Mary Is the Hope
of All Those in Despair
October 13, 1917, at noon solar time, the Cova da Iria, Fatima, Portugal. “Look at the sun!” Lucy had cried. When she uttered these words she was facing the holm-oak tree on which the Mother of God had just appeared, the sixth time since May 13. Around and behind her at that moment were 70,000 people drawn here out of their devotion to the Mother of God — yes, but especially today because they had been promised, as of three months ago, a great miracle for this October day.
The sun at that moment was in the southern sky, so that for the people to look at it they had to turn away from the holm-oak tree and toward the edge of the Cova, where the offices of the Shrine of Fatima are joined to the Carmel of Fatima today.
To everyone’s surprise, the cloud cover instantly dispersed and they could look directly at the sun now transformed into a silver mother-of-pearl disc. What followed contradicts all of the laws of nature and can only be explained by laws, as yet unknown to man, that are above nature.
The sun-disc began to rotate and throw off color, colors not seen since God set a rainbow in the sky to assure troubled Noah that man would never again be chastised with flood waters. It ceased spinning.
For a second it hung still in the sky; then it trembled, detached itself from its setting and, before the terrified eyes below, began a zigzag plunge to the earth. Still throwing off vibrant colors, it increased in size and in heat as it moved downward. It did not fall — it plunged with deliberation, the zigzag motion clearly indicating it was being controlled from beyond nature.
The 70,000, among them cynics and atheists who had come to mock, were traumatized. They dove to the earth, looked for shelter, cried aloud that it was the end of the world, shouted out their confession unabashedly, convinced that it would be their last. It was the end of the world! All the petty concerns of mankind, all the causes of despair that had set man against man, man against nature, and man against himself, were reduced to meaninglessness by this confrontation between man and supra-nature. The most frequently cried prayer was to the Holy Mother of God.
“Mother of God ... ! Mother of God ... !” they cried.
When it seemed they would be scorched into the earth and left as nothing but shadows on the soil, in a prelude of what would happen to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945, the sun stopped its plunge. Just as in the law of physics which states that all moving bodies — before they can return along the trajectory which has been their path — must come to a full stop, so too the sun stopped its dizzying threat to trembling mankind. For a second, tune stopped. The pendulum of the sun came close overhead, then once again, being firmly controlled by an unseen hand, it began to ascend to its rightful place in the sky. The 70,000 ceased to tremble, discovering, as they drew themselves up from the earth where on their knees they had cried out for rescue, that their clothes were dry, and as fragrant as if they had been laundered with a fabric softener not yet invented.
Of all the Communion of Saints watching this unparalleled display of Heaven’s love for mankind, the words of Saint John of Damascene places the human senses in perspective:
“Mary,” the saint said, “is the hope of all those in despair.”
We have seen, on TV, groups of thousands of rain-soaked refugees clogging the roads out of Kosovo.
The mothers among them would have been striving tirelessly to ensure the babes in their arms were dry and safe. The security and safety of mankind is today gradually, stealthily being reduced. It appears that not until we are helpless babes in the arms of Mary, will the bishops of the Church be compelled to place their complete trust in the Mother of God and respond to Her requests for the collegial consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Then will mankind be garmented in the colors of the rainbow and God’s promise will reign fulfilled.