Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fátima comes to ACN

A pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fátima, blessed by Pope Paul VI in 1967, was recently at the international headquarters of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in Königstein, Germany. The executive president of ACN International, Regina Lynch, spoke about the connection between ACN and the message of Fátima, referring to the Virgin Mary as the organization’s “patron saint.”

“Dear friends, it is with great pleasure that I present the Virgin of Fátima,” said Regina Lynch, executive president of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), during the visit of the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fátima to the headquarters of the charity in Königstein, Germany. This very image was blessed on May 13, 1967, by Pope Paul VI, on the 50th anniversary of the Fátima apparitions.

“The origin of ACN is closely linked to the apparitions and grace of Fátima, where Our Lady chose to show the Church the path to triumph over evil in the world: through love, prayer, sacrifice, and consecration to her Immaculate Heart,” Ms. Lynch recalled.

This connection, she observed, exists not just for the institution itself, but also for its staff, benefactors, friends, and volunteers, as well as all those who support and encourage ACN, whose goal is to help and serve Christians in need all over the world.

“She is our patron saint, the patroness of ACN, and we really rely on her blessings and intercession before God when it comes to supporting all those who we want to help through our projects, but also when it comes to helping our benefactors. She watches over us and protects us. So, it is a privilege to have her here today, and we should always pray and ask that she intercede on our behalf,” said Lynch.

The connection between Our Lady of Fátima and ACN has deep roots. The message of Our Lady of Fátima left a deep impression on Father Werenfried von Straaten, who founded ACN in 1947, in the aftermath of the Second World War. On the 50th anniversary of the apparitions, in 1967, Pope Paul VI blessed several pilgrim images of Fátima, including the one which visited Königstein, and the decision was made to consecrate ACN to Our Lady of Fátima at that time. The symbolic act took place on September 14, 1967, during the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Every year, ACN renews this consecration, with the Portuguese office gathering its benefactors and friends for this purpose at the Fátima Shrine. In 2017, an international pilgrimage, presided over by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, brought together benefactors from all over the world to commemorate the centenary of the apparitions, as well as the 70th anniversary of ACN and the 50th anniversary of the organization’s consecration to Mary. And in the Basilica of the Holy Trinity in Fátima, before members of ACN’s national offices and hundreds of benefactors, the consecration of Aid to the Church in Need was repeated, and this year, the words rang out again in the headquarters in Königstein, Germany, before the pilgrim image.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, look upon your children, who turn to you in prayer. You, who always said yes to God, are blessed among women. Mold our heart according to yours, in the joyfulness of your spirit. To you, Mother of Sorrows and Immaculate Virgin, we consecrate our life and the entire Work that has been given to us, to be fulfilled in serving the persecuted and threatened Church. Protect us and all who are dear to us. Protect all those who have been entrusted to us by God. Grant us your faith, your hope, your love. Take us under your protection as a Mother and always remain with us. Amen.”

—Paulo Aido