The Fatima Files: New Books Outline Fascinating History
Special Marian book roundup
One focuses on the sculpting of one of the official statues of Our Lady of Fatima, another offers essential information about the messages, and the third describes how communism came up on the short end of its battle with Our Lady.
Vision of Fatima
By Dominican Father
Sophia Institute Press, 2017
224 pages, $18
To order: ewtnrc.com or
Vision of Fatima is the author’s firsthand account of how he came to sculpt one of the official images of Our Lady of Fatima under the guidance of Fatima seer Servant of God Lucia dos Santos.
Originally published in 1948 and re-released this year, it reads like a personal journey and a colorful tale. Father McGlynn makes readers his traveling companions on his journey through the Fatima countryside, during many conversations with Sister Lucia, and at encounters with Fatima witnesses and relatives of the seers.
With his colorful prose, he paints picture-perfect descriptions of Portugal, Leiria, the Cova da Iria and Fatima.
He describes everything with the eye of the artist — which he is.
Readers learn that the priest-professional sculptor was making his trip to obtain Sister Lucia’s approval for his already-sculpted statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Imagine his surprise when she tells him, “Não dá posicão.”
Relates Father McGlynn, “That was the first sentence of Portuguese I learned, and one I shall never forget: ‘It’s not the right position. … The right hand should be raised and the left lower down.’”
Lucia becomes his guide as he sculpts a new statue under her careful direction: “The success that it has had cannot be explained by artistic skill of mine, but rather must be accounted for by the spiritual skill of the little child who saw Our Lady at Fatima.”
Through the process, they become friends.
This book offers insights into Lucia’s personality, her detailed descriptions of the apparitions and events, her teachings about Our Lady’s messages, and the author’s own illuminating explanations of Fatima. “Fatima is, first of all, a dreadful warning to the world to stop sinning,” he writes.
“The enormity of mankind’s rebellion against God and God’s infinite aversion for sin form the foundation of the Fatima message.Then He gives the sinner hope in the revelation that He will accept repentance made through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Fatima manifests the most misunderstood of the divine attributes — justice and mercy.”
This book adds much to the Fatima story. It’s well worth booking this literary trip along with guide Father McGlynn.
Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World
By Jean Heimann
TAN Books, 2017
152 pages, $24.95
To order: tanbooks.com or
This book is an easy-to-follow introduction to the meaning and message of Fatima.
In addition, the author lists important faith-filled links to Fatima, such as the “Fifteen Promises of Our Lady to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche” for those who pray the Rosary.
“This request by the Mother of God to pray the Rosary was not made for the first time at Fatima,” writes Heimann.
“Our Lady has asked us many times in numerous apparitions to do so. She appeared to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche in the thirteenth century to initiate the devotion of the Rosary. At that time, Mary taught the Rosary to these two holy men of God to promote the habit of daily prayer among all the faithful, not just those in religious vocations.”
These connections — especially with the Rosary — come to life in various ways throughout the book.
For instance, pictures of paintings depict Our Lady giving the Rosary to St. Dominic or show how the Rosary aided the victory over the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto.
It’s a visual way to show how the Rosary Mary calls for at Fatima is the key to all faith-related triumphs.
The plentiful photos are a highlight of this book.
There are pictures of the Fatima children, the shrine in Portugal, Pope Francis incensing a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and another of Pope Benedict XVI deep in prayer before Our Lady. The visuals act as excellent partners for the writing.
The book continues beyond the 1917 apparitions to include later ones to Lucia at the convent in Tuy, in order to follow Fatima’s influence decades later.
There is also an appendix describing three Fatima miracles: at Hiroshima, Pius XII’s vision of the “Miracle of the Sun” and another concerning St. Padre Pio. Overall, this book relates how Mary’s message is key to “the major spiritual battle in which the world is immersed.”
As the author succinctly states, “Her message was one of warning but also one of hope.”
Fatima Mysteries: Mary’s Message to the Modern Age
By Grzegorz Górny and
Ignatius Press, 2017
400 pages, $35
To order: ewtnrc.com or
As with their other works, like Guadalupe Mysteries, this writer-photographer team has created another beautiful photobook.
Photos on nearly every page tell an in-depth story of Fatima’s impact on history and nations in a new way.
The story begins with a moment-by-moment account of the assassination attempt on St. John Paul II on the Fatima anniversary of May 13, 1981. Words and photos make this a detailed you-are-there story.
Readers are also transported back to Fatima in 1916-1917, from descriptions of the crowds to the “Miracle of the Sun” — and what the seers’ homes were like then and now. With detail after detail, readers learn facts as time unfolds.
Then chapters detail the founding and rise of communism, its fight against religion, the counteroffensive from heaven led by Fatima champions like St. John Paul II — beginning in a chapter titled, “Polish Pope Throws Down the Gauntlet” — to the subsequent unraveling of the Soviet Union and John Paul II’s warning in his May 1991 homily that the spirit of communism was still alive in atheism. The “Fatima Pope” was never thwarted, as heavenly intercession showed.
This is a fascinating read.
In most instances, the authors’ descriptions and disclosures read like a mystery novel — hence the apt title.
Joseph Pronechen is a
Register staff writer.