Celebrating the100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun

Crowd looks at "the Miracle of the Sun" during the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions on October 13, 1917.

by Nancy Pierron

Three children, Lucia Ferreira, and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, first saw the vision of a beautiful lady on May 13, 1917. The lady told them to do penance and make sacrifices, to say the rosary every day and this would help save sinners. Mary also asked Lucia to learn to read and write so she could tell the world about Mary and her Immaculate Heart.
The people of the surrounding area, and even Lucia’s mother, were not happy about the stories the children were telling about the lady. They did not believe the children. Lucia was ridiculed and beaten because of her stories about Mary.

In July 1917, the lady revealed three secrets to the children. Lucia revealed two of the secrets in 1938. They concerned Mary asking for reparation, first Saturday devotions and the consecration of Russia. In January of that year, a huge aurora borealis appeared over Europe and a very bright beam of light was seen. The third secret was revealed in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. It was a vision of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.

As many as 70,000 people were present for the sixth and last apparition. On October 13, 1917, the sun appeared to rotate and change its coloration, then fall to the earth. This was called the miracle of the sun – a miracle that Lucia had promised would happen on the day of the apparition. At that time, the lady identified herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary.”
Lucia became a Discalced Carmelite nun in 1949. She returned to Fatima during all four papal pilgrimages. In February 2017, Sr. Lucia was granted the title “servant of God,” the first step toward canonization.

In February 1952, a fundraiser was started to establish Our Lady of Fatima Church in Monroe. Bishop Charles P. Greco donated the property for the church and school. Many came together to raise funds and work to complete the school building and gymnasium. A rectory and convent were prepared from two barracks buildings to house Fr. George Martinez and three Franciscan sisters.

The school began in 1953 with about 60 students in grades one through four. Later, a new wing was added to house fifth through eighth grades. The new church was completed in February 1959. A new rectory and convent were later built. Fr. Martinez and a determined group of parishioners were responsible for the success of the fledgling parish. Now, nearly 60 years later, the parish is still fueled by devoted parishioners.

Our Lady of Fatima Parish invites you to attend the celebration Mass of the 100th anniversary of the sixth and final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. It will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, located at 3205 Concordia Street, Monroe on October 11. There will be a meal following Mass. All are welcome! 

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