LUCY'S LAST WORDS
By Richard Salbato
Sister Lucy of Fatima died on February 13, 2005 at 97 years of age. Doctor Branca, a gifted doctor and painter, was at her bedside taking her pulse, and felt her last heart beat. Lucia did not die of any sickness other than a flu that was going around all of Portugal, and most of the nuns in Coimbra had it. Lucia just died of old age and the flu was more than the old body could take.
I went to the funeral at the Basilica (flying in from Brazil) and then the following Saturday I was invited to a farewell Mass for Lucia, where I talked with the nuns and Doctor Branca. At the Mass they passed out for the first time, the last words of Lucia, I assume recorded by the Doctor or Mother Superior at her bedside. The cards were made quickly just for this farewell Mass, but in the future they will be a mainstay of gifts to anyone visiting the convent. I knew what the words were In Portuguese, but just to be sure I had a nun translate them into English for me. My translation was the same and it was evident something very supernatural happened at her death. I asked some questions and the best I can write (waiting an official report) is this.
Lucia was not going to last long, according to her doctor, as her will to live was gone, and her breathing difficult, so doctor Branca could do nothing except wait for the end. Then suddenly Lucia moved her head from the right to the left and back again as if wanting to see all in front of her. She was seeing something and more than one thing.
"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
"With whom?" asked Mother Celina
With Our Lord ... Our Lady ... and the little Shepherds."
And she breathed her last. ............................................
It is evident that Lucia was seeing Our Lady, Jesus, Angels, and Jacinta and Francisco, who had come to take her to Heaven, and finally in audible words she said, let "US" go, and not let me go, for she knew they would go up to Heaven together, as they had come down to take her with them. Jacinta and Francisco had felt sorry for Lucia when they learned that Lucia would not go to Heaven with them right away, but promised to pray for her from Heaven. Lucia complained that she would be alone without her two little shepherds with her, but Our Lady promised to be with her always to comfort her. Now her two little friends had come with the Heavenly Host to get her and take her with them to Heaven. Amen...................................
Earlier Sister Lucia had said, and I wrote, that the story of Fatima is only half done, and so if we think of a 1000 page book on Fatima, this is only page 500 that has turned, and the rest should be very exciting to say the least. Today the Holy Father is back again in the hospital with a hole in his neck to breathe. How long he lasts is anyone's guess. But for the Portuguese people, they have said for years that the world is held up with two hands, the Holy Father's and Lucia's. When they are both gone, heaven help us. This is the feeling of the Portuguese, and it may be a self-fulfilling prophesy. Seven days after Lucia's death an ultra socialist, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion Prime Minister was elected with only 35% of the people even bothering to vote because there were no candidates anyone liked. I see huge problems for Portugal in the near future, but in the end it will be better off, because "Portugal will not loose the faith".
Lucia's Mother Superior
Mother Superior Maria Celina of Jesus Crucified
"Sister Lucia was the jewel of the Carmelite convent of Coimbra, but within its walls she lived exactly like the other women religious. Age had made her very frail and the doctor advised her not to catch cold, so she heard Mass from her cell and we took her Communion. In these last days, especially since June 15, one of us was always with her, 24 hours a day. She became much more intimate, from this point of view, something that occurs with all sisters who are dying, because -- none has yet died suddenly -- when they are in need of our help, there is a greater bond. Since November 21, when her health conditions worsened, she became more dependent on us. Not even the "burden" of the Fatima secret, which the visionary kept for decades, affected her humility."
The prioress, who lived in the same convent with Sister Lucia for 28 years, also recalled the "normality" of her conversations, adding that the other nuns "did not ask questions." The visionary's lack of prominence was such that when Sister Maria Celina arrived at the Carmel convent, she went "eight days without knowing that it was Lucia of Fatima." With the passing of the years a close bond was established between them, so much so that the prioress said she saw Sister Lucia "as a niece."
The death of the witness of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin caused great sadness among the religious of her community, the prioress said.
"She was part of our lives and, as you can well understand, in a Carmelite convent, in a cloistered life, one is in contact 24 hours a day."
Regarding the mission entrusted to the then little shepherdess of Fatima, the prioress said: "It was not Sister Lucia who wanted to give that message; she was entrusted with giving it to others." Speaking about the future without the visionary's presence, Sister Maria Celina expressed the certainty that "she is with us in another way." "Passing by her cell, one feels like going in, but she is no longer there," she said. She is "not there at the sensible level understood by our nature, but we know in faith that she is with us." The prioress sees as possible an eventual flowering of vocations to the contemplative life, motivated by the example of the little shepherdess' life. "It might happen. God makes use of everything. It is he who calls.
"It was no accident that my vocation was born when I heard talk about the house where the little shepherdess lived only to pray, and I said: "I also want to be like that."
Pope John Paul II on Lucia
John Paul II expressed gratitude for the support he felt he always received from Sister Lucia's prayers, especially in moments of suffering. The Pope expressed this in the message read by his special envoy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, at the end of the funeral for the Fatima visionary, held Tuesday in the cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal.
The multitude that filled the cathedral and its surroundings responded with prolonged applause to the Holy Father's message.
Tens of thousands of people had arrived from all over Portugal and from other countries, to bid farewell to Sister Lucia and to participate in the funeral for the Carmelite nun. Most of the faithful had to follow the ceremony from the square and adjacent streets. Waving white handkerchiefs, they bid Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart farewell as her coffin passed by from the church to her burial in the Carmelite convent where she lived for 57 years and where she died. In one year, her remains will be taken to the shrine of Fatima. The funeral was presided over by Cardinal Bertone, archbishop of Genoa, who on several occasions had met with Sister Lucia, the last time in 2003, when the Carmelite gave him her walking stick so that he could give it to John Paul II. The Pope entrusted to Cardinal Bertone a message, addressed to Bishop Albino Cleto of Coimbra, in which he expressed his "profound emotion" over Sister Lucia's death and expressed his "last farewell to this humble and devout Carmelite."
"The visit of the Virgin Mary, which little Lucia received in Fatima together with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta in 1917, was for her the beginning of a singular mission to which she remained faithful until the end of her days. Sister Lucia leaves us an example of great fidelity to the Lord and of joyful adherence to his divine will. I remember with emotion the various meetings I had with her and the bonds of spiritual friendship that, with the passing of time, were intensified. I have always felt supported by the daily gift of her prayer, especially in the harsh moments of trial and suffering. May the Lord reward her amply for the great and hidden service she has done to the Church," the Pope added.
John Paul II met with the Carmelite nun on three occasions: on May 13, 1982, and in 1991 and 2000, the Vatican Information Service recalled. The first meeting took place exactly one year after the 1981 assassination attempt against the Pope in St. Peter's Square. On that occasion in 1982, the Holy Father went to Fatima to thank the Blessed Virgin for saving his life. He desired that one of the bullets used in the attack be set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, as a sign of gratitude.
The second meeting, in 1991, took place on the 10th anniversary of the attack. The last time that the Holy Father and Sister Lucia met personally was on May 13, 2000. That day, the Pope beatified the two other visionaries, the little shepherds Jacinta and Francisco, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, read the text relative to the third secret of Fatima.
On the eve of Sister Lucia's death, the Pope had sent a fax to her in which he expressed his closeness and assured her of his prayers so that she would be able "to live this moment of pain, suffering and offering with the spirit of Easter, of the passing."
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. There were political representatives who, as a sign of mourning, suspended their electoral campaign. The faithful waited in long queues from the early hours of Tuesday morning to bid Sister Lucia farewell. For them, she was "the person who was touched by an extraordinary experience, but who was able to incarnate it in ordinary life," as Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch of Lisbon, said in his brief homily.
"Sister Lucia's life will be examined," said Cardinal Bertone, "Of course it will not be as easy as it was for Jacinta and Francisco, because Sister Lucia has written much," he said. "Some texts are not yet known. But I am sure that soon she will join her two little cousins who are already raised to the honor of the altar."
A nephew of the nun, Salesian Father José dos Santos Valinho, said his aunt "prayed until the last moment for the Pope and his health," and "when John Paul II sent her a fax message of gratitude" for her prayers, during his recent hospitalization, she wished to hold those sheets of paper. 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,'" recalled her nephew. The priest was invited by the Carmelites of Coimbra to preside in the convent at the first Mass for the repose of his aunt's soul.
"When the prioress of the convent would give [Sister Lucia] a message, a communication from the Pope, for her it was always a great emotional moment. What was most impressive was the arrival of the last message," he added. "In those dying moments it was as if all of a sudden she recovered her lost strength and her little eyes were illuminated
The Next Step To Sainthood
The bishop of Leiria-Fatima announced the conclusion of the diocesan process for the canonization of the shepherds Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who saw the apparitions of Our Lady in 1917. Jacinta and Francisco were beatified May 13, 2000, the day of the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions.
"I can affirm that on February 19 the so-called 'positio' was handed in for the canonization of Jacinta and Francisco Marto," said Bishop Serafim Ferreira e Silva announced Sunday during a liturgical celebration of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, in the Fatima Shrine, according to the agency Ecclesia.
At the end of the celebration, Bishop Ferreira e Silva explained that the closing of the "positio" means "that the documentary process is complete, translated into Italian, definitively closed and handed to His Eminence the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes. "From now on, it will be subjected to the judgment of cardinals and doctors. The final judgment is the Pope's decision."
No Secrets - All Will Be Revealed
I hate to have a bad note on such a beautiful newsletter about Lucia's last word, and the words of those who loved her, but the same old garbage is contaminating the beauty of Fatima by (guess who) the Gruner crowd. No! Lucia's cell is not being sealed by the Vatican. Lucia may well have had more apparitions in that cell, and she may have some profound additional words from Heaven that have not yet been revealed, but no one is preventing them from being revealed. Most likely no nun will ever occupy the cell of Lucia ever But you can bet and I know that the nuns look in everyday, and maybe sometimes sit in the chair next to her empty bed the way they did in the past to give her a prayer request or just to chat or pray together when she could not come out for prayers or Mass. Her diary? It is no longer in her cell, but in the hands of Father Condor, the Postulate for the Canonization and copied to Rome. There is still in the cell her typewriter that she learned how to use after her arthritis became to bad to write in long hand. Instead of coming up with all these stupid secret archives in the Vatican conspiracy theories, let us promote the love Lucia had for the Church, the Holy Father, and even for those poor souls that contaminate the message of Fatima, like Gruner.