The Sixth and Last Apparition — October 13, 1917
As on the other occasions, the seers first saw a bright light, and then they saw Our Lady over the holm oak.
Lúcia: What does Your Grace wish of me?
Our Lady: I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the Rosary everyday. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.
Lúcia: I have many things to ask you: if you would cure some sick persons, and if you would convert some sinners….1
Our Lady: Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.
“Becoming sadder, she added, ‘Let them offend Our Lord no more, for He is already much offended.’
“Then, opening her hands, Our Lady shone the light issuing from them onto the sun, and as she rose, her own radiance continued to be cast onto the sun.”
At that moment, Lúcia cried, “Look at the sun!”
Once Our Lady had disappeared in the expanse of the firmament, three scenes followed in succession, symbolizing first the joyful mysteries of the Rosary, then the sorrowful mysteries, and, finally, the glorious mysteries. Lúcia alone saw the three scenes; Francisco and Jacinta saw only the first.
First scene: Saint Joseph appeared beside the sun with the Child Jesus and Our Lady of the Rosary. It was the Holy Family. The Virgin was dressed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph was also dressed in white, and the Child Jesus in light red. Saint Joseph blessed the crowd, making the Sign of the Cross three times. The Child Jesus did the same.
Second scene: This was followed by the vision of Our Lady of Sorrows, without the sword in her breast, and of Our Lord overwhelmed with sorrow on the way to Calvary. Our Lord made the Sign of the Cross to bless the people.
Lúcia could only see the upper part of Our Lord’s body.
Third scene: Finally, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, appeared in a glorious vision with the Child Jesus in her bosom.
While these scenes took place, the great throng of about seventy thousand spectators witnessed the miracle of the sun.
It had rained all during the apparition. At the end of the conversation between Our Lady and Lúcia — when the Blessed Virgin rose and Lúcia shouted, “Look at the sun!” — the clouds opened up, revealing the sun as an immense silver disk. It shone with an intensity never before seen, but was not blinding. This lasted only an instant. Then the immense ball began to “dance.” The sun began to spin rapidly like a gigantic circle of fire. Then it stopped momentarily, only to begin spinning vertiginously again. Its rim became scarlet; whirling, it scattered red flames across the sky. Their light was reflected on the ground, on the trees, on the bushes, and on the very faces and clothing of the people, which took on brilliant hues and changing colors.
After performing this bizarre pattern three times, the globe of fire seemed to tremble, shake, and then plunge in a zigzag toward the terrified crowd.
All this lasted about ten minutes. Finally, the sun zigzagged back to its original place and once again became still and brilliant, shining with its everyday brightness. The cycle of the apparitions had ended.
Many people noticed that their clothes, soaking wet from the rain, had suddenly dried.
The miracle of the sun was also seen by numerous witnesses up to twenty-five miles away from the place of the apparition.2
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This account is based on the book
Our Lady at Fatima: Prophecies of Tragedy or Hope for America and the World?
“The Miracle of the Sun” in Fatima October 13, 1917
- In a letter of May 18, 1941 to Father José Bernardo Gonçalves, S.J., Sister Lúcia clarifies this point by explaining that Our Lady said she would grant some of these graces within the year, and others not. (See Memoirs, 442.)
- See Memoir II, 162, and IV, 348, 350; De Marchi, 165-166; Walsh, 129-131; Ayres da Fonseca, 91-93; Galamba de Oliveira, 95-97.