The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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ROME (ZENIT) -- According to his own testimony, the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption saw the "miracle of the sun" four times.
This information is confirmed by a handwritten, unpublished note from Pope Pius XII, which was part of a 2008 public display at the Vatican, "Pius XII: The Man and the Pontificate."
A commissioner of the display and a Vatican reporter for the Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, explained to ZENIT that the note was found in the Pacelli family archives. It describes the "miracle of the sun," an episode that until today had only been affirmed by the indirect testimony of Cardinal Federico Tedeschini (1873-1959), who recounted in a homily that the Holy Father had seen the miracle.
Pius XII wrote, "I have seen the 'miracle of the sun,' this is the pure truth."
The miracle of the sun is most known as the episode that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on Oct. 13, 1917. According to the Fatima visionaries, Mary had said there would be a miracle that day so that people would come to believe. Thousands had gathered at the site of the visions, and the sun "danced," reportedly drying instantaneously the rain-soaked land and spectators.
Confirming the dogma
Pius XII's note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens.