Written by a mother and grandmother, Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World is the perfect book to teach children about Our Lady of Fatima – especially since the Church just celebrated the 100th year anniversary of the Marian apparition. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is well known for her book, Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions.
Readers of the new book can experience Fatima through the eyes of the shepherd children as they listen to the message Mary brings – and are then asked to deliver the Blessed Mother’s message to the world.
In a recent blog post, Donna-Marie shared the story behind writing this new book.
“I felt deeply inspired to tell the story of Our Lady of Fatima to children! It was kind of a late hour. That was for sure because a book for the anniversary year should have been written already. I knew all too well the notorious schedule of publishing and thought that it might be quite impossible to get the idea of the book with a publisher and then to write it, and then also to get it through the publishing process to be out on time for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. . .
Within three weeks it was all written! I worked long and hard, determined to get the work done quickly. All along, I kept relics of little Francisco and Jacinta close by or in my pocket!”
Each chapter starts with a beautiful illustration, followed by a section about the history of the Fatima story. Short chapters, large-print headings and easy-to-read pages make this book perfect for young readers.
After the end of each chapter, Donna-Marie writes a short reflection for the reader. Here’s her reflection from the first chapter, Three Shepherd Children:
“Something to think about – when Lucia was older, she recalled that, as a little girl, she used to listen carefully to her mother’s teachings. She also had ‘happy memories’ about her mother’s lessons. Do you listen intently to your parents, your grandparents, and your teachers when they teach you about God? Do you think you will one day have happy memories about learning about your Faith? What can you do to learn more about your Faith each day?”
With these reflections, children can engage in the Fatima story and think about their own faith journey.
Donna-Marie wrote the final pages of her book on the feast day of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto. “May we all be edified by the lives of three simple shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who chose to lead exemplary lives of holiness all the way to Heaven,” Donna-Marie writes. “Let us, too, seek paths of holiness, inspired by these three. And let us not be slow in seeking their powerful intercession to help us on our own journeys through life, so that by God’s amazing grace we may all meet face-to-face one day in the glories of Heaven!”
Illustrations in the book were created by Ann Kissane Engelhart, a skilled watercolor artist who is known for her collaborations with authors such as Amy Wellborn, Nancy Brown, and Regina Doman. Wait until you see all of the gorgeous watercolor paintings that start each chapter in this new book! Here’s a sneak peak.
If you’re looking for a book that opens the story of Fatima up to children with beautiful illustrations and easy-to-understand language, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s book is the book for you! Learn more about the book here.