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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  February 2005

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION February 2005

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Subject:

Obit Sister Lucia

From:

Christopher Crockett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 16 Feb 2005 12:21:37 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

close enough to being middlevil to warrant posting, i thought.

note the Pope's action in the antepenultimate paragraph.

c


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/16/obituaries/16lucia.html

February 16, 2005

Sister Lucia, 97, Last Survivor of Visionary Children of Fátima, Dies

By CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT 
 
Sister Lucia, the last survivor of the three Portuguese shepherd children who
told of a series of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the village of Fátima
in 1917, died on Sunday in her convent in Coimbra, Portugal. She was 97. 

A spokeswoman for her order, the Carmelite Sisters, announced her death to the
Portuguese news media.

She had lived in near isolation since 1948 in the convent, where she had
devoted her life to prayer and meditation. 

Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, originally named Lucia Abobora, was born on
March 22, 1907, and was 10 when she and her two cousins, Francisco Marto and
his sister Jacinta, said they first saw the Virgin in a field on May 13, 1917.
Lucia said she was the only one of the three who could hear what the Virgin
said. 

Their reports, which said the appearances continued for five months, were
greeted with skepticism, and the children were even jailed and asked to
retract their statements. But their visions were followed by what witnesses
described as "the Miracle of the Sun," in which the sun was said to have
broken through rain clouds and trembled and spun for 10 minutes, which was
taken as confirmation of the visions. 

In 1930, Roman Catholic Church officials completed an exhaustive investigation
and declared the Fátima apparitions "worthy of belief." 

The site became revered, and tens of thousands of Catholics visited the shrine
that was built there. Francisco and his sister died in the influenza epidemic
of 1918. Sister Lucia lived on to write several memoirs.

In 1942, the church finally disclosed the content of the children's visions,
based on letters from Lucia to her bishop in 1936. The first secret revelation
was said to be a vision of hell as a warning that people should repent their
sins. The second was said to be a warning against Russia's errors and a
prophecy that the country would be redeemed by the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

While the visions were reported at a time when the church was under pressure
from anticlericalism, Fátima became a shrine for anti-Communists in the
context of the Spanish Civil War and the cold war.

The third secret of Fátima, which was not disclosed at the time, became an
obsession for those who speculated that it predicted the end of the world or
some rift in the church. Three popes learned of the secret as revealed by
Sister Lucia, according to the Vatican, and decided not to release it. 

Finally, on May 13, 2000, the Vatican secretary of state told an audience of
600,000 that the secret actually referred to the attempted assassination, in
1981, against John Paul II, who figured in the original Fátima vision as "a
bishop clothed in white."

Skeptics were not convinced and have continued to speculate that the third
secret involves something else. 

John Paul, however, accepted that the third secret foretold the attempt on his
life and attributed his survival to Our Lady of Fátima. He has since visited
the shrine and Sister Lucia several times and has placed the bullet that
nearly killed him in the crown of the shrine's statue.

Sister Lucia last spoke in public in May 2000, when the pope visited Fátima
to beatify her cousins Jacinta and Francisco, placing them one step away from
canonization.

Among her last visitors, in July, was Mel Gibson, who presented her with a DVD
of his film "The Passion of the Christ."

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