Tuesday 12 March 2019

Fatima: A Pilgrim's Companion - David Baldwin - CTS Christian Shrines Series

Fatima: A Pilgrim's Companion
CTS Christian Shrines Series
David Baldwin
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781784691493
eISBN 9781784692100
CTS Booklet D816

This book was of interested to me for a few reasons. First last year was the 100th anniversary of the aspirations. Second our parish here in Canada has a replica statue of Our lady of Fatima that was blessed by Saint John Paul II. And it is the tenth book in the CTS Christian Shrines series that I have read. I might have approached this volume in a more critical way than others in the series. I have had a personal interest in Pilgrimage, for nearly as long as I can remember. I have written about personal pilgrimage, and previously written about my desire for pilgrimage. I hold a university degree in Religious Studies with a specialization in Roman Catholic Thought I would have loved to have had this book, other in this series, and many from the CTS catalog to use as resources during my schooling. There is a lot to love about this book, and this series. I really appreciate that the book can be used as a guide to plan and physically partake in a pilgrimage. Or this book allows us to virtually go on tour to Fatima, but only after a grate overview of the history. I strongly recommend this wonderful series and specifically this wonderful volume. 

The chapters in this volume are:
Fatima - Introduction
Events, People and Apparitions
The Sanctuary
Outside the Sanctuary

But the focus of this book is not the logistics of planning and doing a pilgrimage. Instead this one focuses on more on the history and spirituality. David states:

“It is not a guide book in the conventional sense of giving comprehensive specific details of events, accommodation or travel times - these tend to change and fluctuate over time and season, and this type of information is given in other publications or relevant internet sites. Some major organisations and contacts regarding Fatima are listed at the back of the book.”

David Baldwin declares:

“It is a story of many layers. From the initial telling by simple, uneducated children, striving to articulate, be consistent, and having the courage to stand by the incredible supernatural happenings that they had witnessed; to the Church’s and the State’s reaction; to the response of the people of Portugal; and, in the longer term, of world history. It is a story still underlain with speculation, enigma - and enduring mystery.”

And that is the sense we come away with from this book, this apparition of our lady. The historical, the social and the ongoing impact. This guide is written in such a way that it tells the story. We are drawn into the original events. Have a wonderful telling of visiting the Sanctuary in Fatima today. The book is interspersed with prayers and meditations. They can be used while on pilgrimage or as a resource for personal prayer. I really appreciated the section on the Fatima Parish, Our lady of Joys, I find it helps root the larger churches and grounds in the history of the events. In the chapter Aftermath there is a section called ‘Heading Home’, it has some great advice for pilgrims as they are preparing for the trip home and once they are there. It helps them to take the high of the pilgrimage and incorporate it in their life once the trip is over. 

At the end of the volume is an extensive list of contacts, web links, and bibliography for reference. Including fie other books from the Catholic Truth Society on Fatima.

A great book in an excellent series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other Books in the CTS Christian Shrines Series:
Message of Assisi
Message of Fatima
Message of Guadalupe
Message of Walsingham
Santiago: Santiago de Compostela - The Pilgrim Way of St James

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