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What is the Blue Army and how is it connected to Fatima?

Figura Matki Bożej Fatimskiej

Fr. Lawrence OP | Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 05/10/24

For many decades the World Apostolate of Fatima was known as the "Blue Army." It was launched in 1946 in response to world events following World War II.

In many parishes in the United States there is listed a Blue Army that will pray together inside the church.

Without any prior knowledge of the group, it may appear odd to have an “army” meet at a Catholic Church.

While the name is still being used in many places, the group is officially known as the World Apostolate of Fatima.

To be a member of Mary’s “Blue Army,” members commit themselves to the following spiritual devotions:

The World Apostolate of Fatima is made up of individual members around the world who strive to practice the spiritual requests of Our Lady of Fatima in reparation for sins, for the conversion of sinners, for the salvation of souls, and to obtain the triumph of her Immaculate Heart and peace in the world. Our Lady asks you to be as faithful as you can in honoring her requests.

  • Offer up every day the sacrifices demanded by your daily duty.
  • Pray a 5-decade Rosary every day. 
  • Wear the Brown Scapular as a sign of your consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
  • Strive to practice the First Saturday devotion.

Blue Army vs. the Red Army

The historical name of this group refers the color most often associated with the Virgin Mary: blue.

The reason why members are called an “army” is not because they act violently, but because they are a spiritual army that was born in the aftermath of World War II.

According to the Marian Library of the University of Dayton, the Blue Army was launched in response to the tensions experienced in what would be called the Cold War:

The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima was founded in 1946 by Father Harold Colgan of Plainfield, New Jersey. Following his recovery from a severe illness, he vowed to spend the rest of his life spreading the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Blue Army members believed that through daily prayer, usually in the form of the Rosary, they could bring about world peace.

Father Colgan described the group by saying, “We will be the Blue Army of Mary and Christ, against the Red of the world and of Satan.” For many years, the Blue Army devoted itself to praying for an end to communism; Colgan received a papal blessing from Pius XII in 1947 to further this mission.

The following quote featured on the World Apostolate of Fatima’s website explains more that the Blue Army is one that fights on its knees:

“The Blue Army is a spiritual response to the Message of Fatima; a silent army on its knees, opening the doors of their hearts to the Heart of Mary.”

The Blue Army is still going strong in the United States with millions of members, and still recruits new members.

FatimaPrayerVirgin Mary
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