'Miracles of the sun' remain a baffling mystery
by Michael H. Brown
There it was, like something out of Luke 21:25, the sun twitching
and pulsing and moving in ways that
were clearly impossible. I was in the rain forests of Venezuela
outside of Caracas at the Church-sanctioned
apparition site of Betania and I had never seen anything quite
like this. I stared for minutes at a time, then
wandered into the trees, the sun following me, pulsing in an
extraordinary way through small gaps in the
canopy of vegetation.
All of a sudden, in a moment of fleeting wonder, in a way
that still seems unreal, the sun's rays shot down,
formed a perfect statue-like image of the Virgin Mary (as seen on the
Miraculous Medal, arms outstretched,
radiating), and then drew back up into the sun.
A deception? An hallucination? A lying wonder?
Or are we living in a special time indicated by what Jesus called
"signs in the sun"?
Your discernment is as good as mine. All I know is that I have
seen similar manifestations in other parts
of the world and so have literally millions of others.
It's one of the reasons I have devoted myself to a website like this.
(Michael Brown’s website is www.spiritdaily.com)
They're called "sun miracles," and they have been with us at
least since the great miracle in 1917 at
Fatima, Portugal. When I first visited the other famous apparition
site, Medjugorje, in 1989, I was baffled
on returning from the church one early evening (around the time
the seers experienced their daily
apparition) to see the sun acting in a way that was not remotely
similar to anything I had previously seen.
As I crossed a vineyard on the west side of St. James Church
I looked up to see the sun swathed in huge
auras of pink that not only stretched impossibly far from the
sun, but also flowed down and encompassed
the mountains in a way that went beyond stereoscopic vision.
To my endless astonishment the sun pulsed and spun and whirled
in hues of blue and purple, hues unlike
any form of normal sunset -- green, turquoise, without hurting
the eyes, a disc moving to blot out the hot
solar center, leaving not a single sunspot even after I stared
for five or maybe even ten minutes.
The feeling of peace and communication with forces unseen can't be
described and left me
scurrying toward a man and woman who were walking ahead of me.
I wanted to see if they were
seeing what I was seeing. It was Don Shula, the devout football
couch, and his wife. They too were
pilgrims, and she was seeing the same thing.
I witnessed the "miracle of the sun" or some variant every day the
rest of that trip, and during four
subsequent trips to Medjugorje. In August of 1990,
I watched one morning as a ray shot clear down to the vineyards
and formed a perfect cross.
No wonder even non-Catholics like David du Plessis,
father of modern Pentecostalism, came away from Medjugorje convinced
the Holy Spirit was manifesting.
In the subsequent years I have seen the sun "miracle" at dozens
of locations and I do not believe they were
optical or atmospheric effects. When I consulted Dr. Joseph
Patterson, an astronomer at Columbia
University, he told me that staring at the sun for ten seconds
is enough to begin a burn into the retina -
yet I and countless others were able to stare at a midday sun
for as long as 15 minutes!
Many have seen the sun spin and move or turn into a column of
light recalling the one that led the
Israelites out of Egypt.
Obviously, the sun is not actually doing this; if it were, there
would be worldwide panic. It's more a personal event. And when it happens,
there is a feeling of peace, a feeling of communication with heaven, and
often the disc appears, resembling a Communion host.
What is God saying by this? What is He trying to tell us?
He's showing us Who is in charge. He's indicating that He can
shift the sky. He's changing our very
perception. He may also be indicating changes in the sun that
are about to affect us (many believe increased solar
activity accounts for recent storms and shifts in climate). In Revelation
11:9 we see the
sanctuary of God "opening" -- followed (as is beginning to happen in
our own time) by great
Is it a warning? Or simply the Virgin "adorned by the sun" (Revelation
All I know is that these miracles have been reported in Rwanda,
Italy, Argentina, Canada, the United States, Ecuador, Ukraine, France,
Ireland, and many other countries. In the coming years,
authorities can debate the legitimacy of these events and I'll
abide by Church decisions. But in the
meantime I know with a profound kind of certainty what I myself
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