The Miracle of the Sun in 1917 symbolized the 15 decades of the Rosary.
Immediately after the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Miracle of the Sun in 1917, Lucy, Jacinta, and Francisco witnessed three apparitions. Lucia described them this way:
After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”
So then the three extra apparitions were as follows:
- The Holy Family – Jesus Mary and Joseph
- Our Lady of Sorrows
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel
What is the significance of these visions and their order? It seems to me that the reveal the historic ordering of the life Mary. Even more notable is that they mirror the three traditional sets of mysteries for the Holy Rosary:
- Joyful Mysteries (which include Joseph)
- Sorrowful Mysteries (which depict the sufferings of Jesus and Mary)
- Glorious Mysteries (which culminate in the Queenship of Mary)
So then, the visions and their order are not at all arbitrary – they follow the pattern of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
I would only add that the depiction of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the Queenship of Mary is not at all surprising since we on earth enroll as her visible subjects by wearing the Holy Scapular. Christ’s reign through Mary is thereby manifested on earth through the Holy Scapular.
We must recall that the order of these mysteries is the same for all of us. We begin in a domestic setting – a family. We then endure the sufferings of this life – we carry our cross with Christ. Lastly, we receive our heavenly reward – to reign with Christ and Mary in glory.