6 January 2012 – San Fabian, Pangasinan. It is a visit that is much awaited. It probably will come once only in one’s lifetime. A visit that is an occasion of grace for those with welcoming hearts.
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will visit the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, on 9-10 January 2012. The visit is part of the journey of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue in Pangasinan. San Fabian is one of only three parishes included in the itinerary. The other two parishes are the St. John the Evangelist in Dagupan City, and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
The statue is under the the legal jurisdiction of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It is referred to as “International” because it has travelled in over 100 countries since it was blessed by the Bishop of Fatima in 1947.
The history of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue begins in 1946. At that time, after the youth of Portugal attended a Congress in Fatima, they took the Statue from display in the Cova on pilgrimage to Lisbon. As they walked the route they stopped at the towns and people gathered to pray. In Lisbon when they entered the cathedral, the miracle of doves occurred. Many other phenomena also occurred inspiring devotion and inspiring the fervor among the people.
The statue was returned to its place in the Cova de Iria but many people wished for a visit in their own communities. The Bishop asked Sr. Lucia in a letter about sending the statue on tour. Sr. Lucia responded with a letter suggesting that the new statue, just then being made, by the famous sculptor Jose Thedim be used as a pilgrim statue. The Bishop agreed and, on May 13, 1947, this new statue was blessed and named the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. (from the website: http://www.pilgrimvirginstatue.com/history.html)
This particular image is also referred to as the “Weeping Madonna”. It was recorded to have shed tears a number of times in the past. At the height of the debates in the US Supreme Court on the Roe vs. Wade case that eventually legalized abortion, the Image was documented to have shed tears in July 1972.
The Schedule of the Visit
The Pilgrim Virgin Statue will arrive in Dagupan City at 4:00 PM, and will stay at the St. John the Evangelist Church until the next day when it will be transferred to the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr at 8: 00 AM.
The statue will be met at the foot of the Cayanga Bridge by the devotees and parishioners of the Parish of St. Fabian. A procession will follow going to the parish church. It is expected that the students of the different schools will be lining the processional route to welcome the image. A Welcome Mass to be presided by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas will follow at 9:30 AM.
The parishes of the Vicariate of St. Thomas Aquinas have scheduled their masses during the stay of the image in the parish. The religious organizations and BECs will have their hourly vigil starting at 5:00 PM until 12 Midnight.
The Pilgrim Statue will be transferred to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urdaneta City after the 10:00 AM mass in the parish church.
Miracles and Conversions
The visit of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima has become many occasions for conversion and renewal. It has been occasions too for many miracles to happen. Truly, or Lady’s request at Fatima of prayer, penance, reparation, true devotion and consecration to Her Immaculate Heart, remain as timely as ever.
The visit of the Pilgrim Image to the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan was made possible through Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.