The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal have drawn more attention than any other Church-approved Marian apparition. The appearances of the Blessed Mother and the “Miracle of the Sun” happened 103 years ago and was witnessed by an estimated 60,000 people, even non-believers.
The new Fatima move opening in theaters August 28, tells the story of the three shepherd children who witnessed the 1917 apparitions. It is not a remake of the original 1952 film The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, but an entirely new one.
“This movie was made to cross into the mainstream media,” producer Natasha Howes told me in an interview. “It’s beautiful, and everyone should go to see it. Expect greatness.”
It has an A-list cast and Italian composer Paolo Buonvino created the entire score, including “Gratia Plena” (Full of Grace), the end-credit song performed by superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli. The story itself is a compelling message that our world so desperately needs. After previewing it, I agree that it is a beautiful, well-done movie, presented as flashbacks through the eyes of Lúcia Santos, after she had already become a Carmelite nun. Lucia was the eldest of the children at 10 years old Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta Martos, her two young cousins, were 8 and 7.
Our Blessed Mother’s messages were about making reparation for sin, hell being a real place where sinners go, and praying the Rosary every day for peace. Fatima tells the story. One of the key messages was a call to pray for peace. At the time, World War I was raging, and people were killing one another in numbers that were previously unheard of. The children conveyed the Blessed Mother’s message to turn from evil and come back to God to heal their land. It’s a message that still applies today,
The children’s revelations drew in crowds of believers but angered both Church and government officials, who tried to force them to recant their story. At the last apparition on Oct. 13, an estimated crowd of 70,000 came out in the pouring rain and witnessed the “miracle of the sun.” It was widely reported with photos and eyewitness reports by the newspapers of the time.
This new movie, according to Howe, is unique in that it is told largely from the children’s point of view and looks at the relationship between Lúcia and her mother. “There is the benefit of Lúcia’s perspective as an adult,” she said. “We used her memoirs. She was the core messenger and last remaining seer.” The movie also occasionally flashes ahead to Sr. Lúcia’s perspective in 1989 as a cloistered Carmelite nun, when author and religious skeptic Professor Nichols visits and questions her.
“Throughout, we come to understand the human story behind the story of Fatima and understand Lúcia’s family relationships and how the pilgrims disrupted their family life,” Howe said. “And we don’t have floating Mary’s. Instead, she appears as a very beautiful, gentle, maternal woman from heaven, so we can identify how these children fell in love with this experience.” Howe noted that the idea of mortification and what it means to suffer is also portrayed.
Although Jacinta and Franciso were canonized in 2017 and the cause for canonization for Lúcia was opened that same year, Howe explained that they wanted to portray the children as children. “We have a tendency to immortalize the lives of the saints rather than focus on their human traits,” she said. “They were ordinary humans like you and me, even though they had some beautiful, saintly characteristics.”
Fatima relates Our Lady’s pleas for us all to pray the rosary, to suffer for the conversion of sinners, and to pray for peace to end the war. At the time, World War I raged. It soon ended as Our Lady predicted but she warned: “If we do not stop insulting God, there will be a war worse than this one.” As we know, she was right.
Amid the warnings and prophecy that came to pass, Our Lady of Fatima gave us hope through Heaven’s plan for peace to follow. I pray that this movie will inspire many to do so.
For more information, go to: www.FatimaTheMovie.com .