Fatima: The Message and the Miracle – Remarkable eye witness testimony that still holds up, today.

…And then the Miracle began. We recount here the testimony of a reporter who cannot possibly be accused of partiality in this matter and for a good reason! We refer to Avelino de Almeida, the chief editor of O Seculo, the large “liberal” anticlerical and Masonic daily newspaper of Lisbon. He writes:

From the road, where the carriages were crowded together and where hundreds of persons had stayed for want of sufficient courage to advance across the muddy ground, we saw the huge crowd turn towards the sun which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It resembled a disc of silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. We would say that it produced an eclipse. Then a tremendous cry rang out, and the crowd nearest us were heard to shout: “Miracle! Miracle! … Marvel! … Marvel!” Before the dazzled eyes of the people, whose attitude transported us to biblical times, and who, dumbfounded, heads uncovered, contemplated the blue of the sky, the sun trembled, it made strange and abrupt movements, outside of all cosmic laws, “the sun danced”, according to the typical expression of the peasants …7

Attacked violently by all the anticlerical press, Avelino de Almeida renewed his testimony, fifteen days later, in his review, Ilustração Portuguesa. This time he illustrated his account with a dozen photographs of the huge ecstatic crowd, and repeated as a refrain throughout his article: “I saw … I saw … I saw.” And he concluded fortuitously: “Miracle, as the people shouted? Natural phenomenon, as the experts say? For the moment, that does not concern me, I am only saying what I saw… The rest is a matter for Science and the Church.”8

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