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Lucia dos Santos - Nun pictureLucia dos Santos, the oldest Fatima visionary, was born on March 22, 1907 in the hamlet of Aljustrel in the Province of Fatima, Portugal. Her parents were Antonio dos Santos and Maria Rosa. Lucia was the youngest of seven children, six girls and one boy.

The dos Santos were a God-fearing, practicing Catholic family, prayer being an integral part of their lives. Though peasants, they were of modest means, and owners of property. No poor person was turned away from their door without a good meal.

Happy and quick witted, young Lucia picked up her catechism from listening to her mother teach it to her siblings.

She was also an innocent, candid soul and was allowed to make her First Communion at the then early age of six at which time she was deeply touched by Our Lord. In her words, “I felt transformed in God…From that day on, I lost the attraction I was beginning to feel for the things of the world…”

With her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, she pastured their families’ sheep. Her cousins looked up to her, and trusted her implicitly.

When Our Lady appeared to the three on May 13, 1917 at Cova da Iria, Lucia, then aged ten, naturally took the lead in addressing the apparition and was always the sole interlocutor. During the second apparition, she was told that she was to remain on earth for some time, while her cousins would be soon taken to heaven.

After the apparitions and the death of her cousins, Lucia was admitted as a pupil at the school of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy at Vilar. In 1925 she was accepted as a postulant in the congregation’s convent of Tuy, just over the Spanish border. She was professed as a Dorothean sister in 1934 receiving the name of Sister Maria of Sorrows.

In 1948, she left the Dorothean Institute to enter the Carmel of Saint Joseph in Coimbra where she took the name of Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart. On May 13, 1949 she was professed as a Discalced Carmelite.

She returned to Fatima on the occasion of four Papal visits, the last of which was to attend the beatification of her cousins Francisco and Jacinta by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 2000.

Sister Lucia wrote her memoirs, a warm, candid account of all that happened to her and her cousins. 

In English this memoir is entitled, Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words.

 

Sr Lucia in Coffin after death

 

Sister Lucia died on February 13, 2005 at age ninety-seven of cardio-respiratory failure due to advanced age.

 


  

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for September 23, 2019

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine wil...

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September 23

 

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will.
Adore and bless it,
especially in the things which are the hardest for you.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Offering himself as a victim for the end of the war, Padre P...

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St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Francesco was born in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. His parents, Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio, were peasant farmers, but they recognized their son was close to God. When he was only five years old, he solemnly consecrated himself to Jesus. It is said he often spoke with Our Lord, Our Lady and his guardian angel, who defended him against attacks by the devil. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of fifteen, and took the name Pio with his religious vows. After seven years of study he was ordained to the priesthood in 1910.

During the same month he was ordained, Padre Pio was praying in the chapel when Our Lord and His Blessed Mother appeared and gave him the Stigmata. However, the wounds soon faded and then disappeared. “I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering,” Padre Pio told Our Lady, “but all in secret." Soon after, he experienced the first of his spiritual ecstasies.

Pio was in the military for a short time, but was discharged due to poor health. Upon his return to the monastery, he became a spiritual director. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience. He often advised, "Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry."

In July of 1918, Padre Pio received the visible Stigmata, the five wounds of Christ (hands, feet and side), after offering himself as a victim for the end of the war. By 1933, the holy priest was recognized by the Church and by 1934 had attracted thousands of pilgrims that attended his masses and frequented his confessional.

On September 23, 1968, Padre Pio said his final Mass, renewed his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and died in his cell after suffering from grave physical decline. Before his death, Padre Pio orchestrated and oversaw the building of the “House for the Alleviation of Suffering,” a 350-bed medical and religious center.

He was canonized on June 16, 2002 by Pope John Paul II. An estimated 300,000 people attended the canonization ceremony.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs F...

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The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

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As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.” 

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men. 

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul. 

 By Catherine Ferdinand

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“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. 

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