At Fatima in 1917, it is alleged that God made the sun do a miracle in front of 70,000 witnesses to show that the claim made by three children that they could see the Virgin Mary there was true.  The sun appeared to move but we know from science that it did not.  So what was going on?

We definitely have the scientific witness and the witnesses who were not at the spot where the miracle was seen saying the sun did not move.  We have to choose between the stronger and bigger number of witnesses and between the 70,000.  And the 70,000 number is simply untrue for many among the crowd reported seeing nothing, few wanted to write anything down and many felt they were protecting the children from the authorities.  They feared for the children against the intolerant authorities if nothing happened.

If something was happening then God did a miracle to stop people seeing it as well.  Have you thought about that?  The story does not support miracles as guides to truth.  The most it does is say that some force does tricks but with miracles. 

Lucia the child who did all the talking revealed that the Lady promised to do a great miracle that day. This promise was published in the papers and this drew huge crowds on the day of the expected miracle. Sceptics have concluded that this prediction preconditioned the people to see something. They were not going to go to the effort of going to the Cova and taking a day off work for nothing.

Here are quotations from a book on the story, When the Sun Danced.

My comments in bold.

Of Lucia he writes Her second memoir includes a detailed account of another set of three visions allegedly witnessed by Lucia and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, in 1916. This time the guardian angel of Portugal appeared to the children. At least one author claims that this story was communicated to a few priests early on, all of whom encouraged Lucia to keep it quiet, thus resulting in the story of the visitations of the angel not being made public until after 1937 (Sainte Trinite 1989b). However, neither Jacinta nor Francisco ever spoke of these incidents during their lifetime, and because the episodes were relegated to the province of private experience until the late 1930s, I have chosen to exclude them from the present study.

She took advantage of her role as only surviving witness to embellish her tale

There are several differences between Lucia's testimony in this interrogation and her firsthand reports of the event, written more than twenty years later. First, in her testimony to the priest, it was Lucia who initiated the conversation with the Lady. Second, there was no mention of her deceased acquaintances during the interrogation (both of whom were friends of her older sisters), nor was there any mention of the children making a vow to endure much suffering to serve God.

She contradicts herself

After questioning the children, Father Ferreira proclaimed, “It doesn't seem to me like a revelation from heaven, it may be a deception of the devil” (Walsh 1954, 75).

Surely he was in a position to know especially before the hype about Fatima brainwashed everybody

Lucia then said she told the Lady that she had a request: Could the Lady please convert a woman from Pedrogam a woman from Fátima, and make a boy from Moito better?  The Lady responded that the conversions and improvement could take place within a year. Lucia later claimed that the request for the woman from Fátima was actually for a cure, not a conversion, and the request was made by Maria Rosa Brogueira, whose twenty-one-year-old daughter Amélia dos Anjos had recently contracted tuberculosis. The boy was João Carreira, whose mother Maria Carreira had been present during the second apparition.

No evidence is given that these things happened and the Church never recognised those miracles as real.  That is tantamount to being sceptical of what the vision said.

Lucia later wrote, “The vision of hell filled her [Jacinta] with horror to such a degree, that every penance and mortification was nothing in her eyes."

The virgin is a child abuser

If the Lady does not make the miracle, the crowd will kill us.…We had better go to confession, to be prepared for death” (Walsh 1954, 135).

There was pressure then on everybody to lie about seeing the miracle of the sun spinning in the sky

We do not know if there have already been blind persons who have recovered their sight, paralytics who have regained the use of their limbs, hardened sinners who are turned back from the straight ways of sin to plunge into the purifying water of penance.

So God was not promising healings but merely performances and now we wonder why he has not concentrated so much on healing like he did when Jesus supposedly was on earth

Lucia and several other shepherdesses from the village of Aljustrel had claimed to have witnessed an apparition of the Holy Lady on three separate occasions in 1915, making the 1917 reports initially appear as a repetition of a previously dismissed event rather than a novel occurrence.

So the Fatima visions of Mary had a trial run

Lucia eventually admitted to Dr. Formigão, there were many things about the visions that the children chose to keep to themselves, not trusting even their confessors or their families with the full details of their experiences.

And Jesus said he said nothing in secret so why all this secrecy? Children say too much.  The hidden stuff must have been starkly bad for even children to know to tell nobody. 

The fact remains that almost none of the people who really knew Lucia Santos believed what was quickly deemed to be her story. From the start, it was established that Lucia was the central protagonist in the apparition drama.

This is telling - and in such a superstitious age!  What did they know?

heightened anxiety, especially when tied to crowd participation, renders actors vulnerable to what Giddens (1979, 127) has termed “regressive modes of object-affiliation.” This was evinced in the way the crowd seemed to respond to Lucia's commands to put down the umbrellas and look up at the sun. It is also suggested by the panic that ensued when the miracle actually occurred. Moreover, for many the event seems to have possessed a dreamlike quality

The crowd were worked up to see the sun spinning in the sky and the use of umbrellas became a clear hint that the miracle was to appear there. Where else could it appear anyway?  The dreamlike quality description shows this was not a real miracle.

there was no water at the Cova da Iria, and this was a real problem, as Maria Carreira's account makes clear. The lack of water posed sanitation and health risks when large crowds (often of very sick people) gathered at the apparition site.

As with Lourdes, the public were expected to risk their health over visions that had not been established.

In a number of places Lucia denies the truth of these claims and maintains that her father was never drunk or abusive and that he always upheld his responsibilities to the family, even if he restricted his church attendance to a few prominent holidays.


in an interview with De Marchi, Maria Carreira claimed that when the time for the Virgin's visit came and the children were not present, the crowd began to panic, break, and flee. She attributed the panic to fear of the “devil.”

Signs of hysteria - no wonder they imagined a spinning sun

Lucia mentions that her parents cautioned and forbade her from personally accepting money from outsiders, and she was severely beaten when she suspected of doing so.

Maybe she did


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