Of all the visions and miracles attributed to Our Lady, Fatima is by far my favorite. Don’t ask me why, it just is. For those unfamiliar, the visions of Our Lady of Fatima began on May 13, 1917 in the city of Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady appeared to three children over the course of six consecutive months, on the 13th day of each month.
As news of the visitations spread, more and more people began to gather with the children. By the fifth appearance, on September 13, it is estimated that nearly 30,000 people were present. Only the three children, Francisco Marto, his sister Jacinta and their cousin Lucy dos Santos could see the Lady in White. And of the three, only Lucy spoke with her.
On October 13, an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people gathered to witness the promised miracle. Once aging, only the children saw the Lady in White. However; many of those gathered witnessed the miracle in the sky. The sun dulled its brightness, began to spin, and zig-zag around the sky with radiant colors for about 10 minutes. What made this especially incredible was that it occurred at the exact time and place that the children said the Lady in White would perform a miracle so people would believe. The Church did an in-depth investigation, always slow and deliberate to declare miracles. The visions and the miracle witnessed by so many have officially been declared true. Today Francisco and Jacinta are now saints.
Francisco fell gravely ill in October 1918. He became a victim of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had gripped the world. Francisco was only 10 years old when he went to heaven. The following year Jacinta also was called to heaven, succumbing to the same illness as her brother. She was just 9. Only Lucy lived a long life. She was 10 when the Lady first appeared to her. Our Lady revealed to Lucy that her cousins would not reach adulthood, and it was a sad burden she carried in silence. Lucy died on February 13, 2005 at the Carmelite Convent of Santa Teresa in Coimbra. Lucy had lived in the convent since 1948.
According to Lucy, the final battle for our souls will be fought over the sanctity of family and marriage. She revealed this in a letter to Cardinal Caffarra. Cardinal Caffarra had been commissioned by Pope John Paul III to plan and establish the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. At the beginning of this work, the cardinal wrote a letter to Sister Lucia of Fatima through her bishop, since he could not do it directly. He had only asked for her prayers in his endeavor. She responded with a long letter in which she revealed ‘The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.’ Don’t be afraid, she added, because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Then she concluded: ‘nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head’.
Those of faith know that while the battles must be waged, their final outcome has already been decided. Today we celebrate the Miracle of the Spinning Sun with a delicious Sugar Cookie. It’s a wonderful activity to share with our children as we explore the beauty of faith.
Spinning Sun Sugar Cookie Pizza
1/2 cup Butter, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
1 large Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1–1/4 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Cream together the sugar and butter together. Add the vanilla and egg; mix until incorporated.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine well until thoroughly incorporated. The dough should be creamy smooth. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for about 30 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, heat the oven to 350-degrees. Line a rimless baking sheet or or pizza stone with parchment paper.
Note: If using a pan with edges, roll out dough on the parchment sheet and then carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Make sure pan is large enough to accommodate a 12-inch round cookie crust.
Roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place cookie base in the heated oven to bake for 12 minutes.
Note: A thicker cookie or crisper cookie will need additional time to bake. Adjust time accordingly.
Allow the cookie base to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1–1/4 cups Powdered Sugar
Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the the vanilla and set aside.
Sift powdered sugar. Add sifted sugar to the creamed butter mixture about 1/2 cup at a time; mix between additions until smooth and creamy.
Spread cream cheese frosting in an even layer over the cookie crust. Once frosted place into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
While the cookie is chilling prepare the fruit topping.
Suggested Spinning Fruit Topping
1/2 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup Raspberries
1/2 cup Blackberries
Peel kiwis, slice into rounds and set aside. Peel mango, slice into strips and set aside. Hull strawberries, slice in half from stem to tip, then slice each half into half-moon slices, set aside. Rinse blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Pat dry, set aside.
Start arranging the design from the center outwards. A blackberry makes for a nice center point. From there, create a spinning pattern to resemble the miracle of the sun. Be creative.
Note: This cookie is best served the day it is made. If necessary, keep covered in the refrigerator. The longer the cookie sits, the softer it will become and the fruit may loose its fresh luster.