Starting in May of 1917, something happened to three shepherd children in the town of Fátima, Portugal. The events have become known as Our Lady of Fátima. Starting on May 1, 1917, the children began to describe seeing a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball, pierced by the burning rays of the sun.” The being was reported to have appeared to the children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13. According to ten year old Lúcia Santo, in the course of her encounters, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fátima. Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the ensuing months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles. On three separate occasions before the Miracle of the Sun, the children reported that the Lady had promised to them that she would, on October 13, 1917, reveal her identity and provide a miracle “so that all may believe.”
On October 13, 1917, the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed and reported by 50,000 to 100,000 people in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal. The people in attendance had assembled to observe the publicized event. According to many statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast multicolored lights across the Earth, the people and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern. It was said that the people’s previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry,” as well as the wet and muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain. According to the reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.
The Miracle of the Sun was marked by a large amount of angel hair over the land. On July 13, 1917, the lady is said to have entrusted the children with three secrets. These secrets have been highly controversial in the Catholic Church, and have been revealed to the public at different time periods, with the final one coming out in 2000. The First Secret was allegedly a vision of Hell. The Second Secret was a statement that World War I would end and goes on to predict World War II. The second half of the secret includes information about Russia and requests that it become consecrated to the Immaculate Heart. It should be noted that the Second Secret wasn’t revealed until 1941, after World War II had already began.
The majority of the controversy is with the Third Secret. It was revealed in 2000 and includes information about the persecution of Christians in the 20th century that culminated in the failed assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. However, historical references to the Third Secret indicate something else entirely, with information regarding Apocalypse, a great apostasy, and satanic infiltration of the Catholic Church. If you are unfamiliar, apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from, or abandonment of, a religion by a person, basically, criticism of a person’s former religion. In 1980, John Paul II was quoted on the Third Secret. “It should be sufficient for all Christians to know this much. If there is a message, it is said that the oceans will flood entire sections of the Earth and from one moment to the other, millions of people will perish.”