Our Lady of Fatima visits Catholic Cemeteries
Posted in Special Events on April 18, 2012 by Jorge Repollet
Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark cordially invites everyone to join them on June 5th and June 6th for the celebration of the Eucharist and to welcome the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima continues her journey throughout the world in 2012, this time, visiting the Archdiocese of Newark from June 5, 2012 until June 25, 2012.
Our Lady of Fatima statue begins her tour in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, located at 225 Ridgedale Avenue, East Hanover, NJ on June 5th starting at 9:00 AM with the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Chapel Mausoleum. Families are cordially invited to attend and pray during the whole day. The itinerary will include different ceremonies including praying the Rosary, presentation by the custodians about the Apparitions, the history of the Pilgrim Virgin devotion and its meaning, benediction etc.
The second day of the tour will continue at Holy Cross Cemetery, located at 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington, NJ starting at 9:00 AM with the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Chapel Mausoleum and continue with the previously mentioned ceremonies.
The world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was sculpted in 1947 by Jose Thedim, based on the description of Sr. Lucia, one of the three young seers who saw Our Lady each month from May to October 1917 in Fatima, Portugal.
On October 13, 1947, in the presence of some 150,000 pilgrims, the statue was blessed by the Bishop of Leiria at Fatima, Portugal to be the pilgrim, the traveler.
Sent out to bring the Message of Fatima to the world, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue has traveled the world many times, visiting more than 100 countries, including Russia and Red China, bringing the great message of hope, "the peace plan from heaven," to millions of people. Many miracles and signal graces are reported wherever the statue travels including shedding tears many times.
In 1951, Pope Pius XII remarked: "In 1946, we crowned Our Lady of Fatima as Queen of the World and the next year, through Her Pilgrim Statue, She set forth as though to claim Her dominion, and the favors She performs along the way are such that we can hardly believe what we are seeing with our eyes."
The Pilgrim Virgin Committee was formed to carry out the mandate set down by the Bishop of Fatima in 1947 and now, after 54 years, Pope John Paul II says that the Message of Fatima is more urgent now than ever. So, the Pilgrim Virgin Committee continues to bring the statue to the world and the demand for visits of the statue remains.
History of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue
of Our Lady of Fatima
The history of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue begins in 1946. At that time, after the youth of Portugal attended a Congress in Fatima, they took the Statue from display in the Cova on pilgrimage to Lisbon. As they walked the route they stopped at the towns and people gathered to pray. In Lisbon when they entered the cathedral, the miracle of doves occurred. Many other phenomena also occurred inspiring devotion and inspiring the fervor among the people.
The statue was returned to its place in the Cova de Iria but many people wished for a visit in their own communities. The Bishop asked Sr. Lucia in a letter about sending the statue on tour. Sr. Lucia responded with a letter suggesting that the new statue, just then being made, by the famous sculptor Jose Thedim be used as a pilgrim statue. The Bishop agreed and, on May 13, 1947, this new statue was blessed and named the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
Almost before it began its journey, so many places wanted her visit that it was realized a second statue should also be blessed. This second statue, made also by Jose Thedim, was completed and blessed by the Bishop of Fatima on October 13, 1947 (Exactly 30 years to the day after the great miracle of the sun which was to draw the world's attention to Mary's message.) His Excellency remarked that this would be the Western statue and that the two statues would travel about until finally they could enter Russia.
The Bishop of Fatima entrusted the Western statue to Mr. John Haffert, who later became the cofounder of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima in America. It entered the United States, through Canada at Buffalo, New York, on December 8, 1947. (December 8th being our patronal Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.) At Buffalo 200,000 people lined the streets and welcomed Our Lady on that occasion. To fulfill the mandate of the Bishop to travel, teach and inspire, Mr. Haffert assigned the first custodian, Fr. McGrath of Canada. The statue has always had a full time custodian and has never stopped traveling in its entire 54 years. Succeeding Fr. McGrath, was Fr. Breault, and others have continued to the present time.
The miracles, favors, and signal graces were so numerous from the very beginning that even the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, reflected on them in his famous radio address to the pilgrims at Fatima, May 13, 1951. He recalled having crowned the Fatima statue in 1946: "In 1946 we crowned Our Lady of Fatima as Queen of the world, and the next year, through her pilgrim image, She set forth as though to claim Her dominion, and the miracles She performs along the way are such that we can scarcely believe our eyes at what we are seeing."
Physical cures attributed to the presence of the Statue have been documented many times. The changes in expression and coloration, and even the pose of the statue have been reported innumerable times. But, the important miracles are the spiritual cures and gifts Our Lady bestows. The sudden conversion of a stubborn heretic is a good example. Another important miracle is the enlightenment of someone who has resisted the idea of statues or the idea of praying to saints. The spiritual miracles are infinitely more valuable than the things we can see, touch, or measure.
Read more about the history of Our Lady of Fatima