Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood cause of Sr Lucia dos Santos, the eldest child to witness the 1917 Fatima apparitions. Source: CNA.
In a decree signed yesterday, the Pope recognised Lucia’s heroic virtue and declared her “venerable”. The Church will now need to approve a miracle attributed to her intercession before she can be beatified.
Pope Francis already canonised the two other Fatima visionaries, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, in 2017. The two shepherd children, who died at 10 and 11 respectively, are the youngest non-martyr saints in the Church’s history.
Lucia, who was 10 at the time of the Marian apparitions, lived until the age of 97.
She spent the final 50 years of her life in a Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal. As the only Fatima visionary who was able to hear the Virgin Mary speak during the series of apparitions at Fatima, her written memoirs have provided an important account of the Fatima message.
Lucia’s canonisation cause opened in 2008, three years after her death, after Benedict XVI granted a dispensation for the usually required five-year waiting period. More than 15,000 letters, testimonies, and other documents were collected during the diocesan phase of her cause, which concluded in 2017.
Pope Francis is planning to visit Fatima in August when he travels to Portugal for World Youth Day. He will spend the morning of August 5 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, where he will pray the rosary with sick young adults in the Marian shrine’s Chapel of Apparitions.
BREAKING: Pope Francis advances the sainthood cause of Fatima’s Sr Lucia (By Courtney Mares, CNA)
Fatima visionary Sr Lucia declared Venerable (Vatican News)