The Virgin Mary had promised the seers a miracle would occur on her last apparition of October 13, 1917, because there was rampant skepticism about the apparitions. The “Miracle of the Sun” occurred before a huge crowd estimated in 70,000 people, which included newspaper reporters and photographers gathered at the Cova da Iria. Witnesses later spoke of the sun appearing to change colors and rotate like a wheel. Poet Afonso Lopes Vieira and schoolteacher Delfina Lopes reported that the solar phenomenon was visible within a forty kilometer radius. Not all witnesses reported seeing the sun “dance”. Some people only saw the radiant colors, and others, including some believers, saw nothing at all. The video shows that during the “Miracle of the Sun” the crowd panicked because they thought the sun would burn the earth.
Columnist Avelino de Almeida of O Século (Portugal’s most influential newspaper, which was pro-government in policy and avowedly anti-clerical), reported the following:
“Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws – the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.”
The Blessed Mother assured the seers during her last apparition that she would soon take the younger children to Heaven, but Lucia would live longer to promote the Rosary devotion and to spread heavenly messages to the world. The Virgin Mary looking sad informed the children that the Almighty Father was deeply offended with the sins of humanity.