Not so weird at all for that people at that time to take "whatever" event as a "religious" thing.
I know because i am from Portugal also.
That was troubled times. The country Government Untill 1974 was too closed, and do not had done almoust nothing at all to help "internal"/rural
country zones to develope and envolve. The rural zones in Portugal untill the revolution in 1974, used to live almoust in a "dark age" status. The
modernities used to reach only and mainly the Capital city- Lisbon. all the rest of the country was too forgeted by the powers at rulling.
In that exactly Rural zones, due to historical and cultural behaviours, people used to be extremly Bounded to religion.Almoust at a fanatic level!
So it was not hard at all to belive, if 100.000 of that people, gathered already by some religious sugestion in a place, and seeing a "ufo" episode,
they instead will think it was some "saint"!!
And the best proof for that was exactly the fact that there are so many diferent descriptions from that witnesses at that day. Diferent kinds and
degrees of belive...diferent stories.
For me, Fatima was a Alien/ Ufo episode, And the Church have used very cunning way all the natural portuguese religious fanaticism at that time, to
make the story strong, and twisted at will, just to give them more Faithfull ones! Because faith= more belivers= more power!!
Coicidence or not the last of the 3 childs that meet "the virgin" , had entered in a nun monastery, and "brain washed" by the priests to make a
silence vow/pact...so she can't speak to nobody even when alone! Every time, rare ones, she spoken also to the public, or by letter, it was always
need a "superior" authorization....weird don't you think?
But may be ArMap can explain all this better to you, because he writes much better in english then me...i look like a cave man or a ogre talking in