I’ve mentioned a few times that my faith journey has twisted on and off the Catholic path, and despite being a cradle Catholic, I am still learning new things. One of the newer things to me is Marian apparitions. The first time I had ever heard of them was my last year in college when we celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe. The only reason I know about other Marian apparitions is because I had to teach my first graders about them in faith formation. This combination of lack of knowledge and a desire to grow closer to the Blessed Mother made me especially excited when I got the opportunity to review Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (available in paperback or Kindle).
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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.
The author doesn’t stop there, but makes it an armchair pilgrimage by offering reflection points, questions, and prayers after each chapter, encouraging the reader to apply the Blessed Mother’s messages to their own life.
I thought this book was fantastic. Though this book offered a lot of facts, they were presented in an engaging way. Rather than it being a dry record of events, it was an exciting look into the emotions, significance, and impacts. The stories recounted in this book were powerful and rich with information about our faith. I loved the connections made between the events at their time of occurrence and why they still matter 100 years later. I also appreciated that though the focus of the book was on Fatima, there was excellent information on other Marian topics. Another great aspect of this book is there were practical ways to apply these miracles and experiences of holy people to our own lives both at the end of every chapter and in the appendices. This made the book a good balance of learning and living as well as making it a helpful resource for anyone regardless of their level of knowledge of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
The only problem I had with the book was the way topics were organized. Though it was presented chronologically overall, there were a few points where a new chapter would jump backward or forward. Though I can see why it was done this way, it got a little confusing to keep track of the timeline.
That point aside, I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to finding ways I can integrate some of the prayers and devotions into my spiritual life.
Though I think Catholics would get the most out of this book, I also believe it could be really fruitful for Protestants who want to better understand the proper Christian relationship with Mary. I definitely would recommend this book.
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