Lionel de Fonseka – Les Eaux de Lumiere

This magnificent and rare book, written entirely in French by Lionel de Fonseka in 1953, discusses the appearances of Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal and the Eastern and Western views on religious matters.


LES EAUX de LUMIERE (‘ The Waters of Light’)  Lionel de Fonseka Varnasuriya – 1953
With a Dialogue on the Oriental and Occidental views, De Fontvieille Edition, Monaco.

On the 13th of March 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima, Portugal to three children named Lucia Santos aged 9, Francisco Marto aged 8 and Jacinta Marto aged 6. The Virgin as promised appeared for six months from May to October on the 13th of each month and gave messages and requests for prayer and penance. Over 70,000 people witnessed the last of the appearances, now known as the ‘Miracle of the Sun’ on the 13th of October 1917.

As foretold by the Virgin, Jacintha and Francisco were called to their eternal rest early in their lives, but Lucia (later Sister Lucia) lived on till late. In 1927 Jesus appeared to Sister Lucia and gave permission to make public the first two parts of revelations made to them. The third Sister Lucia wrote and delivered to the Holy Father the Pope. It is deposited in the Vatican Archives and has still not been disclosed.

The above appearances of Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal is the background to this magnificent and rare book, written entirely in French by Lionel de Fonseka. The book displays his mastery of the French Language and theological principles. Many who saw this book showed disbelief at his level of understanding of the language. Lionel, a scholar of repute also wrote ‘The Karava Flag’, an analysis of the caste symbols used by the Kshatriya people. Almost all subsequent authors of Karava History refer this piece of work.

Lionel had his education in Balliol College at Oxford, England. Balliol is one of the oldest colleges at Oxford (founded in 1263) and it is stereotypically known as the left wing college (www.balliol.ox.ac.uk). After his studies he lived and worked in France and Belgium for over 10 years. He is known to have donated a gold chalice to the cathedral of Bruges, Belgium.

In the foreword to the book, Lionel describes his pilgrimage to Fatima and the subsequent study he undertook on the events relating to the apparitions. In it he mentions meeting in person, Sister Lucia, the sole survivor of the above apparitions.

Les divergences nombreuses dans le recit des faits comme dans leur appreciation, m’ont emu et j’ai tenu a me renseigner aupres de Soeur Lucia, la seule survivante des << voyants >> de Fathima, et aupres d’autres temoins.

In it’s presentation, the book conducts a dialog based on the Oriental and Occidental views. (Occidental: meaning a member of one of the occidental peoples; especially  a person of European ancestry). This is depicted in the book in separate paragraphs prefixed as ‘Oc-‘ or ‘Or-‘, as in a question and answer format. The book touches on criticisms laid on Fatima, and calls for greater veneration of the holy mother and devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Interestingly one whole chapter is dedicated to the Buddhist principle of ‘Prajna Paramita’. The concept of Prajna Paramita in Buddhism, discusses the perfection of wisdom (see Note).

Lionel de Fonseka also authored the book ‘De La Verite dans l’Art ’ (‘The Truth in Art’).

The cover picture is drawn by Andree Karpeles and is based on the picture L’annon-ciade found in Menton, France and on a Bas-relief found at De Vadstena, Sweden. The book is dedicated in memory of Denise Bardel, researcher and collaborator on ‘things of God’. The headings of the Chapters, with a loose translation in English are provided below to give you a better understanding of the contents of the book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.  Le Coeur Immacule.                                             – The Immaculate Heart.
Chapter 2.  La Matiere au Ciel.                                               – The ‘Element’ in the Sky.
Chapter 3.  La Contemplation dans L’Ancein Testament – The thinking in the Old Testament.
Chapter 4.  Maritain                                                                  – play on the name Mary, our Savior.
Chapter 5.  Le Thomisme                                                         – The questioning by St’ Thomas. Lucia too questioned what she saw.
Chapter 6.  Les Corps Celestes.                                               – The Celestial Body.
Chapter 7.  Deifieation.                                                             – The Devine Destiny.
Chapter 8.  L’ Enthousiasmme.                                               – Enthusiasm, the question of being divine.
Chapter 9.  L’ Obeissance.                                                        – Obedience. To obey.
Chapter 10. Sanctuaire de Saint-Esprit.                                – Sanctity of the Holy Spirit, Concepts in the east of several gods.
Chapter 11. Prajnaparamita.                                                    – Sinhalese, Perfection of wisdom (see Note).
Chapter 12. La Lumiere aui etait Dieu.                                  – Light which was God.)
Chapter 13. La Lumiere Creee.                                                – The Light Created.
Chapter 14. La Lumiere des Creatures.                                 – Creatures of the Light.
Chapter 15. Le Carmel et la Lumiere.                                    – Carmel and Light, discusses appearances as given in old texts.

Note: ‘Parami’ means perfection or virtue. There are ten transcendental virtues that one should practice to attain Supreme Enlightenment. They are Generosity (Dana), Morality (Sila), Renunciation (Nekkhamma), Wisdom (Panna), Energy (Viriya), Patience (Kshanthi), Truthfulness (Sacca), Determination (Adhitthana), Loving-Kindness (Metta) and Equanimity (Upekkha). Panna Paramitha is one the ten virtues as stated above. Panna means Wisdom or Knowledge. It is Wisdom, insight which totally purifies the mind. It is the right understanding of the nature of the World, in the light of transience (anicca), unsatisfactory nature of things (dukkha), and soulless-ness (anatta). Wisdom is the apex of Buddhism. It is wisdom that leads to purification and to final Deliverance.