It happened in a small, European country overrun by followers of Karl Marx, and that’s reason enough to sympathize with the misled farmers and common people. But throw into this mix three preadolescent shepherd children who honestly believe they’ve seen a beautiful lady, and who stick by their story even though the authorities put them in jail and tell them they’ll boil them in oil if they don’t recant, and you’ve got me — a storyteller by profession. So begins the story of Fatima.
The beautiful lady first appeared in the attractive month of May, and said she’d see them at the same mountain tree, probably an ash tree, on the 13th of every month. She kept her word, and they listened while she told them to pray for peace (World War I was at its peak). Of course, to bucolic workers in a Catholic country, that meant the rosary. She also mentioned Russia, where Lenin and Engels were spreading evil ways. Now that’s setting the stage. I’ll continue this adult-child’s tale which has the marks of a far more mature mind than mine, the next time.