Title: Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions
Author: Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
Copyright: March 12, 2017
Format: E-Book, 160 Pages, $10.72 [Amazon Paperback], $9.99 [Kindle], $10.72 [Barnes & Noble Paperback]
On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary first revealed herself to a trio of shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She would appear to them five more times over the course of the year until the great miracle of the sun on October 13, 1917. She brought a message of love and peace that was heard around the world—a sorely-needed antidote to the ravages of World War I. To mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle provides a one-stop guide to the tradition, history and spirituality of Our Lady of Fatima, including the testimonies of those who have made the pilgrimage and prayers for those who share this devotion.
On May 13, 1917, almost a hundred years ago, the Blessed Virgin Mary in the guise of Our Lady of Fátima appeared to three impoverished children, Lucia Santos and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions is a comprehensive and extensive tell-all guide that informs readers about everything from the story behind Fatima to special devotions. It is an excellent guide for those who are new to the idea of Our Lady of Fátima and who have no preexisting knowledge of the Marian apparition (and the events surrounding it). When I heard that the author was Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, I jumped on the chance to read and review this book. Ms. Cooper O’Boyle is a popular figure on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and she tells the tale of Our Lady of Fátima in such a relatable manner. Most importantly, Ms. Cooper O’Boyle points out how the apparition of Our Lady of Fátima is still relevant today and how we can apply it to our lives in the 21st century.
There are a total of eleven chapters, covering everything from the various Fátima apparitions to the secrets of Fátima to the Miracle of the Dancing Sun to the consecration of Russia (to the Immaculate Heart of Mary) to what happened to the three children to the importance of Our Lady of Fátima’s message today. Each chapter has three separate sections: “A Time to Reflect”, ” In my Own Life”, and “Prayer.” The first is a way for the reader to contemplate the message each chapter has to reveal and the second is the manner by which we can relate to the message. Yes,the Fátima apparitions were a hundred years ago but it is always good to be introspective and to see how it relates to our lives today. The prayer is a beautiful end to the chapter, inspiring the reader to pray to the Lord while learning more about Fátima.
At the conclusion of the book is the afterword by the author and two appendices: Appendix A and B. In the afterword, Ms. Cooper O’Boyle end her book in such a personal and relatable way. Appendix A contains Fátima Prayers, Devotions, Shrines and Resources, quite literally a treasure trove of information for the devout laity. Appendix B, is not as sizable as the preceding appendix but it contains Our Lady’s Message on the Rosary.
In closing, I would like to say that this was such an eye-opening and powerful read, so much so that I couldn’t put it down. I’ve never seen anything this in-depth about Our Lady of Fátima, one of my favorite Marian apparitions. This is a must-have guide for all laity and religious, especially those who wish to deepen in their faith and to contemplate the miracles (and secrets) of Our of Lady of Fátima.