Mr. Shaun McAfee, O.P. is the author of Reform Yourself! and other books, is the founder and editor of EpicPew.com, and contributes to many online Catholic resources. He holds a Masters in Dogmatic Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Shaun has made his temporary profession as a Lay Dominican and temporarily lives in Italy.
Love Fatima? The 100th anniversary of the events that unfolded in Portugal is almost here. Seeking a devotion or deeper understanding of the events? Just want to know what the big deal is? With pun intended, the “mother” of all Fatima books is here: Fatima Mysteries: Mary’s Message to the Modern Age by Ignatius Press. Sincerely, this is hand down the most detailed and beautiful book on Our Lady’s early twentieth century apparition available.
Much like the extremely popular Guadalupe Mysteries: Deciphering the Code by Ignatius Press, Fatima Mysteries is a gift to the faithful and an opportunity for everyone to discover the facts and mystery surrounding Catholicism’s most important event in the last century. Every one of the near-400 pages of the book is decked out in rare photos—there’s got to be hundreds within. There’s fact sheets, infographics, sidebars, mini-maps, old newspaper clippings—the level of detail in this volume is unmatched and almost supernatural as the events it discloses.
There’s a detailed map of the world the apparition affected—pretty much all of Europe and some of Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East.
There’s a comprehensive timeline, connecting each of the 20th century events affected by the apparition, or unfolded in the secrets or (or mysteries) of Fatima.
And those just get your started within the first couple pages as they weave together the entirety of the book’s contents.
The amount of information between the lovely hardcover binding is a standard to be reckoned with. For example, the intricate details provided in the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II was stunning. A full background on the shooter, intelligence and debriefings, the motives of him and his accomplices in the Square that day, the brand new ambulance he blessed just a day before and also a blessing for its first patient (what?!), the complications and near-miraculous events at the hospital, and so on. Again—the details in this book will grab your attention for hours.
And I mean it—I got the book and thought “I need a book like this because I want to know more about Fatima” but I intended to read it leisurely. No—moments after picking it up I was enthralled in the storyline, the presentation, and the narrative. The book seamlessly and effortlessly shows how Our Lady’s apparition and messages connected the biggest events of the 20th century: the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the fallout to WWI, the influenza epidemic, the errors of Russia and how their godless ideas crippled a hemisphere and barbarized millions, the Church’s decades-long struggle against communism, saints and popes who were devoted to Our Lady, and the tremendous significance of the life of Lúcia dos Santos—chief visionary and witness of the apparition. The details I described in the shooting of St. John Paul II, and so much more, you will find in the reading of each of these topics, and so much more.
It’s a masterpiece. This book belongs in every Catholic history class, and if you’re a fan of great—no—first rate Catholic books, then this belongs on your lap and in your hands right away. If you’re looking for your next good Marian book, or want to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the events, look no further than Fatima Mysteries: Mary’s Message to the Modern Age by Ignatius Press.