Miracle-making copy of Our Lady of Fatima statue to be given to Kazan’s Catholic parish
Representatives of the Blue Army headed by the World Apostolate of Fatima executive director Michael La Corte arrived in Kazan with the purpose to hand in the copy of Our Lady’s statue to the city as a gift from the U.S. Catholics.
For your information: The World Apostolate of Fatima-Blue Army is a worldwide public association dedicated to promoting the message of Our Lady of Fatima. The Odessa statue is one of many national statues the World Apostolate of Fatima brought to countries around the world. The Fatima statue was meant for the people of Russia. In 1971, it was brought to the Ukrainian port of Odessa, which was at that time part of the USSR. Wrapped in rags, it was smuggled into Moscow through the heart of Red Square. The statue could not be delivered because of the persecution of Christians in the country at that time and was flown back to the ship. It was eventually brought to the Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, N.J., where a fire burned the statue beyond recognition. Since the fire in 2003, the statue has been restored.
Michael la Corte informed that it is his third visit to Russia. And it is the second time he brings Madonna’s statue to Russia. He reminded the story of Our Lady’s appearance in 1917 in Portuguese town of Fatima. He pointed out significant role of Kazan where Christians, Catholics and Muslim co-live in peace and harmony. They demonstrate example for peace. He said that the statue has seen a lot, but it needed to return to Russia to Kazan to be near the icon of Kazan God’s Mother. “I have no doubt that Our Lady blessed this place and this city. I’m sure the statue must be kept in Kazan. We give it in order to continue Our Lady’s message to all people. When we love the God and each other, we can bring peace to the earth,” Michael La Corte emphasized. He expressed confidence that many people will come to Kazan pilgrimage center.
“It is an honor to accept such a grand gift. Arrival of this statue makes Our Lady’s presence with us brighter,” the abbot of the Catholic parish, father Diogenes Valentin Urkiza said. He also expressed hope that presence of Our Lady of Fatima in Kazan will improve relations between Catholics and the Orthodox and unite Christians of Kazan and Russia.
The statue of Madonna Fatima will be placed in a small chapel in the left side altar of the new Catholic temple.Tatar-inform, Yelena Chembaeva