Sixth Apparition - October 13th, 1917
At around eleven-thirty, that sea of people parted, giving way to the three seers who approached, dressed in their Sunday best.22
Sister Lucia relates what then took place:
“When we arrived at the holm oak tree in Cova da lria, I was moved by an interior impulse to ask the people to close their umbrellas and pray the Rosary. A little later we saw the flash of light and then Our Lady appeared over the holm oak.
— What does Your Grace wish of me?
— I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honour. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the Rosary every day. The war will end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.
— I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick people and the conversion of some sinners, etc….
— Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.
“Our Lady, even more sadly, added: ‘Let them offend Our Lord God no more, for He is already much offended.’
“Then, opening her hands, Our Lady shone the light issuing from them upon the sun, and as she rose, her own radiance continued to be cast onto the sun.” 23
Once Our Lady disappeared into the light she irradiated, three new scenes followed in the sky, symbolizing the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the Rosary.
The Holy Family appeared next to the sun in the first scene: St. Joseph carried the Child Jesus on his arm beside Our Lady of the Rosary. The Virgin was dressed in a white tunic with a blue mantle. St. Joseph was also dressed in white and the Child Jesus in red. St. Joseph blessed the crowd, making the Sign of the Cross three times. The Child Jesus did the same.
Lucia alone saw the next two scenes. The first was of Our Lord overwhelmed with suffering on the road to Calvary, and Our Lady of Sorrows, without the sword in her breast. The Divine Redeemer also blessed the crowd.
Then Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned as Queen of Heaven and of the Universe, appeared gloriously with the Child Jesus in her arm.
While the three little shepherds contemplated the celestial personages, the foretold miracle took place before the multitude.
It had rained throughout the apparition. At the end of her conversation with Our Lady, Lucia shouted, “Look at the sun!”
The clouds opened, and the sun appeared like an immense silver disc. It shone with an intense brilliance, but was not blinding. The people watched in astonishment when, suddenly, the sun began to “dance”. It began to spin rapidly like a gigantic circle of fire. Then it stopped momentarily, only to begin spinning again vertiginously. Finally, the rim of the reeling whirlwind became scarlet and it scattered red flames in every direction. Their light was reflected on the ground, on the trees, on the bushes and on the skyward staring faces, which reflected all the colours of the rainbow. The disk of fire whirled wildly three times, with increasingly brilliant colours, shaking violently and then it plunged in an amazing zigzag, toward the terrified crowd. A great gasp issued from the mouths of the multitude. Everybody fell to their knees in the mud and thought they were about to be consumed by the fire. Many said the Act of Contrition out loud. Little by little, the sun began to zigzag back to its original place in the sky. It became normal once again like the everyday sun that is blinding to sight.
The miracle had lasted about ten minutes and was seen at a distance of up to 40 kilometres from the place of the apparitions. Everyone looked at each other in stupefaction. Suddenly, all were overcome with joy and exclaimed, “The miracle! The children were right!” Shouts of enthusiasm echoed throughout the nearby hills. Many noticed that their clothes, soaking wet just minutes before, were completely dry.