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29 November

Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

The last witness to the apparitions at Fatima has died at Coimbra

 

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Lucia de Jesus dos Santos

14/02/2005: Portugal

Sister Lucia dos Santos, who witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima together with Francesco and Giacinta Marto, died at 5.25 in the afternoon of the 13th February 2005 in the Carmel of Saint Therese at Coimbra, at the age of 97 (23.03.1907 – 13.02.2005).
The story of the three young shepherds began on the 13th May 1917. While tending the sheep, they saw a figure of light, a “beautiful Lady” who said she had come from Heaven and that she would return to the same place at the same time on the 13th day of the following months. This was the first apparition that was followed by others. With the passing of the months the local people started to gather together around the young witnesses to pray and to be present for the mysterious events. On the 13th October of the same year – the last official apparition – a miracle occurred that was given a great deal of publicity in the press of the time: an immense crowd witnessed a singular atmospheric phenomenon called “the dance of the sun” that lasted for several minutes. The following year Francesco and Giacinta died from the effects of the “Spanish” epidemic. Lucia was left unharmed and became a religious on the 3rd October 1928.

Wojtyla’s great devotion to the Virgin and the coincidence of the date of the assassination attempt in Saint Peter’s Square with the date of the start of the apparitions of Fatima, linked the Pope in a special way to the Marian sanctuary of Portugal and to the one who had witnessed these extraordinary events.
The Pope spoke with Lucia during his first pilgrimage on the 13th May 1982, one year after the assassination attempt in Saint Peter’s Square. At this time he offered to the Madonna the bullet with which he had been injured, shot from Alì Agca’s gun. The second meeting was in 1991. And the Pope spoke with Lucia again in 2000 during his third pilgrimage when he beatified Francesco and Giacinta. It was at this time that the Pope revealed the so-called third secret of Fatima.

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