'The World of Marian Apparitions' is a family-friendly guide to learning more about the Virgin Mary's appearances on earth.
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, which marks one of the most important series of Marian apparitions in the history of the Church. In 1917, over a period of six months, the Blessed Virgin is believed to have appeared on the 13th of each month to three young visionaries: Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto.
The Virgin Mary used these apparitions to send a very timely message that included asking the children to pray a daily Rosary “in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war [this would have been World War I].” This is a request that resonates particularly loudly today.
These events at Fatima are just one of the apparitions detailed in the stunning book, The World of Marian Apparitions, by Wincenty Laszewski. In fact, the encyclopedic book is filled with various accounts of when the Virgin Mary appeared to people throughout the world in a myriad of ways.
Interestingly, the book documents the different apparitions in a way that allows you to flick through a particular event and find key details — which is really handy for a little fact finding. However, if you have more time, you can read the accounts in further detail and look at the beautiful images that accompany each one.
What is also appealing about the book is the way in which each apparition is classified. For readers wanting to identify the importance of a particular apparition, a legend has been created with symbols that depict how the Vatican views the apparition, whether a pope has visited the site, whether miracles have occurred at the place, etc.
For instance, the Fatima account begins with a striking photo of the church in Fatima, and five symbols showing the great importance of the apparition. This is then followed with some historical and social context from when the apparition occurred in 1917, and then details of what actually took place, with Mary’s messages standing out in bold as a visual reminder for us today.
Mariologist Laszewski has also included eye-witness accounts and photos of the visionaries themselves — all of which allow the reader to feel fully immersed in the event. Yet what stands out from the book is that although many of these apparitions occurred in the last century, there is a sense of spiritual urgency for us today.
The book is also suitable to children beginning around the age of 8, as they can start to discover some key details of the times when their Heavenly Mother appeared on earth. As each apparition comes with lots of varied pictures, kids can gain a greater understanding of what happened without having to read too much. (And for young geography fans, a little globe in the corner points to the location of where each Marian apparition has happened.)
While it is certainly a book you can dip in and out of, there’s no disputing the fact that when you see all the apparitions documented in one place, you’ll be reaching for your rosary as you read!