About 40 bishops and ordinaries of sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches gathered at the Vatican from September 12-14, 2019. Received in audience by the Supreme Pontiff, approved a project to construct the first official sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima in St. Petersburg, in the heart of Russia.
The first sanctuary officially dedicated by the Catholic Church to the Virgin of Fatima will soon see the light of day in Russia, more than a century after the apparitions of Our Lady in Portugal. The information has been confirmed from Siberia by the Apostolic Administrator of Novosibirsk, Bishop Joseph Werth.
Surprising as it may seem from a Catholic view, “the Orthodox confessions are not opposed to this project. Many Russians have a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, who interceded for the conversion of Russia during the Communist persecution,” as Fr. Alejandro Burgos, a Spanish priest exercising his apostolate in St. Petersburg.
To promote the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima to the Easterners, Fr. Burgos had an icon depicting the Virgin made with the quotation: “It is in you that unity is realized.” May the Virgin of Fatima indeed hasten the return of the Eastern Orthodox to Catholic unity, in the same faith and the one Church founded on Peter.
The future sanctuary which will house the icon will be dedicated to the Byzantine Rite. The cost of the project is estimated at 3 million euros, a large part of which will be financed by the Spanish Conference of Bishops, who have been particularly involved in this endeavor.
The Society of Saint Pius X has a regular apostolate in Russia: a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima exists in St. Petersburg, while another, under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, regularly opens its doors to the Latin Rite faithful in the Russian capital