Between May and October of 1917, three young shepherds were
reportedly visited six times by an apparition of the Virgin Mary
near the town of Fatima in Portugal. At the final apparition event,
approximately 70,000 visitors gathered to witness a prophesied
miracle intended to convince the public that the children's visions
were of divine origin. The miracle took the form of a solar
anomaly; witnesses claimed that the sun began to "dance." Exploring
the early development of the cult of the Virgin of Fatima and the
overthrow of the liberal, secular government by pro-Catholic
elements, Jeffrey Bennett offers the first book-length scholarly
study of the cult's relationship to the rise of authoritarian
politics in Portugal. "When the Sun Danced "offers a fascinating
look at the cultural dynamics that informed one of the most
turbulent periods in the nation's history.
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