Fátima Recap

Question from Jonathan:
So how do you explain events life Fatima where over 70000 people simultaneously saw a miracle as it was foretold by a little girl, check it out if you don’t believe me it’s very well documented. If that’s not enough for you it also made accurate predictions.

Answer by SmartLX:
I’ve addressed both of these points quite recently: the mass miracle here and the predictions here. If I’ve missed some detail which you think is important, comment in the appropriate article.

37 thoughts on “Fátima Recap”

  1. A few months after Kirk Gibson hit his World Series game winning home run in 1988, a poll was taken in the LA area. Hundreds of thousands of people claimed to have been there and saw it live, even though the stadium holds 50,000 or so. Humans are social animals, and we want to be accepted as part of the group, and part of that is being a part of the special moments that occur. This should not shock anyone that reads this. So when all kinds of people that believe in miracles go somewhere and then a lot of them claim that they saw a miracle, what else did you think would happen?

  2. Right fair enough but the pope himself said he saw the sun change color and some people that saw it that were miles away how do you explain that? also you are right about 1943 but that still does not explain how it could predict that communism would spread across the world. and after the soviet union collapsed the word is probably in the most peaceful state since the good emperors.

    1. Just how long was the Pope staring at the sun? If you don’t take it for granted that he’s infallible, that would have made him see some weird stuff just like everyone else. And if you heard a miracle happened miles away there would be a great temptation to tell people you were a part of it from wherever you< were. Or, if there was an actual atmospheric phenomenon that day people miles away really would have seen it.
      Russian Communism was expansionist if nothing else. It was always going to push at its borders and either expand or collapse or, as it happened, both. As I said in the other article, it doesn’t matter whether the Soviet Union brought war or peace because the prophecy allowed for both, making it right no matter what and therefore not a terribly risky prophecy to make.

      1. Ok Ok so what do you personally think happened that day(do you assume they are all lying?). Note Not even the mighty Dawkins could address it properly in his book and instead ignored it.

          1. Pius XII wrote that he tried staring at the sun for days afterwards to see it again, pushing the limits of his eyes. On the day, if he thought he was really seeing something there’s no telling what he put himself through to get the full experience; how long he was out there, what warning signs from his eyes and body he interpreted as the unique feeling of a miracle and thus welcomed. He was a man who would put himself on the line for the divine.

              1. No one found out that Pius XII “witnessed” the event until years later…after accounts of the supposed event were published all over the world.

                No way that could be made up by the Vatican, eh?……

                1. How sure are you on that one, but could you point to a hoax started By the Vatican. I am not a believer by the way, but this thing has bothered me for months.

                  1. How about the hoax of a man rising from the dead after dying 3 days before? That’s a pretty good hoax, isn’t it?

                    There’s no evidence that a man rose from the dead. There’s no evidence of gods. There’s no evidence for any of it. Sounds like a hoax to me…

                  2. Pius XII certainly knew about it, for the same reason as the 30 to 40 thousand people who gathered at Cova da Iria in advance. The prophecy predicting a miracle had been made five months earlier in May 1917 and highly publicised, widely criticised and otherwise much discussed in the interim. Word would have reached the Pope very quickly as soon as significant numbers of people on the spot reported amazing experiences, as fast as communication technology of the day would have allowed. Whether he had his own experience on the same day hardly seems to matter, especially if he wrote about it 33 years later in 1950.

                    If you’re not a believer but you’ve been troubled by this event for this long, Jacob, I don’t blame you for wanting to cover every angle and argument and put the damn thing to bed. In future you can’t afford to be so disturbed by unanswered questions, though, because we’ll never know the answer to everything. You don’t have to worry, because you need never accept someone else’s assertion just because you don’t have an alternative explanation to hand – especially if the assertion requires entities for which there’s no good evidence.

        1. It’s a rare thing to posit but with that many people involved in this case, ALL likely scenarios probably happened at once. Some observed a genuine atmospheric phenomenon, some were addled by exposure (heatstroke in the crowd, staring at the sun, etc.), some parts of the group achieved mass hysteria, some were on drugs, some had genuine hallucinations with and without drugs, some convinced themselves afterwards that they’d seen something, and some flat out lied. All the different reasons to tell similar (but in some ways wildly varying) stories reinforced the meme, and drowned out the people who were right on the spot and wrote that they’d seen nothing at all.

          Dawkins was quite general about the event but he did bring up the valid point that there were no effects outside of Portugal which would have indicated that either the Sun or the Earth actually moved in the way the mechanics of the visions would have indicated. It was therefore not an astronomical event, which means the impossible movements were purely visions. If God acted then all He affected was people’s eyes and minds, which is the worst possible way to create a verifiable miracle.

          1. Looking back on my former statement I have found that I might have come off as rude, I would like to apologize for that. Back to my original point. I have found your explanation to be plausible at the very least. However The thing I found most convincing was the prophecy since It managed to predicted everything important about the 20th century but my question is why make it public in the 1940’s? It also got the pontificate. wrong but if it was made public after world war 2 started why would it get the pontificate wrong? Perhaps we should ask if it is falsifiable? well in theory it should be(it did get the pontificate wrong) do you think it could be easy falsified on any other claim.

            1. It’s all cool Jonathan. A little arrogance and mockery easily creeps into the language on both sides when two parties are so diametrically opposed. Happens all the time in politics; diplomats ignore it all and get on with business.

              Lúcia Santos first put the now-public prophecies on record in 1941. There is no record of what they were before that. Santos claimed to have received all the information in 1917, but she wasn’t compelled to reveal any of it until World War II had already begun. Any of the “prophecies” about events up to that point could in fact have been first written in retrospect, and anything referring to events afterwards had the benefit of a 1940s perspective. In the terminology of my prophecy primer, this idea is closest to #5: Made to Order, but instead of an account of the prophecy-fulfilling event being tailored to fit the prophecy, this was a rare opportunity for the prophecy itself to be amended (or fabricated) to match events.

              As for the pontificate error, she was only off by one Roman numeral I. Significantly, it’s a very human kind of mistake to make. Other than that, the prophecy is far too broad to nail down on any other point; for example, argue that it doesn’t apply to the specific behaviour of Communist Russia in some way and a different interpretation can be found to ensure it does. This matters very little as I’ve gone on at length about the ways in which a prophecy can be correct and yet not genuinely prophetic.

    1. Many religions and other spiritual systems have their own claims of fulfilled prophecies. Wikipedia has a very basic list. All should be considered using the same standards. Christianity merely has the most extensive tradition of prophecies through the centuries, which tends to generate more of them.

  3. Alright then lets say that the prophecy was really from Mary how would it be like? better yet what would convince you of a miracle? I have also noticed that the prophecy is rather blunt. do you Know of a more accurate prophecy’s outside the christian context.

    1. If the prophecy were really from Mary it might well be exactly as it is, errors and all. In scripture God is supposed to be infallible but Mary is only without sin, and unlike Jesus she’s not just God in another form. Maybe she really did get the pontificate wrong and hedge her bets about the fate of Russia. That doesn’t change the fact that the prophecies as written are not sufficient to convince atheists that they came from Mary when atheists don’t accept in the first place that Mary is still capable of communicating with anybody.

      Speaking more generally, in the prophecy piece I keep linking to I outline at the end the kind of prophecy which might be acceptable as genuine. To eliminate all the potential reasons other than luck why an apparently accurate prophecy might not be divinely assisted, the simplest way would be for a prophecy to totally nail something which hasn’t happened yet, instead of being applied to events in retrospect.

      Outside of Christianity, Muslims put great stock in the Quran’s supposed foreknowledge of various aspects of science and modern life. From what I’ve read of Hindu prophecies, they seem largely content to refer to events which have yet to occur, rather than trading on their applicability to past events for credibility. Christianity boasts of having the “best” prophecies because it has a culture of apparently fulfilled prophecies going back to Jesus himself. Because there are so many ways for a prophecy to appear right, the faithful have plenty to reassure themselves with, and get slightly puzzled when outsiders aren’t flabbergasted.

  4. Ok I just want to know how a Isolated nun could have predicted the 20 century so accurately?
    who could have known communism would spread throughout the world in 1941?
    You also mentioned that in a 1917 context it won’t make since what do you mean?

    1. As I say in the other piece, the main “prediction” is an either-or statement where a militaristic, expansionist regime either spreads or collapses, both of which such regimes are prone to do. In other words it is designed to be correct no matter what happens.

      I was saying over there that if the prediction was actually spoken by someone in 1917 rather than made up in 1941, it’s spoken in the present tense which means it refers to the events of World War I, not II. That affects the specifics rather significantly since it refers to “this war”.

  5. Treading old ground here,but John Paul’s assassination happened on the Fatima anniversary and communism started collapsing right after the request were fulfilled in 1984.I have a hard time seeing this is just a coincidence.

    1. John Paul II also thought it was significant that the assassination attempt on him was on the anniversary of the first apparition. But no matter what day of the year it had happened on, he could have chosen a miracle or significant historical event from somewhere in the history of the Church that happened on the same date. The Fátima prophecies alone supposedly arrived on multiple dates, even before you start considering every documented miracle claim until 1981. So I don’t have a hard time at all seeing it as a coincidence, because I know how paradoxically common coincidences are when you actively look for them.

      As for lining up the fulfillment of the prophecy with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the details of the former are wide open to interpretation and the progression of the latter has a nebulous starting point, so in a similar fashion there’s only a convergence if you want to see one.

    1. There’s a list of wars after the cold war ended, in Wikipedia. Of particular note was all the conflicts that flared up AFTER the Soviet Union fell. Without the USSR’s thumb on everyone, old regional tensions stirred up again. Some are still going on today. The world has never had it’s predicted “period of peace”. Russia is hardly “consecrated” either, as over a third of the population identifies as atheist or “spiritual but not religious”. Of course this whole prophecy wasn’t even revealed until 1941, after the start of WW II.

  6. I got some new Info I want to share. It is also reported that the water dried up on the ground that day which seems to be physical evidence. It is also said that the miracle solely put an end to the secular regime in Portugal and prophecies that the world would abandon the faith except in Portugal.

  7. It was raining before the sun came out and all the craziness supposedly happened. After the sun came out, everything dried out. How does rain normally dry from the ground and people’s clothes after rain? The sun comes out. The implied claim that it could not have dried out so quickly in that case could actually be tested if it’s actually known how far apart the pictures were taken, so I wonder if anyone’s gone there and tried.

    The ruling political regime in Portugal has been secular since 1976, with no fundamental change since. The Portuguese Communist Party has never had more than about 15% of the vote. No idea what you’re on about here.

            1. wars have decreased significantly since the soviet union collapsed. however, they increased after ww2 and only went down after the cold war.

      1. Okay, I’ve worked out that you’re referring to the extremely anti-Catholic First Portuguese Republic. It never recovered full stability after 1918, a year after Fátima, but the major event that caused this was the assassination of President Sidónio Pais by a left-wing activist. The monarchy was restored 8 years later, but the fundamentals of church-state separation remained. It hardly seems like Fátima made the nasty atheists go away.

    1. What makes you think the Pope is telling the truth? Why didn’t anyone else see it in Rome? How about in Europe for that matter?

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