On October 13, 1917 near Fatima, Portugal, 70,000 people had arrived in hopes of witnessing the apparition of Our Lady. "They all saw the clouds part, and the sun appear like a great disk of white fire. But the children (Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia) saw a vision of the Holy Family. Next Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Sorrows, and beside her stood Jesus. He made the sign of the cross over the people. Finally, Our Lady came again as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She was crowned, and the Infant Jesus stood on her knee." (The Story of Our Lady of Fatima, Brother Ernest, C.S.C., 1957)
"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 proceed 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..." (O Seculo, October 15, 1917)
Holy Mary Virgin of Fatima,
with renewed gratitude for your maternal presence
we join our voice to that of all the generations
who call you blessed.
We celebrate in you the works of God,
who never tires of looking down with mercy
upon humanity, afflicted with the wound of sin,
to heal it and save it.
Accept with the benevolence of a Mother
the act of consecration that we perform today with confidence,
before this image of you that is so dear to us.
We are certain that each of us is precious in your eyes
and that nothing of all that lives in our hearts is unknown to you.
We let ourselves be touched by your most sweet regard
and we welcome the consoling caress of your smile.
Hold our life in your arms:
bless and strengthen every desire for good;
revive and nourish faith;
sustain and enlighten hope;
awaken and animate charity;
guide all of us along the path of holiness.
Teach us your own preferential love
for the little and the poor,
for the excluded and the suffering,
for sinners and the downhearted:
bring everyone under your protection
and entrust everyone to your beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus.