The story of a famous miracle Fátima, Portugal, began in May 1917, when three children (ages 7, 9, and 10) claimed to have encountered the Virgin Mary on their way home from tending a flock of sheep. The oldest girl, Lucia, was the only one to speak to her, and Mary told the children that she would reappear to them on the thirteenth day of the next six months. She then vanished. The children soon told their parents, and while some in the village didn’t believe their tale, others did — and told more people. As the weeks and months passed, more and more of the faithful made pilgrimages to Fátima, where the children claimed to receive Mary’s visits. Still no one else saw the Virgin Mary; instead, the gathered adults would stand riveted as Lucia took the lead and began to describe her visions. It was Mary’s final appearance, on Oct. 13, 1917, that became the most famous. In his book “Looking for a Miracle,” Joe Nickell states that “an estimated 70,000 people were in attendance at the site, anticipating the Virgin’s final visit and with many fully expecting that she would work a great miracle. As before, the figure appeared, and again only to the children. Identifying herself as ‘the Lady of the Rosary,’ she urged repentance and the building of a chapel at the site. After predicting an end to [World War I] and giving the children certain undisclosed visions, the lady lifted her hands to the sky. Thereupon Lucia exclaimed, ‘The sun!’ As everyone gazed upward and saw that a silvery disc had emerged from behind clouds, they experienced what is known [as] a ‘sun miracle’.”Not everyone reported the same thing; some present claimed they saw the sun dance around the heavens; others said the sun zoomed toward Earth in a zigzag motion that caused them to fear that it might collide with our planet (or, more likely, burn it up). Some people reported seeing brilliant colors spin out of the sun in a psychedelic, pinwheel pattern, and thousands of others present didn’t see anything unusual at all. The whole event took about 10 minutes, and this Miracle of the Sun, as it became known, is one of the best-known events at Fátima.