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February 19, 2010

Video of the Liturgical Ceremony Sister Lucia re-buried in the Basilica of Fatima February 19, 2006

Sr. Lucia's Mortal Remains

Re-buried in Fatima Basilica

Near Bls. Jacinta & Francesco 

February 19, 2006

The remains of the religious, who died at age 97 on February 13, 2005, will rest next to those of her two cousins, Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta, who also witnessed the Virgin Mary's apparitions with her. The liturgical memorial of the blesseds is celebrated on February 20.

The transfer of Sr. Lucia's remains is according the desire expressed by the witness of the apparitions of Fatima, who personally told the Bishop of Coimbra: "Without contradicting what I have already written and considering the desire of the nuns, I would like that after my death my body will be buried in the cloister of this Monastery [of Saint Teresa in Coimbra] at least for one year, before being moved into the Basilica of Fatima."

Sr. Lucia had also expressed various times the desire to be buried close to Francis and to Jacinta. In fact on February 3, 1994, she wrote to the Rector of the Sanctuary: "… thanking God and Our Lady because they want to grant me this grace, to rest my earthly sleep in their Sanctuary, at their feet."
Fr. Anthony Cilia, O.Carm.  Above text from Carmelite News




From Luis Arostegui, Superior General of Carmel

To My Dear Carmelite Sisters from Coimbra convent, and My Dear Carmelite Brothers, gathered together on February 18th, 2006 in the Coimbra chapel to bid farewell to the mortal remains of our Sister Lucia, whose body will be moved tomorrow from Coimbra to Fatima: May the Risen Lord, who is our hope, be with you.

One year ago Sister Lucia died, she who was a witness of the messages of the Mother of Mercy of Fatima, having lived many years in Coimbra Carmel. Her death was felt not only in the Church and the people of Portugal, but also in the Church throughout the world; and in a very special and loving way within the Carmelite family. It was obviously felt with an intensity beyond compare in the Coimbra community.

During this time her memory, far from being forgotten, has been kept alive; the faithful invoke her intercession and have shown that they would like to see her venerated and recognized by the Church for her goodness and holiness of life.

At this time when her mortal remains will be transferred to the Sanctuary in Fatima, to the place of the messages of Mary, alongside Francisco and Jacinta, the Carmelite Family feels once more united in remembering her, and wishes to accompany, spiritually, the transfer of her remains, and surround with gratitude and love the community of our Sisters in Coimbra.

No doubt her body could have remained in the chapel or garden of Coimbra Carmel, in the place where she prayed, worked, sang and loved; in the place where she lived the Fatima message of prayer, surrender and compassion, day after day with great simplicity and unaffectedness. But we accept that Lucia also belongs to the people of Fatima, to the place where Mary appeared, and where we find the venerated tombs of the first two who shared with her the extraordinary experience. Fatima was where it all began, and in a certain sense where she found her vocation to Carmel.

You, our Sisters in Coimbra Carmel, are being asked in a very special way to make a final act of letting go. I know without any doubt that in letting go with generosity you will receive the blessing of your Sister Lucia, and the guarantee of her spiritual and transparent presence among you.

Your community is the permanent witness to her life. Nothing and no one can substitute this witness. You should treasure her notes, writings and other memorabilia, but no less importantly, keep her memory alive among yourselves, that silent voice of her spirit so simple and human. She was faithful to the message of Fatima, and lived for the Church and for the whole world. This she chose to do in the Teresian Carmel, whose charisma lovingly embraces the Church and all humankind. She loved Carmel as her home and family for ever, in a way that was real and incarnate. We were truly her Sisters and Brothers.

Her fraternal fidelity is an invitation to us, to be generously faithful to our vocation.
Full Text of letter Pdf

February 18, 2010

February 18, Feast of St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Prayer of St. Bernadette
 Prayer by St. Bernadette in Times of Affliction
"O my God, I beg You, by Your loneliness, not that You may spare me affliction, but that You may not abandon me in it. When I encounter affliction, teach me to see You in it as my sole Comforter. Let affliction strengthen my faith, fortify my hope, and purify my love. Grant me the grace to see Your Hand in my affliction, and to desire no other comforter but You. Amen."
Bernadette was a sickly child; she had cholera in infancy and suffered most of her life from asthma, and some of the people who interviewed her following her revelation of the visions thought her simple-minded. However, despite being rigorously interviewed by officials of both the Catholic Church and the French government, she stuck consistently to her story. Her behavior during this period is said to set the example by which all who have claimed visions and mystical experiences are now judged by Church authorities

Bishop Gauthey of Nevers and the Church exhumed the body of Bernadette Soubirous on 22 September 1909, in the presence of representatives appointed by the postulators of the cause, two doctors, and a sister of the community. They claimed that although the crucifix in her hand and the rosary had both oxidized, her body appeared "incorrupt" — preserved from decomposition. This was cited as one of the miracles to support her canonization. They washed and reclothed her body before burial in a new double casket.

 The Church exhumed the corpse a second time on 3 April 1919. A doctor who examined the body noted, "The body is practically mummified, covered with patches of mildew and quite a notable layer of salts, which appear to be calcium salts. ... The skin has disappeared in some places, but it is still present on most parts of the body."

In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third time. They took relics, which were sent to Rome. A precise imprint of the face was molded so that the firm of Pierre Imans in Paris could make a wax mask based on the imprints and on some genuine photos. This was common practice for relics in France, as it was feared that the blackish tinge to the face and the sunken eyes and nose would make an unpleasant impression on the public. Imprints of the hands were also taken for the presentation of the body and the making of wax casts. The remains were then placed in a gold and crystal reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the mother house in Nevers. The site is visited by many pilgrims and the body of Saint Bernadette is still shown despite being nearly 130 years old.

As soon as she was dead," stated Sister Bernard Dalias, in the archives of the community at Nevers, "Bernadette's face became young and peaceful again, with a look of purity and blessedness." The infirmarians clothed her in her religious habit. "We had no difficulty in doing so," observed Sister de Vigouroux, "for her body was supple even though she had been dead for two hours." Moreover, it remained like that until the funeral.

February 13, 2010

Sr. Lucia's Called to Heaven and Her last visit to Fatima!

Anniversary of  the

Death of  Sr. Lucia

February 13, 2005

When John Paul II received the news that Sister Lucia's health condition had worsened. He sent her a fax message on the eve of her death that was read to her. Sister Lucia was "deeply moved" by the message from the pope, and asked if she could personally read the fax herself. Even though she was almost blind, she said to her sisters in the community: "'Let me read, it's the pope who is writing me,'" Those present indicated that this was possibly the last reaction she had to life around her. In his message to her, the Holy Father said that, on hearing of her illness, he prayed to God that she would be able to live "the moment of pain and suffering" with a "paschal spirit," and he ended his message imparting his blessing to her. Sister Lucia died surrounded by her sisters in religion, and by the bishop of Coimbra, her doctors, and the nurse attending her

Last Words Of Sr. Lucia:  
                          "For the Holy Father!
                        ... Our Lady, Our Lady,
Holy Angels, Heart of Jesus, Heart of Jesus!
We are going, we are going.
"Where?" asked Mother Celina "To Heaven..."
"With whom?" asked Mother Celina
With Our Lord ... Our Lady ... and the little Shepherds."
Let us Go! Let me go!
And she breathed her last. ............

The day of her funeral, February 15, 2005, was declared a day of national mourning in Portugal; even campaigning for the national parliamentary election scheduled for Sunday, February 20, was interrupted. There was a guard of honor around the coffin: 35 bishops from Portugal, the 17 nuns of Sister Lucia's community, her family members, and the Portuguese people.

Message of Pope John Paul II

on the Death of Sr. Lucia

To my Venerable Brother Bishop
Albino Mamede Cleto of Coimbra:
I learned with deep emotion that Sr. Maria Lucia de Jesus of the Immaculate Heart, at the age of ninety~seven, has been called by the Heavenly Father to the eternal dwelling place in heaven. Thus, she has reached the goal to which she always aspired in prayer and in the silence of her convent. The liturgy of these days has reminded us that death is the common legacy of the sons and daughters of Adam but at the same time assures us that Jesus, with the sacrifice of the cross, has opened the doors of immortal life to us. Let us remember these certainties of faith at the moment when we say our last farewell to this humble and devout Carmelite who consecrated her life to Christ, savior of the world.

The visit of the Virgin Mary, which Lucia as a little girl received at Fatima in 1917 together with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta, was the beginning of a unique mission to which she remained faithful to the end of her days. Sr. Lucia bequeaths to us an example of great fidelity to the Lord and joyous attachment to his divine will. I recall with emotion my several meetings with her and the bonds of our spiritual friendship that grew stronger with time. I have always felt supported by the daily gift of her prayers, especially during the most difficult moments of trial and suffering. May the Lord reward her abundantly for her great and hidden service to the Church. I like to think that it was the Blessed Virgin, the same one whom Sr. Lucia saw at Fatima many years ago, who welcomed her on her pious departure from earth to heaven. May the Blessed Virgin now accompany the soul of her devout daughter to the beatific encounter with the divine Bridegroom.

I entrust to you, Venerable Brother, the task of conveying the assurance of my spiritual closeness to the Carmelite nuns of Coimbra. For their inner consolation at the time of parting from Sr. Lucia, I impart an affectionate blessing to them, which I extend to her relatives, to you, to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, my special envoy, and to all those who are taking part in the sacred funeral rite.
From the Vatican, 14 Feb. 2005 John Paul II
    Sr. Lucia’s Mortal remains. Laid to Rest  in Basilica of Fatima
February 19,  2006

The mortal remains of Sister Lucia, who saw apparitions of Our Lady in 1917, were moved from the Carmelite convent of Coimbra, where she died on February 13, 2005 to the Shrine of Fatima. Church officials said around 100,000 people packed the Fatima sanctuary. They had come from all over Portugal and the world. Many were waving white cloths as in the farewell processions on the anniversary of the apparitions on the 13th of each month. The stone placed on Sister Lucia's tomb reads: "Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart, to whom Our Lady appeared. March 22, 1907 -- February 13, 2005. Translated to this basilica on February 19, 2006." On the stones of the other two little shepherds there is, in addition, an inscription that states: Beatified on May 13, 2000."

  Lucia's Last Visit to Fatima
May 16, 2000
Lucia unexpectedly returned to Fatima on May 16, 2000 three days after she met with Pope John Paul II during the Beatification Ceremonies for Jacont and Francesco on May 13.  She came to visit Aljustrel, her childhood home, the Cabecco where the angel appeared to her and Valinhos  Valinhos where Our Lady also appeared  to them on August 19 because were prevented from going to Fatima by the magistrate who had taken them to jail.

I was Blessed to be alone
at Valinhos when Sr Lucia
visited for the last time. 

I had a desire to be alone on my last day at Fatima all the great crowds from the Beatification Ceremonies on the 13th of May, 2000 had dispersed. I  was filled with happiness at the favors I received to be present here for the beatifications of the shepherd children.  I did not know if I would ever be able to return to Fatima and I wanted to be alone and take my time to revisit all the sites that were dear to me especially the Cabecco where the Angel appeared. I made the stations of the cross on the way and  I was at the Shrine of Our Lady at Valinhos when I noted an unusual site of several cars coming from the Cabecco where the Angel appeared. The first was a limo and then a police car.  I made many pilgrimages to Fatima and this was the first time outside of an ambulance I ever saw cars on this route. I thought someone important must be in those cars. 

To my great surprise they stopped where I was praying and  Sr. Lucia get out of the Limo with another sister and a few dignitaries I was overwhelmed with emotion. Thanking Our Lady for the grace that led me to be here. I studied the face of Sr. Lucia so full of emotion and tenderness and felt awkward as if I was intruding on something sacred.  I sensed she was reliving the moments of her childhood when she saw Our Lady here with Francesco and Jacinta. I was deeply moved that Divine Providence allowed me to be present and share this moment with her.

I wanted to take a picture of Sr. Lucia but I did not want to intrude. I dared not lift my camera fearing it would cause her pain at my intrusion.  It did not matter if no one believed me. I knew it and so did God. I noted that there was a photographer in the entourage and felt if it was God’s will I would have a photo someday of this moment. For now this moment was for Sr. Lucia and our Lady and God let me share it with her. 

I believe she realized this would be the last time she would be here. I was with her drinking in all the memories and sacred moments thanking Our Lord and Our Lady for the graces received from them.  I noted another person who pointed out to Sr. Lucia the candle marking the exact spot Our Lady appeared at Vilinhos.  Sr. Lucia stopped a moment and prayed there also. Then as quickly as she came she was whisked back into the limo and headed towards Adjustral to visit her childhood home. I thought to follow them on foot but it was enough for me. This moment alone with her (and her entourage couldn't be helped) where Our Lady appeared.  I had another memory another grace to be grateful for to Our Lady.

In the end God did provide a photo for me.  As I prepared this post I found on the Sanctuary of Fatima Website photographs from the photographer that was present then.  I included one of the pictures in this post that I would have taken if I had the courage to intrude. You can see my arm intruding on the top corner in the background near the monument. (Oh well humility but I was there!) I believe that the photos are presented for the public domain so I have included the link for you to view the other photos over her life.  

Our Lady’s


to Sr. Lucia

Jacinta and Francisco had felt sorry for Lucia when they learned that Lucia would not go to Heaven with them right away, they promised to pray for her from Heaven. Lucia wept and complained to them that she would be all alone without her two friends to help her, but Our Lady promised to be with her always to comfort her. “Are you suffering a great deal?” Our Lady asked Lucia on June 13, 1917 “Don’t Lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”  Now her two little friends had come with Our Lady and Jesus to fetch her and take her with them to Heaven!

At Fatima
Heaven Reclaims
number 13 from pagan
Worship to sacred number!
The earliest reference I found to thirteen being unlucky or evil is from the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (circa 1780 B.C.E.), where the thirteenth law is omitted although some translations contain a thirteenth law. The number 13 was always associated with bad luck. With similar folkloric aspects of the number 13 noted in various cultures around the world. Most stemming from pagan worship. I tried to find out the reason why and discovered that numbers 13 and 21 were significant to witches and occult numerology for numerous reasons. This is not the purpose of this post to detail it here. One can also do a search and come up with a lot of pagan and occult material in reference to the number.

However it is interesting to note that the fear of the number 13 is so prevalent it has been given its own name: Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning "3," kai meaning "and," and deka meaning "10") fear of the number 13; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th. 

The history of the modern fear of the number 13 likely originated in France in the 1300’s and was spread all over the world by French immigrants, who heard of the events in Paris concerning the banishment, arresting and outlawing of all Knights Templar on Friday the 13th of October, in the year 1307.

A three fold curse was given by the last grand knight, who was finally executed on Friday the 13th of March, 1314. As he died he cursed Pope Clemence V, the King of France, Philip IV, and the Prime Minister to the 13th generation. The Parisians thought that this prediction was also valid for them and therefore the fear for number 13 and Friday the 13th started to expand out over the world.

Another interesting connection in the occult concerns the Tarot Card. The 13th Tarot card is the card of Death and is pictured as a skeleton (the symbol of death) with a scythe reaping down men. This image later became known as “The Grim Reaper” I also discovered that the lluminati has also adopted 13 as a sacred number. Other references have to do with numerology and would take up to much space to detail it here.

I wish to briefly mention that over time as Christianity spread the knowledge of the black arts was thankfully forgotten but the fear of the number13 stayed in man’s consciousness without them realizing why. Friday the 13th was considered an unlucky day because Friday was the day of the Lords death and there were thirteen participants at the Last Supper. Tradition states that Judas Iscariot the disciple, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table.

With the resurgence of pagan religions witchcraft and satanic rituals in our culture. Heaven is telling us that God will have the the final say. Our Lord promised Peter "On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her" It doesn't mean that there will not be an attempt they will but they will not prevail. He will turn the tables on Satan and his deceptive minions through the Woman Clothed in the Sun with the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of 12 stars. I believe this is why that God choose to send his Mother on the 13th day of each month at Fatima. Our Lady will conquer the entire pagan Goddess Worship the devil spewed out when he realized God was going to use a Woman to defeat him. How about it number 13 for 1 God in 3 divine persons. 

God  will purify and reclaim number 13 as a sacred number through Our Lady.