In Loving Memory of John Haffert
On Wednesday, October 31, 2001, a truly great man of world-wide renown, John Mathias Haffert, passed peacefully from this life, praying his Rosary, in the presence of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was appropriate that he die during October, the month of the Holy Rosary. His life was dedicated to promoting the Message of Our Lady of Fatima and the related Brown Scapular devotion. He was the Founder of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue Foundation and the Co-Founder of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.
Working with Sister Lucia, who saw Our Lady of Fatima as a child in 1917, Mr. Haffert developed a "Fatima Message Pledge" in 1946. In 1948, that effort became known as "The Blue Army Pledge," as John joined his successful Brown Scapular Apostolate to the fledgling Blue Army Apostolate founded in 1947 by Monsignor Harold Colgan. From that point on, millions of people have learned about The Fatima Message through The Blue Army, with its National Headquarters at the Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Washington, New Jersey and its International Headquarters at Domus Pacis in Fatima, Portugal.
John Haffert's entire life has been spent in the service of the Church. He received his high school and college education at Mt. Carmel College, which was a Carmelite seminary. With this Carmelite background, Mr. Haffert launched a magazine known as The Scapular, which reached a circulation of over one-hundred thousand. The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the topic of his first of many religious books, Mary in Her Scapular Promise (Sign of Her Heart). John died while wearing his Brown Scapular, a sign of his consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Mr. Haffert's many other accomplishments include the following: International Lay Delegate for the World Apostolate of Fatima (1950-1985); hosted a weekly television program in New York City, featuring interviews with civic and religious leaders; organized several World Peace Flights; construction of the Blue Army's International Headquarters, Domus Pacis; redemption of the historic Icon of Our Lady of Kazan; author of over 20 Fatima related books, countless articles and leaflets; founder and editor of SOUL magazine; Lay Director of The Blue Army USA for decades, retiring in 1987; founder of the Lay Apostolate Foundation; and founder of the Oureana Foundation and the Queen of the World Center at the Castle of Ourem, Portugal.
Perhaps one of the most enduring and magnificent monuments of John Haffert's love for Our Lady of Fatima is the National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Washington, New Jersey. The Shrine's main structure features a towering roof that is capped by a twenty-four foot cast-bronze statue of the Blessed Mother, holding a Rosary and a Scapular. John saw that the grounds would include many monuments and devotions including exact replicas of the Capelinha of Fatima and the Holy House of Loreto. He helped establish a religious community of sisters on Shrine grounds: the Handmaids of Mary Immaculate. The thousands who visit the beautiful Shrine each year have John Haffert to thank for his generosity and vision.
John was known internationally and had traveled around the world several times. He spoke seven different languages. He loved the ocean and was an avid sailor. He also loved to swim.
The Funeral Mass for John Haffert was held in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, November 3rd, 2001 at 1:00PM, presided over by Bishop James S. Sullivan, the National President of the Blue Army USA. Viewing was held in The Holy House USA, on Friday from 2:00PM - 9:00PM and Saturday from 10:00AM - 11:30AM. Mr. Haffert is survived by his wife, Patricia; his daughter, Betty; his brother, Horace; and his sister, Sister Therese of the Queen of Carmel, OCD.
John Mathias Haffert
August 23, 1915 - October 31, 2001
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