Skip to comments.Sister Lucia, last remaining witness of Fatima apparitions, dies at 97
Posted on 02/13/2005 2:27:18 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
LISBON (AFP) - Sister Lucia, the last survivor of the three shepherd children to whom the Virgin Mary is said to have made a series of apparitions in 1917, has died of old age, state television RTP reported. She was 97.
She had lived in virtual isolation since 1948 in an old convent in the central Portuguese city of Coimbra that houses the order of the Carmelita Sisters where she dedicated her life to prayer and meditation.
Named Lucia de Jesus dos Santos when she was born on March 22, 1907, in recent years she suffered from blindness and deafness.
She died at the convent, the station said citing a spokeswoman for the order.
Sister Lucia was just ten when she and her two cousins, Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta, said they saw the Virgin for the first time in a field near the town of Fatima on May 13, 1917.
Lucia, the only one of the three children who was able to hear what the Virgin said, wrote two memoirs about the series of apparitions which occured throughout 1917.
The apparitions made Fatima one of Catholicism's most revered sites and thousands of faithful flock to a shrine which has been built on the site where the apparitions are said to have taken place each year.
Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II attributes to Our Lady of Fatima his survival of an assassination attempt in 1981 and has since then visited the shrine several times.
Sister Lucia last spoke in public in May 2000 when the pope travelled to Fatima to beatify Francisco and Jacinta.
Was the third revelation ever made public?
Would you mind pinging, please?
She is finally home. May she rest in peace in God's loving arms.
Rest nestled in the Lords loving arms Lucia
May Lucia, faithful child of our Lord, rest in peace.
Thank you, Sister Lucia, for your witness, your bravery in adversity, and your openness to God.
And thank you, Blessed Mother, for being the loving mother you are, always trying to bring us home to be with your Son.
I heard the decade prayer watching the Rosary on EWTN back in the 80s and said, I want to belong to a church that can pray something like that...and wasn't long afterwards that I had decided to convert.
Thank you, children of Fatima. Thank you, Blessed Mother.
Prayers from the Fatima apparitions:
Decade Prayer (After each decade of the Rosary)
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I implore Your pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You. Amen.
Most Holy Trinity - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - I adore You profoundly and offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.
Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
O my Jesus, it is for love of you and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of poor sinners.
O My Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A previous poster gave you a link for EWTN which said the opposite.
The founder and head of the EWTN network, Mother Maria Angelica said on her TV program that she did not believe that they released the whole secret.
I heard that with my own ears so the little bootlickers around here don't even bother trying to deny it.
It seems that when the secret was trasnferred from the the Ordinary in Portugal, the head bishop of the diocese, to the Vatican, two items were sent. One was the secret which the auxiliary assistant bishop held up to the light and noted was a short letter no more than 24 short lines in length. It seems Sister Lucia's notebook was also sent and the much lenghtier vision vision that was released a few years ago was excerpted from the notebook.
What was released was a vision, no words at all from Our Lady. Yet the first and second part of the secret made public in the 1940's consist only of Her words as also does the Epilogue which was released at the same time:
"In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph..."
Our Lady also mentions in the epilogue that Portugal will remain preserved in the Faith - which implies that She mentioned in the third par of the secret that it will be extinquished elsewhere.
The best assumption for the the WORDS of Our Lady in the unreleased third secret are the APOSTASY FROM THE FAITH AND FROM THE CHURCH OF THOSE AT THE TOP.
Of course......we are merely theorizing here. We do not have all of the facts at our disposal
Perhaps so.......but they also know that the current pope is understood to be under the special protection of Our Lady, and cannot be readily eliminated, until such time as God has finished using him - as he uses all men - for his Holy Will.
I remember seeing the film "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" as a child and being extremely moved.
So Cardinal Ratzinger is lying and making it all up out of whole cloth?
Thanks, I think that is the case.
FATIMA SEER STOOD AS MOST FAMOUS NUN IN WORLD, HER PASSING SEEN AS PROPHETIC
She was arguably (with St. Bernadette of Lourdes) the most famous Marian seer in history, a 97-year-old who had first seen the Blessed Mother in 1917 at the age of 10, with cousins Francisco, 9, and Jacinta, 7 -- whose deaths preceded her own by more than eighty years.
In all that time she had been cloistered in convents, most recently in Coimbra, Portugal, a Carmelite who had lived out her vocation in stunningly successful fashion -- never desiring publicity, never making claims beyond what the Blessed Mother told her, never appearing on TV -- not only the most famous seer of the twentieth century but with Mother Teresa of Calcutta the most famous nun in the world.
Her name was Lucia de Jesus dos Santos -- that was her given name once she became a religious (known too as Sister Lucy of the Immaculate Heart) -- and she was also recipient of the famous Third Secret of Fatima, her death Sunday, after several weeks of infirmity, no doubt impressing many who have closely followed such matters as of potential prophetic significance.
Although unusually healthy and agile -- physically and mentally -- during the past several years, Sister Lucia (born Lucia Abobora), and just weeks away from her 98th birthday, was known to suffer prolonged bouts with cold-like ailments in a cell that had to be warmed with a space heater, occasionally missing Mass. "She had been weak for several weeks and had not left her cell," Coimbra Bishop Albino Cleto told the Church's Radio Renascenca Sunday.
It was actually in 1915, in the midst of the chaos of World War I, that Sister Lucia and her cousins had their first supernatural experience.
"We were just about to start praying the Rosary when I saw, poised in the air above the trees that stretched down to the valley which lay at our feet, what appeared to be a cloud in human form," Lucia later wrote -- in prose becoming of a first-rate writer.
It looked like a statue made of snow or a person wrapped in a sheet, and turned out to be an angel who had come to announce the Blessed Mother.
So forceful was the presence of God, Lucia later recalled, that it "almost annihilated us." The angel came twice more before the famous 1917 apparitions of the Blessed Mother on land Lucia's father owned.
The angel had explained that God was deeply offended by the evil in the world and gave Lucia the words to a new prayer of reparation -- at one point handing them a chalice from which they drank the Blood of Jesus.
On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary herself appeared. "It was a lady dressed all in white," recalled Lucia, "more brilliant than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."
The Blessed Mother was to appear almost every month until a final apparition on October 13, 1917 -- during which tens of thousands witnessed the "miracle of the sun."
Spinning and throwing off stupendous rays of crimson, causing reflections of green, red, orange, blue, and violet as it gyrated at least three times, the solar orb shuddered and began to plunge toward earth in zig-zag fashion -- convincing even observers who were secular reporters or atheists. At one point it rotated with a disc or Host at its center.
In her prophetic secrets, the Virgin told the Fatima seers -- most particularly Lucia, who conveyed the messages -- that World War I was about to end, but that if mankind did not repent, there would be a worse war to follow, one that would be announced by a "great sign." According to Sister Lucia, this occurred in 1938 when there was an extraordinary display of the aurora borealis from across Europe, from London to Africa, and across North America, a display that struck terror into the hearts of many and was followed by entry into World War Two.
The Blessed Mother asked for consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the first Saturday of every month, and the seers were also given a prayer that would become part of the Rosary for many devout ("Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy").
The connection between evil in the world and world events was a watershed in Mariology. In her last 15 years, receiving visitors at Coimbra, Sister Lucia made clear that the requested consecration was fulfilled when in 1984 John Paul II -- who credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life when he was shot on her feast day of May 13, 1981 -- consecrated the world and implicitly Russia to her Immaculate Heart. When asked how she knew it had been accepted, Sister Lucia pointed to the phenomenal collapse of Communism right after the consecration and hinted that she still experienced communication from the Blessed Mother, who had affirmed it.
It was Russia that served as the main issue in the secrets, and on May 13, 2000, the Vatican began release of the Third Secret, which envisioned the shooting of a "bishop in white" (John Paul is the Bishop of Rome) and an angel ready to torch the world but halted from doing so by the Virgin.
The secret also symbolized the incredible suffering of those martyred under Communism; it was just weeks after the last Fatima apparition that Lenin assumed power in Russia, which the Blessed Mother had specifically named as ready to turn against God.
John Paul II has privately speculated that the fulfillment of Fatima is now at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina, where seers have claimed to have received secrets since just after the 1981 shooting. Whether those secrets may soon begin to materialize, and whether Sister Lucia's death is a sign of the times -- an indication, along with major natural events, that the world is entering an exciting but precarious time -- are likely to preoccupy many of those who have followed the incredible story of Sister Lucia and her two cousins, who died in 1919 and 1920. Many are those who have believed that her death would foretell of major events that may now be on the horizon, her death on the 13th -- the anniversary day of those months when Mary did appear -- one more sign from Heaven.
Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, the last of three children who claimed to see the Virgin at Fatima and who revealed a vision the Catholic Church said foretold the attempt to kill Pope John Paul, died on Sunday, the Church said.
Dos Santos, 97, who later became a nun, was the eldest of the shepherd children who in 1917 told of seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary six times. She died at her Carmelite convent at Coimbra in central Portugal.
"She had been weak for several weeks and had not left her cell," Coimbra Bishop Albino Cleto told the Church's Radio Renascenca.
The Vatican interpreted one part of the visions as foretelling the attempt to kill the Pope and Communism's persecution of Christianity. The apparitions took place the same year as the Russian Revolution.
The Pope believes the Madonna of Fatima saved his life on May 13, 1981, when Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca nearly killed him in St Peter's Square. The shooting took place on one of the anniversaries of the 1917 apparitions.
In a sign of gratitude a year after the assassination attempt, the Pope had one of the 9mm bullets which Agca fired at him placed in the crown of the statue at Fatima.
"One hand fired the bullet and another guided it," the Pope once said of Agca's attempt to kill him.
Dos Santos was said by believers to be the main recipient of prophecies from the Virgin about key 20th century events.
The first two parts of the prophecies were known for decades. The first saw a vision of hell, the second predicted the outbreak of World War II.
But it was the third part, the so-called third secret of Fatima, which kept the world intrigued for more than 80 years.The Vatican revealed its interpretation of the vision during the Pope's visit to Fatima in May 2000 on the anniversary of the assassination attempt. One of her last public appearances was with the Pope at Fatima.
Dos Santos's recollection of the third part of the visions, which she wrote down in 1944, saw "a bishop dressed in white (and) we had the impression that it was the Holy Father."
As the vision continued, the children say the Pope reaching the top of a mountain where "he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him."
Before the Vatican unveiled the vision, papal envoys visited Dos Santos in her cloistered convent to seek her opinion of the Vatican's interpretation and her permission to reveal it.
"She repeated her conviction that the vision of Fatima concerns above all the struggle of atheistic communism against the Church and against Christians, and describes the terrible sufferings of the victims of the faith in 20th century," a Vatican document said in 2000.
The document went on to say: "When asked: 'Is the principal figure in the vision the Pope?' Sister Lucia replied at once that it was.
Dos Santos was born the youngest of seven children in a peasant family in Aljustrel, a village in central Portugal.
The events at Fatima unfolded against a backdrop of religious persecution under anti-clerical factions that ruled Portugal after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1910.
In 1916 she experienced her first vision, when an angel appeared to the children, she wrote in her memoirs.
On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to her and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marta on an oak tree. On her last appearance before an estimated 50,000 onlookers, witnesses claim to have experienced a 15-minute spectacle of bright lights and rainbow colors.
In her memoirs, dos Santos said the Virgin Mary appeared to the children six times in 1917. Jacinta and Francisco died in the influenza pandemic in 1919 and 1920.
The two were beatified, the last step to sainthood, by Pope John Paul during his Fatima visit in 2000.
One of her last visitors was actor Mel Gibson, director of the 2004 movie "The Passion of The Christ." He met her at the convent in July 2004 and gave her a DVD of his movie.