VALENZUELA City, Sept. 15, 2016 – The Centennial Visit of the National Pilgrim Image (NPI) of Our Lady of Fatima from her National Shrine in Valenzuela City continues on its second month by visiting the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City from Sept. 18 to 20, 2016.
The visitation of the image is in preparation for the Centennial of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima next year, 2017. A novena of nine months, the visit of the miraculous image will prepare Marian devotees from different localities for the celebration by giving them a chance to be spiritually united with the National Shrine of Fatima. It will also be an opportunity to promote the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
The image started its tour last month by visiting the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City from Aug. 21 to 23. Rector and parish priest Fr. Eric Castro, parishioners, and Marian devotees of the Shrine welcomed the image and held rosary and novena vigils. In his homily during a Eucharistic celebration to mark the arrival of the image, Castro explained how responding to the message of Our Lady of Fatima is similar to entering the “narrow door” which was the focus of the Gospel. The World Apostolate of Fatima of the Philippines, the only Fatima organization recognized by the Holy See, gave a talk about the Fatima message and devotion during the second night of the visit.
Some of the image’s scheduled visits are as follows:
- Oct. 7 to 9 – Cathedral and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral), Intramuros, Manila
- Nov. 13 – National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Retiro, Quezon City
- 2017 – National Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila (Santo Domingo Church), Quezon City
– National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Muntinlupa City
– National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Cavite
The NPI is one of the original statues blessed by Pope Paul VI and was later brought to the Philippines by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin who personally fetched the image from a parish church in New Jersey, US. It was crowned the National Pilgrim Image during the launching of the National Marian Year on Dec. 8, 1984. It was the image of Our Lady of Fatima that was brought to EDSA during the People Power Revolution of 1986 where many believe, Our Lady, through the statue, showed her maternal protection to Filipinos. The image, which is considered the Queen of Peace, was permanently entrusted to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in 1999.
Our Lady of Fatima was also declared the Patroness of Valenzuela City in celebration of the parish’ golden anniversary in 2011. (Jilson Tio / CBCPNews)