Sunday, February 13, 2005
Sister Lucia Marto, the last of the children who spoke with the Virgin Mary during the miracle at Fatima, Portugal, has died at age 97.
Lucia and two of her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco, said in 1917 that the Virgin Mary had been appearing to them once a month and predicting events, such as a world war, the fall of Russian communism, and the eventual persecution of Catholics and the Pope. The appearances took place on the 13th day of each month in Fatima, a town about 70 miles north of Lisbon.
Pope John Paul II has visited [Fatima] three times since becoming pontiff, spending a few minutes with Lucia during a 1991 trip to the site. He has claimed the Virgin of Fatima saved his life after he was shot by a Turkish gunman in St Peter’s square in 1981. The May 13, 1981, attack coincided with the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, and John Paul credit’s the Virgin’s intercession for his survival.Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
In 2000, he visited Fatima to beatify Jacinta and Francisco.
Fatima, in Lucia's own words.
The Third Secret.
From the 2nd Secret of Fatima in 1917:
"This war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, not much time will elapse and during the Pontificate of Pius XI another and more terrible war will begin. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know this is the great sign from God that the chastisement of the world for its many transgressions is at hand through war, famine, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father."And from history:
- While Our Lady was saying these words, the First World War was still raging and Pope Benedict XV was reigning. Ambrogio DAmiano Achille Ratti was elected as Pope Pius XI on February 6, 1922. He died on February 10, 1939.
- On the night of January 25, 1938, Sister Lucia stood at her convent window in Tuy, Portugal, and saw an ominous red glow that lit the entire sky. This light was seen throughout Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. Scientists tried to explain it as a most unusual Aurora Borealis. It covered an area of 500,000 square km with a vertical extent of 400 km. The rays reached an altitude of 700 km and are accompanied by a strange noise "similar to the sound of burning grass or brush". Millions of people in many countries saw it and feared the world was on fire and about to end.
- The New York Times for January 26, 1938, carried the following :
- "London, Jmuary 25th, 1938. The Aurora Borealis rarely seen in Southern or Western Europe spread fear in parts of Portugal and lower Austria tonight while thousands of Britons were brought running into the streets in wonderment. The ruddy glow led many to think half the city was ablaze. The Windsor Fire Department was called out thinking that Windsor Castle was afire. The lights were clearly seen in Italy, Spain, and even Gibraltar. The glow bathing snow-clad mountain tops in Austria and Switzerland was a beautiful sight but firemen turned out to chase non-existent fires. Portuguese villagers rushed in fright from their homes fearing the end of the world."
- "Grenoble, France, January 25th, 1938. A huge hlood-red beam of light which scientists said was an Aurora Borealis of exceptional amplitude tied up telephone systems in parts of France tonight and spread anxiety in numerous Swiss Alpine villages. Emblazoned in the Northern sky the light brought thousands of telephone calls to Swiss and French authorities asking whether it was a Fire? War? or the End of the World?"
- The Literary Digest Account:
- "Thousands of frightened Portuguese peasants rushed from their homes one night recently and pointed to huge shafts of blood, red, greenish, blue and purple light shimmering on the northern horizon. 'It's the end of the world!' they cried.
- "In London the luminous heavens also caused alarm. Half the city appeared to be ablaze Frantic citizens telephoned newspaper offices. 'Where's the fire?' they asked. Out in Windsor fire engines clanged through the streets. 'Windsor Castle is afire,' everyone said.
- "In southwestern France, in the Alpine villages of Switzerland and along the Danube in Austria, the heavenly blaze brought thousands into city streets and country roads. 'Fire?' they asked one another. 'War?' 'Doomsday?'
- "In Holland crowds awaiting the birth of Crown Princess Juliana's baby hailed the celestial spectacle. 'A good omen,' they said. But in the lowlands of Scotland, men and women shook their heads. 'Northern lights,' they declared, 'always spell misfortune for Scotland.'
- "The excitement spread across the Atlantic. Bermudians stared at the distant glow. In Canada, much closer to the phenomenon, the Canadian Press reported that 'wire services throughout northern Ontario were disrupted,' while radio transmission went dead."
- In America, the sighting of this light was testified by J.C. of Lincoln, Nebraska: "January 26th, 1938, I was walking across campus with 2 or 3 other faculty members of St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. We saw that Aurora Borealis, and stopped to watch. I don't recall the colors, the night was very dark, but it was the first 'Northern Lights' I'd seen. I remarked about the Fatima prophecy, and wondered if this could be the Sign . . . Frightening!...World War II started not long after that."(Letter to Divine Love, Vol. 24, No. 2-3, 1981, Fresno, California).
- Looking at the 'Northen Lights,' Sister Lucia knew that it was the great sign foretold by Our Lady on July 13, 1917, that the punishment of the world was at hand. In March 1938, Hitler invaded Austria, striking the match that was to set the world aflame. The lights referred to above appeared on the night of January 24-25, 1938. Hitler's move upon Austria took place 45 to 48 days later.