'Historian' at Fatima says archives indicate additional apparitions
A museum researcher who has culled through the archives of Fatima, Portugal, claims that there were more apparitions of the Virgin Mary than the six commonly thought to have occurred at the famous site in 1917.
Documents never fully released contain indications of apparitions in addition to the highly publicized ones occurring between May 13 and October 13, according to Carlos Evaristo -- who says that the famous version of Fatima is actually a synopsis of events pulled together by Church officials who wanted to quickly and neatly present the case for formal Church approval and to get out its urgent message.
The fact that there may be apparitions beyond the six famous ones is bound to cause a stir -- and at this point must be discerned with great caution until documentation, which Evaristo says exists in the way of many unreleased documents or ones that have been released only in Portuguese, can be confirmed.
There is great controversy over such situations. For your discernment....
But Evaristo, who describes himself as an historian and lives in Fatima, has served as a translator for Fatima seer Sister Lucia dos Santos during meetings with dignitaries and has studied the apparitions for years, coming up with hidden aspects of history.
Was there indeed more to Fatima than generally known? Did the phenomena extend beyond what we're taught by popular history?
The generally accepted chronology is this: an appearance of an angel to the children in 1915 and 1916, during which time the angel gave the children Communion, followed in 1917 by a half dozen appearances of the Virgin Mary herself.
Based on documents, according to Evaristo, who authored a previous booklet from two taped interviews with Sister Lucia, the Blessed Mother appeared as early as May of 1915 at Fatima -- two years before her generally recognized arrival May 13, 1917.
"It is certain the Virgin appeared more times than she's known to have appeared between 1915 and 1920," says Evaristo, who has written detailed historical accounts of the apparitions. In addition to the 1918 manifestation and possibly one in 1915, there was also a previously unrecognized appearance in 1917 itself, he says.
An apparition scheduled for August 13, 1917, was interrupted when a Masonic local administrator detained the children in Ourem, threatening to kill them, but despite that detention the Virgin appeared unseen that day, explains Evaristo, who says documents indicate that when the children were finally released and saw Mary on August 15, "this particular apparition revealed that had the children not been taken to Ourem and imprisoned, they would have seen Our Lady on August 13 with the Immaculate Heart triumphant and symbolized by an arch of flowers over Our Lady with an angel at each side, and they would have seen Our Lady of Sorrows. There's the indication that the thorns would have been removed from the Immaculate Heart." Some of this information comes from hand-written accounts from Lucia to her confessors.
Meanwhile, according to Evaristo, phenomena and miracles associated with the sun extended days and even weeks beyond the great sun miracle of October 13, 1917, which is generally thought to have been the event's conclusion.
Evaristo says documents indicate that had civil authorities not interfered, "the miracle of October [during which thousands saw the sun spin wildly] would have been greater, more people would have believed, maybe the whole world would have seen it."
It is also revealed that St. Joseph had come on the August 13 to bless the world and the Sacred Heart of Jesus had also been present at the apparition that was interrupted by the arrest of the children. "These things were not seen by the children but were revealed to the children on August 15," Evaristo claims.
It also appears the angel who first appeared in 1915 and 1916 (and is not mentioned again in historical accounts of the apparitions) in fact reappeared on July 24, 1917.
Meanwhile, there were later appearances of the Virgin. "For example the Virgin appeared in 1918 on the Feast of the Assumption to Jacinta Marto [one of the three seers] at the parish church in Fatima, and it was a special apparition because she transported Jacinta to a different dimension where she was able to be present at each one of the mysteries of the Rosary -- physically present [our italics].
"That was edited out by Church authorities because it's a touchy thing about being transported, but there was a painting placed in the parish church depicting this, after the bishop of Fatima, Serafim Silva, revealed the apparition recently," says Evaristo. "That particular apparition no one knew about but it is now public knowledge. There were also apparitions to Jacinta at an orphanage in Lisbon during which Our Lady appeared in physical form and not just in a supernatural, transparent form as she had earlier -- but in such a way that she sat in a chair by Jacinta's sickbed."
Much of his information comes from thousands of documents that have not been previously released, Evaristo told Spirit Daily. In 1990 Church officials decided to disclose these details and prepared a commission that in 1992 assembled a volume called "Critical Documents of Fatima, the 1917 Interrogations." But it was released only in Portuguese and authorities suspended plans for additional volumes when a hot controversy ensued over the material, says Evaristo.
Part of the controversy involved material that Evaristo says indicated Church authorities had inaccurately portrayed aspects of the Fatima apparitions, including the description of the Virgin, who until 1947 was represented by an inexact statue. The current Pilgrim Virgin and the depiction of Mary as seen in the Chapel of the Apparitions at Fatima is the accurate depiction, he says-- adding that while she later came as an older female, initially the Virgin appeared to the three seers as a 11 or 12-year-old girl but was presented by authorities to appear somewhat older.
"The Church had to be prudent," says Evaristo. "She said things that were edited because they wanted to condense the message so it would be rapidly approved and so they could move ahead with the message. Even the descriptions of Our Lady, the descriptions of events, the descriptions of prayer, were edited. The prayer, `Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven,' was edited by priests because they didn't like the exact wording of it. They added 'especially those in most need of Thy mercy' because authorities thought people might think the original prayer meant taking all souls to heaven including those in hell, which they didn't think was theologically acceptable. There was always that prudence. There were changes in the prayer and at one point editing of the angel because the angel had brought Communion under both species [bread and wine], and that might make people think that of the Orthodox, who did this as a matter of course. There was also the description of Our Lady. Initially she appeared like a 11 or 12-year-old girl, not as a grown woman. That was somewhat changed in order that people would take the message in a more obedient way from a motherly adult Mary rather than a child Mary.
"She did appear as an adult in later apparitions, but only after 1947 did you get an accurate image. The image of the pilgrim Virgin is the accurate image as is the one in Capeliha, the little Chapel of the Apparitions."
Next week: what transcripts reveal about the Blessed Mother's request that Russia be consecrated, plus: the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the third secret
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