Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at Knock Shrine
To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions during May 2017, the National Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, Ireland will be exposed for public veneration in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Knock Shrine for the month of May.
This beautiful replica of the Shrine’s Capelinha statue was given to Ireland in thanksgiving for the gift of the Irish Monstrance to the Shrine. The statue had been sculpted by one of the Thedim brothers, famous for their workmanship in Portugal and arrived in Ireland on August 21, 1951. Although many attempts were made to have the statue publicly venerated in Ireland, it would be thirty years before this took place, a situation all the more surprising since Ireland had been especially privileged in that the Shrine of Fatima had never before offered such a Pilgrim Virgin statue.
Bishop Alberto of Fatima commented that the Pilgrim Virgin statue was a continuing gift provided the people of Ireland lived the Message of Fatima. Significantly, the Pilgrim Virgin statue did receive its first public honour on the feast of Corpus Christi 1982. It was thirty years to the year of its arrival in Ireland, and the statue is now in the custodianship of Mayo woman Grainne Conroy, who remains dedicated to furthering the cause of the Pilgrim Virgin and making known its spiritual significance to Ireland.
The Pilgrim Virgin statue was subsequently crowned in Fatima by the former Bishop of Killala, Dr Thomas Finnegan. A large group of Irish pilgrims were in Fatima for the fortieth anniversary of the Monstrance, and the Statue then carried in procession. Pope John Paul II solemnly blessed the statue on July 1, 1992.
The late Cardinal Daly presided at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Monstrance, 1949-1999, which was solemnly celebrated at the Shrine of Fatima, the Pilgrim Virgin statue being carried at the Vigil on October 12 and the Monstrance used for the Benediction at the public ceremonies on October 13. The beatification of the seers Francisco and Jacinta was announced at the conclusion of these ceremonies. Since its first public veneration in Ireland in 1982, the Pilgrim statue has made Pilgrimages for Peace to many parts of the world.
In this ever Providential story, the veneration at Knock Shrine is a significant development. Thus, the Eucharistic and Marian aspects of the Message of Fatima are seen anew as a portent of peace and hope for Ireland and the world, echoing the Designs of Mercy foretold by the Angel.
Thousands of the faithful are expected to make the special Pilgrimage during the month of May to Knock Shrine to venerate the unique statue and avail of the many graces the occasion will undoubtedly bring on all who attend.
THE HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY HAVE DESIGNS OF MERCY ON YOU.