This book was great fun to write, and I hope that some of the fun spills over onto the pages. At the time I was acting as guide to the Fatima shrine, and to the old monasteries and historical sites in central Portugal. It didn’t take me long to figure out that people learned more through stories than lists of dates and facts and it wasn’t long before I’d accumulated a little treasury of tales which served to both inform and entertain. Soon people were asking for print-outs so I started to get a corpus together which became Armchair Fatima.
I’m not displeased with the book but one aspect of the finished pages embarrasses me somewhat. There was a misunderstanding between myself and the excellent printers I use – Almondina in the town of Torres Novas. They thought I had given the go-ahead to put the book to bed, as the quaint saying has it, whereas I hadn’t sent the final proofs. The result was forty four tipos printed on 5,000 copies. Two or three, or even a half dozen tipos might be excusable, but forty four is indefensible. Most readers I have spoken to claim not to have noticed that, for instance Ukranian should have been Ukrainian and that Scared Heart would have been a blasphemous substitute for Sacred Heart had the juxtaposition of letters been intentional. The errors were all corrected for the e-book version, and one or two stories added, but one of the attractions of the paper book is the 316 photographs produced in such an inexpensive volume. Some of them are from the very earliest days of Fatima and many not printed elsewhere. I was asked so often for digital copies of the pictures that I have them on discs which I sell with the book when offering it to groups of pilgrims when called on to give talks.
Back to the book Armchair Fátima
The Popular Fatima Prayer Book is now available in Portuguese and Spanish as well as English - each with supplementary material suitable for pilgrims from countries speaking these languages.
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