Prayers and devotions accompany the Marian image as it is taken to various churches and organisations
Msgr Philip Heng crowns the image at the cathedral. Photo: VITA Images
The visit of the International Centennial Image of Our Lady of Fatima started at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd on Sept 11 as rector Msgr Philip Heng received and crowned the statue that has been blessed by Pope Francis. A crowd of 2,000 witnessed the ceremony.
Huge crowds also packed the evening Masses here on Sept 11 and 12, the all-night vigils and the following morning’s 6 am Masses.
Those who came for the vigils were invited to light a votive candle to symbolise the renewal of their faith and/or their desires to be the Light of Christ and peace to the world. Some 8,000 votive candles were lighted.
The rosary recitations were conducted in Malayalam, Tamil, Korean, Chinese (Teochew), Filipino, Bahasa Indonesia and English. This was to symbolise the need to continue building an inclusive Church, said Msgr Heng.
The statue was also taken to several venues for private devotions. For example on Sept 14, it was taken to St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School, where 350 students from the Canossian, Marist and Infant Jesus schools, as well as Holy Innocents’ Primary and St Stephen’s schools came together for a time of prayer.
They learnt more about the significance of Our Lady and the message that she brought to the children at Fatima 100 years ago. This was followed by a rosary devotion session, the consecration of families and a Mass.
Later, the Canossian school students had a rosary devotion session where they reflected on Our Lady’s message and intentions. The Catholic parents of St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School were also invited for a private rosary session led by the Canossian Sisters.
Fr Simon Pereira speaks about Our Lady at St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School.
The statue was later brought to the Church of St Mary of the Angels. Vespers and Mass were celebrated, followed by a candlelight rosary procession. There was also an investiture of the brown scapular. More than 2,000 people attended the celebration.
On Sept 15, the pilgrim image was taken to the Catholic Spirituality Centre for the culmination of the centre’s 33 Days to Morning Glory weekly reflections. The investiture of the brown scapular, Marian consecration and the recitation of the rosary commenced the centre’s celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
A day of recollection on Sept 16 and a day of prayer the following day – which included talks and devotion to Our Lady of Fatima – completed the programme.
Candlelight procession at the Church of St Mary of the Angels.
The Church of Sts Peter and Paul hosted the Marian image on Sept 18 with Mass and rosary prayers in Mandarin. About 1,000 people attended the event with many having to stand outside the church.
Fr Henry Siew blessed about 1,000 brown scapulars. People were also invested in the brown scapular by priests and nuns.
The visit of the statue to the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace on Sept 18 was like a “homecoming” for Our Lady of Fatima to the parish.
On April 19, 1978, a similar Pilgrim Virgin Statue was received and carried aloft by two priests – the late Frs Carlo Ly and Alfred Chan. More than 3,000 parishioners from the East District attended that event then.
Now almost 30 years later, this same parish honoured Our Lady with a Mass, candlelight rosary procession, Eucharistic adoration and benediction followed by the investiture of the brown scapular.
The statue is carried into the Church of Sts Peter and Paul.
Fr Erbin Fernandez celebrates Mass at the Catholic Spirituality Centre.
Consecration to Jesus and Mary at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.