Our Lady Goes to the United Nations

Our Lady of Fatima is going to the United Nations!

Specifically, the United Nations Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima and its custodian, Marian Helper Judy Studer, will be present at the UN headquarters in New York City for a conference titled "The Centenary of Fatima and the Enduring Relevance of Its Message of Peace" on May 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sponsored by the Portuguese delegation at the UN and the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, the event will be free and open to the public. The conference room can fit 560 people, so register early! Those who do not have UN identification need to register online for a special event pass through the Holy See's Mission by May 9 at HolySeeMission.org/rsvpMay12 and bring photo identification an hour before the event. The dress code at the UN is normal business attire. Everyone needs to pass through airport-style security. No placards, posters, or distribution of fliers allowed without the express approval of the Missions of Portugal and the Holy See, who are familiar with UN regulations.

"When the Holy See hosts events at the UN, we make sure that they are done with all the members of the UN community in mind, and so we look for the relevance for everyone rather than just for Catholics. The event will be focused in a special way on the enduring relevance of Fatima's message of peace," explained Fr. Roger Landry, one of the priests serving the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission at the UN. "So there will be a presentation on what happened 100 years ago for those in the UN community who would be unaware of it; a specific focus on the call to personal involvement of religious believers in the cause of peace through conversion, prayer, reparation and consecration; the role of religious believers as peacemakers; Mary as an icon of the importance of women as peacemakers and peace builders; and finally on the role of children, like Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, in the cause of peace."

Father Landry explained that the conference will feature remarks by Ambassador Alvaro Mendonça e Moura, permanent representative of Portugal to the UN, and Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the UN, before the other presentations by experts.

Archbishop Auza commented, "On May 12-13, the eyes of the world will be on Fatima, when Pope Francis will go to Portugal to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the apparitions. For those unable to be present in the Cova da Iria, the next best place will be where the nations of the world converge at the United Nations, where we will examine the continued importance of the message and means of peace that was revealed to the three shepherd children and through them to the Church and the world. The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN is delighted to be collaborating with the Permanent Mission of Portugal to co-host this event. We will be delighted to be joined by those who are interested in getting to know better what happened in Fatima a century ago as well as those who are following in the footsteps of Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in putting the means of peace into practice."

"For those interested in celebrating the centenary of the Fatima apparitions with prayer, there will be a Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral at noon on Saturday, May 13, the actual hundredth anniversary," Fr. Landry added.

The conference marks the second time that this particular Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima has been at the United Nations building. "The statue came from Fatima," explained Judy, "And then it was sent to the UN with the people from what used to be the Blue Army [now the World Apostolate of Fatima, or WAF]. They brought it to the UN on Dec. 8, 1952, and on that day, hundreds of people prayed in the UN for an end to the Korean War and peace in the world."

Judy emphasized that the Blue Army did not pick the date; Providence arranged that the UN set up the event on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 1952. Afterwards, that particular Pilgrim Virgin statue was called the "United Nations" statue because "it was very unusual for any religious object, especially a Catholic object, to go into the United Nations. And then I prayed for 14 years that one day she would return."

Now, in the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, Our Lady's statue returns to the United Nations. We encourage members to make plans to register online and attend if they can, and for all members to pray an extra Rosary for the success of the event.

Visit TheFatimaStatue.org to invite Judy to bring the statue and speak at your parish.

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