After Lourdes and Santiago de Compostela, we all felt a long bus ride to Lisboa is nothing just to spend next day’s morning in Fatima. As it happened, we had a fantastic & chaotic first night in Lisbon — it being the eve of the San Antonio Festival. And we were blessed with a fun, competent van driver cum tour guide for this day trip.
Fatima is the site where Mother Mary appeared to 3 children: Francesco, Jacinta and Lucia every 13th of the month from May to October 1917. The apparition site is now called the Chapel of Apparitions from where we joined a Marian procession.
The Miracle of the Sun witnessed by 70,000 pilgrims happened here. Lucia outlived both Francisco and Jacinta — who died soon after the Apparition — became a nun and lived till 2005. I honestly cannot imagine Lucia’s life after the apparitions. A nun’s life seems to be the only option. Neither can I imagine a life being entrusted with Our Lady of Fatima’s secrets.
Back in 2002, we had a chance to visit Coimbra where Lucia lived since 1948 and died in 2005 in the Carmelite Convent of St. Theresa. For some years before her death, she was blind and deaf. In her lifetime and likely before she became ailing, she managed to write 6 memoirs. The last 2 were in her handwriting. Can you imagine life as the only surviving witness guarding the 3 secrets of Fatima? Definitely not easy. Writing those memoirs about the messages of Our Lady when she was only 10, drawing her own interpretations, is a tough act. Perhaps going blind and deaf was a great blessing to this saint.