Miraculous phenomena at Fatima occurred even on November 13

Father Thomas McGlynn, OP was a priest and sculptor who spent 10 days with Sister Lucia in order to make an authentic sculpture of how Our Lady appeared when she presented her Immaculate Heart. He had the opportunity to interview Lucia’s sisters, Theresa and Maria, about the miraculous events surrounding the apparitions.  These interviews and his visit with Lucia occurred in February 1947.

Theresa was present at the July apparition and saw nothing, but on August 13 at the Cova da Iria, she saw flowers resembling snow falling from the sky and colored lights like a rainbow on the ground. The people put out their hands to catch the flowers only to find that they disappeared.  She explained that on that day, the children were not present as they had been kidnapped, and these phenomena occurred after Ti Marto (Jacinta and Francisco’s father) came to tell them there was no need to wait for the children to come.  Soon after he told them this, there was a terrific explosion, “as if a bomb had exploded under our feet,” Theresa said. The crowd of about 200 to 300 people ran toward the road in fear. Then the phenomena of the flowers and lights occurred. The flowers appeared to be multi-colored petals, but when they came close enough to see what they were, the flowers disappeared.

Maria reported that she was at the Cova on August 13, some people heard a noise like sticks hitting together, and they ran away. She did not hear the noise, but ran with them toward the north slope, where the Basilica now stands. She heard an old man say, “People of little faith, don’t you see the miracle?” She stopped running, turned toward the Cova and saw the signs – the rainbow lights and falling flowers. She said they saw “clouds around the sun reflecting different colors on the people.”

Maria reported that their mother never believed in the apparitions. On August 19, when the children were pasturing their sheep at Valinhos after they had been released from prison, Jacinta came and said, “O Aunt, Our Lady has appeared again,” and showing her a branch said, “These are the places where she put her feet.” Lucia’s mother said to Jacinta, “I thought the administrator had finished with all that and here you are still telling lies. I know what you need.  Now give me that thing and go back with Francis and Lucy and look after the sheep.”

As Maria’s mother took the branch she noticed a scent and remarked to her, “A very pleasant odor, but it’s not like roses or incense or perfume; I don’t know what it is.”  She put the branch on the table intending to ask someone else if they could recognize the scent and left the room. But when she returned in the evening, the branch was gone and she could not find it anywhere. During the October apparition when at the Cova, she again smelled the same fragrance at the moment when Lucia said, “Close your umbrellas, here comes Our Lady.” The scent remained all the while Lucia was talking to Our Lady. Her mother’s belief in the apparitions began then in October.

Also on August 19, a neighbor who was Lucia’s godmother, was also skeptical of the Cova apparitions and was out working in the fields when the apparition took place at Valinhos.  She said to her sister, “There are those same lights they talked about on the thirteenth. If this were the thirteenth they would say this was the apparition of Our Lady.”  On arriving in Aljustrel, she heard the story of the apparitions at Valinhos. The woman who doubted was greatly shocked and began to believe.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred during the September apparition, but in October, Theresa explained what she saw during the miracle of the sun. She said it had rained the whole morning. The rain stopped suddenly. Gradually the clouds cleared and the sun was visible; there was no eyestrain.  Next, flowers again were “snowing” and there was a rainbow-like light all over the ground and the people. They saw the sun spinning around and they could look at it as at the “newly risen moon”; it was “spinning down.”

Maria also reported on the October miracle. The rain stopped immediately, the sun could be seen and the clouds were turned different colors – all the colors you could think of. Then the sun fell toward the earth and people fell on their knees asking for mercy, thinking it was the end of the world. Afterward Lucia said, “Look in that direction.” A man standing near Maria said he saw a figure, a very beautiful form between two lights. Their clothes had been soaking wet, but when they returned home they noticed they were dry.

On November 13, they again saw the flowers and the lights at the Cova and for several months following. She deliberately looked at the ground thinking the light might have caused the illusion of flowers and still she saw the flowers falling.

Maria summed up the message of Our Lady, conveyed by Lucia in October, as a warning that we must stop offending Our Lord, ask pardon for our sins and say the Rosary. 

(From the book Vision of Fatima by Thomas McGlynn, O.P., available in our Gift Shop by calling 866-513-1917)


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