the statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried in procession at the Shrine dedicated to her in Portugal the statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried in procession at the Shrine dedicated to her in Portugal 

Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima travels to Ukrainian city of Lviv

The Statue of our Lady of Fatima arrived in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on 16 March, following a special request from the local Archbishop.

By Lisa Zengarini

As the Church prepares for the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on March 25, the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima arrived in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Wednesday. 

The pilgrimage

The effigy, a replica of the original statue in the Portuguese Marian Shrine, left Portugal on Monday and stopped shortly in Cracow, Poland, before heading for Lviv, in Western Ukraine, where it will stay for one month. It was welcomed by the local Greek Catholic Archbishop Ihor Vozniak, who proposed the initiative after the Russian invasion on February 24.

At the departure ceremony the Director of the Department for Liturgy of the Shrine, Father Joaquim Ganhão, invited the faithful to continue praying for the many innocent victims of the bombings, stressing, once again, that war is never the answer to disputes. “War is not to be answered with war, evil is not to be answered with evil, hatred is not to be answered with hatred", he said. “We must open our doors and recognize that the other is not our enemy, the other is not our rival, but is our brother, with whom we must build history, build peace, and it is a demanding job ", he added.

Portuguese Church supporting refugees

The Marian shrine of Fatima will also provide temporary hospitality to 35 Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children, at the request of the local municipality of Ourém and of the Portuguese Greek Catholic community. The relief efforts involve all parishes and Catholic organizations in Portugal, as noted by Patriarch Manuel Clemente do Nascimento of Lisbon  and by Cardinal  Antonio Marto of Leiria-Fatima, who urged the faithful in the country  to welcome and assist refugees fleeing the war.

Carrying a message of peace

There are a total of 13 copies of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima.  The first Statue, was offered by the Bishop of Leiria and solemnly crowned by the Archbishop of Evora, on the 13th of May 1947. From that date, the Statue traveled worldwide, on several occasions, carrying its message of peace and love. It was sculpted by José Ferreira Tedin, reflecting the precise instructions of Sister Lúcia one of the three children, including her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who witnessed the Marian apparitions in Fátima in 1917. After the attempted assassination of Pope St John Paul II in 1981, one of the bullets that struck the Pope was encased in the crown of the Virgin.  Copies of the Statue were made to meet ever-growing requests from all over the world.

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17 March 2022, 09:00