The National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was built in 1978 as an answer to Our Lord’s plea to Lucia, “What is being done to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of My Mother?”
The roof of the Shrine represents Mary’s mantle flowing over and protecting her children. The bronze statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary holding out the Rosary and the Scapular rises 145 feet from the chapel level. The heart of the Shrine is our Eucharistic Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on the lower level.
THE HOLY HOUSE
The Holy House was dedicated in 1973 and is the heart of the Our Lady of Fatima Retreat Center. The original Holy House, the home of the Holy Family is enshrined in Loreto, Italy. Stones from the actual Holy House in Italy were pulverized and added to the mortar used to construct the Holy House Chapel. The Chapel is the same size as the original Holy House and is constructed similarly. Sister Lucia’s last vision is replicated in the Chapel, and a wood statue of St. Joseph as he appeared at Fatima during the Miracle of the Sun is also there greeting pilgrims. Pope John XXIII had a sign placed above the Holy House in Loreto saying, “This is the holiest place on earth.”
The Capelinha at the Shrine is one of only two exact replicas of the Chapel built at Fatima on the site of Our Lady’s apparitions. “Capelinha” is a Portuguese word meaning “little chapel.” In her August 1917 apparition at Fatima, Our Lady requested that a chapel be built on the spot where she appeared. The Pilgrim Virgin Statue in the Capelinha at the Shrine is a replica of the miraculous Pilgrim Virgin Statue carried in procession at Fatima. It was generously donated by the Catholic Portuguese community.
THE ROSARY GARDEN AND OTHER OUTDOOR SHRINES
Welcome to a little slice of the Garden State that brings the mysteries of the Rosary to life! Each mystery is represented in a unique setting that connects visitors to God’s nature and adds a new dimension to prayer and meditation.
THE GIFT SHOP
Visitors to the Shrine are welcome to visit the Gift Shop located down the hall from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The Gift Shop offers a large selection of rosaries, medals, books, statues and many other religious items, many hand made in Fatima.
In addition to the other religious sites located on the property, the Shrine also offers visitors a number of other outdoor shrines and holy spots for quiet reflection and group prayer. Included on the grounds are:
- Blue Army Cemetery and the graves of Msgr. Colgan, John Haffert and Mother Mary Stanislaus
- Stations of the Cross
- St. Francis of Assisi shrine
- St. Pio of Pietrelcina shrine
- Angel of Peace statue
- Angel of the United States gracing the reflecting pond on Marion Way statue
- Our Lady of Fatima and the Three Shepherd Children statue
- Ss. Joachim and Anne statues
- St. Anne of Lisieux statue
- Byzantine Icons on the Marian Way
- Holy Family Candle House