THE CHILDREN OF FATIMA
This book, “The Children of Fatima”, adds depth and dimensions to the ongoing series of Marian books themed around the Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Immaculate Heart. This book dissects the individual temperaments and personalities of the three child-seers (Lucia, St. Francisco and St. Jacinta) of Fatima and thus provides readers intimate and real-life examples of how Our Lady’s requests at Fatima should be applied in our everyday lives.
Simply reading publications about the Fatima apparitions and regurgitating them to others would only be scratching the surface of Our Lady’s true message at Fatima for mankind. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s calls for prayers and penance may likely fall on deaf ears, especially since few of us, if any, have the privilege to see Her and hear Her words. Thus, we run the risk of thinking that the Catholic life of prayer and mortification is merely an abstract and scholarly ideal that would be impossible for ordinary people to emulate.
However, God knows too well the inclinations of men; that we mortals tend to imitate what we can observe in our surroundings and by the examples others give us. Therefore, Divine Providence has allowed the testimonies, words and actions of the three child-visionaries of Fatima to bear witness to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s pleas for repentance and zeal for the salvation of souls. While we may be unable to behold the Immaculata Herself, we see Her tangibly reflected in the lives of the three Fatima seers after Her apparitions.
All three seers, though related by blood, were of different characters and constitution. These children’s diverse dispositions and responses to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions elucidate various but complementary aspects of Her message at Fatima. Together, all three children are mirrors exemplifying what should constitute a true Catholic life and spirituality, namely, love of God (St.Francisco), love of one’s neighbor (St. Jacinta) as well as fidelity to the Immaculata and God until the end (Sr. Lucia).
Love of God - Francisco for instance, known for his reticence and contemplative nature, viewed the consolation of the Sorrowful Hearts of Jesus and Mary as his top priority. Again, we see the workings of Divine Providence in enabling Francisco to only see Our Lady without hearing Her voice. Therefore, this young boy was able to better meditate on the saddened countenance of the Blessed Virgin Mary during Her apparitions. Francisco was so impressed by Our Lady’s sorrow at the sins of mankind that he subsequently resolved to comfort his Heavenly Mother and Her Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Love of one’s neighbor – Jacinta, in contrast, though not sharing Francisco’s reflective nature, had a compassionate heart and a tender affection of those around her. Our Lady’s revelation of Hell remained etched in this little girl’s memory for the rest of her short life on earth. Jacinta lamented the loss of so many souls to eternal damnation that she constantly made sacrifices and prayers for the conversion of her fellow brethren. Also noteworthy would be Jacinta’s constant exclamations of pity for the Holy Father, in addition to that of other souls. This little girl’s emphases on the Holy Father’s plight and the necessity of prayers for his intentions were based on Our Lady’s revelations of the consequences if the Holy Father’s consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart were not carried out. It is Jacinta’s life that reminds us of the need for both personal and apostolic prayer, the urgency for the salvation of souls and the importance of praying for the Vicar of Christ. Upon closer scrutiny, Jacinta’s tender heart was a reflection of the most tender Heart of the Immaculata. It follows that Jacinta’s pity for sinners reflected Our Heavenly Mother’s compassion for mankind and Her sorrows for those who fall into sin and eternal perdition.
Fidelity to the Immaculata and God – Having received from the Blessed Virgin Mary Herself the great mission to bear witness to the message of Fatima in the world, Lucia responded to the necessary graces from God to accomplish her vocation in her long life as a religious. Contrary to expectations, the Fatima apparitions were sources of humiliation and trials for Lucia, but this seer relentlessly maintained her honesty and steadfastness in repeating only what she had seen and heard from the Blessed Virgin Mary. What is significant about Lucia’s difficult apostolate and life was her complete trust in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Lucia always spoke of Our Lady’s Heart as her refuge in times of tribulation and persecution, and that Our Lady’s Heart was the MEANS of salvation for us all. Consequently, the lesson we Catholics can derive from Lucia’s life would be to be faithful to the end to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, regardless of the difficulties that we may encounter. After all, we are assured of Heaven’s promise that it is Mary’s Immaculate Heart that would triumph eventually.
In light of what has been discussed, readers looking for practical guidelines to live a devout Catholic and Marian life thoroughly infused with the spirituality of Fatima need
Author: Fr.Karl Stehlin
No.of pages: 48
Weight :95 gms
Size: 14/21 cm