Dr Pravin Thevathasan reviews
Princesses of the Kingdom, Jacinta Marto & Nellie Organ,
by Leo Madigan

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Princesses of the Kingdom, Jacinta Marto & Nellie Organ, by Leo Madigan

Kolbe Publications, 9 North Main Street, Cork, Ireland

This is a study of two young Catholic Children of the twentieth century. Blessed Jacinta of Fatima is now well known. Nellie - who lived most of her life in County Cork, Ireland - deserves to be better known. Jacinta died at the age of nine in 1920. Nellie was less than five when she died in 1908.

The author demonstrates the many similarities between the lives of the two children. It is said that a central theme of the Fatima message is one of Eucharistic reparation. Leo Madigan gives examples of Jacinta’s devotion to the Eucharist (the “Hidden Jesus”). For one so young, Nellie also had an extraordinary devotion to “Holy God”. Before she died, despite her youth, she was able to receive Holy Communion. Soon afterwards, Quam Singulari was issued by Pope Saint Pius X - this allowed young children generally to receive Holy Communion. It is known that Saint Pius was deeply moved by the story of Nellie.

Both children had a deep devotion to Mary. They both offered up their extraordinary sufferings to God, in union with a deep devotion to the Passion.

Although both children were blessed with heavenly visitations, Leo Madigan demonstrates that their path to sanctity was essentially ordinary - the Eucharist, Mary, love of the church and offering up little sacrifices.

They both had a particular devotion to the Pope. Leo Madigan notes that Jacinta’s vision of the Holy Father, which has been in the public domain for many years, is remarkably similar to that of the third secret of Fatima.

The twin dangers of sentimentalising and idealising have been avoided. This is part of the book’s success. The lives of these two children are an example to us all today.

Pravin Thevathasan


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