A prayer to prepare for #SolarEclipse2017

It occurred to me that we might ask God for specialized help today.

Almighty eternal God, who by Thy Word created the cosmos and set in motion all that has being, should it be pleasing to Thee, for the sake of our awe at Thy ineffable goodness revealed in the beauty of creation and for the increase of your praise and glory, send forth Thy holy angels both to clear the skies of clouds from the path of the shadow of the Moon as it sweeps across the nation, and also to prompt those who strive to view this wonder of our celestial clock to guard by prudent decisions their own eyes and to protect the vision of those under their care.  We ask this through Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

When I rose this morning, I engaged my Starlight app and snapped the configuration of your planet’s star and largest satellite.  The syzygy is on!


Here is the page from the calendar used in the Roman Curia.

You can see that it shows that there is a New Moon (which is the only way there could be total solar eclipse), and the Ave Maria is quite late.


very cool post about eclipses with images from medieval manuscripts.   As I said… very cool. HERE  For example:


SpaceWeather has an amusing bit about viewing the eclipse indirectly by means of a pinhole projection… using a water cracker or biscuit, which has little holes.

Thus proving that you can have your eclipse and eat it too.


My host has decreed that the Sun is turning into Pac-Man.  It’s hard to dispute.  Then again, it has been awhile since I’ve seen Pac-Man.



How I miss these guys!



And now it’s time for CAPTAIN CORONA!

Messages Image(1912157186)


Well… just as totality came, so did the clouds.  Rats.  However, they were thin enough that we could see the total phase and the corona for a little bit.  Then a thicker cloud came and that was that until the “diamond ring”.

I hope that where you are you will have a great view!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Look! Up in the sky! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. FrAnt says:

    Have fun everyone and be safe. Glory to God.

  2. Kerry says:

    On August 21, 1879, the Blessed Virgin appeared at Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.

  3. pseudomodo says:

    I’m becoming an Eclipsopalian. :)

  4. introibo2016 says:

    On the post about medieval manuscripts, they include one from Venerable Bede’s “De natura rerum” where he differentiates solar and lunar eclipses. That would definitely classify as “just too cool”

  5. Charivari Rob says:


    …reminds me to go looking for my copy of Nightfall”.

  6. majuscule says:

    I had been told that the sun shining through the trees could cast images of the eclipsing sun in the shadows. What a delight to go outside and see all these crescent suns on the ground under the trees! (Only 75% here). Then at the barn there was a really good image projected through a nail hole in the metal roof. No special equipment required!

  7. GypsyMom says:

    The intermittent clouds actually helped us see the eclipse. We were unable to find the solar sunglasses for sale anywhere. When the cloud cover was at the right thickness, we could quickly steal glances of the eclipse while we were wearing sunglasses. Everybody’s eyes are fine!

  8. Akita says:

    92% total here in Utah. The street light went on in front of our house. Cloudless sky. Festive atmosphere. Praise God.

  9. pannw says:

    We drove up to the path of totality a couple hours before the eclipse was to start and found an old country church parking lot. Had a picnic under a large oak and waited. Right as the eclipse began, clouds rolled in and you could see them building. We would get up and put our glasses on between the clouds and could see the progression intermittently. About a half hour before totality it was pretty cloudy. But almost as quickly as they blew in, they blew over and for the last 10 minutes before totality and throughout it, it was perfectly clear sky. Thanks be to God.

    I saw baily’s beads and the diamond ring! And Venus, Mars and Jupiter. And I saw the sun’s corona! It was so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes, and my daughter’s. I could hear my husband and son behind me going “woah,” in a low voice. Which means they were highly impressed. It was awesome. I’m so glad we got to see it. Deo gratias.

  10. youngcatholicgirl says:

    We left about two and a half hours before totality was to begin in western Kentucky, armed with four homemade pinhole projector boxes (cardboard, aluminum foil, white paper, tape… easy!). We watched the progression along the way. We finally pulled into a large gravel lot next to a bait shop about twenty minutes before totality began. It started getting darker and the temperature dropped a little. It got downright eerie! The darkness wasn’t gradual, more like sudden stages that came on faster as totality approached. The security lights began to come on (this was at 1:15 p.m.). Then, rather suddenly, it looked like evening (orange glow on the horizon), and we were in totality! What a beautiful sight, the black moon surrounded by the corona. I also saw Venus. Totality lasted about two minutes, I think. At the end, as I was watching, I saw the diamond ring. It was positively stunning.

  11. teomatteo says:

    We viewed a cloud – free eclipse west of Nashville.
    Thanks for prayers for stellar event.
    Do you have prayers for horrific traffic?

  12. bookworm says:

    Saw the whole show from Steeleville IL, SE of St. Louis, at a small public library with about half a dozen other people who happened by. The clouds stayed well to the north and we got a spectacular view. Eerie and wonderful at the same time… and definitely like seeing the face of God. I think we made a few new friends as well.

    On the way home to Springfield, we ran into a thunderstorm around Carlyle IL that had cloud to ground lightning, and what appeared to be possible funnel clouds… thought for a minute I might end up seeing my first tornado AND first total solar eclipse on the same day, but the storm passed and we made it home around 6 after stopping for dinner. Kept to the back roads as much as possible to avoid traffic.

  13. Sword40 says:

    We saw about 96% eclipse from where I live in Washington state. Nothing really great. We often don’t see the sun around here for weeks on end. We are used to it. =:)

  14. WYMiriam says:

    We had glorious weather in Wyoming for the eclipse — lots of haze (for here), and no clouds at all. We had a little over two minutes of totality – and a spectacular view of the corona. The temp dropped drastically — maybe by up to 20 degrees. There was sunset color all around the horizon, and the light when totality ended was likened (by an Army guy) to an illumination flare. We got great images of the eclipse through the wrong end of a binoculars (one side only). Oh! And I discovered that one could see what was happening to the sun by looking through the eclipse glasses at REFLECTIONS of the sun on car windows! Next time I hope to remember to take a mirror with me (to get rid of the curvature in the reflection).

    I can hardly wait for 2038, when, according to _The Dangerous Book for Boys_, there will be seven (7) lunar and solar eclipses.

  15. JonPatrick says:

    In Maine we were only about 65% partial, but the thin clouds actually helped you be able to see it without special glasses. When it started to loons on the lake started to call frantically. They knew something was up.

  16. LarryW2LJ says:

    I was at work, where I inhabit a room with no windows – a bunker of cinder block walls, actually. Around 2:44 PM EDT, when NJ reached the peak of about 75% totality, I went out to the lobby to see everyone staring at the sky through the atrium windows. There was a cloud cover of “just the right” thickness that allowed one to catch a quick glimpse of the eclipse without squinting or otherwise straining the eyes.

    I have to believe, that after viewing several eclipses throughout my lifetime, the ones who have no belief in God are truly the blind ones, even if they wore all the protective eye wear in the world. Think about it – for a spectacle like this to happen, the moon has to be just a certain size and we and the moon have to be locked into a minuet at just the right distance from the sun. Any of those variables change by a significant amount, there’s no such thing as a solar eclipse.

    And all this just happened, by chance? No way – I can clearly see the Hand of God throughout.

  17. Mary Jane says:

    75% coverage where we live (although for the 2024 eclipse we are in the path of totality!). It got noticeably darker outside, and inside the house it looked the way it does when we’re about to get an afternoon thunderstorm. Didnt look up at the sun of course but saw crescent shadows and stages of the eclipse by means of pinholes poked into a sheet of paper and projected onto another sheet of paper. Very cool.

Comments are closed.