The Miracle of the Sun: "Comet Fatima." A Scientific Analysis of the Miracle of Fatima by Dr. Ignacio Ferrin.
Dr. Chojnowski: I have followed some of the discussion of the new book by Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, who was inspired to investigate the Miracle of the Sun by a lecture that I gave in Rome in 2010 concerning the exact account given by the eye-witnesses of the Miracle.
Just like in so much that we now encounter in our mental life as Catholics, we must realize that God is much greater than we can ever imagine and His ways are not necessarily our ways. We also must realize that we may need to think more deeply about the situation that we are in as Catholics. Maybe there is more to these situations than we had realized previously.
Dr. Ferrin's book on the Miracle of the Sun is not an infallible text. It is a scientific thesis that says that it can explain the physical aspects of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. It does not IN ANY WAY deny that what occurred was a miracle, in fact, his research adds an empirical and mathematical aspect to the Miracle. With Dr. Ferrin's comet thesis, he simply provides us with a way of scientifically and objectively describing the unprecedented physical events that were seen by the 70,000 observers that came to the Cova da Iria because they were told that there was going to be a miracle that took place at midday ON THAT DAY. He himself was astonished by his findings. One of the aspects of his research was to disprove as impossible the other attempts at explaining from an empirical angle the Miracle. One of those that he refutes is the explanation given by Fr. Stanley Jaki, who I knew and spent time with in years past.
The only thesis that Ferrin's research debunks is the one that says that the observers of the Miracle were overcome by mass-hallucination or mass-suggestion. Isn't that good? Isn't that at least one accomplishment? God and Miracles are not just "mind stuff," as the Modernist would have us believe.
Really, nothing has been set aside or disproven by Dr. Ferrin that we as Catholics have held all of our lives. We knew that the Sun appeared to dance and crash to the earth and give off a kaleidoscope of colors. This was part of the miraculous events that took place. Dr. Ferrin affirms unequivocally that that the Sun did appear to dance and crash to the earth and give off a kaleidoscope of colors. His only concern is the physical mechanism by which that phenomena was brought about. The phenomena is unchanged. In fact he insists that they DID see what they saw. In fact, even more, his very scientific analysis depends upon the actual accounts of what was actually seen and felt. In other words, he is perfectly confident that these events and these experiences are objective. And we don't want a non-believing astrophysicist to say that the events at Fatima and the experiences of the people were objective events? Somehow his even asking the questions that he does diminishes the awesomeness of the Miracle itself.
Ferrin gives us a way of scientifically and even rationally understanding why the Miracle of the Sun was not experienced by everyone in the world. It was only experienced by those in Fatima and within a 25 mile radius. But guess what, IT WAS MEANT FOR THE PEOPLE CONGREGATING AT THE COVA DA IRIA SO THAT THEY (AND THE WHOLE WORLD THROUGH THEM) WOULD BELIEVE IN THE FATIMA MESSAGE. If this thesis is correct, it explains every empirical aspect of the Miracle. But it doesn't explain why it happened or who made it happen. In this regard we believers can draw out the logical and exclusively rational conclusion. The "Lady" who predicted the Miracle and the one that said she would bring it about, must be the Mistress of the very stars, comets, and astroid belts themselves, since she brought about, potentially, through very material means, a miracle as has not been experienced by such a large group of people either before or after the event of October 13, 1917.
Since Descartes, all of science had to be made up of math and more math. Well here we have the math of miracles. Ferrin, at my suggestion, calculated that there was a 1 in 61.4 quadrillion chance that such an event would happen in nature by "chance." The mathematical odds of a 10 year old uneducated peasant girl would predict such an astrophysical experience was measured at "nil." That she would predict it three times is "nil x 3." Not helpful in any way? This calculation somehow distracts from the grandeur of the event? If we just think about what Dr. Ferrin suggests from a scientific point of view, we would be prostrate on the floor in awed reverence for the power and majesty of God.