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Witnesses: St. Jacinta Marto,

St. Francisco Marto and

Servant of God Lucia dos Santos


From May to October 1917 three shepherd children beheld apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary atop a small holm-oak tree. During the course of these visions, the seers were given secrets, were instructed to pray the Rosary and to offer penance for the conversion of sinners.

In the September apparition, Our Lady told them: “Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October St. Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world. God is satisfied with your sacrifices . . .”


On October 13th over 70,000 people gathered around the site of the apparitions. All night it had rained non-stop and up till the moment of the Virgin’s arrival, the people had stood in the water and mud. After Our Lady appeared to the three children the rain suddenly stopped and the dark clouds parted. Thousands of people from different walks of life (including atheists who had gone to mock the children) witnessed what is now famously known as “The Miracle of the Sun.”


During the Miracle of the Sun, the three shepherd children were witnessing what the Virgin had promised them in September. Servant of God Lucia dos Santos recounts what they saw:


“Our Lady having disappeared in the immensity of the firmament, we saw, beside the sun, St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.”


Here is St. Joseph, no words are spoken by him, but his actions speak. St. Joseph, holding his Son Jesus, blesses the world by tracing the Sign of the Cross with his hand. This is a powerful statement regarding his place as head of the Holy Family as well as his position in the Church. He holds Christ in his arms, making a statement about true fatherhood: “Fathers, love your children, take your place at the head of the family and protect those entrusted to your care.” The act of St. Joseph blessing the crowds shows his power in the Church, as intercessor and Patron of the Universal Church, as proclaimed in 1870 by Pope Pius IX.

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