Saturday, 14 October 2017

October 13, 1917 Sixth Apparition of Our Lady (4) - Dr. Jose Maria de Almeida Garrett

October 13, 1917  Sixth Apparition of Our Lady (4)
More eye-witness accounts:
Source: Paul Kengor, A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century (ISI Books, Delaware, 2017)
Dr. Jose Maria de Almeida Garrett
“One witness was Dr. Jose Maria de Almeida Garrett, a professor in the Faculty of Sciences at the prestigious University of Coimbra, the oldest institution on higher education in Portugal. Dr Garrett had gone to Fatima a skeptic, but what he witnessed changed his outlook. He recounted: ‘It must have been 1:30pm... The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy... The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.

  ‘Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw a whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet... turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side.’
With all the spectators shifting their gaze, Dr Garrett did the same. He was amazed at what he watched unfold:

‘I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim... The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. The sun’s disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.
During the solar phenomenon which I have just de-scribed, there were also changes of colour in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything had assumed an amethyst col-our. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same colour....
Then, suddenly, one heard a clamour, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was truly terrible.”
From Fr Andrew Apostoli CFR, Fatima for Today: the urgent Marian message of hope (Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2010)