One of the most well known apparitions of the Virgin Mary is the one at Fatima. Quoted below are extracts from a Catholic account of the event, available on the web-
Our Lady of Fatima and
The Miracle of the Sun, October 13, 1917In 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary came down to earth and appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She came to warn the world to stop offending God. She showed the children a vision of hell where the souls of poor sinners go. She warned of severe punishments from God if her message was ignored. She promised the great blessing of world peace and the triumph of her Immaculate Heart if her requests were fulfilled. All of this was confirmed by a spectacular Miracle of the Sun witnessed by over 70,000 people on October 13, 1917.
Comment- Curious, isn't it, that a miracle involving the Sun is what supposedly validates the apparition of Mary as authentic? Could this "miracle" have only come from God? Or is this event authentic only because the Church declares it so? What follows is a description of this "Miracle of the Sun"-
During her last apparition at Fatima, Our Lady, as she had promised, gave a sign that all would be able to see. The following is the description of the Miracle of the Sun, provided by Lucia, one of the three shepherd children to whom Our Lady appeared.
After speaking, Our Lady opened her hands. Sister Lucia writes:
"Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
Here, Your excellency, is the reason why I cried out to the people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to the sun, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was moved to do so under the guidance of an interior impulse.
After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparitioin disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Dolors. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel."
(The above quote was taken from the book, Fatima, In Lucia's Own Words, written by one of the three shepherd children who saw Our Lady of Fatima.)Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima
Fatima Web Page
This fascination Catholics have with apparitions is foretold in the Bible, in 1 Timothy 4:1.
(See Doctrines of Demons)