The Shrine of Fatima will offer a replica of the Pilgrim Image to the diocese of Lviv, Ukraine, following a request from the archbishop of the local Greek Catholic Church, the Shrine’s rector said this Thursday.
Carlos Cabecinhas said, at a press conference, that this image “will be blessed on Friday, at the end of the celebrations of the May anniversary pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Cova da Iria, “in a simple ceremony, at the time of the blessing of the religious objects that pilgrims will take it with them”.
The rector explained that, following the displacement of the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima to Ukraine, where it has been since March 17, the archbishop of the Greek-Catholic Church of Lviv asked for the extension of the pilgrimage through Ukrainian lands, “or the transfer of of the image” definitively.
The Sanctuary of Fatima gave a negative response to the request for the definitive transfer of the image, “as a matter of principle, but immediately decided to offer an identical image to the diocese of Lviv”, which will be blessed on Friday, said Carlos little heads.
As for the image that is still in Ukraine, the rector added that “it was immediately said that he could stay as long as necessary”, to tour various dioceses in Ukraine.
“May the Queen of Peace bring peace to Ukraine”, wished Carlos Cabecinhas.
The announcement of the sending of Image nº 13 of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima to Ukraine was made by the Shrine of Fatima on March 12, in response to a request from the Greco-Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop of Lviv, taking into account the conflict with Russia .
“United in the same spirit of prayer, the Shrine of Fatima is pleased to respond positively to the request to send an Image of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima”, said the letter sent by the Shrine to the Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Greek-Catholic Church of Lviv, Ihor Vozniak.
In that letter, it was explained that the transfer of this image to Ukrainian territory, which happens for the first time, “is due to this pastoral effort of prayer for peace in the world, especially in Ukraine”.
The Sanctuary’s response followed a formal request from Ihor Vozniak, made on March 10th.
“We ask that you can send us the Image of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima to Ukraine so that we can pray for her protection so that peace returns to the country”, appealed the Metropolitan of the Greek-Catholic Church of Lviv.
Image #13 is a replica of Image #1.
Made according to Sister Lúcia’s instructions, “the first Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fátima was offered by the Bishop of Leiria and solemnly crowned by the Archbishop of Évora, on May 13, 1947. From that date, the Image traveled several times , the whole world, taking with them a message of peace and love”, according to information from the sanctuary.
According to a note from the institution, “the genesis of this route goes back to 1945, shortly after the end of the 2nd World War, when a parish priest in Berlin proposed that an image of Our Lady of Fátima travel through all the capitals and episcopal cities of Europe, to the border of Russia”.
“The idea was taken up in April 1946 by a representative of Luxembourg on the International Council of Women’s Catholic Youth, and the following year, on the very day of her coronation, the first trip began. After more than half a century of pilgrimage, in which the Image visited 64 countries on various continents, some of them several times, the Rectory of the Shrine of Fátima understood that it should not leave again, except for some extraordinary circumstance, as was the case of World Youth Day in Panama, in January 2019”, he adds.
In order to respond to requests from all over the world, 13 replicas of the first Pilgrim Image were made.