Three young ladies in 1917, near their home village in Fatima Portugal, described an encounter with a mysterious woman appearing to be brighter than the sun. The brightly glowing woman identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary (Mary), telling the girls to pray on the rosary every day, for it is the key to personal revelation and world peace. Two other visits to the girls were claimed at Cova da Iria, one of which became known as the Miracle of the Sun. Roughly 70,000 people gathered to witness the sun rotating and appearing to change colors like a hypnotic dance. The strange phenomenon was distinctly witnessed by more than 10,000 of the attendees and reported to be seen up to 40 miles away. Scientific speculations assert the color changing and dancing sun were symptoms from retinal damage due to looking into the sun for too long. Another theory proposes an increase in atmospheric interference extending typical sightings of aurora borealis beyond common locations.
A scientifically documented northern light event happened in 1938, shortly after a prediction from Fatima as a sign foretelling a grim future. Some believe this sign to be relevant to the forthcoming events like the seizing of Austria one month later and the Czech invasion eight months later. Secrets told to the Vatican by the young ladies fueled ongoing controversies of Fatima beyond the apparitions alone. The third secret likely was the most incriminating against the Church for its time. Even though later revealed to be a warning from the sky, some noteworthy individuals claim secret number three spoke of forthcoming accusations against the Church regarding abuse, telling us the warning statements were intentionally proclaimed in order to redirect focus from the Vatican as a media smoke screen. Interestingly, the Miracle of Fatima is not the first apparition receiving full support approved by the Church. Past apparitions occurred during or around significant moments in history, and in particular, during moments of escalating conflict. Eight apparitions have been approved by the Vatican since 1531, Fatima became the ninth and most widely publicized. Annual processions continue to remember the moments three young ladies brought forth in 1917, including a stern reminder to pray the Rosary.
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