Fatima The First Hundred Years
The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints
by Barry R. Pearlman
Fatima The Family & The Church
Mary's Message with Prayers and Devotions
by Timothy Tindal-Robertson and Donal Anthony Foley
Catholic Truth Society
Both the book by Barry Pearlman and the CTS booklet remind us that the message of Fatima is more important now than ever before. Both convey a sense of urgency. Both remind us that we the laity can do so much to promote and live the message. We are called to penance and prayer. The Church is under attack both from within and without. The diabolical disorientation that Sister Lucia talked about is at hand.
The first chapter of the book describes Mary as our model, our "exemplary disciple of faith." The next chapter is about the dawn of Communism and the errors of Russia. This is followed by a description of the children of Fatima, the angelic visitation and the apparitions of Our Lady in 1917. The chapter on devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is, quite simply, brilliant. This devotion is at the heart of the message. We are called to imitate her virtues and, like her, keep the truths of faith in our hearts and ponder on them. Outside of the sacraments, there is no better way than the Rosary.
There are chapters on how the children were interrogated by the mayor, a freemason. We are given a detailed description of the interior lives of the children, especially after the apparition.
The author notes that the errors of Russia which is atheism and indifferentism will continue to spread until we have orthodoxy among the bishops. They are called to be true guardians of tradition. But this does not mean there is nothing we can do: "Do we, like the little Shepherds, commit ourselves to a life of prayer and devotion to God, a life of penance and reparation?" Or do we like the freemason mayor of Fatima, a personification of the errors of Russia, refuse to acknowledge God's omnipotence?
Certain details given in this book are new to me. In one of the apparitions, Francisco and Jacinta were bathed in the light from heaven, indicating that they were on their way there soon. In contrast, Lucia remained in a light that bathed the ground. Her mission was to remain in the world and help spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The author reminds us that what Our Lady is asking of us is "nether burdensome nor difficult." We need to accept the will of God every day, and this includes all difficulties. We need to fulfil our daily duties. We need to make Eucharistic reparation: many souls go to hell because they have no-one to pray for them. And there is the centrality of praying the Rosary.
The CTS booklet is a splendid summary of Our Lady's message and has been updated to include the canonisation of Francisco and Jacinta in 2017.
How apt that the miracle for canonisation was the restoration to health of a brain-damaged child. The authors note that secularism has invaded the Church, with declining vocations and declining numbers of Catholic families. The remedy is in living out the message of Fatima. The errors of Russia are seen in the widespread denial of God. These errors are so much more now than they were in 1917. The authors emphasise the importance of the First Saturdays Devotions.
As the authors note, Fatima is, strictly speaking, a private revelation. But it has been consistently promoted by popes. Why, then, are so many Church leaders ignoring it?