Thursday, 11 August 2011


Icon, Blessed Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer
On 13 May 1917, ten year old Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were herding sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima in Portugal. Lúcia described seeing a woman "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." Further appearances were reported to have taken place on the thirteenth day of the month in June and July. In these, the woman exhorted the children to do penance and acts of reparation, and to make sacrifices to save sinners. Most important, Lúcia said that the lady had asked them to pray the rosary every day and that praying the rosary many times was the key to personal and world peace.  This Lady, who was, of course our Blessed Mother Mary, called herself "Lady of the Rosary" and would later be known to the world as Our Lady of Fatima.

As early as July 1917, it was claimed that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on 13 October, so that all would believe. What happened then became known as "Miracle of the Sun". A crowd believed to number approximately 70,000, including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. The incessant rain had finally ceased and a thin layer of clouds cloaked the silver disc of the sun. Witnesses said later it could be looked upon without hurting the eyes. Lúcia, moved by what she said was an interior impulse, called out to the crowd to look at the sun. Witnesses later spoke of the sun appearing to change colors and rotate like a wheel. Not everyone saw the same things, and witnesses gave widely varying descriptions of the "sun's dance". The phenomenon is claimed to have been witnessed by most people in the crowd as well as people many miles away.

Francisco (1908–1919) and Jacinta Marto (1910–1920), were both victims of the Great Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918-20. Francisco and Jacinta were declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in a public ceremony at Fatima on 13 May 1989. Pope John Paul II returned there on 13 May 2000 to declare them 'blessed' (a title of veneration below that of sainthood). Jacinta is the youngest non-martyred child ever to be beatified.  Lúcia became a Discalced Carmelite and died at the age of 97 in 2005.  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then still head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordered her cell sealed off. It is believed this was because Sister Lúcia had continued to receive more revelations and the evidence needed to be examined in the course of proceedings for her possible canonization.

For many more details of this story, including the Fatima prayers and the three secrets, go to:

Actual photograph of the children

Here is an actual photograph of the three children of Fatima taken  in the year, 1917.

Lúcia, being the eldest, was the "leader" of the children.  Both she and Jacinta both saw and heard the angel and Our Lady speaking.  Francisco Marto on the other hand, could only see them and the various visions, but could not hear what was being said.  After each apparition, the girls had to tell him the exact message that had been given.

In one of the early apparitions, Francisco asked the Lady if he, too, would go to Heaven.  The Lady is reported to have replied:  "yes, but only if you pray many Rosaries!"

Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, please pray for us -- for peace in our hearts and peace in the world.


I came across the following four photographs recently and decided to see what each one would look like if I applied the "oil painting software" to it.  Well, the results are below.  As you will see, certain photos took much more easily to the imitation oil paint than did others.  Some photos are simply perfect for turning into "oil paintings" while others just end up looking rather pathetic.  Look closely and you will see what I mean.

The software works well on this photo, leaving something that looks very much like an oil painting.

This photo doesn't work that well as it contains mostly sky and colours.  If you make it much larger, you can see the effects of the software especially along the edges of the mountains  -- this portion does look a bit like a painting, but basically, IMO, this is a photo that should just be left alone and enjoyed.

Using the software on this photo gives it an abstract quality -- very modern in its effect with blues and a few strokes of bright colours.   

This final photo works either way, I think.  I find this version which has been "treated" with the software to be very appealing.  The pathway of light across the dark water has been changed by the software into different bits of colour -- this is the same way you would create this area of light if an artist was really using oil paint.

So, three out of four 'yes' votes from me.  I would be very interested in knowing how you would vote.  Open up each picture by clicking on it so you can see what the software actually did and then let me know how you would vote.

Well, the only news I have tonight is that there is not any news!  I haven't checked with Suki so she may well have something to report; however, unless she shows up with her article before the deadline, we will never know what she wanted to say! 

I can tell you that I saw the chiropractor on Monday and am supposed to see him again tomorrow.  He is a really nice man, but I am just not attracted to chiropractic techniques.  I have told myself that I will definitely stay with it until the end of August.  If, by then, there is some improvement in my neck, I will no doubt continue with the programme.  Otherwise, ...

Still no sign of Suki, so I think this is where I will end for tonight.

The Chorus Line
 Here is a picture of some adorable babies which I will use to end tonight's posting. 

May the peace of God be with us all.

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