The night before and into the morning a drizzling rain fell. By ten o’clock the sky was completely hidden behind the clouds and the rain began to fall in earnest.Because the news of the apparitions had spread all over the country and because something extraordinary was expected to happen, ahugh crowd had gathered.In his account, Almeida Garrett, the well known Professor of Coimbra University,estimated the number at 100,000. The Diario de Noticias reporter counted 240 carts,135 bicycles and 100 cars.This only included the number of vehicles which returned to Vila Nove de Ourem.It is not disputed that the number present exceeded 70,000.The crowd did not consist of believers only.There was a percentage of curious,incredulous and unbelieving people, who had come with the sole purpose of mocking the credulity of the simple faithful.Just before noon the rain stopped and the clouds parted to reveal the sun in a transparent gauzy veil so that the eyes could easily be fixed on it.The Lisbon paper O Dia reported on October 17th :” The grey mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and the people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of the women. They were repeated on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they. ” In the other Lisbon paper the Seculo, Avelino de Almeida recorded, “Before the astonished eyes of thr crowd– – – – the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws——the sun “danced” according to the typical expression of the people.Some swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said that they saw it change colours successively. ” Dr. Garrett, already mentioned wrote “The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its hugh and fiery weight. ” He estimated that the phenomenon lasted about ten minutes. Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho said in the paper Ordem : “The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” . This phenomenon was not registered at any astronomical observatory and could not, therefore, have been of natural origin. It was witnessed by people of every category and class, by believers as well as unbelievers, journalists of the principal daily papers amd even by people kilometres away, a fact which destroys any theory of collective hallucination. There were actually three miracles. Firstly, the event was foretold three months in advance.Secondly, the solar phenomenon itself. Thirdly, although it had been raining hard all night long and up to shortly before noon, as soon as the sun returned to normal,everything was bone dry,the ground, the vegetation and the people’s clothing so powerful had the heat of the sun become during solar happening. Over eighty years have passed. On May 13th.2000, Jacinta and Francisco were beatified by Pope John Paul 2 and their feastday is to be observed on Feb. 20th. Francisco had died of pneumonia in April 1919 and his sister Jacinta had died of pleurisy in February 1920. The third visionary Lucia lived as a Carmelite nun in Coimbra in Portugal until her death on 13th February 2005 at the age of 97.