The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fátima is coming to parishes in Perth, Mandurah and Bunbury this year from August 16 to August 22.
As verified by the Church, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal on the thirteenth day of six consecutive months in 1917, beginning on May 13.
The three children were Lúcia Santos (who later became a nun) and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The statue was sculpted from the description of Our Lady by Sr Lúcia.
The history of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue begins in 1946 when the youth of Portugal attended a Congress in Fátima and took the original Fátima statue from display in the Cova on pilgrimage to Lisbon, feted by throngs of the faithful.
The statue was eventually returned to its place in the Cova de Iria but many people wished for a visit in their own communities.
The Bishop of Leiria in Fátima wrote to Sr Lúcia about sending the statue on tour. Sr Lúcia responded with a letter suggesting that a new statue by 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 Fátima.
Out of necessity, a second replica statue was sculpted by Jose Thedim to meet the demand and this was blessed by the Bishop in October 13, 1947.
The second statue was intended by the Bishop as the Western statue and the two statues were to travel about until finally they could enter Russia.
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue has since travelled the world many times, visiting more than 100 countries, including Russia and 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. (Website: www.pilgrimvirginstatue.com.)
Pope Pius XII recalled his crowning of the Fátima statue in 1946 and said during his radio address to the pilgrims at Fátima in 1951, “In 1946, we crowned Our Lady of Fátima 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.”
In what was referred to as the “Miracle of the Doves”, doves accompanied the original statue on her travels and rested at her feet showing reported reverence.
Padre Pio is said to have been rushed to hospital with a life threatening illness in 1959, that same year the statue was taken into the chapel in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Just as Padre Pio got within several feet of the statue, three white doves flew into the chapel to the base of the statue and performed the manoeuvre three times before finally resting at the base of the statue.
Another physical cure attributed to the pilgrim statue was reportedly the complete healing of a man in New Orleans who fell from a building, crushing the bones in both his legs. He recovered just as his wife entered a church to pray.
The itinerary of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fátima appears as an advertisment at left. For further enquiries, contact Yolanda Nardizzi on 0413 707 707.