Our Lord has decided that it was at such a time as this – the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal - that the role of Our Lady of Fatima in world peace would be commemorated at the United Nations on May 12 for a special event entitled, The Centenary of Fatima and the Enduring Relevance of its Message of Peace.
At the invitation of H.E. Alvaro Mendonca e Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, and H.E. Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, a two-hour event will be held on May 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. which will include speakers who were personally invited to promote Our Lady’s message of peace.
Johnnette has been asked to speak on the topic of Mary, the Dignity of Woman and Women’s Role in the Promotion of a Culture of Dialogue, Mediation, Peacemaking and Peacebuilding.
“I am most humbled to be a presenter at this unprecedented event in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Johnnette said. “‘At this moment, when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation,’ it is time for women to come into the fullness of God’s plan for them to ‘save the peace of the world.’ These words, taken from the Closing Message to Women from the Second Vatican Council, direct us to the Quintessential Woman, Mary the Mother of God, whose words to us at Fatima give us guidance in how this can be achieved. It is in light of her that I hope to address the topic I have been assigned.”
The event has been in the making for a year, and it’s “a big deal,” said Joan Alix, a volunteer with the United Nations International Pilgrim Statue World Apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima, the group largely responsible for bringing about the event.
In April of 2016, Joan and fellow volunteer Judy Studer, along with freelance writer Alex Faiz, and Ken Corcoran of the Knights of Columbus met with Ambassador Moura. They explained that they were there because they loved Portugal and felt that doing something at the United Nations to commemorate the apparitions of Fatima during this centenary year would be a blessing for the country’s tourism.
The ambassador was interested but reminded them that the United Nations was not a platform for any one religion.
Joan pointed out that Our Lady is associated with many faiths. “Fatima is a Muslim name, Mary was Jewish, and she’s the mother of our Christian God,” she told him, adding that some kind of recognition of this event would surely be a worthwhile peacebuilding effort.
He agreed, and after meeting with Archbishop Auza, they came up with a suitable program.
Providentially, Johnnette and Women of Grace® also played a role in this event beginning with the Women of Grace® retreat that Joan Alix attended years ago that dramatically changed her life to the many ways that she and Johnnette collaborated on the Lord's work in the ensuing years. But that story is so full of miracles that we will be elaborating on it in the near future so stay tuned!
On May 12, the Ambassador will open the event with an introduction and overview. This will be followed by a talk on The Fatima Message of Peace and its Enduring Relevance in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer at the Holy See to the United Nations.
Also scheduled to present is Professor Andrea Bartoli, Dean, Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations who will speak on The Importance of Religious Leaders Serving as an Example of Peace, Tolerance, Solidarity and Justice.
Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children will also speak on Children as a Zone of Peace.
A speaker, whose name has not yet been announced, will speak about The Fatima Shepherd Children: The Role of Children in the Cause of Peace.
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