Lucia, the oldest of the Fatima seers, died 17 years ago on Feb. 13, 2005. The story of Sister Lucia’s death in her biography, A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, written by the Carmelite Sisters of Coimbra, is extremely touching. Her health had been declining for several years as old age crept in. The year before, she began to suffer intense pain from a deformed spine, which also caused her hands and feet to be deformed. Yet, Sister Lucia kept up her good humor and cheer until the end. Four months before she died, she commented lightheartedly, “Our Lady said I was here for some time more…but it is already so much!” Can any of us imagine that it meant Lucia would remain on earth nearly 88 more years (Lucia died at age 97).
In the days leading up to her death, she offered her sufferings vocally, “for the Holy Father, for the Holy Father.” On the morning of February 13, Sister Lucia received an apostolic blessing from Pope St. John Paul II, faxed over from the Nuncio and brought to her by the bishop of Coimbra. She held the fax in her hands and personally read the message. Throughout the morning, she made the sign of the cross frequently. After the bishop gave her final rites, her eyes closed and all thought she was leaving this life. To their surprise, Sister Lucia opened her eyes one more time and looked at each of the sisters personally, giving them a final farewell. She then went into the arms of Our Lady.
Sister Lucia’s cause of canonization was opened in 2008. The diocesan inquiry phase, which required the examination of over 10,000 documents, her personal diary of 2,000 pages and the interviewing of 60 witnesses, has been completed and is awaiting Vatican approval. It is expected Sister Lucia will be declared “venerable” soon. The next phase in her cause is the study of a miracle that has been attributed to her.
Let us pray for her cause to move forward:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly and I thank you for the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima that revealed to the world the riches of her Immaculate Heart. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I implore You, if it should be for your greater glory and the good of our souls, to glorify Sister Lucy, one of the Shepherds of Fatima, by granting us the grace which we implore through her intercession. Amen. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be…