So honored to be asked by Jean Heimann to review her new book on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima. Tomorrow, May 13th, will be the 100th anniversary of those world-altering apparitions. While I adored the book, a painful flare of hand eczema has made my waxing on and on about Fatima: The Apparition that Changed the World, painfully difficult. As the Spirit would have it, my day for the book launch tour falls on Flashback Friday - so I will happily share with you all the wonderful things OTHERS have had to say!
Excerpt from the Foreword by David M. Carollo, Executive Director, World Apostolate of Fatima USA
Fatima: The Apparition That Changed The World, not only presents the history of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, but addresses what the message is today. The hundredth anniversary of Our Lady’s appearances is not only a time for reflection or looking back. It is a time to look ahead and to redouble our efforts in bringing people to live the Fatima message. We must all be dedicated to this cause. Fatima is about more than predictions and warnings. If we look only to these things it is nothing more than a series of historical occurrences. Fatima gives us a prescription for life. Where there is life there is hope, and it is not too late to turn to God and respond generously to His entreaties to follow Him. Our Lady pleads with us to do so. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Book Notes on Catholicmom.com by Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
This book leaves the reader wondering: how will the world continue to change as a result of the Fatima message? Heimann makes it clear what ordinary Catholics can do to effect change in the world, explaining,
Our Lady’s message was not only relevant for the time period during which it occurred. It is a message that remains relevant for us today. In fact, Pope John Paul II has told us that the message of Fatima is even more relevant for us today than it was when it was first given to the visionaries by Our Lady in 1917.
Sample from Carolyn Astfalk's Insightful Review:
Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World works as a reference book, a coffee table book, a spiritual work, and a primer in history – both ecclesiastical and 20th century world history. One of the most helpful features in the book is a timeline, setting the visions in context with historical events. (It was also a reminder of how slowly the Catholic Church moves, often with good reason.) The timeline is also traced in greater detail through the 20th and 21st century papacies.
Just in time for the centennial of the first apparitions and the canonizations of two of the three visionaries, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, later this month, Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World not only educates and edifies, but brings to bear the continuing relevance of Our Lady’s message today.
As private revelation, the apparitions, while approved (meaning that they are supernatural and do not contradict good faith or morals) are not part of the deposit of faith. Even so, this detailed story of Fatima left me in awe of the majesty of God and the significant role Our Lady plays in salvation history.
Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World, Jean Heimann's author Interview with Amazing Catechist founder Lisa Mladnich
TAN Books and author Jean M. Heimann have just released a gorgeous new book, written in honor of the Centenary of Fatima, that helps teens and adults fully grasp the significance and power of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima: the miraculous events of 1916 and 1917, the messages, their meaning, and their impact on souls.
Packed with exquisite full-color and vintage black-and-white photos, and written accessibly in a way that brings this true story vibrantly to life, this must-have resource also lays out the timeline of events, so that readers can easily put the pieces together. What a great tool for parents, catechists, and clergy! The book’s author, Jean M. Heimann, agreed to answer a few questions:
AC: Hi Jean! Tell our readers a little bit about this exciting new work.
JH: Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World is the true story of three shepherd children who, in 1917, had visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the mountain village of Fatima, Portugal and met with her on six different occasions. Our Lady asked them to pray the Rosary daily and to offer penances and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and for world peace.
In my book, I present a comprehensive look at the Fatima apparitions, offering a chronological timeline, describing each of the apparitions in detail, tracing the lives of the three visionaries, as well as the death and beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and revealing the ongoing message of Fatima for the past one hundred years. I also share a history of the various popes from 1917 to the present and describe their relationship with Fatima, as well as some of the modern day miracles that have happened since then. In addition, I explain why the Fatima message is relevant to us today and how we can put it into practice.
Read the Rest of the Interview ...
Mary Knew Jesus Better Than Anyone - Who Better To Teach Us
In my day, if I wanted to increase my tennis prowess, I would watch Chris Evert Lloyd’s moves on the court. When my mother cut my hair in the iconic ‘Dorothy Hamill’ pixie, my whole world revolved around the dream of being an Olympic skater. I watched her every skating competition, eager to pick up even the tiniest trick to hone my skills. For the record, my moves were ample for the make-believe Pond Capades but never truly worthy of the hairdo.
After it became quite apparent that sports were not my ticket to riches and fame, my attention turned to music. The hours I spent, hairbrush microphone in hand, trying to emulate Toni Tennille and Marie Osmond and later Pat Benatar and Madonna! I watched every video and never missed an interview, trying to figure out how they mastered their art and rose to stardom.
What piqued my attention to these women? There were experts. They had reached a goal I could only dream of achieving, so if I wanted to get there as well, it made only sense I would need to turn to them achieve it.
My goals have shifted slightly since the 1980s, and I’ve not given in to a culturally-driven hairstyle since The Rachel. My simple objective now is to know Jesus, to follow His ways, and to help lead others to Him. The skills, the knowledge, and the disposition of the heart required to achieve this end is clearly embodied in one woman. One, Jesus expert. His, and our, Mother – Mary. Unlike my role models from my childhood, Mary illustrates more than just one specialized skill set. By contemplating on how she responded to the circumstances of her life, I can discover many virtues and behaviors that can bring me to heights no tennis playing, skater champion singer ever could!
What I have learned from Mary, the Jesus expert:
There is no courage without fear. True courage is persevering with the task before you in face of your trepidation. This is the one thing I NEVER realized Mary would have had to embrace. I figured, her son was Jesus. She had all that grace to keep her from being worried or afraid. To me, if an angel appears to you and gives you a message from God, then you have to know you are kinda special and what is there now to fear. In removing her humanness from all my pondering of her life, I missed the beauty of all she has to teach me.
When I realized she had MUCH to be fearful of – beginning with not being stoned to death due to her “seemingly inexplicable” pregnancy; moving onto a King determined to slay her newborn baby; and being present at the risk of her own life at the Crucifixion of her Son. Yet, her faith was unwavering. How, in light of all that, could I not turn to her in my own needs to teach me how to be courageous in the trials of my own life.
Where do you need Mary to teach you to be heroic?
Young Mary has just received the most incredible news of her life, really in the history of the world. Unlike me, she doesn’t sit around in shock pondering how crazy and yet awesome it was to be chosen by God and wondering if this was actually happening. She doesn’t head to the town well to spread her good news. Mary upon hearing her ‘older’ cousin Elizabeth is with child and needing help; packs up her donkey and heads out of town. Compassion – the care and concern for another. The ability to see a need and then step up to assist with it. The long hot difficult trip, her own discomfort, and yes, even perhaps her own morning sickness and swollen ankles – she pushes through all of it to come to the aid of another. Humble and pure of heart, Mary’s love for others is present throughout scripture. Such as protecting the bride and groom at the wedding at Cana from certain embarrassment, are at the forefront her her thoughts and more importantly her actions.
How can Mary teach you to not only see where assistance is needed but also help you develop a servant's heart with which to act?
One minute you are looking at cute dresses for Easter, the next your daughter is nowhere to be seen. For most of us, this feeling of panic lasts only a few seconds until she emerges from the clothing rack next to you. For Mary, this horror of searching her missing son lasted three days. Throughout those long days of travel and seeking for Jesus, she put her trust in God, to have any peace, she had to believe that regardless of the outcome, God was in control.
Furthermore, Mary would have known the Psalms and the promises sung by David, including these words from Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the LORD; Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” She lived had already lived these words as Simeon foretold of her Son’s future and the sword that would pierce her heart; and would again even more powerful when she would gaze upon her son on the cross. There is no one more committed to His ways than she. If I want to surrender myself humbly to the will of God; and do so with trust and hope; then Mary’s example is the one to follow.
What present situations in your life can Mary's lessons help you with?
Copyright 2016 Allison Gingras. All rights reserved.