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Ukraine must give back its statue of Our Lady to Fatima


Our Lady of Fatima International Pilgrim Statue CC

Zelda Caldwell - published on 05/13/22

The Cathedral in Lviv, will, however, be getting a new identical image, blessed at the shrine in Fatima, Portugal.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima called Ukraine, and it wants its statue back.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima arrived in Ukraine on March 17, at the request of Greek Catholic Archbishop Ihor Vozniak of Lyiv. Countless believers in the war-torn country have since sought comfort in its presence.  

When Pope Francis consecrated Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the holy image was a tangible reminder that Ukraine was under the protection of the Blessed Mother.

But what was supposed to be a one-month stay stretched to an almost two-month visit. The archbishop then asked if the shrine might consider donating the statue, so it could stay in Ukraine for good.

That request was politely declined, but the shrine has promised to bless and send an identical statue to take the traveling statue’s place.

As the Tablet reported, the vice-rector of the shrine, Fr. Carlos Cabecinha, said at a press conference before the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, that the statue could stay in Ukraine for as long as necessary, but that it must eventually return to Portugal.  

“The pilgrim image is, by definition, one that leaves from, and then returns to, the shrine in Fátima,” said Fr. Cabecinhas.

The statue of Our Lady is one of 13 copies of an original statue sculpted by José Ferreira Tedin, based on the exact instructions of Sister Lúcia, one of the three children who witnessed the Marian apparitions in Fátima in 1917. 

The copies from time to time go out on pilgrimage, a tradition that began at the end of World War II, when a parish priest in Berlin proposed that the statue of Our Lady of Fatima travel throughout Europe. After 50 years of pilgrimage, and after visiting over 100 countries, the statues now only leave on special occasions. Many believers have attributed physical and spiritual cures to the presence of one of the statues.

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