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Hey, He Sure Looks Familiar!

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Figuratively speaking, it wasn't the first time Fr. Jovanete Paulo Vieira, MIC, imagined himself in the shoes of the Fatima priest given the unenviable task 100 years ago of discerning claims of heavenly activity in a field just down the road.

But Fr. Jovanete was recently asked to take a significant step forward in those shoes. One of three Marian priests who serve in Fatima, the Brazilian native was approached by the producer of the upcoming six-part EWTN docudrama, "The Message of Fatima," to play the role of Fr. Manuel Marques Ferreira, the priest of St. Anthony's Parish in Fatima who interviewed the three shepherd children beginning just days after Our Lady first appeared in May 1917.

The series will air later this year. Father Jovanete's scenes were filmed in October in the original rectory where the children were brought before Fr. Ferreira for interrogation.

Described as practical and meticulous, it was Fr. Ferreira to whom the villagers turned when news of the apparitions first spread. He took the prudent approach by never accusing the children of lying and by advising Lucia's disbelieving mother to allow her daughter to visit the Cova da Iria at the appointed time Our Lady promised her second visit. The rest is history.

Admittedly, acting didn't come easy for Fr. Jovanete. He'd never done it before. "It was take after take after take," he said, smiling. But the experience helped him gain an even greater appreciation for the role priests play in helping people to discern the will of God in their lives.
"It's so important for priests to have very strong prayer lives, to stay connected to God in all things," said Fr. Jovanete, who was ordained in 2000 — into the role of a lifetime.

HEADING TO FATIMA?
The Marians in Fatima own and operate the Essence Inn Marianos, a four-star hotel located a short walk from the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. While the hotel is booked each 13th of the month from May through October this year, rooms are available on other dates.
Email info@e-marianos.com or visit e-marianos.com for more information.

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