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Sister Lucia of Fatima

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) –– Pope Francis has recognized the “heroic virtues” of Fatima-seer Sr. Lucia, meaning that the visionary will now proceed to be recognized as Venerable, though controversy remains regarding her date of death.

In the daily press bulletin June 22, the Vatican announced that the pope had promulgated the decrees of a number of servants of God, including Sr. Lucia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart, more generally known as Sr. Lucy or Sr. Lucia. Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, was authorized to promulgate (among others) the decrees regarding:

the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Lúcia de Jesus e do Coração Immaculado (born: Lúcia dos Santos), a professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites; born March 28, 1907, in Aljustrel, Portugal, and died Feb. 13, 2005, in Coimbra, Portugal.

Sr. Lucia, along with her canonized cousins Sts. Francesco and Jacinta Marto, received the visions of the Angel of Peace and Our Lady of Fatima, beginning in 1915 and 1917 respectively. The visions of Our Lady to the three children received numerous papal endorsements, and have drawn many thousands of pilgrims to Fatima ever since.

Sr. Lucia’s later life and death

Following the very publicly attested visions, Sr. Lucia moved to Porto in 1921, and in 1925 entered the Dorothean convent in Pontevedra, Spain. Taking perpetual vows in 1934, she assumed the name of Sister Mary of the Sorrows.

READ: Fatima seer Lucia believed USA would become Communist without Marian consecration of Russia

But in 1946 she returned to Portugal, and after receiving special papal permission, entered the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa of Coimbra. Here she took the name of Sister Maria Lúcia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart.

Official reports state that she died on February 13, 2005, following which Pope Benedict XVI lifted the customary waiting period before beginning the process of her eventual canonization.

However, as with much of the Fatima message and events, controversy surrounds this aspect also. Dr. Peter Chojnowski – a teacher, researcher, and founder of Sister Lucy Truth – has compiled forensic analysis and anecdotal evidence to argue an “imposter” Sr. Lucia replaced the true seer of Fatima and that the faces and handwriting of the alleged two different women are discernibly different.

Chojnowski, whose arguments have found considerable support amongst Catholics concerned with the crisis in the Church, argues that:

Over the course of the years 2018-2022, Sister Lucy Truth commissioned a wide range of scientific professionals and medical specialists and has now compiled a sufficient number of expert reports to make the judgment that there were in fact two women, one the authentic Sister Lucy who was the Seer at Fatima in 1917, and the other an imposter who presented herself as the real Sister Lucy of Fatima at least from May 13, 1967 until her death on February 13, 2005. [emphasis original]

He claims that the reason for such a deception is that the Vatican “could not silence the true seer of Fatima,” who would have no qualms in calling out the post-1960 attempt “to water Fatima down into a vague and generic call to holiness, prayers, and penance.”

Fatima visions: marked by constant controversy

The visions were marked particularly by the vision of hell shown to the three young children, the call for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and notably by the famous three secrets, of which the third has been the center of much controversy in recent decades.

READ: Priest who read 3rd Secret of Fatima: Satan ‘enthroned’ at the Vatican in the early 1960s

The topics of the Third secret and the Consecration of Russia have marked a particular element of conflict in the life of the Church. In 2000, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s CDF published what he described as the “entirety” of the Third Secret of Fatima, a point hotly contested by numerous Fatima scholars and clerics.

More recently though, in 2016, Father Ingo Dollinger – a personal friend of Ratzinger – told LifeSite’s Maike Hickson that Ratzinger had told him in 2000 that “there is more than what we published.”

READ: Archbishop Viganò: Third Secret of Fatima has not yet been fully published

Dollinger reported that he had been told by Ratzinger that the published part of the Secret was authentic and that the unpublished part of the Secret speaks about “a bad council and a bad Mass” that was to come in the near future. The Vatican, in a rare intervention, issued a statement reportedly from then Pope Emeritus Benedict, contradicting Fr. Dollinger’s statement and declaring “the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete.”

Similar peculiar Vatican workings were on display regarding the consecration of Russia, which popes repeatedly refused to do despite Our Lady of Fatima’s repeated request.

READ: Why has the Vatican previously refused to consecrate Russia as Our Lady asked?

The request was made by Our Lady in 1917, then repeated in 1929. Despite this, the popes did not heed the request. Though Pope Pius XII made a consecration of the Church and humanity to the Immaculate Heart, he did not fulfill the specific request, despite being faced with the global catastrophe and bloodshed of the Second World War.

Sr. Lucia received a revelation from Our Lord in 1943, responding to this action of Pope Pius XII: “Because of the act of consecration made by His Holiness, He [Christ] promises that the war will end shortly. But since it was incomplete, the conversion of Russia is postponed.”

Particularly, the famous 1984 consecration, defended by many as having finally fulfilled the request, did not in fact name Russia. Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes confirmed in 2017 that in 1984, John Paul II actually “held back [from mentioning] Russia explicitly because the Vatican diplomats had urgently asked him not to mention this country because otherwise political conflicts might perhaps arise.”

Both in its striking messages, which are not for the faint of heart, and the identity of the eldest visionary Sr. Lucia, the Fatima visions are both topical and surrounded in as much controversy as ever before.