Assumption Chapel and the town of St. Marys, Kansas, were blessed with a second visit of the Fatima Pilgrim Virgin Statue.
In May, 2015, the Pilgrim Virgin visited St. Marys, Kansas, over the weekend of Mother’s Day. After her brief visit to the heartland of the United States, she continued her pilgrimage to the many other churches, chapels, schools and missions of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) in the United States. On Sunday, October 15, 2017, to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the miracle at Fatima, that same lovely statue of Our Lady of Fatima returned to St. Marys for the annual candlelight rosary procession.
Fr. Patrick Rutledge, Rector of St. Marys Academy and College, opened the procession with a brief address to the large crowd gathered for the occasion. He recalled that only a few months earlier millions of people had fixed their gaze into the sky to observe and wonder at the moon’s eclipsing the sun, a purely natural phenomenon calculated years in advance, but now was the anniversary of a day when thousands in a pasture in Portugal, turning their eyes heavenward, witnessed and marveled at a miracle that no man could have foretold. That same miracle gave a glimpse of, by a physical sign, the spiritual power of Mary. He reminded the congregation of Our Lady of Fatima’s plea for prayer and penance.
Fr. Todd Anderson, leading the procession, carried a relic of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Immediately behind him came the Pilgrim Virgin, transported on float, with a wooden canopy over her head, and about her feet a little lake of blue and white and yellow flowers. The two Marian sodalities, the Knights of the Immaculata and the Honor Guard of Mary, bearing torches and candles, escorted the statue of Our Lady. And over 1,500 candle-carrying Catholics, including priests, the Benedictine monks of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, and the Sisters of the Society followed, accompanying the Pilgrim Virgin through the streets of St. Marys that had been darkened by nightfall.
The procession wound its way seven blocks into the center of town where Fr. Rutledge consecrated the St. Mary’s Academy and College and all of its people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Francis Awerkamp, Mayor of St. Marys and Representative of 61st District of the Kansas State House, consecrated both the city and the 61st District to the Immaculate Heart as well. After which, the procession returned to the campus as it had come, amidst hymns and Aves.