Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima
Despite great interest in the Message of Fatima, many people still have only a confused or sketchy understanding of this Message. To better understand the most important of all Marian apparitions and the greatest supernatural event of the last hundred years, we focus on the essential facts as recounted by Lucia dos Santos, the visionary who spoke to Our Lady.
The May Apparition of Our Lady
13 May 1917 was a beautiful Sunday in Portugal’s rugged Serra de Aire uplands. Sunshine bathed the olive groves. The fresh green of Springtime in the meadows and olive groves contrasted with the vivid red of poppy flowers. The happy voices of three children playing as they watched over their families’ flocks rang out in the clear air.
Suddenly, there was a rumble of distant thunder…
The June Apparition of Our Lady
Preceding the second apparition on 13 July 1917, the seers, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, once again saw a great brilliance, which they called lightning. Some people in the group of fifty spectators noticed that the light of the sunlight dimmed during the first few minutes of the conversation. Others said that the top of the budding holm oak bent down, as if under the weight of something.
The July Apparition of Our Lady
Mr. Marto, father of Jacinta and Francisco, noticed that when the third apparition began, a small greyish cloud hovered over the holm oak, the sunlight diminished, and a cool breeze blew over the mountain range, despite it being the height of summer. He also heard something like flies inside an empty jug. The seers saw the customary glare, and then Our Lady over the holm oak.
The August Apparition of Our Lady
On August 13, the day the fourth apparition was to take place, the seers were not at Cova da Iria.
They had been abducted by the mayor of Vila Nova de Ourém, who attempted to force from them the secret revealed in the apparition of July 13. The children held fast despite the mayor imprisoning them, and threatening to plunge them in boiling oil.
The September Apparition of Our Lady
0n 13 September 1917, a crowd estimated at 20,000 observed atmospheric phenomena similar to those of the previous apparitions: the sudden cooling of the air, a dimming of the sun to the point where the stars could be seen, and a rain resembling iridescent petals or snowflakes that disappeared before touching the ground.
The October Apparition of Our Lady
As on the other occasions, the seers, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, first saw a bright light, and then they saw Our Lady over the holm oak. Our Lady spoke to the children again and they had three visions. Then there was the Miracle of the Sun…