Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to tour Merrimack region

BOSTON — The international pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima will tour the Merrimack region from March 24 to April 9 with the intention of promoting vocations. It will visit 12 parishes, a monastery, a school and a senior center.

“It’s my hope that through this pilgrimage that the people of the Merrimack region will get a greater appreciation for the Blessed Virgin Mary,” said Deacon John Hunt of St. Andrew Parish in North Billerica. “Anytime we bring the Blessed Virgin Mary into anything in the Church, it’s a blessing.”

St. Andrew’s will be the first parish to host the statue. All are welcome to attend the events, which begin with a procession on March 24 at 6:45 p.m., said Deacon Hunt.

The procession will be followed by Mass, a talk by the custodian of the statue, scapular enrollment, an outdoor candlelight rosary procession and all-night adoration starting at 9 p.m. Adoration will conclude March 25 at 8 a.m. and will be followed by Mass at 9 a.m.

The statue will also visit the following parishes: Holy Trinity in Lowell on March 25, St. Anthony in Lowell on March 26, Sacred Hearts in Bradford on March 27, St. Monica in Methuen on March 28, Immaculate Conception in Lowell on March 29, St. Michael in Bedford on March 30, St. James in Haverhill on March 31, Corpus Christi in Lawrence on April 1, St. Dorothy in Wilmington on April 4, St. Francis in Dracut on April 6 and St. Patrick in Groveland on April 9.

The statue has visited more than 100 countries and has not stopped traveling since being blessed by Bishop Leiria of Fatima Portugal in 1947.