Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
The first Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, made according to Sister Lucia’s instructions, was offered by the Bishop of Leiria and solemnly crowned by the Archbishop of Evora, on the 13th of May 1947. From that date, the Statue travelled worldwide, on several occasions, carrying a message of peace and love.
The genesis of this journey brings us back to 1945, shortly after the end of the Second World War, when a parish priest from Berlin suggested that one Statue of Our Lady of Fatima should travel all the capitals and Episcopal cities of Europe, to the border with Russia. A representative of Luxemburg took up the idea in April 1946, in the International Council of Women’s Catholic Youth, and in the following year, in the exact day of the coronation, the first travel began. After more than half a century of pilgrimage, in which the Statue visited 64 countries of various continents, some of them more than once, the Rectory of the Shrine of Fatima decided that the Statue shouldn’t leave the Shrine, unless if due to extraordinary circumstances. In May 2000, the Statue was placed in the exhibition «Fatima Light and Peace», where it was venerated by tens of thousands of visitors. After three years, on the 8th of December 2003, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Statue was enthroned in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, and was placed on a column next to the main altar. The Statue left again on the 12th of May 2004, firstly for a visit to the contemplative religious communities in Portugal, which ran until the 2nd of February 2015, and secondly to all the Portuguese Dioceses, from 13th of May 2015 to the 13th of May 2016. The purpose of these visits was to engage the contemplative communities and the Portuguese Dioceses in the celebration of the Centennial of the Apparitions of Fatima.
In the meantime, in order to face numerous requests from all over the world, there were made many replicas of the Pilgrim Statue, a total of thirteen.
Astonishing reports of the presence of the Pilgrim Statue arrive from everywhere, from crowds that rushed to see it, reports of unprecedented participations on various celebrations, of a large number of penitents who have approached the sacrament of Reconciliation, reports of the affluence of all kinds of people, children, youth, adults and the elderly, from different social contexts and even different religious denominations, in conclusion, reports of significant pastoral fruits and abundant graces achieved.
Booklet of the Visit of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue to the Dioceses of Portugal