Our Lady of Fatima Statues

Today is the 99th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the liturgical memorial celebration of this event. Last week on the eve of Our Lady of the Rosary (Our Lady of Victory), I was blessed to visit the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at our parish. This statue is currently touring the United States coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. More information about where she will visit can be found here. The statue looked different than the one I saw at Fatima in 2005 so I looked up images of both statues. After searching through the internet, it appears that there are three different major statues of Our Lady of Fatima.1

The Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima

This statue was created by José Thedim and canonically crowned by Pope Pius XII through his legate, Cardinal Masalla, on May 13, 1946, the 29th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.2 A year later, this statue became a pilgrim statue traveling east through Europe after it had been devastated by World War II.3 It is now retired and on display in the Chapel of Apparitions at the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. St. John Paul the Great was later the target of an assasination attempt on May 13, 1981. He attributed the failure of the attempt to the Blessed Mother, particularly Our Lady of Fatima, and one of the bullets that struck him has been placed into the crown of this statue.4

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

This statue is a twin statue of the one found in the Chapel of Apparitions today and it was also sculpted by José Thedim. It was blessed by the bishop of Leiria, Portugal, in Fatima on the 30th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the miracle of the Sun, October 13, 1947. “The Bishop prayed that Mary herself accompany the statue wherever it goes. 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.”5 Like its sister statue, this image of Our Lady traveled throughout the world but she began traveling west instead of east. She has visited over 100 countries and miracles have been reported to be associated with this image.6

The United Nations International Pilgrim Virgin Statue

The Bishop of Leiria blessed this statue on October 13, 1952, and it was housed in the Meditation Room of the United Nations. Monsignor Colgan led a rosary there and later founded the Blue Army, which has been renamed World Apostolate of Fatima. The statue does not go on tours but does visit individual parishes. She has traveled throughout the world and 1st class relics of Blessed Francesco and Jacinta accompany the statue along with a piece of the tree on which the Blessed Mother appeared.7

Below are pictures of the three statues. The statue to the left is found in the Chapel of Apparitions at the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, the statue in the upper right is the International Pilgrim Statue that is currently touring the United States, and the statue in the bottom right is the United Nations statue.8

  1. There are additional statues that are not as popular. Allegedly, Thedim created a statue in 1921 but it did not match the description by Sr. Lucia dos Santos. See, this news report. Another article states that Jose Thedim created another statue in 1929 for the Portuguese College in Rome. It is in Spanish here. Two other notable statues can be found here
  2. AAS 38 (1946) 264–67, 376
  3. See history here
  4. St. John Paul the Great said, “it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death.” Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, Insegnamenti XVII, 1 (1994), 1061, 13 May 1994, quoted in Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, The Message of Fatima
  5. Fatima Centennial U.S. Tour For Peace, History. 
  6.  World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, Statue Tours. 
  7. Official Website of Rhode Island Division of the WAF, The Relic
  8. Photo credits: Chapel of Apparitions statue from Wikimedia Commons by Manuel González Olaechea y Franco; International Pilgrim Statue from here; United Nations statue from here

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