by Mama Mary what hell looked like to admonish sinners. According to Lucia, hell was “like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration………..amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair.”
The second secret involved Mary’s instruction to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart to save the souls from Hell and for conversion to Catholic faith. Also, punishments in the form of war, famine and persecutions would occur if the people will not repent their erring ways.
The third and final secret was the death of the Pope and other religions figures. The third secret was withheld by Vatican and was released only on June 26, 2000 even though Lucia insisted that it must be released by 1960.
The Dancing Sun
October 13, 1917 was an important date in the Fatima apparition because on that day Mary promised the children a miracle. The news of a miracle spread all throughout Portugal like wildfire. People from all walks of life, from all places flocked to the place to witness the promised miracle. Among them were newspaper reporters and photographers gathered at the appointed place in Cova da Iria.
The copy of the page from Ilustração Portugueza, October 29, 1917, showing the crowd looking at the miracle of the sun.
Around 75,000 people gathered. The rain stopped. A cloud covered the disc of the sun making it easier to look at. Lucia told the crowd to look at the sun. At first, the sun changed colors and turned into a silver disk. It began to dance in the sky, like a turning wheel of fire. The “dancing sun” phenomenon occurred. It spun and spun for minutes, zigzagging before the huge throng of people. Then, it suddenly stopped. The sun then plunged towards the crowd, to the astonishment of the people. People cringed in fear. They cried out loud. Then the plunging sun stopped. The sun slowly rose back up to the sky, to the relief of the viewers. The solar phenomenon was viewed by people as far as forty kilometers away.