In my October 21, 2017 post, I expressed excitement about the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visiting Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Tulsa for two (2) days: Friday, October 20th (9:00 P.M. to Midnight), and Saturday, October 21st (8:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.). I opted to see her during the latter session.
Not only was this a once-in-a-lifetime event (for me) to visit the ”world-famous” statue that was sculpted by Portuguese artist Jose Ferreira Thedim (1892-1971), who had the privileged honor to work with and receive the approval of his sculpture from Sister Lucia (1907-2005), the oldest of the three visionaries of Fatima — it was also my first visit to Holy Family Cathedral.
I arrived early, as I am often known to do, in order to secure a good seat from which to observe this remarkable event. Unfortunately, not having been in a state of grace at the time of my visit I opted not to allow myself the privilege of sitting close to or walking up to Our Lady — the exception being when I received my Brown Scapular following my enrollment into the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular. I had to pass the statue on my return to my pew. If only I had the opportunity to go to confession prior to my visit. God be praised, I did receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation later that afternoon.
Holy Family Cathedral, as far as cathedrals go, is magnificent. The architecture, stained glass windows, statuary, etc. are breathtaking and a visual testament to the faith of Tulsa’s Roman Catholics.
Upon entering the main entrance to the cathedral I had to pass through a small lobby or foyer before entering into the main area of the church. In this area, I saw a table to my right and a banner and stand-up cardboard cutouts to my left. Information and other forms were available on the table. The banner and cutouts were of the three visionaries of Fatima: Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, now official saints of the Church, Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
After stopping for a few minutes to snap a photo of the banner and cardboard cutouts, I proceeded into the Cathedral. The main lights had not yet been turned on as it was still early. However, just ahead of me to my left as I am facing the main altar was the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady. A light was shining directly down upon the statue which made her quite easy to view. Even from my vantage point (I was positioned about 8-10 pews back from the first few located just in front of the statue), I could see the sculptured image of our Heavenly Mother quite clearly.
The photo above was taken while the main lights of the cathedral were still turned off.
The photo above was taken after the main lights in the cathedral had been turned on.
If this statue was as radiant and beautiful to my eyes Saturday morning in the Cathedral, I cannot even begin to imagine how profoundly beautiful Our Lady must have appeared to the three children. I believe Lucia described Our Lady as being transparent (they could see through her), and more brilliant than the sun. Imagine both the privileged honor and enormous responsibility it was for the children to witness and speak to the Mother of God! I imagine one could not survive such a visit without receiving special graces from God. Please note that I am no expert on heavenly visits and that these are my thoughts and opinions only, not those of the Church or of a duly designated entity of the Church.
The event began with Mass which I believe was celebrated by Bishop Emeritus Edward J. Slattery. Immediately following Mass, a verbal presentation was provided by the custodian of the pilgrim virgin, whose first name is Thomas. I apologize for failing to obtain his last name. Thomas’ presentation was informative, engaging, and provided hope, despite the current conditions in the world for those of us who were actually listening, in the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Following the verbal presentation, anyone who had not been enrolled in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular was enrolled (to my joyful delight). This was then followed by the recitation of the Holy Rosary which closed out this remarkable event.
I had an opportunity to chat briefly with Thomas, the custodian of the pilgrim statue before leaving. I wanted to personally thank him for his presentation and service to Christ through the Lady of the Rosary. I also filled out a card offering my services to the World Apostolate of Fatima which I will follow up with letters and emails (just like my prayers), until WAF says, ”We need to bring this guy on board. He truly desires to serve Christ through the Lady of the Rosary and His Church!” However, that I leave in the hands of Our Lady.
If I had any disappointment(s) with this event it was 1) I went alone without the benefit of family or a friend to join me, and 2) that the cathedral was not filled to capacity. You can get thousands to attend a college football game, but at a time when the Church needs us most, we cannot fill the pews to capacity. There is something wrong with that picture. Just another bullet item to add to our prayer list — to fill our churches to capacity on days of worship and special events.
Below are additional images I photographed with my cell phone at Holy Family Cathedral.
”Pray the Rosary every day for peace!”