JOHN M. HAFFERT, CO-FOUNDER OF THE BLUE ARMY, DIES
Wednesday, 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 Co-Founder of The
Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima (World Apostolate of Fatima), a Church-approved
Catholic Apostolate with millions of members all over the world.
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
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;
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
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 National Blue Army
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 will be in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel
at the National Blue Army Shrine of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, November 3rd, at 1:00PM presided
over by Bishop James S. Sullivan, the National
President of the Blue Army USA. Viewing will be held in The Holy House
USA, also on the grounds of the National Blue
Army Shrine, 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.
August 23, 1915 - October 31, 2001
rest grant unto him, O Lord.