The Spirituality of Lucia dos Santos

Lucia dos Santos was born March 28, 1907, in the village of Aljustrel near Fatima, and baptized on March 30, 1907. She was the youngest of seven children of Antonio and Maria Rosa dos Santos. At the tender age of 10, she was given a great mission by Our Lady of Fatima, who promised never to forsake her. Lucia spent her entire life fulfilling this mission, being devoted every day to the requests of Our Lady and obedience to God’s will.

Lucia presents to us an example of both the active and contemplative life. In a profound but simple way, it appears Lucia had excelled in both of these during her nearly 98 years upon earth.

While Jacinta and Francisco were taken to heaven, Lucia was told by Our Lady that she was to remain in the world “some time longer” – nearly nine decades.

And for what would she remain? To make the Immaculate Heart of Mary “known and loved.” For Our Lady said that Jesus “wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” The mission of Lucia over these many decades had been very clear; to make known devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God and to draw mankind to her love.

Four years after the apparitions ended, Lucia, with the decision of the bishop and permission of her mother, was sent to Vilar, an orphanage school at Oporto run by the Sisters of St. Dorothy. While there, she pursued her studies under the anonymous name, Maria das Dores, and was regarded as ordinary.

Lucia had no ambition for credit, to stand up and say, “I am the one heaven used for a worldwide mission.” At age 18, in 1925, Lucia left Vilar to become a postulant in the order of St. Dorothy at Tuy, Spain. She had leanings to the Carmelites, but it was not yet to be. Before the year was up, Lucia would learn more of her mission, which Our Lady had partially revealed in the June and July apparitions.

On December 10, 1925, the Most Holy Virgin Mary appeared to her with the Child Jesus by her side, elevated on a cloud of light. Lucia was given the message requesting sacramental and prayerful acts of reparation to the Immaculate Heart on the First Saturdays (First Saturday Communions of Reparation). Two months later the Child Jesus again appeared to Lucia, asking her if she had spread the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of His Holy Mother. She told Our Lord of the difficulties pointed out by her mother superior and confessor, but the excuses were not good enough. “It is true that your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my grace she can do all,” the Child Jesus told her.

At prayer on June 13, 1929, in the Dorothean convent chapel at Tuy, she experienced a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Trinity. Our Lady spoke, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

She would write many letters to her bishop and the Popes appealing for this Consecration to be made, waiting 55 years for its accomplishment by St. John Paul II on March 25, 1984. In the meantime, she watched as Our Lady’s prophecies unfolded throughout the 20th Century, resigning herself to God’s providence: “It is the same God who requested it, who has permitted this.” When the Consecration of 1984 was “accepted by Heaven,” she told those who asked about its fulfillment: “Look to the East.”

Lucia’s “Fiat” on May 13, 1917

As Lucia’s mission unfolded, and throughout her entire life, she clung most closely to the very first apparition when she, as well as Jacinta and Francisco, said “yes” to Our Lady’s question, “Are you willing to offer up to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you as an act of reparation and for the conversion of sinners?”

Lucia was comforted in all her trials by the grace of God as Mary had promised, and her constant prayer in all her difficulties, great and small, was as Our Lady taught, “O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Likewise, Our Lady’s promise to her was never broken: “I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Lucia’s life and writings teaches us that the message of Fatima is not to be uninvolved in the concerns of the world. Quite the opposite. It means a deep involvement while strengthening oneself in Christ by daily prayer, especially the Rosary, penance, the Sacraments, Eucharistic reparation, the daily seeking of God’s Will, and spreading the true faith while Christianizing society.

Who can measure the sufferings of this little girl, young adult and contemplative Carmelite nun to carry out a world mission? The documents on the personal life of Sister Lucia reveal one whose love, faith and keen obedience is an inspiration. The mission more seriously passes to you and me to continue this work that began at Fatima.

(The full text of this article is published in our Soul Magazine Centennial Edition)

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  1. So many of us sinners were brought to that very place of God’s presence to be judged for our actions – July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918 during World War I, and also 1939 to 1945 during World War II the seeds of malice needed be only sewn in the hearts of a few men dictators in Germany, Russia, the Empire of Japan, and Communist China for the rest of the world to nearly follow the enemy down to the pit.
    Oh Holy Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, by the consecration of the whole world by our Holy Father Saint Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1984 that each of us recall to this day – let us always never cease to give in prayer, fasting, self-denial, and sacrificial alms giving to God on the first Saturday of each month of our lives for sweet scented reparation to your immaculate heart for our sins and those of the whole world – now and always long past this May 12, 2017 centennial of you, our most loving mother!

  2. Such a great story and mission. Have heard that the consecration of Russia to Mary was not done in full. Would like to receive more material so I can have a presentation on May 13 and October 13

    • Sister Lucia confirmed to the Church that the consecration was done and was accepted by Heaven. We support the Church on this issue and that Sister Lucia, this good, holy and obedient soul who sought Heaven’s will every day, even as she waited 55 years for the consecration to be done, was not lying. You may wish to read a wonderful article on this by one of our Fatima experts, Mr. William Sockey:

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