Statues and other images of Mary are an invitation for us to seek Jesus’ help through the intercession of His Blessed Mother.
So with the recent addition of 187 statues and similar images of Mary in all shapes and sizes, the World Apostolate of Fatima’s St. Louis Division has plenty of invitations.
There’s Madonna and Child statues, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of the Snows, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Humility and many more. There’s even a statue of Our Lady of Television — an image from the television program, “Life is Worth Living,” with Archbishop Fulton Sheen. It’s of Mary with the Child Jesus, both holding a globe.
“There’s so many statues, I feel like I’m surrounded by Mary,” said Dan Burke, a parishioner at the Oratory of Sts. Gregory and Augustine in Richmond Heights, who was volunteering at the apostolate’s headquarters in Affton on a recent weekday.
The apostolate will open the display to the public from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the headquarters, 6009 Heege Road in Affton.
Previously the apostolate had a handful of statues on display and a couple more traveling statues of Our Lady of Fatima.
The new statues were donated by the family of Harry Desroches following his death, said Mary Broome, president of the St. Louis Division of the World Apostolate of Fatima, an organization established by the Vatican to promote the message of Fatima. He had a few more that were given away earlier, Broome said.
Desroches was 88 when he died in Webster Groves, where he lived for about 30 years. He obtained many of the statues at yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets and bought some at Catholic Supply. His daughter, Darlene, told Broome he had a library where the majority of the statues were displayed. She added that he found comfort while he read in the room surrounded by Our Lady’s images.
Our Lady of Fatima
• In 1917, Our Lady appeared to three
children in Fatima, Portugal. The apparitions began in May, when
9-year-old Francisco and 7-year-old Jacinta, along with their
10-year-old cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing the Virgin Mary.
The apparitions continued once a month until October 1917. The Church
later declared the apparitions worthy of belief.
• When she
appeared to the children, the Blessed Mother called on them to pray the
Rosary daily for an end to the Great War — World War I. Her messages of
conversion and prayer (especially for peace), reparation and penance and
devotion to her Immaculate Heart — all in the name of drawing us closer
to her Son — serve as timeless messages a century later.
Francisco and Jacinta, who died of illnesses as children, were canonized
by Pope Francis in 2017. Sister Lucia, who later became a Carmelite,
died in 2005 at age 97. Her sainthood cause is under study at the
• To learn more about the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, visit the St. Louis Division of the World Apostolate of Fatima at www.fatimastlouis.com.
>> A display and more
WHAT: Collection of 187 statues and similar images of Mary
WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19
WHERE: at the World Apostolate of Fatima St. Louis Division headquarters, 6009 Heege Road in Affton.
apostolate is concluding a nine-day novena at St. John Paul II Church
in Affton on May 13. Each year, the apostolate sponsors a one-day
pilgrimage to historical churches in and around the St. Louis area, with
the next one scheduled June 13 in St. Charles County. Most nights at 7
p.m. the Rosary is recited at the headquarters. A vigil is scheduled at
the headquarters at 7 p.m. every first Friday for reparations and
another the last Tuesday of each month for persecuted Christians.
Speakers from the apostolate offer talks on Fatima, the Rosary, Divine
Mercy, indulgences and more.
Begun in 1975, the St. Louis Division moved to its own building in 2003.
apostolate also is accepting donations of unwanted statues of Mary. For
information, visit www.fatimastlouis.com or call (314) 562-5927.