Rosary prayer

This book on Marian apparitions will have you reaching for your rosary

“The World of Marian Apparitions” is a family guide to learn more about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary on earth.

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, which marks one of the most significant series of Marian apparitions in the history of the Church. In 1917, over a period of six months, the Blessed Virgin is said 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 which included asking children to pray a daily rosary “in order to obtain peace for the world and an end to war”. [this would have been World War I].” This is a request that resonates particularly strongly today.

These events at Fatima are just one of the appearances detailed in the amazing 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 around the world in a myriad of ways.

Interestingly, the book documents the various appearances in a way that allows you to skim 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 stories in more detail and watch the beautiful images that accompany each one.

What’s also interesting about the book is how each appearance is categorized. For readers wishing to identify the significance of a particular apparition, a caption has been created with symbols that describe how the Vatican views the apparition, whether a pope has visited the site, whether miracles have occurred at the location , etc.

For example, the story of Fatima begins with a striking photo of the church of Fatima and five symbols showing the great significance of the apparition. This is then followed by historical and social context from when the apparition happened in 1917, then details of what actually happened, with Mary’s messages in bold as a visual reminder for us today.

Mariologist Laszewski has also included eyewitness accounts and photos of the visionaries themselves – which allow the reader to feel completely immersed in the event. Yet what emerges 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 for children from around the age of 8, as they can begin to discover some key details of when their Heavenly Mother appeared on earth. As each appearance is accompanied by many varied images, children can better understand what happened without having to read too much. (And for young geography fans, a little globe in the corner indicates where each Marian apparition happened.)

While this is certainly a book you can draw from, there’s no denying that when you see all the documented apparitions in one place, you’ll be reaching for your rosary as you read!

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