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(LifeSiteNews) — Our Lady of Fatima told Sister Lucia dos Santos that the final battle between God and the devil would be over marriage and the family. This is something we see playing out before our own eyes in both secular culture and within the Church.

Steven Thomas, author of a new novel Catholic Joe: Superhero, joins me on this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show not only to discuss the book, but also marriage, which is one of the book’s central themes.

Thomas believes that God was preparing him specifically for this time. He came from a broken home, and both of his parents came from broken homes. In his view, he was raised in the “crucible of divorce.” At the same time, he believes that it was the pain he experienced from his parents’ divorce that paved the way to his love of the sacrament of marriage.

Although he did not practice his Catholic faith in his early youth, he began a process of reversion upon reading a pamphlet on the apparition of Fatima called Mother of Christ Crusade. The pamphlet mentioned the final battle between God and the devil over marriage and the family, as well as describing the penances that the seers undertook to help stop souls from falling into hell like snowflakes.

I ask him why he wanted to speak of divorce specifically in the book. Thomas says there is a need to raise a “mass of wounded humanity that have been affected and afflicted by divorce.” Describing how his parents’ divorce affected him, he tells me that it opens a “fissure or fracture in the core of who you are.” Much like infections set in with wounds in the body, so the fissure caused by divorce invites darkness to enter the soul.

“I feel called to bring those people to Jesus Christ on the Cross, basically to say, ‘Give me that darkness. Give it to me. This is why I came,’” Thomas relates.

Describing the creation of Joe Salvatore, the titular character of his novel, Thomas says he wanted to create a Catholic figure that is “larger than life.” While Joe has flaws, Thomas continues, he is someone who does and says the things Thomas wishes he himself could do. Thomas also touches upon the “deep theology” in the book, found in its treatment of marriage.

Thomas offers a brief synopsis of the novel’s opening, explaining that Joe, a lieutenant general from a traditional Maltese family, was “woked” out of the military. His brother Vinny, meanwhile, is considering getting a divorce, prompting Joe to visit him in Las Vegas to try and talk him out of it.

Thomas also touches upon the corruption plaguing both Church and state in the book, opining that its “apex” is when Thomas asks the bishops what they intend to do about the divorce rate, calling on them to act. Joe’s house also gets raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The agency also deceives him into coming to its headquarters and imprisons him in an effort to “Epstein him.”

Several members of Thomas’ family have read the novel. Thomas recounts that his sister, a “very liberal” woman, was so moved by it that she began going to church again. Thomas himself says that he had fun writing it, some of that writing in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. “It was such an adventure that I can’t wait to write the next one,” Thomas says, adding that he’s begun compiling material for the sequel. He further hopes that the book will help people change their lives, especially their marriages.

“I look at it this way: if one marriage is saved, if one more child is born, then praise God, then the world is … changed,” he says. “If you save a marriage, if another child is brought into this world, the world is changed forever.”

Thomas and I discuss the problems facing marriage in the Church in the second half of the interview.

Addressing the issue of annulments specifically, Thomas is weary to make a judgment on any case. “It’s a very difficult subject because you’re dealing with people that aren’t fully informed, people that aren’t educated,” he tells me. Thomas also expresses his frustration when comparing the length of time priests get for seminary formation compared to marriage preparation – something he thinks contributes to the poor formation married couples receive.

“I can’t go after the couples that want to get annulments because they weren’t fully trained,” he reiterates. “I can look at the Church and say, ‘Guys, fix marriage.’”

Thomas himself was asked by his bishop to teach couples preparing for marriage about natural family planning (NFP) upon exiting the seminary, an experience which he says gave him an appreciation for the Church’s teaching on the sacrament. In his opinion, a crucial aspect of remaining married is not introducing contraception into it, which “distorts” the marital act into something that it’s not. Grace, Thomas points out, is meant to be given at the beginning, but if people are not disposed to its reception, they will not receive it.

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.