The World Apostolate of Fatima, Cleveland is a Division of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA ~ Our Lady’s Blue Army. Division is an international Public Association of the Faithful under the Pontifical Council of the Laity. The Cleveland Division operates under the ecclesial authority of the Most Reverend Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.
With a long history of promoting devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, we have been active in the Diocese of Cleveland since 1968. Our first initiative in 1968 was to teach everyone to pray the rosary, that in May of 1970 the Cleveland Division published a small pamphlet on how to pray the rosary. We freely distributed the pamphlets to all clergy, religious, and lay organizations. Over the years, the Cleveland Division has led over 100 pilgrimages to Fatima, Portugal, drawing the hearts of the pilgrims closer to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
On one particular visit to Fatima, Portugal the Cleveland Division purchased a beautiful statue, made out of Holm Oak, of Our Lady of Fatima. The Holm Oak is the same type of tree Our Lady appeared on in 1917 to the three shepherd children. On the evening of May 12, Joseph Sudy (President of the Division in 1982), along with his pilgrims processed this beautiful statue through the Cova da Iria. On this special evening, Pope St. John Paul II was visiting the Chapel of Apparition in the Cova. Witnessing the independent procession and rosary, Pope St. John Paul II approached Joseph and Loretta Sudy, asking if he could bless our statue of Our Lady of Fatima. He proceeded to bless our statue and provide a special blessing to Joseph and Loretta Sudy. What a special honor it is, for our division to have a beautiful statue, blessed by St. Pope John Paul II.
Our Division Pilgrim Virgin Statue is made available to all parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland, with the purpose of bringing Our Lady’s message of hope, peace, and salvation. The purpose of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue Program is to bring the graces of Fatima and Our Lady’s message to those who may never have an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Fatima itself.
Mary urged the conversion of sinners, called for devotion to herself under the title of her Immaculate Heart. We continue to spread this message in our diocese, to promote the First Five Saturday Devotion, and to pray for conversions. We need to know and to live the message of Fatima. It is more vital and urgent for us today than it has ever been.