Fatima pilgrim statue to visit Divine Redeemer
MOUNT CARMEL - The International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be touring the Diocese of Harrisburg during the first three weeks in November, and one of its destinations will be Divine Redeemer Church in Mount Carmel. The statue's visit to Mount Carmel is scheduled for Thursday evening, Nov. 14 through Friday morning, Nov. 15.
The statue was sculpted in 1947 by Jose Thedin, based on the description of Sister Lucia, the eldest of three shepherd children to whom it is said the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal.
With the goal of bringing the message of Fatima to the world, the statue has visited more than 100 countries. According to the Pilgrim Virgin Statue Foundation, "Many miracles and signal graces are reported wherever the statue travels, including shedding tears many times."
The three-week tour is hosted by the Council of Cathlic Women of Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Middletown. Twenty-two churches will hold faith-filled programs to venerate Our Lady of Fatima.
Tentative schedule for the visit to Divine Redeemer is as follows:
Thursday, Nov. 14 - 6:30 p.m., procession of the statue into the church, with recitation of the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary; 7 p.m., Mass; 8 p.m., exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass, talk by the statue custodian, scapular enrollment, recitation of the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and private prayers, and 10 p.m., closing.
Friday, Nov. 15 - 6 a.m., church opens, 6:30 a.m. recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary; 7 a.m., Mass; 8 a.m., recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary, followed by a rosary every half-hour, and 10 a.m., recession of the statue from the church.
An original statue was taken from its place in the Cova de Iria in Fatima by youth on a pilgrimage to Lisbon, Portugal, in 1946. The youth stopped in towns on their way where people gathered to pray. In Lisbon, the miracle of doves occurred as they entered the cathedral. Other phenomena occurred to inspire devotion.
After the bishop asked Sister Lucia for permission to send the statue on tour, she suggested that the new statue, then being completed, be made a pilgrim statue. The Bishop of Fatima entrused the statue to John Haffert, who became the co-founder of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima in America. It entered the United States for the first time on Dec. 8, 1047, when it was welcomed in Buffalo by two hundred thousand people. The statue has always had a full-time custodian, and it has been traveling ever since.
Physical cures have been attributed to the statue. Changes in expression and coloration, and even the pose of the statue, have been reported. It is also said that Our Lady has bestowed spiritual cures, including the sudden conversion of a heretic and the enlightenment of people who have resisted the idea of statues or praying to saints.