NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A sacred statue from Portugal began its pilgrimage through New Jersey on Tuesday. Our Lady of Fatima will be visiting churches around the Newark area all month.
It is a symbolic statue crafted out of an image of the Virgin Mary. Her vision appeared before three children in Fatima, Portugal 65 years ago. She is said to have visited them once a month for six consecutive months.
In 1947, one of those children helped an artist craft her likeness and her message, called the “peace plan from heaven,” spread around the world.
“We see a lot of prayers answered,” Patrick Sabat, of the Pilgrim Statue Foundation, told CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider.
Sabat travels the world with the famed statue. Miracles are reported everywhere it goes. Sabat said he saw it first hand in India.
“A priest, immediately, he was blind and he could see after he went before the statue,” Sabat said.
The Catholic Church has commissioned this statue to travel the world. It has visited more than 100 countries to bring a message of peace and hope to millions.
“It definitely makes me feel more spiritual in our religion and believe in it. It’s amazing,” said Claudia Ciasullo.
“It’s about miracles, so that’s why we came to actually see it,” Filomena Oliveri said.
Oliveri came with her mother and grandmother to visit Our Lady of Fatima at one of its first stops in New Jersey — the Gate of Heaven mausoleum.
The statue itself has even been said to shed real tears. Believers pray and said they see this as a proof of the power of their faith.
“It’s important to have the faith and you will get the miracle that you want,” said Angelica Marucci.
Our Lady of Fatima will tour 20 churches in the Newark area through the end of June.
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