.- “The 13th Day,” a movie based on the memoirs of Sister Maria Lucia de Jesus, is being released today on DVD by Ignatius Press. The movie is a “dramatic and artistic presentation with a powerful message about what Our Lady requested at Fatima," said Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, a Fatima expert. The film, which is the first major motion picture from directors Ian and Dominic Higgins, recounts the appearances of the Blessed Mother to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal during the year 1917.
The Blessed Mother first appeared to Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13, 1917. She asked the children to pray the Rosary every day and to return on the 13th of the month for the next five months. In her revelations to the children, Mary showed them a vision of Hell, foretold the role Russia would soon play in the world arena, and gave them a vision of the assassination of a Pope.
Though the government kidnapped the children, prevented them from going to meet the Blessed Mother on Aug 13, 1917, and threatened them with torture, they made up their minds to face death instead of betraying “the Beautiful Lady,” as they called Mary. On October 13, 1917, her last apparition, 60,000-70,000 people gathered and watched as the sun spun and danced in the sky, then dried the rain-soaked earth.
The movie is true to the memoirs of Lucia dos Santos, the oldest of the Fatima visionaries. Though Francisco and Jacinta died in 1919 and 1920, Sister Lucia obeyed Mary's orders and learned to read so she could pass on the message of Fatima. She went on to become a Carmelite nun and a friend of Pope John Paul II, who claimed that the Fatima revelations saved his life. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97.
"The 13th Day film is a dramatic and artistic presentation with a powerful message about what Our Lady requested at Fatima," said Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, a Fatima expert. "These children had such courage; they were willing to die because they loved Our Lady so much."
The movie, which was filmed on site in Portugal and the U.K., features three Portuguese actors portraying Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. A cast of thousands was necessary in order to accurately depict the crowds present at the miracle where the sun danced. According to a press release from the Maximus Group, though the movie is mostly black and white, the directors use an interesting blend of color when the divine or the miraculous is present.
"Advance screenings of The 13th Day have been extremely successful, allowing thousands of people to be exposed to the Message of Fatima," Anthony Ryan, Director of Marketing for Ignatius Press, said. "We are excited to offer the DVD to the public. This message is more than relevant for today. Every Catholic, perhaps every person, should see this film."
For more information visit: www.13thdayusa.com.