In honor of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis granted the opportunity to receive plenary indulgences from either visiting the site itself, or a holy statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis designated the historic statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Basilica of St. louis, King of France. Due to its historic significance and the meaning it has on the St. Louis diocese, the statue has been deemed worthy enough as a site for devout Catholics to make a pilgrimage to receive the plenary indulgence. The time and ability to receive the indulgence occurred on the 13th of every month May to October 2017.
The miraculous story of Our Lady of Fatima took place in Portugal amongst the chaos and violence of the World War I. It is said the The Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children on May 13, 1917, dressed like a shimmering crystal and calling herself “The Angel of Peace.” Our Lady continued to reappear on the thirteenth day of each month for the next six months. During this time, she explained to the children that the war was punishment for the world’s sin and warned that the world would further suffer by means of starvation and persecution of the Church if the people did not repent for their sins.With each apparition, Our Lady emphasized that only through devotion the Holy Trinity through praying the rosary and sacrifice would end war and bring peace among the nations.
By her fifth apparition on October 13, 1917, word had spread of this newest apparition of Our Lady, and a crowd of believers of 70,000 had gathered in Fatima, Portugal. At about 2 p.m. some claim to have witnessed what is called “the sun miracle”. The rain that had poured since morning suddenly stopped, and the sun that emerged from behind clouds began to spin and tremble for 10 minutes.
In addition, Our Lady of Fatima also revealed three secrets through her apparitions. The first two prophesied the tormenting vision of hell, the Second World War, and the damaging fate Russia would impart on the humanity by shunning Christianity and preaching Communist totalitarianism. The third secret was revealed later than the first two and regarded the persecutions of the Holy Father. This was interpreted by the church as a foretelling of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life in 1981.
In 1970, Cardinal John Carberry and eighty-eight other Catholics from St. Louis went on a pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal. His celebration of Mass at Fatima in front of an estimated 500,000 other pilgrims was the first English speaking priest to celebrate Mass at the holy site. When he returned from Fatima, he ordered a replica statue of Our Lady of Fatima be placed into the Old Cathedral statue as part of a pledge for continued devotion in St. Louis to Our Lady of Fatima and her message of peace. Cardinal Carberry became a staunch supporter of the Our Lady of Fatima’s message and strongly supported the use of the rosary in “fervent prayer that all of us in the archdiocese join together in responding to the pleas of Our Lady of Fatima for prayer and sacrifice in the road to peace” (insert citation here). Since it has been placed in the Old Cathedral, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima has stood as a continued sign of devotion to the message of peace and prayer from Our Lady of Fatima. It has also served as a site where people are able to go to and pray for peace in their lives’ and in St. Louis, especially during St. Louis’s troubling, violent times.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis granted the opportunity to receive plenary indulgences from either the visiting the site itself, or a holy statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Archbishop Robert Carlson designated the historic statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Basilica of St. louis, King of France. Due to its historic significance and the meaning it has on the St. Louis diocese, the statue has been deemed worthy enough as a site for devout Catholics to make a pilgrimage to receive the plenary indulgence. The time and ability to receive the indulgence occurred on the 13th of every month May to October 2017.
The Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the Old Cathedral has become a historical and important site for many devout Catholics across the St. Louis area to visit and pray for peace in their lives and St. Louis. The statue was originally constructed as part of a continued plan of devotion to Our Lady of Fatima by Cardinal John Carberry. It has since become a place for many to go to ask for intercession and pray for peace in their lives and in the St. Louis area. After Pope Francis granted the opportunity to receive plenary indulgences in the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, the Archbishop designated the statue in the Old Cathedral as a place for pilgrims in the St. Louis area to receive the indulgence.
Researched and written by Andrew Behrens, Jacob Higgins, and Lynette Pinto
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