On the veneration of images, Fr. Hardon’s “Modern Catholic Dictionary” states:
“According to the Council of Trent, images of Christ, of the Mother of God, and other canonized saints are to be kept in churches and due honor paid to them not because there is any divinity or power inherent in them as images, but because the honor shown to them is referred to the prototypes they represent. Through the worship and reverence so shown [to Christ and the saints, not to the images], the faithful really worship Christ and honor the saints whose likenesses they display.”
Veneration of Mary – Throughout the history of the Church, God has provided special images that reveal sensible evidence of His presence and the intercession of Our Lady and the saints. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a prime example: an image given to the Church in a miraculous way. The Pilgrim Virgin images are also very special for several reasons. Our Lady is very concerned about her Message of Fatima spreading throughout the world, and as Pope Benedict pointed out the Pilgrim Virgin Statues are the primary way this Message is being spread. The Pilgrim Virgin Statues were commissioned by the Bishop of Fatima expressly for this purpose. Pope Paul VI blessed our National Pilgrim Virgin at Fatima for the 50th anniversary of the apparitions in 1967 in order to spread this important Message.
There are many examples of God performing miracles of healing and other miracles for people who pray with faith before certain special images of Our Lord, Our Lady and the saints. The miracles are in response to genuine faith in the power of God and in the power of the intercession of Our Lady and the saints. Our Lord gave us the Image of the Divine Mercy through Sister Faustina with the promise that those praying before this Image will receive special graces. The Miraculous Medal also comes to mind, and the Green Scapular, both of which have many authentic stories of conversions and healing when used with faith.
There are also credible stories of spiritual and physical healing through veneration of the Pilgrim Virgin Statues. Our National Pilgrim Virgin is especially attractive and many, including me, say they feel Our Lady’s presence in a special way when praying in front of this Image.
E. William Sockey III
Custodian of the National Pilgrim Virgin Fatima Statue