Monday, December 9, 2013

The Miracle of Fatima: Photographic Proof from the Vatican and LIFE magazine?

Fake Fatima Miracle of the Sun photo

Polluting History

LIFE magazine used to be a vital part of the average American household, delivering a mixture of news and entertainment, always accompanied by large, striking photographs. In 1951, they carried some sensational news about the 1917 "Miracle of the Sun" at Fatima in Portugal. The Vatican had released photographs as proof of it, evidence of "rigorously authentic origin."

The Picture and Story:

VATICAN PAPER PUBLISHES PHOTO IN PROOF OF FATIMA MIRACLE At the anniversary of the miracle of Fatima this year ( Life, Nov. 5), Cardinal Tedeschini told crowds of Catholics at the Portuguese shrine that last year Pope Pius XII had a vision similar to that seen by three children of Fatima 34 years ago. The children saw visions of the Virgin Mary, and at the final vision the sun danced in the sky. Thousands of spectators at Fatima that they too had seen the strange antics of the sun. The Pope declined to comment on the Cardinal's announcement, but two weeks ago the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published new information in picture form This picture, showing the sun near the horizon, was dated 12:30 pm, Oct. 13, 1917, the day of the final vision. There was no eclipse recorded on that date; the sun's blackness, said L’Osservatore, was caused "by its very rapid rotation.." Such a midday position cannot be explained scientifically; no astronomical observations in other parts of the world verify that it happened. The picture, said L’Osservatore, was of "rigorously authentic origin" and had been taken by a witness with a camera who "succeeded in fixing the exceptional scene.”

A reader speaks out; the Retraction:

LIFE - May 12, 1952 - Page 20

LIFE May 12, 1952 (letters to the editor)

PICTURE OF THE WEEK Sirs: Recently you gave the distinction Picture Picture of the Week (Life, Dec. 3) to a picture of the Fatima "miracle" published in L Osservatore Romano as of "rigorously authentic origin." Now that the picture has been designated a fraud by the official newspaper of the shrine of Fatima, I trust that you will publish a retraction, out of journalistic honesty and in fairness to the many doubters who objected to the picture.
J. McKechnie Plainfield N.J.
  • In reprinting the picture published first by L'Osservatore Romano, LIFE merely quoted the claims of the Vatican newspaper. Subsequently the official newspaper of the shrine of Fatima stated that the picture was taken in 1922 (not 1917), at sunset (not noon) and several miles from Fatima. -ED.

LIFE's "retraction" was given much smaller space than their original story. Checking old newspapers provided better details.

Youngstown Vindicator, 3/10/1952

The Milwaukee Sentinel story of the photo fiasco had a fascinating quote from the journal, "The Voice of Fatima":

The Shrine of Fatima’s official newspaper... “The Voice of Fatima,” said:

“In the interests of accuracy we would like to state that the photographs...were not in fact taken on that date but several years later (May 13, 1921, near Torres Novas) during an atmospheric effect at sunset. They were thought to resemble the October prodigy and were published in Portugal at the time but later withdrawn in order to avoid confusion. There is no photographic record of the sun on the original date and indeed, if the effect is supernatural, it would be unlikely to be recorded by the camera.”

The Milwaukee Sentinel - Mar 10, 1952

If I understand correctly, then the fuss was over nothing. 
God, Mary and Miracles are "unlikely" to be photographed.

The photo printed in LIFE magazine still circulates on the Internet as genuine...


  1. Hello Curt, The pope at the time in 1952 was Pope Pius XII and he would never have given permission to report that the "Miracle of the Sun" did not take place as reported on October 13, 1917. In fact, a newspaper that was not catholic reported it. O Seculo newspaper. Pius XII Saw “Miracle of the Sun” as reported here: If you are on Facebook, check out my page at: Consecratio - World Group for Consecration of Russia and Fatima Message at

    1. The Pope may have indeed been seeing things, but the point remains that the photograph is not genuine.

  2. All I know is that I believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior amen🙏

    1. That 'sun' wasn't thè sun. In reports of non-religious sources at that time from independed witnesses, the sunlike phenomenon came flying over the scène and stopped and made the spectacle of light and it's spinning. In fact there where two 'suns' at that moment. What is more, the light-phenomenon was allready spotted that day above Spain. Researchers could find in old files a lot of data that asked a not-religious approach. But, as everyone knows, religion never had a good relationship with science. 'Believing' is as the word itself says, not supported by proof, but by interpretation of the social and spiritual background.

    2. "But, as everyone knows, religion never had a good relationship with science." Really? Not everyone knows. Certainly not these folk. The Catholic Church was the blazing leader on science for a very long time. Big Bang Theory? Thank a Priest for that. That the universe doesn't revolve around the sun? Catholic. Father of Modern Geneology? Catholic. Founding and Furthering the Field of Seismology? Catholic monks. We have craters of the moon named after Catholic monks thanks to their contributions in Astronomy. NASA is full of Catholic astronauts and scientists. Buzz Armstrong, while not Catholic, brought communion to the Moon. The list is endless, really.

      The notion that religion and science don't have a good relationship is silly and ill-informed.

      Here's a list of notable Catholic contributors, both people in the Church and lay Catholics:,Georgius%20Agricola%2C%20and%20Christian%20Doppler.

  3. That 'sun' was not thè sun. If you read the reports from non-christian sources, the 'sun' came flying over the scène and posed in the air and did the movement. What is more, the bol of light was already spotted on his flight above Spain. Many researcher take distance of the religious interpretation and there are a lot of data that points to another approach.

  4. I'm sure it was a UFO--probably the best sighting ever witnessed . But my question is what was the point of it ? If the Aliens or whatever wanted to make a big impression/statement then appear over the battle fields of France where thousands were dying each day and tell them all to stop it .Why appear to three poor kids in half literate Portugal ? -two of whom died of the Spanish flu (oh thank you Jesus!! ) But I suspect the Allies or the Germans would have said ' oh isn't that interesting? --shoot it down --probably a spy blimp '
    It was a real alien visit - it wasn't Venus -- it was some trick of nature or mass delusion or any of those lame nonsense ( or "we don't really know but lets sound clever" ) explanations ---it was real but it was rescripted into an Catholic religious event because afterall the term 'UFO' hadn't even been invented in 1917