By J.E. Helm
The Sooner Catholic
Grzegorz Gorny and Janusz Rosikon have once again produced a strikingly beautiful book in “Fatima Mysteries: Mary’s Message to the Modern Age.” The authors’ previous publications have included “Guadalupe Mysteries: Deciphering the Code and Three Kings: Ten Mysteries,” both excellent books.
The work of these two authors is informative. A feature of their work is that they usually provide a great deal of factual detail not generally found elsewhere. Additionally, the artwork and photography in their books is not to be missed. A large book at 10 ½ by 8 ½ inches (397 pages), “Fatima Mysteries” almost could be called a coffee table book.
Readers would find Fatima Mysteries especially timely with this year marking the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Portugal, which began on May 13, 1917, and culminated Oct. 13 in that same year with the Miracle of the Sun.
An interesting detail of the book is that, of the three seers, only Lucia saw, heard and spoke with Our Lady. Jacinta both saw and heard while Francisco only saw the vision.
When the apparitions occurred, the three children were in the fields tending sheep. Of simple peasant families, they were illiterate. Our Lady, in fact, told the children to learn to read, as Gorny and Rosion explain.
This background makes the Second Secret of Fatima truly remarkable. The children were told that World War I “is going to end; but a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI.” At the time of the apparitions, Benedict XV was pope. No one could have known that he would die in 1922 and be succeeded by Pius XI who would be pope until 1939 as the events that led to world war began to unfold.
Mary asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart and that the First Saturday’s devotions be offered in reparation for the world’s sins. Gorny and Rosikon narrate that she said further that if her requests were not heeded, Russia would “spread her errors throughout the world” and “various nations (would) be annihilated.”
“What she said was incomprehensible to the illiterate Lucia,” the authors point out. Lucia “thought Russia was the name of a sinful woman who needed to be converted,” and “Francisco was convinced that it concerned his uncle’s stubborn mule, which was called Rosa,” they write.
The messages of Fatima are called secrets because Our Lady told the children not to talk about them other than her request for consecration to her Immaculate Heart. The First Secret, or vision, was one in which the children were shown hell.
The famous Third Secret, not revealed by the Church until 2000, “concerned the war waged against Christianity by atheistic systems, the immense suffering endured by the faithful, and the pope killed along with the martyrs,” the authors explain.
“Fatima Mysteries” opens with the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981, the same date as Mary’s first apparition in Fatima. The pope believed he was miraculously saved from death by Mary’s intercession. He eventually went to Fatima to place the bullet that had almost killed him in the crown of Our Lady’s statue there.
A photo of the bullet in Mary’s crown is included in the book. It is one of many remarkable photos in “Fatima Mysteries.” Readers can peruse the pages of the book and see the blood-stained cassock that John Paul II was wearing when he was shot (now at the John Paul II Shrine in Krakow, Poland), the visionaries as children, crowds viewing the Miracle of the Sun (when the sun seemed to spin, dance, and plunge toward earth), and a number of historic Russian photos.
Another interesting feature of the book has to do with its many inserts.
These add-ons provide extra information related to what is described in the main text. For example, the three seers were shown a vision of hell, and Saint Faustina Kowalska (originator of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) had what the authors of “Fatima Mysteries” describe as “a vision similar to the Fatima vision of hell.” And, so, there is a one page insert titled “Chaplet of Divine Mercy.”
There is a half-page box on “Spiritual Visions,” explaining the Church’s teachings on “private visions,” and another on “Public and Private Revelations,” and still another on “False and Authentic Revelations.”
Throughout the text, Gorny and Rosikon demonstrate how Russia did indeed spread her errors throughout the world.
The book concludes on a somewhat somber note with Saint John Paul II’s warning that “Marxism could shortly be replaced by a new version of atheism. On the one hand, it would advocate freedom; on the other, strive to destroy the very roots of human and Christian morality,” the authors write,” continuing to say that the Holy Father was concerned that our “world is building a godless society, even one that (is) anti-God.”
The readers of “Fatima Mysteries” can draw their own conclusions as to how close we have come to a realization of Saint John Paul II’s prophetic words.
J.E. Helm is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic.