by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.Profiles in Catholicism
The Archbishop Emeritus Burke of St. Louis wrote the foreword to this book about his visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 2010. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the maternal instruction of the Blessed Virgin Mary to all mankind. She communicated through her chosen messengers, Blessed Francisco Marto, Blessed Jacinta Marto and the Servant of God Luciados Santos. Summarizing the content of the teaching conveyed through her six apparitions between May and October of 1917, which were prepared by the three apparitions of the Angel of Peace, His Holiness described Our Lady of Fatima as “the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savor God Himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence”. His Holiness continued by quoting expressions of the most tender and profound love of God, which were inspired in the seers by the apparitions and message of Our Lady of Fatima and of the Angel of Peace.
Two principle controversies surround the apparitions and message of Our Lady of Fatima: the controversy over the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the controversy over the Third Secret. These controversies have distracted some from Mother Mary’s instruction and have hindered others from attending to it. In the Theological Commentary on the Secret, Pope Benedict XVI observed that Our Lady of Fatima invites us to cultivate what he calls “the interior watchfulness of heart which, for most of the time, we do not possess on account of the powerful pressure exerted by outside realities and the image and concerns which fill our soul”. Our Lady of Fatima invites us to a deeper reflection upon the Mystery of Faith, a reflection inspired by divine love. Pope Benedict concludes that the Secret is, in the end, the exhortation to prayer as the path of ‘salvation for souls’ and the summons to penance and conversion. The Mother of God at Fatima leads us to her Divine Son and instructs us to respond with all our being to his preaching”. Our Lady of Fatima leads us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the mystery of the love of God. Father. Son and Holy Spirit. With this book Our Lady continues to speak to our hearts from her Immaculate Heart.
On Sunday, May 13, the eighth day of the novena, our Lady responded to the prayers of the Pope and her children in the valley of tears by appearing for the first time at Fatima. Her message, with its hopeful promise, as well as its strong warnings, was meant for the whole world. Pope John Paul II, who has been named the Pope of Fatima, recognized the necessity of our Lady’s message for our times when he said that it was more urgent and important in our day than it was in 1917. The main aim of this book is to present the full story and meaning of Fatima and explain the way we must now respond to our Lady’s call for peace in the world through the salvation of souls. This a holy book for all of us to read.