100 years ago: The miracle of the dancing sun

SHOOTING STRAIGHT By Bobit S. Avila

Before I write this piece, allow me to announce the untimely demise of a good friend, Jesuit priest Fr. Romeo “Archie” Intengan, who became known to many as a priest who was exiled during the Marcos Dictatorship. Fr. Intengan hasn’t been well in the last few months of his life. I finally met Fr. Intengan five years ago when our group organized the National Transformation Council (NTC) at the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban. I have already written in length about this group in my past columns.

Fr. Intengan apparently died 8 days before his 75th birthday on Oct. 18. He was a Doctor of Medicine and a priest for 40 years. We became closer when he was assigned for a year in Sacred Heart School right after he served as head of the Philippine Jesuits. Together with Norberto Gonzales, Fr. Intengan founded the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party (PDSP). He was a man passionate about creating credible political parties that truly represented the Filipino people. Alas, he left us with his dream still unfulfilled. May God grant him eternal rest.

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Today is the eve of the 100th anniversary of the last apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cova de Ira, Portugal before the three children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francesco. This was her sixth apparition before the three children and it was to be the greatest miracle that the Blessed Virgin Mary performed before 70,000 people called the Miracle of the Dancing Sun. As a self-proclaimed Fatimist, I never get tired of telling this story, which I saw in a movie when I was still a little boy.

I have written many columns about the issues surrounding the three secrets of Fatima. For this occasion, allow me to reprint what I got about the message of Fatima from the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) on what occurred on the sixth day of the apparition or exactly what happened a hundred years ago tomorrow.

“The Sixth Apparition

Oct. 13, 1917 was marked by heavy rains throughout Western Europe and especially in Fatima, Portugal. Approximately 70,000 persons had gathered to see the promised miracle, even reporters from the secular papers in Lisbon. On this occasion, Our Lady revealed Herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.

She asked the three children to continue to pray the Rosary daily and prophesied the end of the World War. After responding to a request for the conversion and healing of certain persons Our Lady, looking sad, said: “Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”

Then Our Lady ascended into the Heavens and the three children were given a vision of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus and blessing the world, of Jesus Himself blessing the world, and of Herself under Her titles of the Immaculate Conception, Coredemptrix, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

While the children beheld these visions a most extraordinary miracle occurred in the heavens. The sun began to twirl about in the sky and rays of all colors came forth radiating from its disk. It began to move about erratically and then fell suddenly to the earth amid the cries and shouts of more that 70,000 pilgrims and critics who had assembled. Afterwards, it began to ascend to its former place, leaving the entire crowd and ground perfectly dry. This miracle was seen even as far away as 20 miles and was witnessed even by the atheistic reporters who were present.”

This was the report about the sixth apparition and the Miracle of the Dancing Sun that happened at the Cova di Ira a hundred years ago tomorrow. To celebrate this historic occasion, the Archdiocese of Cebu led by his eminence Archbishop Jose Palma will be holding a solemn grand procession in Cebu City for the 100th anniversary of the sixth and last apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal.

The Grand Procession will start at the grounds of the Cebu Provincial Capitol at 8:00PM and proceed to the Sto. Niño or Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño and end up in the Basilica Pilgrim Center passing through Osmeña Blvd. 14 images of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the various Parishes in Cebu will take part in this procession. Major Parishes, like the National Shrine of the Virgin of the Rule in Lapu-Lapu City and the Archdiocesan Shrine for Our Lady of Fatima in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City will also join the procession.

Should we expect a chastisement as prophesied by the messages of the Virgin of Fatima? We can only pray that this would not happen. But if the world is in turmoil today, it is because we have turned our backs away from God. So I exhort our readers to pray to the Our Lady of Fatima.

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com.

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