At the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on October 13, 1917, a crowd of over 70,000 people witnessed the astonishing solar phenomenon known as the Miracle of the Sun. As the frightened crowd witnessed the sun whirling in the sky before it appeared to crash down to the earth, the three Fatima visionaries—Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco—saw Our Lady just as they had during her prior five appearances at the Cova da Iria. However, on this final visit she brought guests: Jesus and St. Joseph.
The visit of St. Joseph was pre-announced by Our Lady of Fatima at her fifth apparition on September 13th. She said to the children,
“In the last month, in October, I shall perform a miracle so that all may believe in My apparition . . . Saint Joseph will come with the Baby Jesus to give peace to the world. Our Lord also will come to bless the people.”In the Fatima apparitions, the three children did not see Our Lady as in a vision; the Blessed Mother came in bodily form and rested her feet on the top of a small holmoak bush. Witnesses observed the branches lightly bend under her weight even though they could not see her as the children could. Likewise, Our Lady’s words that St. Joseph and Jesus “will come” seems to indicate that the children would see them in their physical bodies and not as a mystical vision. This is how Sr. Lucia described seeing St. Joseph during the Miracle of the Sun:
“Then opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her light continued to be projected on the sun itself . . . After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When a little later, this apparition disappeared I saw Our Lord and Our Lady . . . Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done.”Our Lady said that St. Joseph would come for the final Fatima apparition “to give peace to the world,” and he was seen to bless the world by making the Sign of the Cross over it. St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers and families, and he is the guardian and protector of the Catholic Church. What is the significance of his appearance at Fatima? Continue reading: