OUR LADY OF FATIMA by William Thomas Walsh


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Let's consider this first for a general market -- then for a specifically Catholic market....Here is the story of a modern Bernadette of Lourdes, done by a sympathetic and believing reporter who has based his findings on personal interviews with survivors of the strange happenings in Portugal, back in 1917 -- and on personal records, memoirs written by a lay sister of the Institute of Saint Dorothy, who was the Lucia, child of the miraculous visitation. Three children, sheep herders, six times saw the figure of The Lady (supposedly the Virgin Mary), heard her speak, heeded her prophecies, accepted the warnings of World War II, and witnessed the miracle shared by 70,000 on the barren plain of central Portugal. The menace of Communism and the position of the Catholic Church (from the Spanish Civil War on) is stressed -- in fact so sharply defined that it suggests this as the reason why Sister Maria Das Dores' anonymity is at last lifted. The story is told in oddly unemotional terms, while at the same time it seems wholly subjective, couched in phraseology that is unfamiliar to non-Catholics. There is none of the fundamentals of spiritual truth which make The Song of Bernadette a book for all faiths and creeds. The three children seem instruments of the miracle, they suffer persecution, doubt, reviling, within their homes and village -- but the reader stays oddly remote, and untouched, even when the death of two of the children is described as eostasy at translation to the kingdom of heaven for which they yearned....A Catholic reader says:- ""As a Catholic I firmly believe in the appearance of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima... the dogma and doctrine in the book are sound. This does not save the book from failure because of its pedestrian prose, saccharine comments and cliches; its failure to arouse spiritual feeling"".

Pub Date: May 13th, 1947
ISBN: 0385028695
Publisher: Macmillan