Our Lady’s Sixth Apparition – October 13, 1917
As on the other occasions, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta first saw a bright light and then they saw Our Lady over the holm oak.
Lucia: What does Your Grace wish of me?
Our Lady: I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honour. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.
Lucia: I have many things to ask you: if you would cure some sick persons, and if you would convert some sinners…
Our Lady: Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.
Becoming sadder, Our Lady added, “Let them offend Our Lord no more for He is already much offended.” Then, opening her hands, Our Lady rose higher, and she shone the light streaming from her hands onto the sun. At the same moment, Lucia called out, “Look at the sun!”
As Our Lady disappeared in the expanse of the firmament, three visions followed in succession. The first vision represented the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. The second vision represented the Sorrowful Mysteries. Finally, the third vision represented the Glorious Mysteries.
The first vision:
Saint Joseph appeared 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.
The second vision:
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. Lucia could only see the upper part of Our Lord’s body.
The third vision:
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned queen of heaven and earth, appeared in a glorious vision holding the Child Jesus near to her heart.
Miracle of the Sun
The great throng of 70,000 spectators didn’t see these three visions, which were reserved for the three children only. However, the crowd was treated to the spectacular and terrifying miracle of the sun. Here is what happened:
It had rained all during the apparition. At the end of the conversation between Our Lady and Lucia – at the point where the Blessed Virgin rose and Lucia shouted, “Look at the sun!” – the clouds parted, revealing the sun as an immense silver disk shining with an intensity never seen before, although it was not blinding and could be gazed at comfortably.
Then the immense disk began to spin rapidly like a gigantic Ferris wheel. Then it stopped momentarily, only to begin spinning vertiginously in the opposite direction. Its rim turned scarlet as it whirled, casting great coloured flames across the sky. The light of the flames was reflected on the ground, on the trees, and on the upturned-faces and clothing of the people, which took on brilliant hues and changing colours.
After performing this bizarre movement three times, the sun stopped, seemed to tremble, shake, and plunge toward the terrified crowd. A huge gasp of collective astonishment and fear arose in the valley of the Cova da Iria as everyone imagined their end had come. Tens of thousands fell on their knees begging God’s forgiveness for their sins. Amongst them were those who only minutes before were laughing and scoffing. Finally, the sun zigzagged back to its normal place in the sky, became still, and shone with its habitual brilliance. All this lasted ten minutes.
After regaining their composure, everyone noticed that their clothes, which had been soaking wet from the rain, had suddenly dried. Numerous witnesses, up to twenty kilometres from Fatima, saw the miracle of the sun also.