Pius XII saw of the “miracle of the sun” four times

On the blog of the intrepid Andrea Tornielli there is a fascinating bit about Servant of God Pope Pius XII.  Here it is in my translation.

Today in Il Giornale there is published an unpublished manuscript note which has emerged from the papers of the Pacelli family.  It is written out in pencil, resusing a sheet of paper which the Pope had begun with a typewriter with the words "Maria… Maria".  It describes with the dry style of a notary the four times Pius XII saw the so called "miracle of the sun" while walking in the Vatican gardens.  The globe of the sun rotated and it was possible to look at it in a fixed way.  The same event occured on 13 October 1917 at Fatima, at the end of the Marian apparitions to the three little shepherds.  Pope Pacelli witnessed the identical phenomenon the day before the event, the vigil and the day of the proclamation of the Assumption of Mary into heaven (celebrated on 1 November 1950) and at last during the Octave of the same ceremony on 8 November.

 

And…


n. 54 del 2008-03-04 pagina 1

Pio XII e Fatima «Ho rivisto il miracolo»
di Andrea Tornielli

«Ho visto» il miracolo del sole, «questa è la pura verità». Nel 1950, poco prima di proclamare il dogma dell’Assunta, Pio XII mentre passeggiava nei giardini vaticani assistette più volte allo stesso fenomeno verificatosi nel 1917 al termine delle apparizioni di Fatima e lo considerò una conferma celeste di quanto stava per compiere. Una circostanza fino ad oggi nota solo grazie alla testimonianza indiretta del cardinale Federico Tedeschini che ne parlò durante un’omelia. Ora dall’Archivio privato Pacelli, conservato dalla famiglia del Pontefice, riemerge un documento eccezionale e inedito su quella visione: un appunto manoscritto dello stesso Pio XII, vergato a matita sul retro di un foglio nell’ultimo periodo della sua vita, nel quale in prima persona il Papa racconta ciò che gli è accaduto. L’appunto sarà esposto il prossimo novembre nella mostra vaticana dedicata a Papa Pacelli nel cinquantesimo della morte. Il resoconto è asciutto, quasi notarile, senza alcun cedimento al sensazionalismo.
«Era il 30 ottobre 1950», antivigilia del giorno della solenne definizione dell’assunzione, spiega Pio XII. Il Papa stava dunque per proclamare dogma di fede l’assunzione corporea in cielo della Madonna al momento della morte, e lo faceva dopo aver consultato l’episcopato mondiale, unanimemente concorde: soltanto sei risposte su 1.181 manifestavano qualche riserva. Verso le quattro di quel pomeriggio faceva «la consueta passeggiata nei giardini vaticani, leggendo e studiando». Pacelli ricorda che, mentre saliva dal piazzale della Madonna di Lourdes «verso la sommità della collina, nel viale di destra che costeggia il muraglione di cinta», sollevò gli occhi dai fogli. «Fui colpito da un fenomeno, mai fino allora da me veduto. Il sole, che era ancora abbastanza alto, appariva come un globo opaco giallognolo, circondato tutto intorno da un cerchio luminoso», che però non impediva in alcun modo di fissare lo sguardo «senza riceverne la minima molestia. Una leggerissima nuvoletta trovavasi davanti». «Il globo opaco – continua Pio XII nell’appunto inedito – si muoveva all’esterno leggermente, sia girando, sia spostandosi da sinistra a destra e viceversa. Ma nell’interno del globo si vedevano con tutta chiarezza e senza interruzione fortissimi movimenti». Il Papa attesta di aver assistito allo stesso fenomeno il giorno seguente, 31 ottobre, e il 1° novembre, giorno della definizione del dogma dell’Assunta, quindi di nuovo l’8 novembre. Poi non più». Ricorda pure di aver cercato «varie volte» negli altri giorni, alla stessa ora e in condizioni atmosferiche simili, «di guardare il sole per vedere se appariva il medesimo fenomeno, ma invano; non potei fissare nemmeno per un istante, rimaneva subito la vista abbagliata».
Nei giorni seguenti Pio XII riferisce il fatto «a pochi intimi e a un piccolo gruppo di Cardinali (forse quattro o cinque), fra i quali era il Cardinal Tedeschini». Quest’ultimo, nell’ottobre dell’anno seguente, 1951, si deve recare a Fatima per chiudere le celebrazioni dell’Anno Santo. Prima di partire viene ricevuto in udienza e chiede al Papa di poter citare la visione nell’omelia. «Gli risposi: “Lascia stare, non è il caso”. Ma egli insistette – continua Pio XII nel manoscritto – sostenendo l’opportunità di tale annuncio, ed io allora gli spiegai alcuni particolari dell’avvenimento». «Questa è, in brevi e semplici termini – conclude Papa Pacelli – la pura verità». «Pio XII era persuasissimo della realtà del fenomeno straordinario, cui aveva assistito ben quattro volte», ha dichiarato suor Pascalina Lehnert, la religiosa governante dell’appartamento papale.
Il cosiddetto «miracolo del sole» si era già verificato il 13 ottobre 1917 a Fatima, al termine delle apparizioni ai tre pastorelli. Così lo raccontò nella sua cronaca M. Avelino di Almeida, giornalista laico e non credente, inviato del quotidiano O Seculo e testimone oculare: «E si assiste allora ad uno spettacolo unico ed incredibile allo stesso tempo per chi non ne è stato testimone… Si vede l’immensa folla voltarsi verso il sole sgombro di nuvole, in pieno giorno. Il sole ricorda un disco d’argento sbiadito ed è possibile guardarlo in faccia senza subire il minimo disagio. Non scotta, non acceca. Si direbbe un’eclisse». Pio XII era molto legato a Fatima: la prima apparizione ai tre pastorelli era infatti avvenuta il 13 maggio 1917, lo stesso giorno in cui Pacelli veniva consacrato arcivescovo nella cappella Sistina. È attestato che Pio XII e l’unica sopravvissuta dei tre veggenti, suor Lucia Dos Santos, rimarranno sempre in contatto, e il Pontefice, nell’ultimo anno della sua vita, conserverà il testo del Terzo segreto di Fatima nel suo appartamento. «Varie volte – ha dichiarato la marchesa Olga Nicolis di Robilant Alves Pereira de Melo testimoniando al processo di beatificazione di Pacelli, «trasmisi messaggi del Santo Padre per Suor Lucia e di questa per lui, ma siccome promisi di mai rivelare nulla a chicchessia, non mi sento autorizzata a farlo adesso».
Andrea Tornielli

 

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24 Responses to Pius XII saw of the “miracle of the sun” four times

  1. Gregor says:

    Of course, this is hardly news. I have seen this in various old documentaries, and read it in several older biogrpahies. I believe it’s even in the one by M. Paschalina.

  2. Gregor says:

    …but it’s still nice to read it again, don’t get me wrong.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    It was news to me. Thank you for posting, Fr. Z!

  4. Boanerges says:

    With it’s inception in the 13th century as an alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary enjoyed unprecedented devotion and following. Since Vatican II, however, devotion to the Rosary fell considerably. The “faithful” didn’t return to the Brievary. So, one has to believe many in the Church quit praying altogether. And we wonder why the EF fell into disuse and derision? Banal became the order of the day and institutionalized dissent the norm.

    We need to re-energize devotion to Our Lady through the Rosary. When we begin to pray again, the EF will be welcomed with open arms. As well, pray for the continued resurgence of this rite and reverence for Our Lady and the Church will return. She never disappoints.

  5. Lauren says:

    It was news to me too. I know he saw something corresponding to Fatima, but I wasn’t sure what. Thanks Father!

  6. Maureen says:

    I’ve never heard of it, either, and I thought I was up on all the Fatima stuff. Cool to hear it!

  7. TerryC says:

    Wonderful stuff, father. In our 2000+ year history there always seems to be more to learn, even of people we think we know or evens which, in a relative sense, are almost yesterday.
    Boanerges, as a catechist one of the things I think is most important is to push my charges into developing a prayer life. Many come from homes where their parents don’t pray at all. Traditional Catholic prayers, like the Memorare and the Regina Caeli are unknown, some have enough problems getting through the Ava Maria (in English).

  8. Richard Friend says:

    I cannot help buy wonder why, after being privileged with seeing the miracle of the sun four times, Pope Pius XII did not deem fit to immediately ask all the bishops of the world to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Surely, he knew about this request, but failed to follow through in the specific manner requested by Our Lady (I believe he consecrated Russia, but not together with the bishops). This failure is hard to explain.

  9. I can’t buy equating this with the total drying out and cleaning of clothing from Fatima that occurred while people were distracted by the spinning sun images. Miracles of the Sun at Medugujorie on an individual basis to me are totally suspect. What else could be causing this?

  10. My mother saw the miracle of the sun at Medjugorje and her friend saw it from the balcony of her hotel in Milan on the way home.

    No doubt if one gazes at the sun, which is unwise, one will observe many such phenomena. In the situation where an excited crowd gazes at the sun, imagination will proliferate apocalyptically.

    In Ballinspittle, near my home town, hundreds of people observed a statue of the BVM moving and its face transforming into the faces of John Paul I, John Paul II and others.

  11. Phil Gordon says:

    There may be some rational or scientific explanation for the phenomena of the spinning Sun, who knows. Do not judge without investigation just go and find out for yourself!

    As a sceptic I had some serious reservations about all of this stuff when I
    first travelled to Medugorje in 2000. In fact I thought everyone was barking
    mad and I wanted to get out of there within two days of my arrival. However,
    a number of wonderful and amazing personal things happened to me that I can
    neither explain nor am I prepared to justify or try to convince others of
    their veracity. My invitation is simple JUST GO TO MEDUGORJE and you will
    find YOUR OWN intensly personal experience of the Euchrist, Our Blessed and
    gentle Mother will bestow Her love and Her gifts on you and you will come
    to know and experience Her Son in a very personal and deeply spiritual way.

  12. Linus says:

    I never heard of it either. Another example of the provincialism
    of American Catholicsm, particularly in our local diocesan
    newspapers or perhaps it speaks to the intellectual vapidity
    of American Catholic intellectual culture. For a long time now
    we have been fixated on the ” spiritual ” equivalant of secular
    emotionalism- a substitute for thought. I think this helps
    explain why the old style spiritual retreat has gone away, now we have
    the strange phenomena of the traveling Nun or the traveling
    layman “retreat.”

  13. Medugorje??? says:

    Medugorje? It’s a hoax by pentecostalists. Catholics should stay well away from it. The position of the Church on this is quite clear. The so-called “visions” of Our Lady announce that all religions are equal in Jesus’ sight. That alone is proof that Medugorje is a deceit of the devil.

    http://charismatic-heresy.blogspot.com/2006/11/our-queen-of-heresy.html

    Indeed, the Holy Father himself, during a recent visit to the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, was strongly critical of the popular cult surrounding the Virgin of Medjugorje in Bosnia Herzegovina, describing it as a hoax.

    People should be guided by the mind of Holy Mother Church in these matters, and beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  14. Luigi says:

    Medugorje???, you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing

    – it is not from pentecostalists
    – our Lady never said all religions are equal
    – the Holy Father never described it as a hoax

    Given that it is unapproved, prudence is required, but great things seem to be happening there

  15. Habemus Papam says:

    Our Lady Couldn’t say all religions are equal, the Gospa of Medjugorje said that and also encouraged the Franciscans to disobey the Bishop. These middle-aged “visionaries” have made personal fortunes from this hoax, buying up the best land and property. Contrast that with Lourdes where Our Lady appeared 18 times and little Bernadette whose sole desire was to hide away in the Convent. Our Holy Father is going to Lourdes. Be wise. Follow the Church not charlatans.

  16. Jordan Potter says:

    Great. Now that Medjugorje has been brought up, it probably won’t be long before Father Zuhlsdorf has to close comments to this post . . . .

    Phil Gordon said: There may be some rational or scientific explanation for the phenomena of the spinning Sun, who knows. Do not judge without investigation just go and find out for yourself!

    Go where? Reports of alleged miracles of the sun are found all over the world, so there doesn’t seem to be any particular place that one must be in order to experience strange optical effects when staring into the sun. Apparently there’s no need to go to Medjugorje to see these strange optical effects. Apparently you want to promote devotion to the unapproved tens of thousands of alleged apparitions surrounding Medjugorje, but I don’t see what Pius XII’s experiences in the Vatican have to do with a Croatian man who claims the Blessed Virgin appears and speaks to him every day around 6:40 p.m. no matter the time zone he happens to be in (a man whose promised sign did not materialise on the day he claimed it would). Nor is there any necessary connection between Pius XII’s reported experiences and the Fatimist concern that Russia has not yet be consecrated to the satisfaction of Fatimists.

  17. MD says:

    The symbolism is interesting. And the miracle of the sun does seem a very important symbol. As does the symbolic use of 13.

    “The fact that the number 13 connects almost all the apparitions and was the date (May 13, 1981) of the attempted assassination of the pope is something more than simple coincidence, I think,” the cardinal said
    Cardinal Bertone

    The instances of the number 13 is extraordinary. A few,
    Fatima apparitions on the 13th
    Sister Lucia died on February 13
    The assasination attempt of John Paul II on May 13th
    Even the final warning from Our Lady of Akita (approved) was on the 13th. (Interestingly enough one a Cardinal Ratzinger approved)

    It is interesting both Pope John Paul II and Sr Lucia in writings pointed to the “woman clothed with the sun” (Rev 12). Even the rare Hybrid solar eclipse on day of PJP II’s funeral gave another odd reminder of the Sun.

    Pope John Paul II homily

    According to the divine plan, “a woman clothed with the sun” (Rv 12:1) came down from heaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father. She speaks to them with a mother’s voice and heart: she asks them to offer themselves as victims of reparation, saying that she was ready to lead them safely to God. And behold, they see a light shining from her maternal hands which penetrates them inwardly, so that they feel immersed in God just as — they explain — a person sees himself in a mirror.

    “Another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon” (Rv 12:3).

    These words from the first reading of the Mass make us think of the great struggle between good and evil, showing how, when man puts God aside, he cannot achieve happiness, but ends up destroying himself.

    You Revealed These Things to Children

    After really studying the events and recurring symbolisms it led me to wonder if Rev 13 is relevant – in that a warning of evil and corruption violently attacking the woman (also seen as the Church) – a persecution. The same warning of Fatima and Akita (on the 13th) warned of.

    The symbolism of the sun is also a powerful reminder of God’s justice.

    But unto you that fear my name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings: and you shall go forth, and shall leap like calves of the herd.
    Malachi 4:2

    The Lord’s day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord’s day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the “day of the sun,” we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays
    CCC 1166

    Turn eastward to the rising Sun!

  18. ALL: Medugorje is not relevant to this thread or the top entry. It is officially a rabbit hole.

    No more comments about Medugorje, please. We can do that in some other entry at another time.

  19. Does anyone know the names of the other Cardinals who were with Pius XII when he gave his account of the phenomena?

  20. Fr Gabriel Ringlet, vice-rector of the Catholic University of Louvain, has some relevant comments:

    “At the time of the last Council there were 35,000 still active priests in France. Noew there are 9,000 and there will be less than 5,000 in ten years time. [He is writing in 1998]

    “The statistical datum is only a small indication. It reveals, to be sure, a greaying Church, but it does not express all the malaise of an institution which “did not perceive intime the rise of knowledge and the critical spirit” as Gabriel Marc comments. Its message is still expressed in obsolete, even primitive forms, which no longer cross the footlights, and it has to come to terms, in the spirit of the time, with other religious messages that people now know about. But that is not the essential. The Church is not only lagging behind. It is in deep rupture with the values that mark our representations. It is not only its way of talking and writing but its very manner of entering into relationship, its mode of living, of thinking… which pose a problem.”

    Fatima and the Third Secret are symptoms of a Church that has not got its act together. Either find the meaning of the Gospel for the world of today or close down shop.

  21. Fatima is all about Eucharistic Reparation. The Immaculate Mother of God, assumed body and soul into heaven, was the best at Eucharistic Reparation. We need Eucharistic Reparation today, desperately. It was almost totally abandoned. The message of Fatima brings us back to the message of the Gospels. Eucharistica Reparation.

  22. roger b. says:

    So Pope Pacelli saw the miracle of the sun on 12 October 1917 while walking
    in the Vatican gardens? Please clarify. Thanks.

  23. I don’t want to knock Fatima as a place of devotion, Eucharistic, Marian and other wise.

    What I am objecting to is the sub-intellectual level of the Vatican discourse surrounding the Third Secret. Paul VI kept Sr Lucia in her place, but John Paul II — and as we now learn Piux XII — had no critical distance at all.

    Again, let us praise St Bernadette Soubirous, who unlike Melanie of La Salette, the seers of Medjugorje, and Sr Lucia, never sought to exploit her experiences in any way.

    One reason Lourdes is such a blessed place is that it was vigilantly cultivated by the bishops and theologians of the French Church with a great investment of biblical and liturgical culture and a critical spirit.

    A saying of St Bernadette: “It takes many humiliations to create humility.”