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Statements regarding the night of the 25th to the 26th of January 1938

Statements regarding the night of the 25th to the 26th of January 1938


Statement n°14:  Taken from the September-October copy of Marchons!, page 10

I, myself, witnessed this light and the memory of it is unforgettable.  I was 13 years old.  It was in the evening before going to bed, on the 25th of January 1938, as we were going out with our parish church group.  We thought it was a huge forest fire and for a while we went in its direction.  But no, it was much further, and we turned back.  The next day, all the newspapers in Europe mentioned it, without really knowing what it was, a “special aurora borealis”, they said …


Statement n°13:  From M. Olive

My 83 year-old mother comes from Arques in the Pas de Calais, and she told me that my grandmother and grandfather had seen this orange-coloured aurora borealis on the night of the 25th/26th January 1938, and were very afraid.  For them, it was a bad omen which was subsequently confirmed.


Statement n°12:  From M.  J.P. Artur

As for the conflagration in the sky, my parents-in-law remember the event in 1939 very well and have often told me about it.  They were at Meknes in Morocco.


Statement n°11:  From Geneviève des Pallières, Madame Ghislain de Jenlis, « Quintefeuille », 9 avenue du débarquement, 14960 Asnelles.

Madame de Jenlis was born in 1930.  Here is her statement:

We lived 10 kilometres from Saint-Lô, in the Manche, between the communes of Pont Hébert and Amigny. 

One evening, we were in the house and my father called us and said “Come and see;  I’ll show you what an aurora borealis is.”

It began to get dark.  We went down the steps.

I saw this cloud, a little orange, pink, a little round.  Yes, it was quite round, like a big powder puff.

It was very special.  I don’t remember if it was more orange than pink, or more pink than orange.

This cloud had a direction, but we didn’t see it moving forward.  When we began to watch it, it was at the corner of the house.  It came from the east and passed over the west side.  When we went back inside it was late, we had seen it move.  It had a very slow trajectory towards the west.

We took this cloud to be what Father told us was an aurora borealis.  We never spoke of it again.

One day, much later, I heard talk about Fatima and “a sign which will happen everywhere the war will happen”.  That made me remember this episode of the cloud with Father.

Even later, I was able to see an aurora borealis, and I realised that it was nothing like what my father had shown us.  In an aurora borealis there are long green streaks, nothing like this round, orange cloud.  This discovery intrigued me and I then made the link between what our family had seen and the sign announced at Fatima.

Asnelles, Tuesday 30th January 2018.


Statement n°10:  From Mme. Clotilde de Q.

Lille, the 30th of December 2017.

I, the undersigned, Clotilde de Q. declare having witnessed, at the end of January 1938, a strange phenomenon:  the black night was gently lit by what resembled (I was told) an aurora borealis.  Two faint red lights swept the sky, which we had never seen before this date at the end of January 1938.

The witnesses with me were my mother, my sister, my older brothers who were high school students.  I was 12 years old and I remember this red sky perfectly well.  We lived in the country, 2 kms. from the village of Cassel (in the North of France).

Clotilde de Q.


Statement n°9:  From the Father of Mme. T.

Sorry, in January 38 I was only 4 years old, I was put to bed early with the curtains carefully drawn!

Many years later (at least 20), I learned about this aurora borealis (red in colour, it seemed to me) which set a large part of the sky alight.

Clare’s parents gave me a brief account:  they saw in this a concordance between the countries having seen it and those who, a few months later, went to war:  Russia, Germany, but above all Poland and France … the others … I don’t remember them.


Statement n°8:  From M. Dominique C. regarding his mother.

She was born on the 6th of November 1914.  At the time of Tuesday the 25th of January 1938, she was working as a solicitor’s clerk with Maître Trouvé [(the predecessor of Maître Fillon who arrived at CF in 1958, the father of François Fillon, this was at Cérans-Foulletourte (Sarthe)].

So, on leaving the office, no doubt around 6 or 7 pm, she saw the sky as if it was alight, very red, and has always told me about this phenomenon.  Subsequently, when there was more talk of the events at Fatima, she had no trouble connecting this phenomenon with the revelations of Our Lady, probably around the time of the 50th anniversary.


Statement n°7:  From M.K.

I can only report in a very vague way the memory of what my aged mother (June 1913-June 1992) had said a few times when I was around ten years old.  (She sometimes told me of her memories of the First and especially the Second World War.)

She spoke to me of this strange light that she had been able to observe with her neighbours in the region of Nimy (Mons) in Hainaut (Belgium) where she was living, whilst still single, at that time.

She spoke of a night in February 1939 (note the little imprecision), before the start of the Second World War.  She and her neighbours had even gone outdoors e to observe the phenomenon (where they must have met, wondering what to make of this highly unusual   light).

I admit that it’s a vague reminiscence, but I have always been struck by it.


Statement n°6:  From M. Marc L.

Regarding the exceptional light on the night of 1938, I have, of course, no memory, having been born in 1959, but I have an indirect witness in the person of a great uncle who died in 1952, who worked for the postal service sorting the mail on the night trains (so that it could be delivered the next morning when the train arrived at the station).  He had told of the memory, still present in the minds of my family, of a night in 1938 when the natural outdoor light had been such that they were able to sort the mail in the railway carriage without having to use electric light.


Statement n°5:  From M. Pierre L.

I have a sister who is 89, soon to be 90 years old actually, because she was born in Mars, and who remembers this light over the whole of Cherbourg harbour.  She was 10 and was staying with an aunt whose house overlooked the harbour, with a cousin her own age and they had still talked of this only about four or five years ago, the cousin having died in 2016.  The colours “offered” by Heaven were greens , oranges with a very pronounced red.


Statement n°4:  From Mme. Marie-Françoise G.

I was born in 1947, so I didn’t see the so-called aurora borealis of January 1938, but my parents and grandparents definitely saw it.

They were living in the region of Cholet (Maine et Loire).  They often spoke to me about it.

The sky was red, and mother told me that it looked like it was streaked with blood.  But I don’t know how long it lasted. 

They immediately understood the meaning of the message and prepared themselves for war.


Statement n°3:  From Mme. Jeanne G.

My grandmother spoke to me about this fire, which, I believe, she and her family saw;  she was an adolescent at the time (she was born in 1924), and lived in a little village in Isère.

I also know that afterwards she and her husband were very attached to Fatima.


Statement n°2:  From Mme. E

I’ll be 69 at the beginning of November, so I never saw the “aurora borealis of 1938” but I heard talk about it, and a lot of it.

My mother was a total atheist and never stopped repeating that if we saw lights dancing in the sky it was a sign of bad luck, of war.  It was unusual to have an aurora borealis at our latitude.


Statement n°1:  From M. André M.

I remember hearing at some point that the sky was “on fire”…  in Spain.  It was during the last war, in 1941, 42 or 43.  I was between 6 and 8 years old.  Was this alluding to 1938, with a difference and distortion of time…?

I was in Algeria, I don’t remember who told me, but it must have been a child older than me.  It made me very afraid, because we were in the middle of the war, I was thinking of fire in the sky…  Was the person who told me referring to 1938 in a roundabout way? 


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The Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Pius XII

 The war had been going on for two years when in March 1942, Sister Lucia was inspired to attempt to ask the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  She told her spiritual director, Monseigneur Ferreira:

During this night of the 5th of March 1942, Our Lord seemed to make me feel more keenly that He would refuse to grant peace, because of the crimes which continue to provoke His justice, and also because His demands have not been met, especially that of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, even though Our Lord had appealed to the heart of His Holiness to do this.

But Monseigneur Ferreira advised her against attempting anything at all.  Fortunately, a little later, the Portugese bishops tried to send a supplication which Sister Lucia mentions in a letter to Father Gonçalves, dated the 6th of September 1942.

Concerning the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monseigneur the Bishop of Gurza has written to me several times.  His Excellency has great desires and great hopes.  During their last retreat, our Bishops agreed to send a new supplication to Rome, and to ensure that the bishops of other nations also send this supplication.

The Pope had already known for some time about the request for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

  • in 1936, by a letter from Father Pinho, the spiritual director of Alexandrina da Costa, who, that year, had received a request with the same meaning from Our Lord,
  • in 1938, by a letter from the Portugese bishops repeating Father Pinho’s request,
  • in 1940, by a letter from Sister Lucia in which the request for the consecration of Russia had been changed by Monseigneur da Silva to a request for the consecration of the world.

So, the request of the Portugese bishops finally convinced Pope Pius XII, who asked Cardinal Schuster, the archbishop of Milan, to publish Our Lady’s request, which he did in a Pastoral Letter dated the 13th of October 1942, as the Holy Father wanted the request to be known about before he pronounced the consecration he had in mind.

Then the Pope consulted the Holy Office on the timeliness of such a consecration, which responded “that there existed no theological objection on this matter, but that this consecration did not seem opportune”.  Pope Pius XII decided to pass over the advice of the Holy Office and on the 31st of October 1942, in an allocution broadcast on the radio, he consecrated “the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”, mentioning Russia in the following way:

Give peace to the people separated by error and schism, particularly those who have a special devotion to You and among whom there was no home where Your venerable icon was not honoured, and where, at present, it may be hidden in the hope for better days.  Bring them back to the One Fold of Christ, under the One True Shepherd.  (See the complete text of the consecration at the end of this article.)

He solemnly renewed the consecration on the following 8th of December.

The results of this consecration were not long in coming.  On the 22nd of October 1940 Our Lord had promised Sister Lucia, in return for this consecration “to abridge the days of tribulation by which he had decided to punish the world for its crimes”.  And in fact, a few days after the consecration, the German armies suffered their first determinant defeats at El Alamein and Stalingrad.

At El Alamein on the 3rd of November, after ten days of terrible combat, Field Marshal Rommel was forced to retreat.  And on the 8th, English and American troops landed in North Africa.

After having occupied most of Stalingrad, General Paulus’ Sixth Army was surrounded by a Russian offensive on the 19th of November and despite a counter-attack in mid-December, the Germans had to capitulate in February 1943.

It was also in November 1942 that the Battle of the Atlantic turned in the Allies favour.  November was the best month of the war for the U-boats, with 800,000 tons sunk.  But from January 1943, Allied losses diminished and the U-boats suffered such setbacks that the following May, Admiral Dönitz, chief of the Kriegsmarine, decided to withdraw all his submarines from the North Atlantic.

Thus, just after the consecration made on the 31st of October, on the three principal fronts, North Africa, Russia and the Atlantic, the Germans suffered serious setbacks, and the three months which followed mark the true turning point in the war.

Sister Lucia very quickly made it known that these victories were the fruits of the Holy Father’s action.

On the 28th of February, she wrote to the Bishop of Gurza:  “The Good Lord has already showed me his satisfaction with the action undertaken by the Holy Father and by several bishops, even although according to his desire, it is incomplete.  He promises in return to end the war soon.  The conversion of Russia is not for now”.

Likewise, on the 4th of May 1943 she wrote to Father Gonçalves:  “He [Our Lord] promises to end the war soon in consideration of the action which the Holy Father deigned to undertake.  But as it was not complete, the conversion of Russia will be for later."

Pope Pius XII, seeing the results, decreed on the 4th of May 1944 that every year on the 22nd of August, octave day of the Assumption, the whole Church would celebrate a feast-day in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in order to preserve the memory of the consecration of the 8th of December 1942.  He assigned this feast to obtain, by the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin, “peace between nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue”. (Missal of Dom Lefevbre, on the feast of the 22nd of August)

In the ordinary rite, this feast-day was transferred to the Saturday following the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Here is the complete prayer of the consecration by Pope Pius XII:

Queen of the Holy Rosary, help of Christians, refuge of the human race, conqueress of all God’s battles, we, supplicants, prostrate ourselves here at the foot of Your throne, certain of receiving graces, timely help and protection during the present calamities, not because of our merits, on which we cannot rely, but uniquely by reason of the great goodness of Your maternal heart.

To You, and to Your Immaculate Heart, in this tragic hour of human history, we entrust and consecrate ourselves, not only in union with the Holy Church – the Mystical Body of Your Son Jesus – which suffers and sheds its blood, prey to tribulations in so many places and so many ways, but also in union with the whole world, torn by bitter strife, consumed by the fire of hatred, and victim of its own wickedness.

Look with compassion on all material and moral destruction, by so much pain, so much anguish of fathers and mothers, brothers, innocent children, by so many lives cut down in the flower of youth, so many bodies torn to pieces in brutal slaughter, so many souls tortured and troubled, and so many in danger of being lost for all eternity.

Oh, Mother of Mercy, obtain peace for us from God, and especially those graces which can, in an instant, convert human hearts, those graces which can prepare, establish and assure peace!  Queen of Peace, pray for us and give this world at war the peace for which all people long, peace in the Truth, Justice and Charity of Christ.  Give them peace not only from arms, but also peace in their souls, that in tranquillity and order the Kingdom of God may expand.  Grant your protection to infidels and to all those still walking in the shadow of death;  give them peace;  permit that the sun of Truth may rise upon them and that together with us they may repeat before the only Saviour of the world:  “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Lk 2:14)

Give peace to the people separated by error and schism, particularly those who have a special devotion to You and among whom there was no home where Your venerable icon was not honoured, and where, at present, it may be hidden in the hope for better days.  Bring them back to the One Fold of Christ, under the One True Shepherd.

Obtain complete peace and liberty for the Holy Church of God, check the spreading flood of neo-paganism, arouse within the faithful love of purity, the practice of Christian life and apostolic zeal, so that the people who serve God may increase in merit and number. 

Finally, in the same way that the Church and all of humanity were consecrated to the Heart of Your Son Jesus, so that, with all their hopes resting in Him, He became for them the sign and pledge of victory and salvation, thus and for always, we consecrate ourselves to You, to Your Immaculate Heart, oh, our Mother and Queen of the world so that Your love and Your protection hasten the triumph of the Kingdom of God and may all nations, at peace with each other and with God, proclaim You Blessed and sing with You from one end of the earth to the other, the eternal Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude to the Heart of Jesus in which alone they can find Truth, Life and Peace.

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Extracts from Lucia’s first memoir: on sacrifices

Extracts from Lucia’s first memoir: on sacrifices

That day, when we reached the pasture, Jacinta sat thoughtfully on a rock.

“Jacinta, come and play.”

“I don’t want to play today.”

“Why don’t you want to play?”

“Because I’m thinking.  That Lady told us to say the Rosary and to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.  So from now on, when we say the Rosary we must say the whole Hail Mary and whole Our Father!  And the sacrifices, how are we going to make them?”

Right away, Francisco thought of a good sacrifice:

“Let’s give our lunch to the sheep, and make the sacrifice of doing without it.”

In a couple of minutes, our lunch had been divided among the sheep and that day we fasted as strictly as the most austere Carthusian.

( … )

Jacinta took this matter of making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners so much to heart, that she never let a single opportunity escape her.  There were two families in Moita  (a hamlet to the north of Cova da Iria) whose children used to go round begging from door to door.  We met them one day, as we were going along with our sheep.  As soon as she saw them, Jacinta said to us:

“Let’s give our lunch to these poor children for the conversion of sinners.”

She ran to take it to them.  That afternoon, she told me she was hungry.  There were holm-oaks and oak trees nearby.  The acorns were still quite green.  However, I told her we could eat them.  Francisco climbed up a holm-oak to fill his pockets, but Jacinta had the idea that we could eat the ones on the oak trees instead, and thus make a sacrifice by eating the bitter kind.  So that afternoon, that we enjoyed this delicious repast!  Jacinta made this one of her usual sacrifices.  She picked the acorns from the oaks or the olives off the trees.  One day I said to her:

“Jacinta, don’t eat that;  it’s too bitter!”

“But it’s because it’s bitter that I’m eating it, for the conversion of sinners.”

These were not the only times we fasted.  We had agreed that whenever we met these poor children, we would give them our lunch.  And the poor little ones, only too happy to receive our alms, took good care to meet us and they used to wait for us on the road.  We no sooner saw them than Jacinta ran to give them all the food we had for that day, as happy as if she had no need of it herself.  On days like that, our only nourishment consisted of pine nuts, and little berries about the size of an olive which grow on the roots of yellow bell-flowers, as well as blackberries, mushrooms, and some other things we found on the roots of pine trees – I can’t remember now what these were called;  or fruit, if there was any nearby on the land belonging to our parents.

Jacinta’s thirst for making sacrifices seemed insatiable.  One day a neighbour offered my mother a good pasture for our sheep.  Though it was quite far away and we were at the height of summer, my mother accepted the offer made so generously, and sent me there.  As there was a pond nearby where the flock could go and drink she told me that it would be best to take our siesta there, in the shade of the trees.  On the way, we met our dear poor children, and Jacinta ran to give them our alms.  It was a lovely day, and the sun was blazing.

In that dry and arid place, it seemed as though everything was burning up.  We were parched with thirst, and there wasn’t a single drop of water for us to drink!  At first, we offered the sacrifice generously for the conversion of sinners, but by midday, we could hold out no longer.

As there was a house quite near, I suggested to my companions that I should go and ask for a little water.  They agreed to this, so I went and knocked on the door.  An old woman gave me not only a pitcher of water, but also some bread, which I accepted gratefully and I ran to share it with my little companions.  Then I offered the pitcher to Francisco, and told him to take a drink.

“I don’t want to drink,” he replied.


“I want to suffer for the conversion of sinners.”

“You have a drink, Jacinta!”

“But I want to offer this sacrifice for sinners too.”

So I poured the water into a hollow in the rock, so that the sheep could drink it, and went to return the pitcher to its owner.  The heat was getting more and more intense.  The singing of the crickets and grasshoppers coupled with the croaking of the frogs in the neighbouring pond making an unbearable noise.  Jacinta, weakened by hunger and thirst, said to me with that simplicity which was natural to her:

“Tell the crickets and the frogs to stop singing!  I have such a terrible headache.”

Then Francisco asked her:

“Don’t you want to suffer this for sinners?”

The poor child, clasping her head between her two little hands, replied:

“Yes, I do.  Let them sing!”

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