Monday, February 14, 2005

Fatima: End of an Era

by Steve Ray on February 14, 2005

Fatima’s Sister Lucy Dies at 97

Reuters News, Agence France Presse and other news agencies are reporting that Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, the last of three children favored with the vision  died on Sunday, February 13.

Sister Lucy, 97, 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.

Lucia 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.

Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace, Amen.