ASK FATHER: The 100th anniversary of Fatima

16_05_13_OLFatima_200From a priest…


The 100th anniversary of Fatima: I don’t really know anything about the apparition or the message.  I am careful with what I read.  Especially on this topic things can derail into the realm of the kooky fairly quickly.  Can you suggest something for me to read on Fatima so to understand the significance of the 100th anniversary?

This is the ASK FATHER Question Box, not the Ask Everyone Box.  However, this time, I will open up the box for your suggestions.  I know that the readership here is widely read.

I have the moderation queue ON.  I am not going to let everything through.  Pithy, concise, succinct comments which are both short and sweet are to be welcomed.

Provide some titles of books about Fatima if you wish and I’ll have a look.  This could be good for many people.

If someone wants to take a shot at looking at the significance of 100 years and what is going on in the world… have at.  But remember…Pithy, concise, succinct as well as both short and sweet.

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  1. defreitas says:

    I am Portuguese, and the best book on the subject is “Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words”. It is simple, basic, and humble. There is another very good Fatima book which is dedicated to Priests, but we only have it in Portuguese. I will try to get more information.

  2. alanphipps says:

    Fr. Andrew Apostoli’s “Fatima for Today” is the best out there on the Fatima message, which is timeless. Be careful with other books that are more sensational than informative.


  3. Muv says:

    Not a book, an article, about the timing of the events in Fatima in relation to the movements of Lenin and the outbreak of the October Revolution.

  4. GregV says:

    I think “Fatima for Today” by Fr. Andrew Apostoli is a good place to start. Also, books by Fr. Robert J Fox.

  5. un-ionized says:

    Fatima For Today, by Fr. Andrew Apostoli. Explains all about what happened and how the various popes reacted, etc. Has nice index at the end with all the prayers and things. I just re-read it last week.

  6. MattH says:

    If you wish to know what the seers themselves believed they saw and understood, you should read what Sister Lucia (the only one of the three children to live to adulthood) wrote. She wrote several documents which are entitled the 1st through 6th memoirs. These were written at different points for different audiences. I would recommend reading the third and fourth memoirs first, as these tell the story of visions.

    If you want to put the visions in the context of the surrounding events, read “1917: Red Banners, White Mantle” by Warren Carroll. It is a quick read (less than 150 pages) but very useful.well-written.

  7. Father G says:

    The most up-to-date book on the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima is Fatima For Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope by Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., published by Ignatius Press:

  8. Mary Jane says:

    Father Phil Wolfe, FSSP, gave a mission talk on the apparitions and miracle at Fatima and the significance of the 100 year anniversary. I cannot stress enough how excellent his talks were. Once you start listening you won’t want to stop. The mission is divided into 5 parts:

    Fatima Parish Mission 1 – Intro & Miracle
    Fatima Parish Mission 2 – First Secret
    Fatima Parish Mission 3 – Second Secret
    Fatima Parish Mission 4 – Third Secret
    Fatima Parish Mission 5 – Third Secret & Conclusion

    His talks can be found at this link (scroll down until you see the correct titles; there are other talks here but the titles I listed above are the ones I am referencing):

  9. anniemw says:

    I loved this book, and it’s now available on Kindle at a significantly lower price than the book, which looks to be out of print. It’s called Lucia In Her Own Words, and that’s exactly what it is: a recounting of the apparitions [to include those of the Guardian Angel], in her own words. The link below is for the Kindle version of the book.

  10. Bret Ramsey says:

    I enjoyed Warren Carroll’s short book: 1917 – Red Banners, White Mante on the subject.

  11. DJAR says:

    “Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words” (the older version, 1976). These are Sister Lucia’s original memoirs.

    “The Whole Truth About Fatima” by Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite (several volumes). Exhaustive, several-volume treatise.

  12. Mark Smith says:

    The True Story of Fatima by Fr.John de Marchi , (with Imprimatur) is the book I would recommend. Available from The Fatima Network ,

  13. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    The book you want is by Warren Carroll. It’s the very readable Red Banners, White Mantle. I’ve used selections from it in World History and U.S. History courses.


  14. jaykay says:

    I’d recommend “Fatima for today” by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C F.R., Ignatius Press, 2010. Foreword by Cdl. Burke, and dedicated to “the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, and to (then) Pope John Paul II, who made the consecration of Russia, and to Pope Benedict XVI, who has told us to learn, live and spread the message of Fatima”.

    ’nuff said as regards the nuttiness. ;)

  15. Pingback: ASK FATHER: The 100th anniversary of Fatima | Trump:The American Years

  16. Rocha90 says:

    I am Portuguese as well. “Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words” is a high recommendation.

    As for films, I seriously the following:

    CCC of America produces WONDERFUL Catholic films (intended for children) on various Marian apparitions and saints. Check it out:

    (Great for Children)
    Here is their animated film on Fatima titled, “The Day the Sun Danced: The True Story of Fatima” (1991)

    (Great for Teens and Young Adults, Adults)
    From the famous and solid Ignatius Press, there is a wonderful film titled, “The 13th Day” (2009)

    (Classic, Great for ALL ages)
    The famous and classic, “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima” (1952)

  17. Aquinas Gal says:

    I enjoyed The Three Shepherds of Fatima by Fernando Silva. It uses much primary material from Sr Lucia’s own writings and is a balanced take on the subject.

  18. THREEHEARTS says:

    I have read so many books on Fatima and I have to say go back to those closest Lucia’s to her times. Most of what I have read are only opinionated views on two books. I think and know that some are written and do not have “holding” to Catholic Beliefs and Dogma. But first The books are Fatima in Lucia’s own words Sister Lucia’s memoirs by Fr Louis Kondor and imprimatured by Albertus Bishop of Leiria.
    The second which must be considered as the best of American Catholic Historians and this book too has an imprimatur by Cardinal Spellman. It is Our Lady of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh.
    One important fact you must consider these kind of books cannot take Bl Mary away from quoting her Son’s scriptual promises. The most alarming one for me is this one. Jesus as God could only do one thing right and it cannot be repeated. He has led us into heaven and does not do it twice as he would have repeated it only if He did it wrong. He led the Jews out of Limbo and probably anyone else in purgatory He opened heaven to us once and got it right the first time. Just as fools talk about reincarnation for us How can we see this as a possibility when He sends us back after our particular judgement. No way. God does not make mistakes. So when I often read and hear the Fatima prayer prayed this was “lead us all to heaven” did he get it wrong and has to come and do it again. Scriptures say no for what did Christ say. “When I am risen up I will draw all souls to me”
    That is the Cross on which He was raised that is the attraction, the drawing of us to our salvation and that is also why the Cross without the corpus is a blasphemy

  19. ts says:

    Pamphlet/booklet from 1950 (1952 reprint) entitled Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan From Heaven is concise and informative. I have a 1952 copy. Tan books has reprinted it and is very close to the original which was published by St. Meinrad Abbey. In a nutshell Our Blessed Mother has prescribed a small thing for us to do for penance and reparation: pray the Rosary daily and to make the Five First Saturdays. The five are in reparation against the 5 ways in which men insult and deny the attributes Our Blessed Mother: Her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her divine maternity, blasphemies of those who teach children to scorn her and show indifference to her Immaculate Heart and who show disrespect to her in her images (statues, paintings). Our Blessed Mother is a good mother and knows what we need to prepare us for heaven and simultaneously make reparation to the Blessed Trinity. And she lamented to St. Lucia,
    that no one is listening to her requests…she is being ignored. Let us begin the new year aright with beginning the Five First Saturdays. Your 5th one will be the month of May…the 100th anniversary of her appearance to the three children. Let us console her Immaculate Heart who has loved us so much. Let us be in her army with the Holy Rosary as our weapon. Let us cooperate with our Salvation.

  20. asburyfox says:

    The True Story of Fatima by Fr. John de Marchi can read in its entirety for free:

  21. Bosco says:

    I strongly suggest these three books:

    “The Whole Truth About Fatima” (3 volumes) by Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite
    “The Fourth Secret of Fatima” by Antonio Socci
    “The Secret Still Hidden” by Christopher A. Ferrara

  22. clarinetist04 says:

    I would also recommend the memoirs of Lucia (Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words). Volume 1 and 2 are relatively short books, easy to read, but the first memoirs deal with their lives growing up, giving context to the latter memoirs, which are descriptions of the apparitions and the messages.

    Another book you might consider is “Our Lady of Fatima” by Thomas Walsh. If I’m not mistaken, this was the 1st book written originally in English on the topic. Walsh went to Fatima to write this book. It’s somewhat dated but the context of being written in the 1950s and society at that time make this book an engaging read.

  23. Geoffrey says:

    I too recommend “Fatima for Today” by Fr. Andrew Apostoli. It is a great, concise, and faithful history of all of the Fatima events… and it stays away from the silly conspiracy theories, and even refutes them.

  24. JonPatrick says:

    Just yesterday I saw this article by Fr. Richard Heilman on the Roman Catholic Man blog that ties the 100 years since Fatima to the 100 years of Pope Leo XII’s vision where Satan was given free reign over the Earth.

    Interesting that the date of Pope Leo’s vision, the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, and the apparition of Our Lady at Akita Japan are all on October 13th,

  25. hwriggles4 says:

    A really short book that is more like a small pamphlet that gave me some help (and a female friend in my younger days gave it to me) is titled “Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan From Heaven.” Using a search engine, I think someone would have a pdf version, or a good Catholic bookstore would have this for a few dollars. It is only about 15 pages, and yes, this is something I never heard from CCD class as a kid.

  26. WVC says:

    For children, I recommend “Jacinta’s Story” by Andrea Phillips. Of all the many children’s books available on this topic, I think this one is the best.

    Anyone else a fan of the old Warner Brothers movie “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima“? It’s not the most historically accurate, but it does stand as an amazing testament to the kinds of movies Hollywood used to be willing to make. It’s actually well told and a much more enjoyable experience than the mind-numbingly dry and over-long documentaries and mini-series I’ve seen on the topic. And while some of the historical facts are not true, much like the Song of Bernadette, the message seems to be authentic and well delivered.

  27. BarefootPilgrim says:

    Antonio Socci’s “the Fourth Secret of Fatima,” for reasoned insight on the Vatican’s release of the Third Secret in 2000.

    Mother Angelica (who was no conspiracy nut) said in a live TV broadcast in May, 2001 “ for the Secret, well I happen to be one of those individuals who thinks we didn’t get the whole thing.” She went on to say “… because I think it’s scary.” Russia couldn’t have been consecrated, otherwise we’d be enjoying that period of peace that Our Lady promised if it were done. I’m with Mother Angelica and I believe Our Lady’s words. Russia hasn’t finished spreading its errors. Socci’s book helps to explain what’s happening in Holy Mother Church 100 years after Fatima.

  28. THREEHEARTS says:

    steer clear for goodness’s sake of most of anything from the Fatima Crusader founded by a priest who used Bl Mary as a base to build a large empire and would not give it up to be a parish priest

  29. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I’m here to receive rather than give recommendations, but will just note that an edition of William Thomas Walsh’s Our Lady of Fatima (mentioned variously above) is scanned in the Internet Archive, as are various short older works which one could easily have a look at to see if they seemed good – e.g., by Joseph Cacella, by John Bernard Kelly, a Novena by Daniel A. Lord…

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    For the sake of thoroughness:

    Internet Archive also has scans of two editions of “Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan From Heaven” (and one of the similarly titled “Fatima – Mary’s Peace Plan from Heaven”published in 1953 by the Knights of Columbus);

    the Wikipedia article, “Sister Lúcia” has an External Link to a scan of an edition of Fátima in Lúcia’s Own Words.

  31. introibo says:

    Meet the Witnesses by John Haffert is a must-have Fatima book.

  32. mike cliffson says:

    I hesitate muchly to make any suggestions to a priest,and possibly this is something you’ve already done, but for anyone who hasn’t:
    before or alongside any splendid reading suggestions, have you ever led or participated in pilgrimages to ANY marian shrine? I’ve known priests get thus very impacted (and felt ashamed that I was less so) by pilgrimages to Walsingham, to Loreto……., I m sure a lot is hearing oodles long confessions ,saying mass in the very place, I wouldn’t know.. …….Guadalupe, Guadalupe Spain , Loreto. Lourdes, Fatima, ……….all Our Lady, all the same only different….. reading up later sort o f fuses with it a bit .Fatima is very modern , I can identify with all the bad people! Some people wanted to make Christ king after two free lunches; hundreds of thousands seen the sun doing the whatevers, some go kookwards ; usually being there/having been there focuses the info into place- even via pilgraming to a different Marian shrine.

  33. acardnal says:

    As mentioned by GregV above, anything written by the late Fr. Robert J. Fox is recommended. He was a huge promoter of devotion to the Fatima message and its veracity. He wrote several books about Fatima including interviews with Sister Lucia. There is a website he founded which promotes his works and Fatima. HERE

    One of the books they have for sale is entitled Documents on Fatima & the Memoirs of Sister Lucia. I am unaware of a more comprehensive book on Fatima or the visionaries.

  34. acardnal says:

    I should add to those books mentioned above, Fatima, The Great Sign by Francis Johnston.

    The movie previously mentioned “The 13th Day” is outstanding.

  35. Benedict Joseph says:

    Besides Sister Lucia’s memoirs, the book on Fatima is William Thomas Walsh’s “Our Lady of Fatima.” It is faithful to the memoirs, but it is very well written and an engrossing read.
    Sister Lucia’s “Calls From the Message of Fatima” is outstanding in its catechesis. Well written, comprehensive — it is an interpretation of the message and how to live it. Truly impressive. Invaluable.

  36. arga says:

    A couple of years ago I searched hard for the best book I could find on Fatima; I wanted something well documented and objective. The best I could find was: Francis W. Johnston, _Fatima, the great sign : Fatima’s central role in the Church, expounded by popes, cardinals, bishops and eminent theologians_[ Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, 1980. It was good. If there is something better I would read it too.

  37. momoften says:

    A PATHWAY UNDER THE GAZE OF MARY is a biography of Sr Lucia written by the Carmel of St Teresa. I have read the other Fatima books, but this one touches me more than the others. It really gives one an insight of what a beautiful soul Sister Lucia was.

  38. clare joseph says:

    From what I understand, for a long time Fr. De Marchi’s book (first publushed in 1952,I believe) was considered the definitive book on Fatima, and is excellent, giving a detailed account of what actually happened.
    Fr. Francis Johnston’s book, Fatima: The Great Sign (first published in 1980), is also really excellent.

  39. Yes! Exactly what I recommend!

  40. oledocfarmer says:

    A fine documentary film by Mr. Rourke:

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