I had what I believe is a once in a lifetime opportunity this week. The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited my diocese. Up until I heard a discussion of it on the local Catholic radio (last week?), I had never heard of this.
Oh yes, I've heard of Fatima! But I hadn't heard of this statue. And the more I heard about it the more I wanted to get a chance to see it, pray before it, and offer my prayer petitions to Our Lady. And of course, the Cathedral, my parish, would have the statue visiting on part of her trip throughout the diocese.
The statue was going to be at my parish on Wednesday, which also happened to be the Nativity of the Blessed Mother. How perfect! Only, our bulletin was a bit misleading. Hubby and I planned on attending the 5:30pm Mass, I was going to get there early in order to have some quiet prayer time. That afternoon I decided to look up the website for the Pilgrim Virgin Statue and discovered on their calendar that the statue left the Cathedral at 10am!!
But I looked over the schedule and called hubby and we changed our plans slightly. Actually, I changed mine, his didn't really change much at all. Turns out the next stop was at the campus Newman Center, across the street from my office, and I had 30 minutes. So I went over there and got to at least see the statue, pick up a little booklet about Fatima and the statue, write out and put my petition in the box that accompanies the statue, and listen to a brief talk from the custodians of the Virgin statue. it was all very interesting! And then they started preparing for Mass and I left.
I was disappointed that I didn't really get a chance to see her up close and spend some time in prayer. But I still had to meet hubby at the Cathedral for the evening Mass. That meant walking clear across campus to my car and then back-tracking past the Newman Center and then over to the Cathedral. It's not really that far, but it takes forever at that time of day given our larger enrollment on campus this year (more students=more cars), not to mention that those roads are always busy anyway.
Then a friend told me that the statue would be at her church the entire next day. Thursday morning she emailed me the full schedule. I love having friends in all our the various parishes around me! I always know what's going on!! So after looking over the schedule I decided that a long lunch break was in order and I would head over there for the noon Angelus and the quiet prayer time that would follow.
It was perfect! Exactly what I had been hoping for. I was there for the communal prayers, then said a rosary. Just before I left, I moved up to the front row, right near the statue. I wanted a better look at her face. It was so peaceful looking and yet there was also a sadness in it. And beautiful! She was stunning.
Visit the website, read about Fatima, read about the statue. This statue has been touring the world since 1947. It was blessed by Pope Pius XII, it has actually shed real human tears on multiple occasions, and various cures and miracles have occurred in its wake.
It was such a blessing to be able to spend some time with it; to be there in front of this image of Mary and to ask for Mary's intercession for the intentions I carry in my heart. I pray only that she hears my pleas and brings those prayers to her Son.