On the morning of May 14, marking a weekend that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first Fátima apparition and the canonization of two of the Fátima children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels welcomed the pilgrim Our Lady of Fátima statue, which Archbishop José H. Gomez blessed at the end of the 10 a.m. Mass.
Following the Mass, the replica statue began a short tour of parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, a tradition first proposed by Sister Lúcia, the eldest of the three children to witness the apparitions.
The Marian apparitions first began on May 13, 1917, continuing on the 13th of each month for six months and culminating in the “Miracle of the Sun” on Oct. 13. Mary repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the rosary each day, of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice for sinners.
The Blessed Mother emphasized her role in salvation, telling the children, “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”
In 1951, Pope Pius XII reflected on the numerous miracles and graces that followed the International Fátima Pilgrim Statue, saying during a radio address to the pilgrims of Fátima, “In 1946 we crowned Our Lady of Fátima as Queen of the world, and the next year, through her pilgrim image, she set forth a though to claim her dominion and the miracles she performs along the way are such that we can scarcely believe our eyes at what we are seeing."
The regional statue was created by Boaventura Pereira de Matos from the North of Portugal, an apprentice of José Ferreira Thedim, the creator of the original statue of Our Lady of Fátima that is venerated at the Shrine of Fátima.
In honor of Mother’s Day, during Mass the mothers in attendance were given a carnation and Archbishop Gomez prayed a special blessing for them, asking Our Lady of Fátima’s protection upon them.
Following the Mass, the pilgrim statue was flooded with parishioners, who gathered around it to honor Mary and ask for her intercession.
The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima sponsored the day’s celebration and coordinated the circulation of the statue to various parishes across the archdiocese. For more information, go to bluearmyla.org.