Friday 22 September 2023

The Children of La Salette - Mary Fabyan Windeatt

The Children of La Salette
ISBN 9781505111064

I have been asked several times if I have ever read and reviewed any of the books by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. And up until now my answer has always been now. I am usually asked by reader who found my series of reviews of books in these two series:

Encounter the Saints - Pauline Books and Media

From this first one I would state they are on par with the Encounter the Saints Series, and a little below the reading level of the Vision Books for Young Readers series. According to the TAN site there are 20 books in TAN edition of the series. It appears a few of these had alternate titles in previous editions. There also appears to be 7 other volumes not available from TAN. There are also companion and teaching manuals for many of the volumes. There are also some colouring books, and some audio dramas. And they do not all overlap. For example there is an Audio drama of Joan of Arc but no corresponding book I can find. But back to this volume. The description of this book states:

“Over 50 years before three shepherd children in Fatima saw a beautiful, mysterious Lady, two similarly innocent children beheld the same Lady heartbroken, crying with her face in her hands. Maximin and Melanie might not be as well-known as Lucia, Jacinta, or Francisco, but their message is no less powerful or relevant now.

This vividly detailed, engrossing account from Mary Fabyan Windeatt reveals the depth of Mary's pain over the sins of ungrateful men, as well as the perfect mother's love that drove her to appear in tears to these faith-filled children. Mary's message here, and the story of La Salette, will be familiar to anyone who knows the story of Fatima, reminding us that prayer, hope, and penance will always be the answer to the emptiness of sin and violence.

Maximin and Melanie quickly realize that their journey will not be easy, but instead of giving in to the constant, grating pressures of a harsh and unbelieving public, they win staggering amounts of people over through their virtue, their honesty, and especially their courage. With the law and even a local priest closing in on them from all sides, they refuse to dishonor Our Lady by revealing what she told them in confidence, remaining faithful to what they know is right in God's eyes.

In their encounter with the heartbroken Lady at La Salette, these two little children have much to teach us about what trust in God really looks like. By casting themselves into Christ's arms through His mother, they found peace in the midst of some truly unexpected stresses, confusions, and misunderstandings that surrounded their peaceful vision. As they won villager after villager to their side through faith and perseverance, they gave so many tired souls a sign of how much they are loved and sought-after by the Divine Lover--including all of us today.

Let this story of her humble appearance at La Salette encourage us in our own lives as we struggle with our crosses and look forward to the eternal hope of the Resurrection.”

I have had this volume and one other on my shelf for a while now. But I had not got around to reading them. In part I found the covers lacked appeal. However after reading this first one I now desperately want to read all of them I can lay my hands on. 

This story is not a typical story about apparitions or about saints or blessed. In fact after we read this volume we know that both Maximin and Melanie led very troubled lives after the events. The appearance and message is just as importance today as it was when Mary first shared it. Personally the statue of our Lady of La Salette has fascinated me since I first encountered it. I have a print of it above my desk in my den, and use it as my background on my lock screen of my phone. I also try and pray a Litany of La Salette each day. Mary weeping for us, is a very moving image, let alone the warnings of the message. I am certain many of the books in the series will be easier than this one to read. Even with the difficulties the visionaries had the rest of their lives this is still an excellent volume. 

I loved this book and plan on tracking down all the volumes in the series and reading them. You can but the set of 20 physical books from TAN. They do not have a collection of the eBook, and not even all 20 have eBook editions available. I find this a pity, I have a dual form of dyslexia and prefer eBooks so I can change the font, and the font and page colour to make reading easier. This is one of the volumes that does not have a digital edition. It was well worth the read. 

This is a great read in what looks like an excellent series. I am glad Tan has brought it back into print. I can easily recommend this book and the series for home, school or church library! It is an excellent read for the whole family.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Mary Fabyan Windeatt:
Blessed Marie of New France - The Story of the First Missionary Sisters in Canada
King David and His Songs - A Story of the Psalms
Patron Saint of First Communicants: The Story of Blessed Imelda Lambertini
Pauline Jaricot: Foundress of the Living Rosary and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith
Pennies for Paulina: Marie Pauline Jaricot-Foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith
Saint Benedict - The Story of the Father of the Western Monks
Saint Catherine of Siena - The Story of the Girl Who Saw Saints in the Sky
Saint Dominic - Preacher of the Rosary and Founder of the Dominican Order
Saint Francis Solano - Wonder-Worker of the New World
Saint Hyacinth of Poland - The Story of the Apostle of the North
Saint John Masias - Marvelous Dominican Gatekeeper of Lima, Peru
Saint Louis De Montfort - The Story of Our Lady's Slave
Saint Margaret Mary and the Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin De Porres - The Story of the Little Doctor of Lima, Peru
Saint Masias Marvelous Dominican Gatekeeper of Lima 
Saint of First Communicants - The Story of Blessed Imelda Lamertini
Saint Paul the Apostle - The Story of the Apostle to the Gentiles
Saint Rose of Lima: The Story of the First Canonized Saint of the Americas
The Children of Fatima and Our Lady's Message to the World
The Cure of Ars - The Story of Saint John Vianney
The Little Flower - The Story of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
The Miraculous Medal - The Story of Our Lady's Appearances to St. Caherine Laboure
The World Is His Parish: The Story of Pope Pius XII
Warrior in White: The Story of Blessed John Masias
Saint Benedict: Hero of the Hills

Books with alternate titles in other editions:
King David: The Story of the Psalms
Lad of Lima The Story of St Martin de Porres
Little Sister: The Story Of Blessed Imelda, Patroness Of First Communicants
My Name is Thomas
Song in the South: The Story of Saint Francis Solano Apostle of Argentina and Peru
Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Story of the Angelic Doctor and Patron of Schools
The Man on Fire: The Story of Saint Paul 

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