History

In 1954, Pope Pius XII elevated Fr. Colgan’s title to Monsignor. During this period Msgr. Colgan was working to purchase land near the Shrine in Fatima, Portugal and even sold his personal car to obtain some of the needed funds. Property directly behind the Shrine was bought and a hotel with two chapels, Latin and Byzantine rites, was built and named “Domus Pacis,” meaning “House of Peace.” John Haffert was instrumental in the building of Domus Pacis and also started Blue Army Tours to bring pilgrims to Fatima and other religious sites. At one point, Blue Army Tours even had its own jet, named “Queen of the World.”

In 1970, Msgr. Colgan and John Haffert solicited Blue Army members and, with an initial downpayment from John Haffert, they purchased the miraculous Russian icon of Kazan. It was displayed in the Byzantine chapel of Domus Pacis until the early 1990s when it was requested by Blessed Pope John Paul II, who returned it to the Russian Orthodox Church in 2004.