Sister Lúcia’s biography
- 1907 – She was born on 28 March in Aljustrel, in the parish of Fátima, municipality of Ourém, and was registered as having been born on the 22nd of that same month. She was christened on 30 March in the parish church of Fátima.
- 1913 – Sister Lúcia’s first confession and first communion (given by Father Cruz. The priest accepted the responsibility for her being only 6 years old).
- 1915 – She began shepherding with her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco.
- 1915-1916 – Apparitions of the Angel.
- 1917 – Apparitions of Our Lady.
- 1917-1921 – Under the supervision of the Bishop of Leiria, José Alves Correia da Silva, several distinguished families received Lúcia in their homes and provided her with some education: Mrs. Assunção Avelar, in Lisbon; a friend of Canon Formigão, in Santarém.
- 1921 – On 16 June, Lúcia says goodbye to Cova da Iria and leaves for Porto, to stay in the Vilar Asylum of the Dorothean Sisters, where she started using the name Maria das Dores.
- 1925 – She received her Confirmation by the Bishop of Leiria, in the chapel of Quinta da Formigueira, in Braga. That same year, she enrolled in the institute of Santa Dorotea, in Spain.
- 1925-1929 – Apparitions in Pontevedra and Tuy.
- 1928 – On 3 October, she professed her temporary vows.
- 1934 – On 13 October, she professed her perpetual vows.
- 1935-1941 – After an order of the Bishop of Leiria, she writes her first four memoirs.
- 1946 – She returns to Portugal in May and visits Fátima for the first time, and identifies the locations of the Apparitions of the Angel. She stays at the school of the dorothean sisters in Sardão, Vila Nova de Gaia.
- 1948 – On 25 March, she enters the Carmel of Coimbra, where she remains the rest of her life.
- 1949 – On 31 May, she professes her Solemn Vows as a Carmelite. Starting from this year, she writes her last two memoirs and the book “Calls from the Message of Fátima”. She remained cloistered, and the only times she left the convent were either for medical reasons, to fulfil her civic duties or to visit Fátima whenever the Holy Father visited, and by His Holiness’ request.
- 1967 – On 13 May, she travels to Fátima to meet Pope Paul VI.
- 2000 – She visited Fátima for the last time when her cousins Francisco and Jacinta were beatified, meeting Pope John Paul II there, whom she asked permission to visit the places of her childhood and the sites of the apparitions.
- 2005 – She passed away on 13 February and was buried in the cloister of the Carmel.
- 2006 – On 19 February, her body was transferred to the Sanctuary of Fátima.
Display Cabinet no. 9
Sister Lúcia making a rosary.
As a Carmelite, Lúcia de Jesus occupied her days with multiple tasks, although she devoted a good part of her time to answering letters.
In addition to school classes, the training she had received from a very young age included sewing, embroidery, drawing, painting, music and cooking.
She was especially skilled at embroidering, a craft she often performed with great perfection.
In the Carmel of Santa Teresa, she also dedicated herself to making reliquaries of her cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as rosaries, as part of her work of spreading the message of Fátima.
She created stamp albums after detaching stamps from the envelopes that would arrive from all over the world, as well as photo albums, giving great attention to gathering family photos and photos from Fátima and the meetings with the Holy Fathers.
Display Cabinet no. 10
Object on display:
According to the instructions of Santa Teresa, the habit must be lowly, austere, and made of brown cloth.
The habit includes the belt, the scapular over the headdress and the black veil. On more solemn occasions, a white cape is added.
Carmelite sisters must wear the habit of their Order as a sign of consecration and as a proof of their poverty (Constitutions, no. 95).
Display Cabinet no. 11
Coffin of Sister Lúcia
For 57 years, Lúcia de Jesus lived in the Carmel of Santa Teresa in Coimbra, sharing her daily life with the Community.
On 13 February 2005, Our Lady came and took her to Heaven, like She had promised!
She was buried in the cloister of the convent for one year, and was then transferred to Fátima on 19 February 2006.
Her body has since then rested in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, beside her cousins Jacinta and Francisco.
By special concession from the Holy Father Benedict XVI, her canonization process began in 2008.
Objects on display:
- Flower crown
A crown of orchids made by the Carmelite sisters and placed on Sister Lúcia’s head during her wake, which was held in the choir of the church of the Carmel of Santa Teresa.
Mantilla made in crochet out of wool from the sheep of the flock of her older sister, Maria dos Anjos.
Nightgown and headdress she was wearing when she died.
- Scapular and crucifix
A scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and a Crucifix which she kept by until the hour of her death.
A crucifix that Sister Lúcia kissed before dying on 13 February 2005.
- Host case
A host case with which she received Communion in her cell during her last months.
Last pair of glasses she wore.
Blessing sent by Pope John Paul II via fax, on 13 February 2005, the day of her death.
A watch for her personal use. It marks the time of her passing.
Display Cabinet no. 12
Throughout her life, Sister Lúcia had the privilege of meeting with some of the highest dignitaries of the Church, such as Holy Fathers Paul VI in 1967, and John Paul II, in 1982, 1991 and 2000.
In 1977, Cardinal Albino Luciani, who would become Pope John Paul I one year later, visited her in the Carmel of Santa Teresa, as did Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, in 1996.
Objects on display:
Gifts from several Popes to Sister Lúcia.
Gifted by John Paul II:
- The cassock worn by the Holy Father.
- The chasuble with which the Pope celebrated in the Vatican.
- Image of Our Lady of Fátima.
- Medals commemorating the 20th and 23rd Anniversaries of his Pontificate.
Replica of Sister Lúcia’s cell, which is located inside the cloister of the Carmel. All the objects on display were used by Sister Lúcia.
A Carmelite’s cell is her small “sanctuary”, a private and privileged place where she can meet with God alone.
The Carmel is made up of several cells – the cells of a single body which is the monastic community.
The Carmelite Rule states that “each shall have an individual and separate cell” (Rule No. 5).
A Carmelite remains in her cell most of the time throughout the day, leaving only for work that requires it and community activities such as the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours and leisure time.
The daily schedule sets a “cell time” twice a day, which is a time for solitude and silence spent doing some manual work, reading and writing, or praying, as the Rule determines: “Let each one remain in her cell, meditating day and night on the Law of the Lord” (Rule no. 8).
Like all of the dormitory in the Carmel of Santa Teresa, Sister Lúcia’s cell stands out for its sobriety and poverty.
The furniture includes only one bed, one table, a bench and a cross, a symbol of the “cross” each one must carry with love and joy, like Christ did.
The large number of letters she received meant she had to have a typewriter to assist her in answering an average of 20 letters a day.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a Portuguese man living in Germany gave her a rosary which he made himself using pieces of the wall. This gesture was greatly appreciated, and Sister Lúcia decided to keep it in her cell.
Also on display is a replica of the official representation evoking the visits Our Lady made to Sister Lúcia in her Carmelite cell. The original work is placed inside her cell in the Carmel. It’s an oil painting on canvas created by Francisco Correia de Almeida, an artist from Coimbra, and it measures 230 x 160 cm.