Fatima Peace Tour Comes to S. Ohio Next Week
A centennial tour of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima, one of several special copies of the statue in Portugal that travel to parishes for veneration and contemplation, will come to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati next week.
The nationwide “100 Years – 100 Dioceses” Fatima Centennial US Tour for Peace is traveling to states east of the Mississippi in 2016, and west of the Mississippi in 2017.
The statue and its custodian will visit seven Greater Cincinnati churches between July 6th and 12th. Sponsored by the World Apostolate of Fatima USA (WAF), the tour is meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance to three children in Portugal, and her message that prayer will triumph over evil in the world.
One of the few apparitions of Our Lady approved by the Church, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to peasant children in Fatima over several months in 1917, gaining international attention through newspapers and telegraphed news. and the famous “miracle of the sun” — in which the sun seemed to stand still in the sky and spin, giving off flashes of light — was witnessed by at least 30,000 people and reported around the world. (Click here for an overview of the apparitions and messages at Catholic Online.)
The pilgrim statue is one of two sculpted in 1947 by José Thedi at the direction of Sr. Lucia, one of the seers. The first remains at Fatima and the second travels throughout the world to deliver the Virgin Mary’s message of peace, which WAF calls her “Peace Plan from Heaven.”
“The purpose of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue tours was and still is to bring the graces of Fatima and Our Lady’s message of hope, peace and salvation to those many millions of people who may never have an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Fatima itself,” says a spokesperson for the WAF.
Catholics are not required to believe any apparition of the Blessed Virgin, or any other “private revelations” given to seers or mystics. Most of the time the Church takes no position on apparitions and visions (for instance, despite years of investigations, the Church has said nothing about the ongoing reports of visions in Medjugorje, Poland), but sometimes asserts that some are credible and may be venerated if the faithful choose, and that some are not credible and may not be venerated (for a thorough explanation of the Church’s position on apparitions from EWTN, click here). The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima are among those the Church has said are worthy of veneration.
WAF’s “Peace Plan of Heaven” is a regimen of prayer and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and is derived from the reported messages to the three children. It includes daily prayers for peace and the conversion of sinners throughout the world, consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and prayers of reparation for offenses against God, especially those made against the Mother of God.
“The 100 Years – 100 Cities tour is a nation-wide call to prayer and penance for peace in our nation and conversion of hearts,” say organizers. “That’s because prayer is more powerful than any army on earth. Our Lady promised, ‘in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.’ The tour and your prayers will create an outpouring of grace to allow Our Lady of Fatima to claim her dominion over our country through her Immaculate Heart.”
The statue travels with its current custodian, Patrick Sabat, who will give talks about its history and the history of the apparitions at Fatima. Born in the Philippines and currently living in Indiana with his wife and children, Sabat has given more than 2000 talks on Our Lady in 25 countries and territories. He will speak at each of the parishes in the US tour.
Greater Cincinnati dates and locations:
July 6: St. Maximillan Kolbe Church (Hamilton)
July 7: Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood)
July 8: Holy Angels Church (Sydney, OH)
July 9: Guardian Angels (Mt. Washington/Cincinnatii)
July 10: Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine/Cincinnati)
July 11: St. Francis de Sales Church (Lebanon, OH)
July 12: St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church (Taylor’s Creek, OH
Following the Greater Cincinnati tour, the Pilgrim Statue will travel to several parishes in Cleveland and then to several others states before returning to our region in August, when it will stop at several parishes in Indiana and then travel to Columbus, OH, before heading west.
For more information about events planned for each visit, hours for prayer, and talks, see parish websites. For complete sites and dates for the country see The Fatima Centennial Tour for Peace Schedule.
For more Catholic events, see our Events page.
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