History

In 1978 it was decided by the National Officers of the Blue Army to build a Shrine in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that the building of the Shrine should begin during 1976-77, the 50th year of the apparition of the Child Jesus in Pontevedra in which Our Lord asked Lucia, “What is being done to establish the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of My Mother in the world?”

The Shrine was completed in 1978 and is a center of Eucharistic and Marian devotion. It is particularly dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Fatima message. The statue, created by Manuel Carbonell, was placed on top of the Shrine on September 20, 1979 on the anniversary of the granting of the stigmata to St. Pio, spiritual father of the Blue Army. This statue of Mary was Carbonell’s first commissioned bronze monument in the US and is one of the largest works cast in bronze in America in the 20th century. The statue weighs 11,500 pounds and is 26 feet tall. It rises 145 feet from the chapel level and about 1,000 feet above the valley below. From the right hand of the statue hangs a stainless steel rosary, while a stainless scapular hangs from the left hand.

The crown beneath the statue symbolizes the loving submission of the faithful to Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth and under whose queenship “lies the world’s greatest hope for peace.” The sloping shape of the tower and the roof symbolize Our Lady’s mantle welcoming all the faithful to find peace and a closeness to Our Lord under her maternal care.