On 13th October 1917, the day of the last Apparition, it poured with rain on the Cova da Iria. Lucy asked the faithful to close their umbrellas to recite the rosary together and observe the arrival of the Holy Virgin.
The Virgin Mary presented herself to Lucy as Our Lady of the Rosary and asked her to build a chapel in her honour. She announced that the war was going to end and asked Lucy to "heal several of the sick and convert sinners".
The Virgin Mary then raised her eyes to heaven, the rain stopped and the sun shone brightly, radiating different coloured beams of lights. The crowd cried out in terror but after a few moments, everything returned to normal.
One of the principal anti-clerical publications of the day was O Dia, a major Lisbon newspaper. On October 17th, O Dia reported the following:
At one o'clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly gray in color, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The gray mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy gray light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of women. They were reported on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of the miracle they had awaited.
The Virgin Mary then disappeared into the firmament, reappeared a few moments later, under the amazed eyes of 3 shepherd children, accompanied by Saint Joseph, the Infant Jesus and Our Lord blessing the world using the sign of the cross.
Francisco and Jacinta Marto died very early in 1919 and 1920 respectively. There were beatified by Pope Jean-Paul II on 19th May 1989.
Lucy Dos Santos took her vows in 1928 and received new apparitions from the Virgin Mary in 1925 and 1929. She wrote her story herself, the official version of the Apparitions of the Virgin of Fatima. Sister Lucy, the last surviving seer of Fatima, passed from this life on February 14, 2005 at the age of 97 years.
Fatima is now a world centre of well-known pilgrimages. With Lourdes, it is one of the major sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
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