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Film Review: Finding Fatima

by Andrew Nicoll

On 13th May 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously injured. From that moment, the future saint developed a profound emotional relationship with the appearances of Our Lady to three children in a field close to the village of Fatima in Portugal, the first of these having taken place on 13th May 1917. On 13th May 2000, two of the seers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were beatified by Pope John Paul II at Fatima, when it was also announced that the so-called third secret of Fatima was to be revealed. The third visionary and ‘interviewer’ of Our Lady, Sr Lucia passes away in 2005 and the day of her funeral is declared a national day of mourning in Portugal. So convinced was he of the efficacy of the Fatima message, Pope John Paul has the bullet which was used in the assassination attempt on his life embedded in the crown on the Virgin’s statue at Fatima, and as a potent symbol of the importance
of Fatima to him personally.

This moving and dramatic documentary film tells the Fatima story, speculates on its significance and describes the third secret, using reconstructions, interviews with the descendants of those involved, and incredible graphic imagery. The historical context, including the hesitancy of both Church and secular authorities to accept the Fatima story, is also recounted even though the ‘miracle of the sun’ at the time was witnessed by possibly 40,000 people over an area of 600 square miles. Timothy Tindall-Robertson points out that Fatima, including its prediction of the Second World War, is a message for the whole world: the children are exposed to the fear of hell so ‘we can know that hell is an unfortunate possibility’ he says. Fr Guerra (Shrine Rector 1973-2000)speaks movingly about the accounts of Fatima her learnt from his boyhood parish priest and Sr Angela Coelho ASM gives a thoughtful commentary on the character of the children and the significance of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as well as the centrality of Jesus in the Eucharist as described by the Angel who visits the three children in the months prior to the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The film includes the brutal, post-apocalyptic account of the Third Secret, relating it to the events at Hiroshima at the end of World War II. This is one of the most moving and inspirational films you could ever see and, as Sr Angela says, we should all pray the Rosary every day, and Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will surely triumph. Dr Andrew Nicoll, St Joseph’s parish, Oakham (Nottingham Diocese).

Finding Fatima: seek and you will find. Written by Ian and Dominic Higgins, produced by Joel Fletcher, Major Oak Entertainments, DVD 90 mins.