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Fatima statue makes tour stop in Yuba City
Mary Gomes spent Monday afternoon welcoming the visiting Our Lady of Fatima statue at St. Isidore Catholic Church.
"It was very emotional and I did shed a few tears, but it was tears of joy and a blessing," said Gomes, of Yuba City.
Gomes was born in the Archipelago of the Azores, about 1,000 miles from the Portuguese town of Fatima, and feels an especially close connection.
The statue was created in 1947 and is based on a description of one of the three girls who reported seeing the Virgin Mary in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. It will be on display until noon today at the Yuba City church.
"For us in the parish, it's a real honor to have her here," said the Rev. Miguel Silva-Garcia, who led an evening Mass.
Pete Barrios of Yuba City was looking forward to the day when he could see the statue in person.
"Just walking in the doors, I got a warm feeling that came over me and then I started going through some chills," said Barrios. "The atmosphere here seems like it's charged."
Shelia Tonini of Lincoln came to see the statue with her brother Jerry Fallis and was surprised at how well-preserved it is.
"It has an aura of grace," said Tonini of the statue, who describes herself as a devout Catholic, but is still angry about the child abuse scandal in the church.
"The message should transcend the transgressions," added Tonini.
The statue's next tour stop is the St. Joseph Marello Church in Granite Bay.