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Archives Our Lady of Fatima statue visits North Country

Nov. 27, 2019

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing writer

“I was privileged to honor Our Lady of Fatima when the pilgrim statue came to Plattsburgh,” said Sister Mary Helen Hermann, a Sister of St. Joseph. “I have always been moved by the feast of Our Lady of Fatima and was delighted to gather with other people to honor Mary . . . . We had the opportunity to pray the rosary together and write down petitions that will be brought to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal . . . . Let us all continue to pray the rosary for peace in the world.”

In mid-November, homes in Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Malone and Brushton hosted the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Faithful sang “Immaculate Mary,” while crowning Our Lady.

“I believe we need more Fatima visits at homes in the North Country,” said Lisa Mockus, an attendant. “It’s an excellent worship and learning opportunity.”

Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children on May 13, 1917 – St. Jacinta Marto (age 7), St. Francisco, her brother (9), and Bl. Lucia dos Santos (10), their cousin. She was dressed in light like crystal, more brilliant than the sun. Our Lady’s face was gentle, with a serious expression, and her hands were folded in prayer – with the Rosary in her right hand. She asked that everyone recite the Rosary daily. She visited on the 13th of each month for six consecutive months, asking for prayer, sacrifice, and repentance. Our Lady told the children “Do not fear” and asked that we make reparation for sins against Our Lord.

Kenneth Murphy, 31, a custodian of the statue, noted that in her apparitions, the Blessed Mother appears with bare feet since it is her “job to crush the head of the serpent” with only her heel.

Murphy has traveled to homes nationwide for nearly 13 years. The star on the statue, he explained, is to remind us that Mary is our guide, the Star of the Sea, to help us reach our heavenly homeland.

Carol Hoover, who visited the statue, said she was touched to learn Jacinta suffered from a terrible illness and, due to the mistreatment of medical professionals, underwent a painful operation without anesthesia.

Murphy described that, at the time of the apparitions, the mission of Portugal – a communist country – was to destroy the faith in one generation. The government took over religious schools and hospitals. In 1910, all public manifestations of faith and prayer were banned. Soon, indoor Christmas decorations and gifts were forbidden! People were no longer allowed to name their children after saints.

Consequently, the Fatima children experienced resistance from government authorities. Once, the mayor took them to prison and threatened to boil them alive in a cauldron of oil. When they went to the apparition site, the mayor ordered guards to bayonet pilgrims. However, pilgrims took out their Rosaries and marched around town. The guards joined the children in prayer.

When the sun danced at Fatima, it whirled like an immense globe of fire for ten minutes and zigzagged toward the people. 100,000 people witnessed this event. People were covered in mud after days of rain. Their clothes not only dried, but looked clean and bright, Murphy recounted. Lisbon, Portugal was known at this time as the “atheistic paradise of the world.” Two months after the miracle, communism ended there. The mayor later converted and began praying the Rosary!

There were three secrets revealed at Fatima: first, the children saw a vision of hell; next, they received a warning that—unless the world stopped offending God—there would be a war that would be worse than the first World War; finally, due to persecution, it was foretold that the pope, as well as, many bishops, priests, religious, and laity would be martyred.

Mother Mary promised “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Murphy elucidated: “Our Lady does have victories over these errors that come into society. Is this victory going to be the end of the world? The answer is no. She also promised God wants to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart in the world. For there to be devotion to Our Lady’s heart, we have to have people.”

Custodians travel with the statues to college campuses—both religious and secular.

Rose Trevail, a local student, said “I learned a lot about the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. I feel that I have a better understanding of her message and the importance of prayers for the conversion of the world.”

“As I reflect upon the afternoon we honored Mary when the pilgrim statue visited Plattsburgh, the words of a hymn come to mind: ‘Dear Lady of Fatima, we come on bended knee. To beg your intercession for peace and unity,’” shared Sister Cecilia Marie Hermann, a Sister of St. Joseph. “I also thought about one of our sisters, Sister Claudia, who has gone on to her heavenly reward. Sister had great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and was privileged to visit the shrine in Portugal. I am sure that Sister Claudia is now honoring Mary, whom she loved so much. It was wonderful to share my own devotion to Our Lady of Fatima with the other people who had gathered . . . . It deepened my own commitment to fulfill the requests of Our Blessed Mother – mainly to pray for sinners and for peace in the world. This was a spiritually enriching call to prayer.”

The visit of Our Lady’s statue was “filled with grace, personal revelations, and such peace,” said Perry Provost. “Our Lady’s Blessings were so present, and her presence filled the space. The love and devotion of Our Blessed Mother magnified God in her honor with each person’s arrival. As a Body of Devotees assembled, God’s Grace and Our Lady’s Love permeated the room, and our hearts. All Praise to God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and Our Mother! Amen.”

The International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima travels to about 120 churches a year.

The statue was sculpted in 1947 by famous sculptor José Thedim. The image reflects the precise instructions of Sister Lucia (the surviving seer at Fatima).

More information may be found at fatimatourforpeace.com.


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