To mark the centenary of the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima in Portugal in 1917, Griffith’s Sacred Heart Parish will be visited by the miraculous travelling statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The famous statue which has been travelling around Australia, will visit the parish on Friday 6, Saturday 7 and Sunday 9 October.
Fr Gerard Ryan, a healing priest, will accompany the statue, and will arrive at Sacred Heart at 4.30pm on Friday for devotions and Mass until 6.30pm.
On Saturday, Fr Ryan will conduct a reflection day with healing prayers from 9am until 3.30pm.
Fr Ryan will also preach at all the Masses on the weekend about Heaven’s peace plan given through the Blessed Mother for mankind.
Finally on Sunday afternoon he will conduct more devotions and healing prayers from 2pm until 4pm.
The statue will also visit schools in the Griffith region.
In 1951, Joan Westblade of Wagga Wagga lined up among the sick people on beds, stretchers and wheelchairs in order to be blessed.
The blessing of the sick was conducted by then Bishop of Wagga Wagga, Bishop Henschke, in Calvary Hospital.
Joan was stricken with poliomyelitis as a young adult the year before.
Since then, her legs were paralysed and she could not bend her knees.
Her legs had to be strapped with callipers. It was painful for her to walk, but despite her physical suffering, her trust in God and her love for our Blessed Mother never waned.
Bishop Henschke started the ceremony of the blessing of the sick by leading the Holy Rosary and various Marian prayers.
He then lifted the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima with his hands and blessed each person, by tracing the sign of the cross over each of them with it as he invoked the blessing of Mary’s Son Jesus upon them.
When it came for Joan’s turn to be blessed, she prayed with all her heart, trusting our Blessed Mother Mary’s powerful intercession.
When the service was over, Joan returned home with her family. They helped remove the callipers from her legs. She stood there for a moment and then began to bend her knees.
It was a miracle! She stepped her foot forward, and then took another step, then another and another…finally, she knew that her paralysis was cured. The prayers of our Blessed Mother effected the miracle. Jesus has healed her entirely!
Joan Westblade thanked God with her life. A few years later, she entered the convent as a Nursing Sister in New South Wales. Offering her entire life in service to our good Lord, she is a testament of the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Fatima.
Through her, Jesus has blessed many. Through her life and loving service, she has truly touched others with the gentle and loving presence of Christ.
The statue is a handcrafted carved wooden sacramental which came from Portugal in 1950s. At that time, it was in the care of the Blue Army.
It travelled throughout Australia in the early 1950-60s promoting devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the messages of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
Since the 1970s, the Confraternity of Christ the Priest has been the custodian of this original pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
Up until May 13, 2017, the statue had not been crowned. The very ornate European crown was bestowed on the Pilgrim statue by Archbishop Julian Porteous in Hobart during Centenary devotions when he consecrated his Archdiocese and the whole of Tasmania to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This month will mark the centenary of the wondrous miracle of the sun which happened on October 13, 1917, at Fátima, Portugal before a gathering of 70,000 people.
Pope Francis again entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on May 13 2017 as requested by Our Lady at Fatima on July 13, 1917, to three visionaries; Saint Jacinta,
Saint Francesco and Lucia who died on 13th February 2005 at the age of 97.
In 2010, Benedict XVI Pope Emeritus announced that we are mistaken if we think the prophecies of Fátima have yet been fulfilled.
Pope Francis who is most concerned for world peace, consecrated Russia and the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We each can consecrate ourselves, our family, our home, our parish, and our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Archbishop Prowse has granted permission for opportunities of recollection and piety to promote the messages of Fatima and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It is hoped that the tour of this original pilgrim statue will bring many blessings and healings to all who attend the prayers and devotions. All are welcome to attend.
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