I just came back from a short pilgrimage to see the miraculous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
She was at Immaculate Mary in downtown Newark, NJ. This statue is blessed by God with a variety of facial expressions. My impression of the countenance of the statue was one of great sadness and hope.
It's been 34 years since I've first seen the statue, but I was always come away with the impression that Our lady is trying to say something.
Here is an article that explains the amazing gaze of this miraculous statue. I hope you enjoy it.
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As I fix my eyes upon that countenance, I suddenly realize I am entering it.
Yes, a unique expressiveness radiates from the face and especially from the eyes. Absorbed by the atmosphere her expressiveness creates, I feel invited to enter deep into her gaze.
And what a gaze! I know no other so calm, frank, pure and welcoming. In none other can one enter with such ease. No other holds such unfathomable depths and grand horizons. The more one enters this gaze, the more one is attracted toward an indescribable interior and sublime summit.
What summit? A state of soul I would be tempted to describe as full of paradoxes, if the word ‘paradox' were not so misused today as to make me seem disrespectful.
St Thomas Aquinas says that perfection is the result of a balance of harmonious opposites. He was not speaking of the precarious balance between flagrant contradictions so common in our contemporary world. No, this is a supreme harmony of all forms of good.
In the depth of this gaze, I see arise a peak where all perfections meet. It is a peak where a crystalline, categorical and irresistible rule excludes every form of evil, however slight or small.
One could spend a whole lifetime within this gaze without ever reaching the summit of its peak. Within that gaze one does not walk, but flies. One is not a tourist but a pilgrim. And although the pilgrim can never reach the height of that sacred mountain, the sum of all created perfection, he sees it with ever increasing clarity the more he flies toward her.
While on this pilgrimage of the soul, the pilgrim flies toward a gaze that does not merely embrace but penetrates him. Closing his eyes, he perceives a light in the depths of his being.
The gaze is the focal point of her countenance. It is an impressive countenance! The insensitive might consider it inexpressive. To a skilled observer, it is greater than history because it touches eternity. It is greater than the universe because it reflects the infinite.
The forehead appears to hold thoughts that, beginning with a crib and ending with a cross, take in all of human events.
The lines of the entire face and nose possess a charm "more beautiful than beauty". As a poet once wrote, these are silent lips that nevertheless say everything at every moment. They appear to praise God in the uniqueness of every creature, beseeching God to have pity on every pain and misery as if she has suffered each one of them.
These lips have an eloquence which reduces the orations of the great Cicero to mere babbling. What can be said of the skin, other that it is snow white?
This description says both everything and nothing. To describe it, one would need to imagine a snowiness that profoundly reflects with infinite discretion, all the shades of the rainbow, which would in turn inspire the soul who contemplates it with all the wonders of purity.
Yes, I went on pilgrimage within this gaze. Yet I unexpectedly feel that her gaze also went on pilgrimage inside me. Hers was a merciful pilgrimage, not from splendor to splendor, but from need to need, from misery to misery. If only I open myself to her, she will offer me a remedy for my shortcomings, help against every obstacle and hope for every affliction.
This statue is a wooden statue without any special artistic value. And yet, one only has to fix one's eyes on this statue to see that, without moving or the least physical transformation, it becomes brilliant with all these splendors. I do not know how this happens. However, if the reader wishes, let him look and see...
I insist. If you believe in the description that I have made, I invite you in turn to make this magnificent pilgrimage within the gaze of the Virgin. If you do not believe, look and see. I could not offer a better invitation...
I pray to her for you. I pray for the Holy Church troubled and tormented as never before.