WARREN, Ohio — The United Nations’ International Pilgrim Statue of Fatima has traveled the world, but for five days the statue was put on display at various churches and hospitals in Trumbull, Mahoning and Portage counties.
Thursday the statue was shown on the altar of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Warren.
People lined up to kneel before the statue, which is one of the original four sculptures created by Jose Ferreira Thedeim and blessed by Pope Pius XII.
“One of the four original statues made under the guidance of Sister Lucia who was the oldest of the three children,” said Judy Studer, a statue custodian.
The children, Lúcia dos Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were sheep herding near the village of Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917 when they say they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary.
The children told everyone that the blessed mother revealed three secrets including a brief look at the fires of hell and the prediction of World Wars I and II.
However, not everyone believed the children, so Mary promised a miracle to occur on October 13, 1917, which became known as the “Miracle of the Sun.”
A crowd of about 70,000 people witnessed the incredible and indescribable light show, and since then thousands more have flocked to Fatima to honor Mary.
Many miracles have been reported there and also in connection with the travelling replica statues.
Judy Studer said she had colon cancer 12 years ago and was told she had six months to live.
Her mother convinced her to go see the statue when it was on tour in her Rhode Island hometown.
Soon after the visit, where she prayed for healing from Mary, she got a call from her doctor.
“He said, ‘I can’t explain it. All of your tests came up clean. Cancer free,’” said Studer.
After that day, the nurse decided to dedicate her life to the mission and message of Our Lady of Fatima. She now travels with the statue across the country and around the world.
Thursday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, dozens of people lined up to see her.
Katie Moran said, “At times she appears smiling, at times she appears sad.”
Fr. Jeffrey Stealey added, “I’ve seen people break down in tears as soon as they look at the face.”
The faithful strongly believe they are seeing the face of Jesus’ mother, because it is as close as humanly possible to the description provided by Lucia.
Standing just four feet tall with mesmerizing brown eyes, believers also reported miraculous changes in their lives.
A drug addict found hope, a wife watched her husband finally convert to Christianity after 45 years of asking him to convert, and another man finally got the job of his dreams.
“His phone rang, and he had been waiting for a job call, and the one he wanted he felt it was out of his reach, but that’s exactly what the call was for, the job he wanted,” said Moran.
Moran, who is helping Studer with this current tour, said everyone seems to be touched by the statue.
People can’t seem to get enough of her beauty.
“When you’re looking at it you feel her presence. You can get your fill looking at other beautiful images but you cannot get your fill looking at this. You want to look, look, look again,” said Moran.
The statue was in Northeast Ohio until Sunday night.