Our Lady of Fatima statue to tour Newark Archdiocese throughout May

Our Lady of Fatima New Jersey The statue of Our Lady of Fatima was returned to St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Gibbsboro, New Jersey, Sept. 7, 2022. | Msgr. Louis Marucci

One of the replicas of the original Our Lady of Fatima statue will be touring the Archdiocese of Newark from April 28 to May 31. It was crafted using detailed instructions from Servant of God Sister Lucia Dos Santos, one of the three Fatima seers.

One of only 13 copies in the world, the statue is typically housed at the Shrine of Fatima in Fatima, Portugal, where the Marian apparitions of Fatima, Portugal, originally occurred, Jaimie Winters, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, told CNA. 

The archdiocese is sponsoring the tour so that parishioners may be able to thank Mary for her protection throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and ask for global conflicts to end, the Jersey Catholic reported. The statue will be on display at 13 parishes throughout the archdiocese, the first being St. Pius X Parish in Old Tappan from April 28 to May 1. 

The next parish to receive the Our Lady of Fatima statue will be St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield from May 1–3. It will then go to Holy Trinity Epiphany Church in Newark from May 3–4, then on to Holy Family Parish in Nutley from May 5–7, Newman Catholic Center at Montclair State University in Montclair on May 7, and St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny from May 8–9. The full schedule of destinations and dates can be found here.

Each parish that hosts the statue will offer special devotions to Our Lady. According to the Jersey Catholic, St. Pius X Parish planned to have participants pray the rosary every 90 minutes between the Saturday morning Mass at 9 a.m. on April 29 and the 4:30 p.m. vigil.

In honor of Mary’s first appearance to the three shepherd children on May 13, 1917, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church will be hosting a procession with the statue on May 13, which will go from the church to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. The statue will remain at the cathedral for veneration until the 5 p.m. Mass that day.

On May 13, 1917, Mary first appeared to the three shepherd children Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco in Fatima, Portugal. When she appeared, she was dressed in white and holding a rosary. She brought the message of prayer, repentance, and reparation for sin, which occurred seven times through October 1917.

In her last appearance to all three of the children together on Oct. 13, 1917, tens of thousands of pilgrims witnessed what is known as the “miracle of the sun,” which Mary gave to the children and to the people as a sign that the apparitions were authentic. More about the miracle can be read here.

In 1947, the first pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima was created following the instructions of Sister Lucia — the same Lucia who was a seer as a child and later went on to join religious life. The statue, and its subsequent copies, have traveled the world spreading the message of peace, prayer, and love.

According to the Fatima Shrine’s website, the original statue remains at the Shrine of Fatima and doesn’t travel anymore except in extraordinary circumstances. Instead, the 13 special replicas continue to make tours, allowing Catholics in many dioceses to come together in prayer under Our Lady of Fatima’s patronage. 

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