Our Lady of Fatima statue coming to St. Cletus, Gretna

One of the four statues of Our Lady of Fatima approved by the Vatican for worldwide veneration under the auspices of the United Nations International World Apostolate of Fatima will be in the Archdiocese of New Orleans May 3-4 at St. Cletus Church, 3600 Claire Ave., in Gretna.
 
The custodian of the statue, Judith Studer, a wife, mother and registered nurse, will speak. She is among those who claim that they have been cured of illnesses through the intercession of Mary after visiting the statue. Studer was cured of inoperable colon cancer and said her granddaughter, Jessica Marfeo, was cured of neuroblastoma.
 
On May 3 at 8:30 a.m., the statue will arrive at St. Cletus Church. Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m., and at noon there will be recitation of the rosary, novena prayers and the Divine Mercy chaplet. Studer will speak at 6 p.m., followed by the rosary and novena prayers.
 
On May 4, the rosary will be recited at 8:30 a.m., followed by 9 a.m. Mass and a talk by Studer. The schedule for noon and 6 p.m. is the same as on May 3. The 6 p.m. prayer service and talk also will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and benediction.
 
The statue visited the Meditation Room at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Dec. 8, 1952. In honor of the 100-year anniversary of Fatima, the statue will again visit the U.N. on May 12.
 
During his visit to the site of the apparitions on May 13, Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima.
 
Almost a century ago, in the Portuguese village of Fatima, three shepherd children began telling people that while they were out tending their sheep, a beautiful lady had appeared to them atop an oak tree.
 
During a six-month period – from May 13 through Oct. 13, 1917 – the children said the lady appeared to them six times. They came to believe that she was the Blessed Mother and that she was bringing a message of hope to mankind. The Lady said, turn your hearts to God, pray – especially the rosary – and there will be peace.
 
The statue was made under the direction of Sister Lucia, one of the three shepherd children who later became a Carmelite nun.
 
For more information, call 367-7951.

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