10 may, 2017
The Shrine of Fatima is going to offer to Pope Francis one piece made of alabaster entitled “Promise”, representing Our Lady with open arms, incorporating the Three Little Shepherds in the radiance.
The piece, made by the sculptor Lígia Rodrigues, has on its opaque acrylic base the inscription “TO POPE FRANCIS + IN THE CENTENNIAL OF THE APPARITIONS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY IN FATIMA + 13th MAY 2017”.
The author explains that when she chose the materials, she had in mind the atmosphere of light described by Sister Lucia on her memoirs: “I needed a material that allowed the light to pass trough, suggesting the immanence, the transparency of Mary, like in the alabaster.”
In the sculpture we can see Our Lady presenting Her Immaculate Heart on her right hand and the rosary on her left hand.
Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta are represented on their knees with their hands together in a gesture of prayer“ as the affirmative answer given to Mary's call.” We can also see Lucia conducting a dialogue with Our Lady.
To justify the name “Promise”, the sculpture is based on the promises that are made and that are fulfilled in Fatima:
- The promise of Mary that the Love will triumph – Her Immaculate Heart (that is to say the Mercy, the kindness, the love, in the plenitude of light) will be the final victory over all evil.
- The promise of life – the children promise to offer their sacrifices for the sinners (in another words, to love in the name of those who don't love).
- The promise of prayer – The Little Shepherds were committed to pray the rosary everyday.
- The promise of the people – The promises of the people, of those who, in despair, recall the Mother, knowing that She will save them, knowing that the Immaculate Heart is their refuge, with an endless trust on her love, on her mercy as the ultimate resource.
“I wanted to include everyone – with no exceptions – in that appreciation to Mary from all of us, her people, with the Holy Father, in this place that is Hers” concludes the sculptor.
Lígia Rodrigues, 55 years old, graduated in Fine Arts – Painting at Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, she taught at secondary school and at the University of Algarve. After several own painting exhibitions , she engaged in many Sacred Art projects, occupation that she carries out exclusively since 2005.
Amongst many pieces, it is important to highlight in the scope of the Shrine, the sculpture “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”, in the crypt's sacristy at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity (the production of 44 replicas for the confessionaries) and the collaboration with the reconstruction of the Chapel of the Reparation Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, producing a bas-relief merged with the Tabernacle and the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.