A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary
by Timothy Tindall-Robertson and Donal Anthony Foley
In 1917, Our Lady appeared to three children at Fatima in Portugal: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Francisco and Jacinta died a few years later, as Our Lady had predicted. Lucia was told that she will remain in the world to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart. She died at the age of 97, having been a Carmelite nun for many decades.
The biography was first published in 2013 by the Carmelite nuns of Coimbra, where Sister Lucia had lived. It is a beautiful account of a saintly soul. There are references to her already published memoirs, but it is also an intimate account of her life as seen by those who were closest to her. We learn how faithful Lucia was to her mission. From 1921, she believed that the best way of fulfilling this was by becoming a Carmelite nun. But this took patience and sacrifice while she lived the life of a faithful Dorothean nun. Her life was always a yes to God.
While she was alive, much that was known about her was in relation to Fatima. All this has changed since the publication of this book. We learn about her interior life, her humility and her joy. We knew relatively little about this while she was alive because of her humility. For one who had been favoured by heavenly visions, she lived by faith, prayer and penance. There was no easy pathway for her. Even under the gaze of Mary. She was also utterly devoted to the Pope and to the Catholic Church.
The work is well arranged, with Lucia's words clearly distinct from those of the nuns. The first part relates to events from her birth to her entrance into the Coimbra Carmel in 1948. The second part deals with events from 1948 until her death. A Marian theme runs throughout: like Mary, Lucia always said yes to God. There is little in the way of sensation to be read. We do, however, learn that 1960 was a significant year for her and that she was never silenced by the Vatican. But these things are not central to the theme of the book: it is about a saintly soul and how we too can try to become saints by following her example.
The CTS booklet is written by two authors associated with the World Apostolate of Fatima. The first part is an overview of the Fatima events. It is a summary and as such avoids any of the controversial aspects of the Fatima message. The second part gives us some of the essential Fatima prayers and meditations on the Rosary. It is a work to read over and over again.
Devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is surely more urgent than ever before.