Lucia dos Santos
- Category : 1907-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Vessel of Love 1
Portuguese child noted for the Miracle of Fatima which occurred on 13 October 1917, 1:30 PM GMT. Near the town of Fatima, Portugal, a small, rural town about 90 miles north of Lisbon, a miracle appeared to three peasant children, Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. On a spring day in 1916 Lucia, nine, Francisco, eight and his sister Jacinta, six, were tending sheep at Chousa Velha, a grazing field when they were startled by a brilliant light enclosing a young man of great beauty, who said to them that he was the angel of Peace. All three children saw the visions but Francisco could not hear them. Lucia was the only one to converse with the apparitions. The angel appeared again that summer, and in the fall he gave the children the host to eat and the chalice to drink, a sacrament of the Catholic Church. The children were awed and pious and spent long periods praying as the angel had instructed them.
On 13 May 1917, shortly after noon, the three were watching the sheep at Cova da Iraia when a radiant form appeared above an old oak tree. She told them she had come from Heaven and instructed the three visionaries to return, once each month for six months. The Lady told the children that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Between 13 May and 13 October 1917, the vision of Our Lady was always on the 13th of the month with one exception, in August when she appeared to them near the village of Valinhos on August 19. The mayor, in an attempt to stop the events, had the youngsters kidnapped and secluded away but when the crowds demanded the return of the children, he soon released them.
At a time when civilization was sickened by war and bloody violence, the Blessed Mother repeated her emphasis on prayer, reparation and consecration during each visit, in return for which She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world. She confided Three Secrets to the three child seers in July 1917; the first a vision of hell where the souls go of the unredeemed and the second a prophesy of World War II. The Third Secret was written down by Lucy Dos Santos, the last living Fatima seer, in 1944, and has been in the possession of the Holy See since 1957.
At the time that she confided the Fatima Secret to the three seers, the Blessed Virgin also promised that God would work a great miracle the following October "so that all may believe." The event was reported in newspapers around the world, and by 13 October 1917, there were more than 70,000 people gathered in the Cova da Iria, come to witness the miracle. As the Lady was about to leave, she pointed to the sun. Lucy excitedly repeated the gesture, and the people looked into the sky. The sun appeared to spin, casting off a pinwheel of colored lights, and three times in the next 12 minutes, it rushed toward the earth, threatening to extinguish the planet with its brilliance. When it seemed the people would all be destroyed, the miracle ceased and the sun returned to normal. When the people arose from the ground, cries of astonishment were heard on all sides. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their afflictions.
This event has now become known as "the Miracle of the Sun" and the Catholic Church has accepted it as an historic, physical event. It has officially endorsed the message as "worthy of belief" since 1930, through five successive popes. Many books, pamphlets, records, films and videos have been produced, probing the wonder of the miracle first seen by three children. Millions of pilgrims have come to Fatima since then with the largest crowds on the 13th of the month from May through October. The Cova da Iria is now a huge, paved area which lies in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima. The Basilica was begun in 1928 and consecrated in 1953. Many healings have been reported but none verified. Though the Lady instructed the release of the third letter in 1960, the Third Secret was not released by the Vatican until 13 May 2000. Sister Lucia of Fatima has already spoken in 1957 to Father Fuentes of the same text as the third secret, saying that "Many times the Blessed Virgin Mary said that Russia is the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world for its sins if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation." Inasmuch as the prediction was given for the second half of the 20th century, the Vatican waited until the time had past in order to not cause panic. The Lady said to Lucia on 13 June 1917, during the second apparition, "In a short time I will take Francisco and Jacinta up to heaven with me. You, on the other hand, will remain on earth for a great many years to spread the devotion to my Immaculate Heart." The two Marto children were both stricken by the Spanish flu and Francisco died on 4 April 1919 at Fatima, age ten, and Jacinta died on 20 February 1920, 22:30 GMT at Lisbon, age nine. They were both beatified by Pope John Paul II on 13 May 2000. Due to the contagious nature of the disease, their remains were covered with quicklime: nonetheless, when the bodies were examined in 1951, Jacinta's body was found to be in perfect condition. In June 1921, at 14, Lucia attended a girl's school, the College of Porto where she was given moral and religious training though the academic levels were only elementary. She was thoroughly trained in domestic work. Dedicated and pious, she showed a good memory, perseverance and serious behavior. She was drawn to the Carmelites, but decided to enter the Institute of St. Dorothy, located at Tuy, on 24 October 1925, age 18.
She went first to the house at Pontevedra, where she spent some months as a postulant until 20 July 1926 when she began her novitiate, 2 October 1926. After two years, she made her profession of Vows on 3 October 1928. She remained in the same house, but with the professed Sisters, until she took her Perpetual Vows on 3 October 1934. A few days later, she was transferred to the Convent of Pontevedra and only returned to Tuy in May 1937, where she remained until she was sent to Portugal at the end of May 1946. She had longed to be a recluse in solitude and humility, and with the permission of Pope Pius XII, she changed over to the Discalced Carmelites on 25 March 1948. From then, she lived there in prayer and penance. She would speak to outsiders of her visions only with the Pope's permission. With Leiria's Bishop, she authored her "Memoirs" in 1941, where she talked about the controversial Fatima secret.
At age 93 she was fit and capable. She died on 13 February 2005 at her Carmelite convent at Coimbra in central Portugal. The February 14th edition of the online newspaper “Diário de Coimbra” gave a time of death of 5:25 PM.