MIRACULOUS FATIMA STATUES
First Miracle of the Doves
was the year of Portugal's third centennial of national consecration to the Immaculate Conception and it was the first centennial of an identical national consecration in the United States. Just one hundred years before . . . in 1846 . . . the bishops of America in a conclave in Baltimore dedicated our nation to Mary Immaculate.
On that very day . . . the first centennial of America's dedication to the Immaculate Conception . . . the day on which we had no fitting celebration of our Marian heritage in this nation discovered by a ship which bore her name and solemnly dedicated to her by the first Episcopal conclave . . . something else was happening in another part of the world.
It was the miracle of the doves.
Father Oliveira wrote:
"The coming of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima from the Cova da Iria (where Our Lady appeared in 1917) to Lisbon, for the celebration of the third centenary of the consecration of Portugal to the Immaculate Conception, was too extraordinary to be adequately described.
"The statue was carried to Lisbon and back to Fatima on men's shoulders, the entire way, and in each village or town where it was kept during the night, great crowds spent the entire night in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, culminating in early Mass and general Holy Communion.
"Before I narrate the story of the doves in detail, I would like to describe the general events that centered around the statue upon its arrival in our capital city, Lisbon.
"It is to be remembered that not many years ago the Catholic Church in Portugal was persecuted. That is why this centenary . . . this commemoration of the third time that Portugal celebrates a hundred year mark in her state of national consecration to Mary Immaculate . . . was to be so important. During this past century, not only had Our Lady saved Portugal . . . but it was in Portugal that She made Her predictions of World War II with Her ultimate promise of World Peace!
"After its long journey (which for the people along the way seemed too short) the statue arrived in Lisbon on the evening of December fifth. Straightway it was carried to the beautiful new Church of Our Lady of Fatima of Lisbon, where it was kept until the vigil of December eighth. Crowds filled the beautiful church to the doors, constantly, day and night. All night long, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was conducted by several priests. Celebration of Masses began at midnight and in the morning there was High Mass and general Holy Communion. On December 7th, at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, thousands of children were consecrated to Our Lady by Cardinal Cerejeira, Primate of Portugal. Finally, at 9:30 in the evening, in a brilliant candlelight procession consisting solely of men that reached almost from one end of central Lisbon to the other, the statue was carried to the cathedral. The passage took three and a half hours, so vast were the crowds.
"After the Te Deum, all the bishops with their mitres and crosiers, regular and secular clergy and great crowds of many thousands of persons, conducted the statue processionally to the square, Terreiro do Paco, where the flag of Blessed Nuno Alvarez Pereira1 is annually saluted; there it was placed on a beautifully decorated frigate waiting at anchor in the River Tagus. Atop the main mast on the frigate flamed an illuminated cross, visible for miles.
"On the opposite shore, another crowd was waiting. Soon the statue was again being carried processionally, on men's shoulders, back to Fatima.
"The scene of the departure from Lisbon was touching. I am sorry that I cannot adequately describe it. The great square, which is capable of holding many thousands of people, was actually illuminated by the number of candles. But in addition, flaming rockets constantly broke overhead and great searchlights wove back and forth across the sky. The crowd, many with tears in their eyes, waved their handkerchiefs and sang the adieu hymn which pilgrims always sing when leaving Fatima. Deep, throaty roars and whistle blasts from hundreds of boats echoed their cries.
"Truly the reception of the statue in the city, and all the ceremonies held in honor of the Lady, Queen-Mother, which the statue represents, are beyond description.
"Now, into this background of the greatness of the occasion, let me tell the incident of the doves, about which the newspapers here in Portugal have spoken so much and which is on the lips of every person in the nation.
"It began in a town called Bombazral, a short time after the statue had left Fatima.
"As part of the ceremony in that particular town, while the streets filled with people were singing hymns to Our Lady and pressing to be near the statue someone freed four white doves. The greater part of the crowd hardly noticed it.
"After flying off into the air, three of the doves . . . instead of flying from the great crowd to some roof-top . . . made several evolutions over the statue and then suddenly, to the amazement of all who saw them, plummeted downwards, and alighted at Our Lady's feet!
"This was the beginning.
"During the days that followed, midst ever-changing crowds, moving from one town to another night and day for almost two whole weeks, the doves did not leave the statue. They remained there at the very base of the statue, as though vying one with the other actually to stand on Our Lady's feet. Yet bands played, people shouted, the bier on which the statue was mounted moved and swayed, rockets exploded at night and cascaded fire, while giant searchlights burned at them. They were constantly buffeted by flowers tossed to the statue from the surging crowds.
"But they did not fly. They blinked, shook off flowers that hit them, occasionally stretched their wings to keep balance. But they remained there at her feet during the entire two-week journey. They refused food or drink.
"When the statue was carried into Lisbon, I had the honor of walking at its side as Carmelite Tertiaries bore it triumphantly into the city. I was so close to it, and to the doves, that I could reach out and touch either. Cordons of militia and police were holding back the crowds of many thousands of people who had gone far out of the city to meet this most famous representation of the Virgin, coming for their greatest Marian centennial.
. By now they were more the object of comment than the beautiful statue or the glory in which it was enthroned. The newspapers had been filled with the story of their perseverance, their utter fearlessness, the strangeness of their position. Many must have wondered what would happen . . . now that they had actually accompanied the statue into the church that had been prepared for its reception, refusing to be brushed off or frightened away.
"All during the night of December 5th, in the Church of Our Lady of Fatima of Lisbon, the doves remained standing at the feet of the statue
"The next morning, at Mass, they had their answer.
"The next morning, the doves flew.
"From midnight, Masses were constantly recited at the altar near the statue. As I mentioned in the beginning, the church was crowded to the doors with Lisbonites keeping vigil.
"In the morning, after the many Masses of the night, came the solemn High Mass, which was to be followed by a general Communion.
"During the Solemn Mass, most of the people in the great church had undoubtedly stopped watching the doves, to which they were now accustomed, to concentrate on the Mass. This was especially true in the solemn moment when the bell sounded, and a great hush fell over the crowd just before the elevation.
"In that moment of hush, there was a sudden fluttering of wings.
"To the utter amazement of all, two of the doves suddenly flew . . . after two weeks of refusing food or drink and of remaining at the feet of the statue . . . one sped straight to the gospel side of the altar, and the other to the epistle side! There, as the bishop straightened to raise the Consecrated Host, they alighted and folded their wings . . . one on each side . . . as though in adoration!
"As the Mass progressed, the two doves remained there to the bewilderment of the celebrants and servers and the stupefied congregation.
"But this was still not the climax.
"The third dove had not left the statue.
. . . placed there by the cardinal Legate who personally represented the Holy Father the previous May 13 at Fatima . . . and as the celebrant turned and held up Our Lord, saying "Ecce Agnus Dei" ("Behold the Lamb of God"), it spread its white wings and held them open!
"Suddenly, at the moment of communion, the third dove flew up and perched on top of the statue's golden crown
"By the time this letter reaches America, the statue of Our Lady . . . which I saw leave Lisbon with genuine sorrow, because all of us here felt almost that it was Our Lady Herself who had visited us rather than just a poor image of Her . . . will be back in the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima."
"On arriving in Fatima, first it will have been carried directly into the great Basilica (which, I am told, is much grander than the people of America generally know) and there the Office of the Nativity will be sung by the seminarians of the Diocese of Leiria (in which Fatima is located), and their bishop . . . Don Jose Alves Correia da Silva, who last August 13th greatly honored Americans by having you kneel alone beside him during the official pilgrimage of the Leiria diocese . . . will close these centennial celebrations of Portugal by giving the Papal Benediction to a crowd which probably will number at least half a million.
"Here in Portugal, where we have witnessed this extraordinary event and where we have so come to appreciate the blessings of peace which we attribute solely to our newly awakened national devotion to Mary, this miracle of the doves has not only strengthened our confidence, but has renewed our purpose.
"I hope that it may strengthen the confidence of the people of America, to whom so much of battered Europe now looks for leadership, and renew the desire and purpose of all American Catholics to strive for the world-wide fulfillment of Our Lady of Fatima's simple conditions of peace.
"May these doves, which have flown in Lisbon, fly into American hearts, and from there be sent forth as carriers to bear the peace message of Our Lady of Fátima to the world under the protection of the American Eagle."
International Pilgrim Virgin Statue
The history of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue begins in 1946. At that
time, after the youth of Portugal attended a Congress in Fatima, they took the
Statue from display in the Cova on pilgrimage to Lisbon. As they walked the route they
stopped at the towns and people gathered to pray. In Lisbon when they entered the
cathedral, the miracle of doves occurred. Many other
phenomena also occurred inspiring devotion and inspiring the fervor among the people.
The statue was returned to its place in the Cova de Iria but many people wished for a visit in their own communities. The Bishop asked Sr. Lucia in a letter about sending the statue on tour. Sr. Lucia responded with a letter suggesting that the new statue, just then being made, by the famous sculptor Jose Thedim be used as a pilgrim statue. The Bishop agreed and, on May 13, 1947, this new statue was blessed and named the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
Almost before it began its journey, so many places wanted her visit that it was realized a second statue should also be blessed. This second statue, made also by Jose Thedim, was completed and blessed by the Bishop of Fatima on October 13, 1947 (Exactly 30 years to the day after the great miracle of the sun, which was to draw the world's attention to Mary's message.) His Excellency remarked that this would be the Western statue and that the two statues would travel about until finally they could enter Russia.
The Bishop of Fatima entrusted the Western statue to Mr. John Haffert, who was the cofounder of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima in America. It entered the United States, through Canada at Buffalo, New York, on December 8, 1947. (Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.) At Buffalo 200,000 people lined the streets and welcomed Our Lady on that occasion.
THE WONDERS SHE PERFORMS
The miracles of the doves, tears, and cures of this third (Western statue) are best explained in the book "THE WONDERS SHE PERFORMS" by Louis Kaczmarek. Louis was the Statue of Our Lady's escort for the longest time, over 20 years. He is also the most famous because of his knowledge and talks about Our Lady. I call him the spokesperson of Our Lady to the free world.
Most of the miracles of this International Pilgrim Virgin Statue will be quoted from sections of his book, mine own research and my own experience.
The miracles, favors, and signal graces were so numerous from the very
beginning that even the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, reflected on them in his famous
radio address to the pilgrims at Fatima, May 13, 1951. He recalled having crowned the
Fatima statue in 1946: "In 1946 we crowned Our Lady of
Fatima as Queen of the world, and the next year, through her pilgrim image, She set forth
as though to claim Her dominion, and the miracles She performs along the way are such that
we can scarcely believe our eyes at what we are seeing."
The Doves at Our Lady's Feet
What the Holy Father was referring to is the miracles that took place from 1946 to 1951 in the presence of this, what has become, the best known Sacramental in the world. Just like the original Portuguese Statue above, the doves followed this new statue all the way to the Americas and around the world. Robert Z. Saldvar "accompanied Our Lady's Statue on an American B-17 Heavy Bomber, flying it form Fatima to the United States Air Base at Terceira in the Azores some 400 miles west of Portugal. The doves would not be left in Fatima, but twelve of them actually flew to the Azores, and landed many hours after the plane, n order to be with their Lady! ... one of the four priests who carried her in procession ... added that they were perched in the carrier which was used to transport the statue in procession."(The Wonders She Performs)
In 1949 at Nicaragua, Fr. Salazar related, "The statue remained in and around our area for three days and nights. It was most noticeable that three doves remained constantly at the feet of Our Lady except for the time that they were fed. Furthermore, we witnessed the astonishing fact that two doves flew to the altar, one on each corner thereof, during the Consecration of the Mass and returned to their place on the pedestal ... at the end of Consecration. During the daily procession through the Port, neither band music nor fireworks would frighten the doves away."(The Wonders She Performs)
"On April 25, 1959 Padre Pio was rushed to the hospital with an illness that threatened his life... On August 5, 1959 the statue was taken into the chapel at San Giovannni Rotundo ... Just as Padre Pio got within several feet of the famed image, three white doves flew into the chapel to the base of the statue, and performed this maneuver a total of three times before finally resting at the base of the statue."(The Wonders She Performs) Padre Pio was cured. It was at the Pisa in Italy that the doves started following the statue, which was carried to the 92 provincial capitals of Italy to prevent a Communist takeover.
In Rome in 1978 two doves stayed at the foot of the statue all day on May 1. "The following day, at St. John Lateran Basilica, while preparing for Mass, three doves flew out of the sky, and landed straight at the feet of the statue. Efforts to dislodge these went unsuccessful. Precisely at the Consecration, the doves flew up and perched on the arch above and to each side of the balcony. After communion they returned to Our Lady's feet, where they remained through the night. The next day they were still there when the Statue was transported back to St. John Lateran for another Mass. Again at the Consecration they left, and this time flew to the column capitals next to the sanctuary. This time they stayed there, as the statue was being taken on a flight to Vienna."(The Wonders She Performs)
"At Lourdes, France ... Three white doves landed on the red carrier we use to house the statue while carrying it in procession. They remained ensconced at the feet of the image."(The Wonders She Performs)
I know of no miracle of the doves after the statue was removed from the Blue Army and Louis Kaczmarek.
TEARS OF OUR LADY' STATUE
In 1972 I saw on the front page of the San Diego Newspaper a picture of the official Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima with a large tear dropping off Her nose. The story said the statue was crying and had cried several times before. "Hogwash!" I said and flew to New Orleans to prove that this was fraud or demonic.
In New Orleans the custodian had brought the Statue to the Church of Father Romagosa. There were two cures, and the statue had cried several times in his Church. I held the tears in his hands but still did not believe. The custodian had let a woman mystic travel with the statue after it first cried because she said the Virgin had appeared to her and told her why the Statue was crying. The tears were sent to a hospital and found to be human tears and 100% free of any impurities, something that is impossible in nature and impossible for the demonic powers. At that point I knew that he had held the tears of Our Lady in his hands.
At the same time, though, Father Romagosa resolved to do what Scripture commands us to do, test the seer. He asked the mystic to come to his office and pray to the Virgin for any message She would give to the father. In the meantime Father went to the other side of the room and sat in a chair and read to himself from a prayer book. The seer prayed and prayed on her knees but nothing happened. She continued to pray until she began to tremble and then turned to Father Romagosa with demonic eyes and screamed at him in immoral (truck-driver) language. She threatened him and stormed out of the room and the city, breaking the speed limit. Father was reading exorcism prayers.
This statue had cried 23 times before that; however, it was in New Orleans that the miracle went all over the world because of the pictures that Father Romagosa took, a copy of which is on the opening page of this web site.
After this Louis Kaczmarek took control of the statue and in Los Vegas in 1979 it again cried four times. The first three times 6,000 people witnessed the tearing. The last time was a private showing and 40 people witnessed the tearing. Louie had the tears analyzed and they were human tears. Archbishop Hanann took the statue and had it investigated. That was the first time it was discovered that the moisture was human tears, something that science cannot reproduce.
Physical cures attributed to the presence of the Statue have been documented many times. In New Orleans of my own experience a man fell from a building and crushed all the bones in of both his legs. The doctors were going to amputate them. He was not a practicing Catholic but his wife was. She wanted to go to Church and he did not want to be left alone at home. She pushed him in a wheelchair to the front of the Church but not inside. He waited outside as she went through the door. The minute she went through the door he shouted out at her that he could feel his legs. She went back out to find that he was cured. Ex-rays showed not one brake in the bones. What she and her husband did not know is that in that Church was the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue.
Another personal experience of my own regarding this statue was my friend who converted from new age to the Catholic Church. A friend of hers (another new age mystic) came to visit her. "I will talk to you only on one condition that you come with me to Church." She did not know what church to go to but they went to the closest one they could find. They walked in a church together and there was a large crown in line to honor a statue. My friend went down to see what was going on as her friend stayed in the back of the church looking on. It was the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue. The new age girl decided to go down and see what all this devotion was all about. She went down and looked strait into the eyes of the statue. At that moment she was converted to the Catholic faith. I brought her in a year later. She also, without us knowing it, had limes disease. This also was instantly cured as she looking into the eyes of the statue.
The Future of the Statue
When John Haffert left the Blue Army he took possession of the Statue under legal but questionable circumstances. When he wanted the statue to go on the 101 Peace Flight to Russia, Louis refused to go. See The 101 Peace Fright. Since then the statue has gone mostly with the 101 Foundation and its false seers.
Before John Haffert died he willed the statue to the Castle at Ourem near Fatima. We here in Fatima, intend to give Her a proper welcome home if we are given enough advance notice. From Fatima we hope She still travels throughout the world.
Thomas McGlynn was born May 23,1906. His parents were Frank McGlynn and Rose O'Beirne. His father was an actor, famous for his stage portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. He received the habit of the Dominican Order September 8, 1925, taking the religious name of Brother Matthew. He was ordained a priest May 20, 1932 at St. Dominic's Church, Washington, DC by Archbishop Michael J. Curley of Baltimore, Maryland. He received the diploma in sculpture from the Royal Academy in Rome in 1934. He then studied at Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, under the guidance of Carl Milles. After an apostolic ministry, which included teacher, pastor, writer, he went to Pietrasanta, Italy in 1956 to sculpt the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. He remained in Italy until his untimely death September 3, 1977.
McGlynn, returning to Providence College in 1946 with the express understanding that he could do sculpture, contacted the Rigali brothers about the proposal they had made to him six years earlier. After consultation, it was agreed that Tom would do three figures for them: The Blessed Virgin, The Sacred Heart, and St. Joseph. A formal contract was signed with the approval of his religious superiors, and Tom was finally in business as a professional sculptor.
The first work done in Providence was a statue of Our Lady. Two of Tom's classmates, John Rubba and William Hinnebusch suggested that this might be a statue of Our Lady of Fatima since the Church had recently released more information about the apparitions at Fatima and since the Shrine at Fatima was growing in international reputation. Tom was impressed with what he knew of Fatima, so he was eager to do such a statue. The Rigali Brothers agreed that the first statue would be of Fatima. Tom's conception of Our Lady was based on his personal interpretation of the current information, and he was confident that it was an authentic expression of the apparitions. Pleased with the statue upon completing it, he felt that it would be suitable for reproduction, and so he brought it to Chicago where Mr. Rigali approved it.
Now he began to question whether the public would accept the statue as authentic. While visiting friends in Detroit, he broached the subject and a woman providentially asked,"Why don't you go to Portugal to see Sister Lucy?" Lucy, of course, was the only survivor of the three children who had witnessed the apparitions in 1917. Tom called Mr. Rigali in Chicago, who not only approved of the proposed trip to Portugal but also agreed to subsidize it. Armed with the permission of his religious superiors to make this trip during the semester break at the College and with a letter of introduction from Cardinal Spellman to Cardina] Cerejera, Bishop of Lisbon, Tom flew to Portugal in February of 1947.
Fatima is now well known to the Catholic world. Our Lady first appeared to three small children tending sheep near Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1917 and asked that they return to the site on the thirteenth of each month until October. The children were Lucia dos Santos, ten years of age; Francisco, her nine-year-old cousin; and Jacinta, Francisco's seven-year-old sister. Essentially a call to penance, Our Lady's message implored humanity to stop sinning, with warnings of future disaster by war, the rise of Russia as a sinister power that would actually be a divine chastisement for sin, the destruction of many nations, widespread famines, and the like. Since the 1940s Fatima has become known in the Catholic world as a place of pilgrimage for peace.
Cardinal Cerejera, Bishop of Lisbon, wrote a letter of introduction for Tom to Don Jose da Silva, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima who was in charge of the Shrine at Fatima. All information about the apparitions came from his office, and he also determined who might have permission to see Lucy. To avoid publicity after the apparitions, her bishop had placed her in an orphanage where she went by the pseudonym, Maria das Dores. She later entered the Sisters of St. Dorothy and was now at the Convent at Vila Nova de Gaia across the river from the Town of Oporto, two hundred miles north of Fatima. Here she was called Irma Dores. Irma is Portuguese for Sister. While waiting for permission to visit Lucy, Tom went to Fatima to visit the Shrine as well as the house where Lucy was born, and to speak with her two sisters about the apparitions. Accompanied by Father Gerard Gardiner, an Irish Dominican stationed in Lisbon who acted as his interpreter, he finally saw Lucy. The Bishop not only allowed Tom to visit her but also to question her about the apparitions, a permission not normally given since all questions regarding them were routinely answered by the Bishop's Office which had complete records of Lucy's experiences.
Tom was proud of his statue of Our Lady, which he had brought to Portugal for Lucy's approval. In fact, his mentor, Carl Milles, had remarked that it was the best sculpture that Tom had ever done. Tom, therefore, was eager for Lucy's approval, but he was in for a rude awakening. After examining the statue for some time, she said, "It's not the right position. The right hand should be raised and the left, lower down. The garments in the statue are too smooth. The light was in waves and gave the impression of a garment with folds. She was surrounded by light and she was in the middle of light. Her feet rested on the azinheira (a small holm oak tree). The leaves of the azinheira were small, as it was a young tree. The leaves did not bend down." This was a shock to Tom who thought that Our Lady had appeared on a cloud, a form he considered to be appropriately artistic. Lucy added, "She always had a star on her tunic. She always had a cord with a little ball of light,' and she indicated an imaginary pendant around the neck falling down near the waistline.
She explained that there were only two garments visible, a simple tunic and a long veil or mantle. The tunic had no collar and no cuffs. Nor was there a cincture or a sash around the waist, although the tunic was drawn in at the waist. The sleeves were not wide, and the mantle and the tunic were a wave of light. When Tom asked her how one distinguished between the mantle and the tunic, she said, "There were two waves of light, one on top of the other." When Tom asked her if there was a line of gold on the mantle, she explained "It was like a ray of sunlight all around the mantle." She further explained that this ray around the mantle was like a thin thread. The mantle in Tom's sculpture was a long, oval contour, which he treasured. Lucy said, "It seemed to be straighter. It was a thing all made of light and very light, but it fell straight down. The clothing was all white. The cord was a more intense and yellow light.... The light of Our Lady was white and the star was yellow."
Tom had added hair around the neck to fill out the form, but Lucy insisted that she never saw any hair. Nor did she see whether Our Lady was wearing sandals because she never looked at her feet. Tom asked her if the face and hands and feet of Our Lady had the color of light or the color of flesh. She answered, "Flesh colored light; light which took on the color of flesh " As to Our Lady's expression, she commented, "Pleasing but sad. Sweet but sad." She told Tom that the face of his statue seemed too old. She also stated that Our Lady appeared as the Immaculate Heart in June only, and that the heart appeared out from the body and was surrounded by thorns.
When Tom came to Portugal, he was confident that Lucy would only ask for minor changes, not the major changes she spoke of. Tom's statue had been done symbolically but with a certain artistic liberty, which he felt necessary. As he tried to defend his sculpture through symbolic expression, Lucy said, "No matter what you do, you won't give the impression of the reality." It was quite evident, then, that Tom was far off the mark with respect to Lucy's recollection of the apparition. He was now in a quandary. He had come to Portugal to guarantee that his statue might be an authentic representation of the apparitions, but he also wanted the artistic liberty to give a sculptural expression to the apparitions. As a man of simple, but educated, faith, he wished to express the vision as it really was. While he might be able to justify his statue on artistic grounds, he certainly could not do so on spiritual grounds, and so he had no choice but to make a new statue.
Thus, it was agreed that Tom would remain at the convent to do a new statue under Lucy's direction. What happened is something unique in the life of the Church and the history of sculpture: a documentary of a spiritual experience that one had with the Other World. Lucy was the narrator and Tom the instrument through which Lucy would express what she saw.
For the next seven days, from February 8 to February 14 in 1947, Tom was no longer an artist, but a craftsman pliable in the hands of this simple peasant girl from Fatima. In his humility and deep faith, Tom subjected his will and his artistic judgment to Lucy's. Those who knew Tom realized that this was not an easy thing for him to do. Lucy sat with him in the studio during much of the time that he worked on the new statue. She would make corrections as he worked, and at times she would even take one of the tools and make changes in the model. Tom was inclined to rebel against this intrusion into his artistic world, but he did not. Finally, Lucy was reasonably happy with the statue. It had been a stupendous week in Tom's life, as one can read in his account of the making of the statue.
In the process of making the statue, the Mother Superior of the Community, who spoke some English, joked about Tom's chain smoking. She was half-serious. Tom defended the addiction as a harmless kind of fidgeting that relieved tension. She said, "What does this mean, fidgeting?" Tom explained by giving examples of thumb-twiddling, paper-tearing, and nail biting "Nearly everyone fidgets, "he said. Understanding now what fidgeting meant, in her broken English she said, "But I don't smoke; and I don't fidget."
One day while Tom worked, Irma Dores decided to do some sculpturing. Tom gave her some clay and she made part of the head and the figure, but when the day was over, she threw the clay back into the bin. They worked together, after a fashion, in the making of the statue. After the clay figure was made, Tom with the help of an assistant, cast it in plaster. When all was completed, Tom remarked, "The work had been trying but the reward was very great; the joy of seeing Irma Dores pleased." Toward the end of the modeling, Lucy had said, "Although it has been a lot of work it is worthwhile to get it right."
With the statue completed, Ton asked the Bishop permission to do a large figure of it for the niche on the facade of the Shrine. Tom suggested that the funds for it execution might come from American Catholics as a perpetual symbol of American Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin at this, her newest shrine. The Bishop accepted Tom's request to do the statue for the outdoor niche. That evening Tom telegraphed his parents, his superior, Father T. S. McDermott, and John Rigali of Daprato Statuary Company in Chicago, about the Bishop's approval of the statue for the Shrine. It was Father McDermott who had sent Tom to Rome to study sculpture and it was Mr. Rigali who had made the Fatima trip possible.
It was not until March 7, 1956 that work began on the Fatima statue. It was completed on April 5, 1958. The work was done at the Daprato studios in Pietrasanta, a town long known for its involvement in carving marble. The statue was dedicated at the shrine in Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1958, the 41st anniversary of Lucy's vision. The statue was placed on a pedestal in front of the Shrine, since reinforcement of the tower was necessary before the statue could be placed in the niche. The Portuguese Navy raised the statue to the niche in 1959. Twelve years had passed from the time that Lucy had approved of the statue.