Chapter 5

The Miraculous Zig-Zagging Sun

Pius XII not only was cognizant of the Boston "preventive atomic war" speech delivered by the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus but he came out in the open to magnify its message in one of the most astounding performances ever staged by any modern Pope. That is, he mobilized the Catholic world to support Catholic Matthews' preventive atomic conflict, indeed to condition hundreds of millions of members of his own Church to accept it as the necessary measure ordained by Heaven itself, so as to further his own long-range political schemes. How did he do it? By staging the greatest fake miracle of the century.

Only three months after his Privy Chamberlain, Mr. Matthews, Secretary of the American Navy, had called on the U.S. to begin the war against Bolshevik Russia, Pope Pius XII was visited at the Vatican by none other than the Virgin Mary herself, in person and with no little commotion. It happened in October of that same year, 1950. Pope Pius XII kept the celestial visitation to himself for a short while. Then disclosed it to a few Vatican inmates, after which, being the skillful strategist that he was, he set in motion his religious machinery with the specific intent of coming to the help of Mr. Matthews' "preventive war" policy.

Pius' objective was a logical one. Once he had made sure that Mr. Matthews' war seeds had sunk well into the minds of political and military leaders, he gave himself the task of implanting them with equal effectiveness in the minds of the Catholic millions, not via politics or propaganda, but directly via religion. To that end, after the Virgin had visited him at the Vatican he ordered that her coming celebrations at Fatima, Portugal, should be the most spectacular ever staged. The papal ordinance was fulfilled to the letter. The following year, in October, 1951, a monster pilgrimage of well over one million people was convened before the shrine.

To mark the exceptional character of the celebration, Pius XII dispatched there his own personal representative, a top cardinal. He charged Cardinal Tedeschini with a most extraordinary task, namely, to disclose to the millions of devotees that the Virgin Mary had visited him, Pope Pius XII.

And so it came to pass that one October day, after the one million throng had sung the Ave Maria, recited the Rosary, and re-sang the Litanies, Cardinal Tedeschini faced the massive crowd, and in a voice filled with emotion, solemnly disclosed to the astounded pilgrims that "another person has seen this same miracle . . . " (namely the miracle of the Virgin Mary appearing to the three children back in 1917, when the sun zig-zagged in the sky.) "He saw it outside Fatima," the cardinal went on to say. "Yes, he saw it years later. He saw it at Rome. The Pope, the same our Pontiff, Pius XII . . . yes he saw it." [1] The cardinal then gave a few relevant details concerning when and how the miracle occurred. "On the afternoon of October 30th, 1950, at 4 p.m., "said the cardinal (that is, three months after Catholic Matthews delivered his preventive atomic war speech), "the Holy Father turned his gaze from the Vatican gardens to the sun, and there . . . was renewed for his eyes the prodigy of the Valley of Fatima." And what was the prodigy? Here are the exact words of the cardinal, sent there specifically by Pope Pius XII himself to disclose the story to the world:

Pope Pius XII was able to witness the life of the sun (author's reminder: a huge burning sphere 866,000 miles in diameter) . . . under the hand of Mary. The sun was agitated, all convulsed, transformed into a picture of life . . . in a spectacle of celestial movements . . . in transmission of mute but eloquent messages to the Vicar of Christ.

This did not occur once, but on three successive days: October 30 and 31 and November 1, 1950.The Catholic press and hierarchies exulted. Catholic theologians, including Jesuits, gave thanks to the Virgin for the privilege. Some of them, nevertheless, commented that Pope Pius XII must have been a greater saint even than they had suspected since, while Catholic tradition was full of visions in the lives of the patriarchs, apostles and martyrs, there were no recorded instances in modern church history of a papal vision having been announced in the lifetime of a Pope.[2]

The one million pilgrims, at the cardinal's disclosure, became delirious. So did countless millions of Catholics throughout the world. If the Virgin Mary had appeared to the Pope, obviously then her promises about Bolshevik Russia being converted to the Catholic Church were about to come true. And how could they be fulfilled if not via the "preventive war" preached by Catholic leaders in the U.S.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary statue in the facade niche at the shrine of Fatima. The white statue in the niche above the entrance of the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima is the work of an American priest. He sculpted her on detailed instructions of Sister Lucia, one of the three children who saw the Virgin Mary in 1917, the same year as the Bolshevik Revolution. When Cardinal Spellman was actively promoting the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War the American Catholic Church stressed the ideological message of Fatima. This message, which promised that Soviet Russia would be converted to Catholicism, was used to build anti-Russian and anti-Communist sentiments. It helped to give a mystical flavor to the anti-Soviet policies of Cardinal Spellman and Pope Pius XII. Millions of Catholics thus were recruited into the promotion of the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict.

Prayers, novenas and talk of the forthcoming "liberation" of Russia were renewed at Fatima and in hundreds of churches in many lands. The Catholic press, meanwhile, went on reminding its readers of the Virgin's second prophecy concerning that poor, atheistic country. Having mobilized religious fanaticism, Pius XII and his friends in the U.S. set to work in the more practical fields of open and secret diplomacy and politics. Only one week after the disclosure of Pius XII's greatest miracle, the U.S. was stunned by the announcement that the first American ambassador had been appointed to the Vatican (October 21, 1951)—something strictly forbidden by the American Constitution's article of Separation of Church and State.

Who was the ambassador? General Mark Clark, a friend of the Supreme Knight of Columbus, Secretary of the American Navy Matthews, personal friend also of Cardinal Spellman and of Pope Pius XII. But more ominous still General Clark was Chief of the American Army Field Forces.[3]

Ten days later in November, 1951, the first American ambassador designate to the Vatican busied himself as one of the leading military men directing atomic maneuvers in the Nevada desert; the first atomic warfare exercises in history in which troops were stationed near the atomic burst detonated by atom bombs of a new type.

Almost simultaneously, another no less important ambassador personage was given a new assignment. Mr. George Kennan was appointed American ambassador to Moscow. Mr. Kennan was none other than the head of the Free Russia Committee, a body, as its name implies, set up to promote the liberation of Russia from communism—most of its supporters, of course, being leading Catholics.

The new ambassador was not the only one to lead such bodies. The American ambassador, who early in 1950 had welcomed the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Moscow, Admiral Kirk, subsequently became chairman of the American committee for The Liberation of the People of Russia.

While Pius XII was telling the Catholic masses that the Virgin Mary had communicated with him regarding Russia, and while sundry American generals and ambassadors were preparing for the "liberation," another spectacular event occurred. In October, 1951 (notice the same month that Pius revealed his miracles), the bookstalls of America and Europe were flooded with over four million copies of a top U.S. magazine, Colliers. The whole issue, of well over 130 closely printed pages, was dedicated . . . to what? To the imminent atomic war against Soviet Russia. The war, it predicted, would begin in 1952. Russia would be defeated and occupied. After the "liberation," which would occur in 1955, while the economic reconstruction would be handed over to the U.S. Corporations, religious freedom would be proclaimed.[4]

Religious freedom, of course, meant that the Catholic Church, which had been preparing for just that, would have the lion's share, which with the help of the Virgin of Fatima and of American Catholics, would turn into an obvious monopoly. The "conversion" of Russia, as predicted by the Virgin, would thus become a reality.

In Eastern Europe, Catholic churches were filled with people praying for a "war of liberation." In the West, Catholics did the same. "There is something shocking about praying for war, "commented a leading Catholic organ, "but we shall not understand contemporary history if we forget that this is what millions of good "Christians" are doing." [5]

To foster even further the Catholic zeal for a "war of liberation," a few months after Pius XII's "miracle" the Vatican's official organ, the Osservatore Romano, related with all its massive authority how Pius XII had truly witnessed a "miracle of the sun," as referred to by Cardinal Tedeschini when he told the story at Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1951.

And the Pope's newspaper, to prove the authenticity of the miracle, published on its front page two "rigorously authentic" photos showing the prodigy of Fatima. The captions were even more matter of fact: "At 12 o'clock the vision began. At twenty minutes past 12, the rainy weather cleared up and soon afterwards a voice cried: 'Look at the sun!' The two 'authentic' photographs clearly show the black spot in the sun caused by its rapid whirling, and the position reached by the sun almost level with the horizon, although the photographs were taken at 12:30 p.m." "This position," commented the sober Osservatore Romano, "would have been absolutely impossible at the hour when the pictures were taken at 12:30 p.m."

The sun, in other words, was on the horizon when it should have been where any well behaved sun is, at an ordinary common noon. An even greater miracle, which the Osservatore, having no proofs, did not mention, was that apart from the photographer, the rest of mankind never noticed the sun falling to the horizon at noon on October 13, 1917.

The Osservatore then recalled "another surprising fact" which occurred at the Vatican thirty years later (that is, in 1950): "At the time when the entire Catholic family was rejoicing, in union with the Vicar of Jesus Christ, in the dogmatic definition of Our Lady's Assumption into heaven" (that is, the dogma of the bodily assumption of Mary, defined by Pius XII in 1950)—in a curt authoritative summing up, the Osservatore commented: "It is not our task to draw deductions from these singular analogous events . . . but Our Lady's interventions frequently happen in the gravest days of the Church's history, even with signs directed personally to the successor of Peter." [6]


1. Cardinal Tedeschi, Papal Delegate, in his official account to the Pilgrims of Fatima, Portugal, October 31, 1951. See detailed account in the Osservatore Romano. Also World Press, October 14, 15, 16, 1951.[Back]

2. See Daily Mail, October 15, 1951.[Back]

3. President Truman later had to cancel the appointment, under public pressure.[Back]

4. See Colliers (Special Issue) last week of October 1951.[Back]

5. Leader of the Universe, March 30, 1951.[Back]

6. See extraordinary issue of the Osservatore Romano, November 17, 1951. Also The Tablet and other Catholic organs. Photographs of the sun were reproduced by the American press; e.g. Time Magazine, December 3, 1951.[Back]

Return to Contents