Pilgrim Statue at Saint Peter Parish

August 30, 2016
Hundreds of people visited Saint Peter Catholic Church in Volo Tuesday to see the famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima.

The statue has been on a world tour leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to three children in the village of Fatima, Portugal in 1917, Rev. Anthony Rice said. The apparations reportedly appeared to the children to promote peace.

“The purpose of the Tour for Peace is to spread the message of Fatima for peace in the world, repentance and conversion,” Rice said.

On Tuesday, some visitors came for a brief prayer and a photo, while others stayed for Mass.

Libertyville resident Shirley Miao said she travelled to Portugal to see the statue three years ago.

Miao was one of about 100 people who watched the statue be carried out of the church during a procession. It was then placed inside a motorhome, where it travels with escort Patrick Sabat.

“It’s not an accident that’s she’s here today,” Miao said. “At this moment the country needs her presence and it’s an honor that she came to my parish.”

Sabat said he is taking the statue around the world to help spread a message of peace.

“There’s so much violence and hatred, and the answer for how to stop that is clear. This is a call for prayer, and I think after 100 years it’s about time we respond to her request,” Sabat said.
Audri Holtz, 12, and Alana Holtz, 10, held a rosary as they walked to the altar with their father, Matt Holtz.

The Round Lake Beach family said they wanted to see the statue because they feel a connection to the Virgin of Fatima. The Holtz family descried the visit as a “beautiful and moving experience.”

“I guess you can say our family was brought together because of her,” said Matt Holtz, who adopted the girls from Russia, “which would still be a communist country if it weren’t for Our Lady of Fatima.”

In 1917, the Virgin of Fatima reportedly predicted another war and said the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary would bring peace, Rice said.

“We need to see the good things that God wants for us, but it involves prayer,” Rice said. “We’re honored to have her here, and we hope that people not lose hope and not be discouraged. If we turn back to Him, our country can turn around, but we have to humble ourselves and say ‘We’ve sinned; we’ve messed up.'”
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima’s Tour for Peace continues at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago Thursday then to Wisconsin and Minnesota, Sabat said.

Article Source: Chicago Tribune Lake County News Sun
Yadira Sanchez Olson is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.