Today marks the centenary of “the Mircale of the Sun”an event that occurred on 13 October 1917, attended by a large crowd who had gathered near Fátima, Portugal, in response to a prophecy made by three shepherd children that the Virgin Mary, referred to as Our Lady of Fatima, would appear and perform miracles on that date. Newspapers published testimony from reporters and other people who claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity, such as the sun appearing to “dance” or zig-zag in the sky, careen towards the earth, or emit multicolored light and radiant colors. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.
“Hang on there” I hear you say” Back up their Padre, the title mentions a hijack not a divine intervention” Yes you are right, please bear with me
As stated the Miracle of the Sun occurred on October 13 1917, fast forward a little over 6 decades to May 2 1981. Aer Lingus Flight 164 was a scheduled Boeing 737 passenger flight that was hijacked on 2 May 1981, en route from Dublin Airport in Ireland to London Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom. But that is not where the story ends.
Flight EI164 was about five minutes from Heathrow airport when passenger Downey, a 55-year-old Australian but living in Dublin, was said to have gone into the cabin toilet, he doused his hands in gasoline and poured water on his clothes to give the impression that they were flammable ,holding a lighter and making threats unless he was taken to Iran.
When he was told the plane didn’t have the fuel to get to Tehran, he settled for France.
Although the plane was now on foreign soil, Irish Transport Minister – and future Taoiseach(prime minister) – Albert Reynolds flew to France to handle the situation.
Downey had been a Trappist monk in residence at Tre Fontane Abbey in the 1950s (this was later confirmed by monastery officials),before he was expelled from the order for punching a superior in the face.
He then took a job as a tour guide in central Portugal, at a shrine devoted to Our Lady of Fátima, who is said to have appeared before three children and shared with them three secrets.At the time of the hijacking, the third secret was known only to the Pope and other senior figures in the Catholic Church.
On Flight EI 164, Downey carried a briefcase containing a text he believes may be the third secret. It predicts devil-inspired catastrophes and damnation.
“The third secret of Fatima is many things,” Downey said. “Basically, it concerns the third millennium and the second coming of Christ.
His text says a “great chastisement” will fall on humanity in the second part of this century the like of which has not been seen since the deluge.
It reveals, he says, that Satan infiltrate the top of the church. The great and the powerful will perish with the little and the weak.
The Catholic Church will split and the corrupt in Rome will fall. Millions and millions will perish by the hour and those still living will envy those who are dead.
Downey further demanded the publication in the Irish press of the nine-page statement which he had the Captain throw from the cockpit window.
After an eight-hour standoff (during which time Downey released 11 of his 112 hostages), French special forces stormed the plane and apprehended Downey. No shots were fired and nobody was injured.
It emerged that Downey was being sought by police in Perth, Australia, in connection with a $70,000 land fraud incident and was also wanted in Shannon, Ireland, for alleged assault.In February 1983, he was sentenced, in Saint-Omer, France, to five years’ imprisonment for air piracy.