A statue from the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal, which has traveled the globe on a pilgrimage for world peace since 1947, is visiting over a dozen Archdiocese of Newark parishes through May 31.
Its stop at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart on May 13 will coincide with the anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition in Cova da Iria, Portugal, in 1917, so the Cathedral Basilica will offer several special initiatives to commemorate it.
To commemorate Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition on May 13, 1917, a procession will commence from Newark’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Saturday, May 13, at 1:30 p.m. and travel to Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
There, the statue will be presented for veneration, followed by a Mass dedicated to Our Lady at 5 p.m. and a special reflection at 7 p.m. This reflection will be delivered by Ricardo Casimiro, co-leader of the statue’s pilgrimage and campus minister at Montclair State University. Casimiro has made 40 visits to Portugal’s Shrine of Fatima as part of his studies of Our Lady.
According to the organizers, the archdiocesan tour of the statue is intended for parishioners to thank Our Lady for her protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and request her intercession amidst current global conflicts. It is also meant to generate excitement for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival, which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from Aug. 1-6.
This year the Archdiocese of Newark — with the supervision of Casimiro and Father Kevin Kilgore, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Old Tappan — is sending 43 youths on a pilgrimage to participate in the festival, during which they will visit the Shrine of Fatima. To prepare them for this journey and encourage all young people to foster a relationship with Our Lady, Casimiro will lead a catechetical program at Montclair State’s Newman Catholic Center on Sunday, May 7, starting at 5 p.m. Afterward, a Mass dedicated to Our Lady will be celebrated by Father Jim Chern, director of the campus ministry for the Archdiocese and Montclair State. Students from all four archdiocesan universities have been invited to attend.
“The statue is a beautiful article of faith,” said Father Kilgore, co-leader of the statue pilgrimage who will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Fatima before bringing the statue to the Archdiocese. “It’s traveled all over the world. Millions of people have prayed before her over the years. And many more wish they could visit her, but she’ll be with us because the Lord wants her to be here. The Lord wants us to see her and grow our devotion. It’s all divine grace.”
For more information about the tour and the archdiocesan World Youth Day pilgrimage, visit www.facebook.com/WYDNEWARK.
Source: Archdiocese of Newark (Press release)
Our Lady of Fatima is a Marian apparition who appeared to three shepherd children in Cova da Iria, Portugal, on six occasions between May and October of 1917. During her initial appearances, Mary showed three prophetic visions to the children and urged them to pray the rosary daily for world peace and sinners’ salvation. During her final apparition on Oct. 13, thousands of people observed what is now known as the Miracle of the Sun — the sight of the sun zig-zagging through the sky.
Three decades later, the original Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was created by sculptor Jose Ferreira Thedim using a detailed description provided by one of the children who saw her, Sister Lucia dos Santos. This statue was eventually duplicated multiple times and has traveled across the world to bring Our Lady to those who cannot visit the Shrine of Fatima.
The Archdiocese of Newark serves 1.3 million Catholics throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. The Archdiocese has 212 parishes, 73 Catholic schools, and many missions and ministries. Hundreds of Masses are celebrated in more than a dozen languages each week. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, leads the Archdiocese with four auxiliary bishops. Together, they serve the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. For more information, visit www.rcan.org.
Scheduled events of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima:
April 28-May 1
St. Pius X Parish in Old Tappan
Holy Trinity Epiphany Church in Newark
Holy Family Parish in Nutley
Newman Catholic Center at Montclair State University in Montclair
St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny
Our Lady of Fatima Church in Newark
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark
Our Lady of Fatima Church in Elizabeth
St. James the Apostle Church in Springfield
St. Anthony Church in Belleville
Holy Cross Church in Harrison
St. Catherine of Siena Church in Hillside
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark