Legate's Fatima disclosure creates world sensation
By THE EDITOR SOMETHING of a world sensation has been caused by
Cardinal Tedeschini's announcement to a million pilgrims at Fatima on Saturday that the Holy Father himself experienced a "marvellous thing" in Rome last year on four occasions just before and after the definition of the dogma of Our Lady's Assumption.
In view of exaggerations and inaccuracies, we give a literal translation, from the Italian of the " Osservatore Romano," of the relevant passages of the Cardinal's speech.
After referring to the famous October miracle of the son in 1917, Cardinal Tedeschini said :
"Nevertheless, I will tell you, but only on my own personal authority, and I will tell It to all my Portuguese friends of today and yesterday, and to all pilgrims associated with them, a still more marvellous thing.
I will tell you that another person has seen this miracle. He has seen it away from Fatima. He has seen it at a distance
of years (from the original miracle). He has seen it in
" The Pope, our present Pontiff, Pine XII, has seen it.
" Was this a reward, was this a sign of a divine, sovereign pleasure at the definition of the dogma of the Assumption?
" Was this a heavenly witness authenticating the link between the marvels at Fatima and the Centre, the Head of Catholic truth and teaching? The three things together?
" It was at four o'clock on the afternoons of the days of October 30, October 31 and November I of last year, 1950.
"It was at the same hours of the Octave of November 1, the day, that is, of the definition of Our Lady's assumption into Heaven.
" From the gardens of the Vatican the Holy Father turned his eyes to the sun, and at that moment before his eyes the prodigy of this valley and of this day was renewed.
"The orb of the sun surrounded with a halo----who can stare it in the face?
" But he could do it. On each of these four days he was enabled to share in the life of the sun under the hand of Mary.
"The moving sun was all atrernble, and transformed into a picture of life, into a spectacle of the heavenly movements, into a transmitter of silent but eloquent messages to the Vicar of Christ.
" Was not this a question of Fatima being carried over to the Vatican, of the Vatican being carried over to Fatima?"
At the time of going to press these words of Cardinal Tedeschini constitute the only official evidence and basis of speculation about one of the most remarkable pieces of news that have ever emanated from the Holy See.
Our own correspondent in Rome cables that the whole city is deeply interested and excited about the revelations but that the closest reserve is being kept by high personalities at the Vatican.
The Church has always been extremely conservative about all matters relating to unusual phenomena, visions and miracles, and, indeed, about religious news likely to cause a world " sensation," so that the fact of the present disclosure have taken people by surprise.
The question of what the Holy Father saw is the subject of much speculation and widely-different surmises.
The Cardinal's statement would suggest that the experience was limited to seeing a solar phenomenon , similar to that which occurred in Fatima 34 years ago, and to some inner realisation from it of a Heaven-sent message.
This is the view in responsible Roman quarters, according to our Rome correspondent.
Our correspondent also states that the relatives of the Holy Father knew nothing of the phenomena until they learned of them from the Cardinal's homily.
On the afternoons preceding and after the definition of the dogma of the Assumption. the Holy Father walked as usual in the Vatican gardens alone. Only the Noble Guard posted at various points in the gardens would have been in a position to notice any unusual action of His Holiness or anything strange in the sky. Apparently they noticed nothing.
Again, according to speculation. the message received by the Holy Father concerned the eventual conversion of Russia and her return to a peaceful policy.
In Lisbon rumours were spread about an unusual experience of the Holy Father concerning Fatima before Cardinal Tedeschini made his speech, and it was being said that the Holy Father himself had originally intended to go to Fatima on this occasion for a special reason.
In the end His Holiness chose Cardinal Tedeschini as his personal representative in a specially intimate way.