ROME, SEPT. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- When Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s book about the last Fatima visionary was presented, guests got a chance to watch a video about Sister Lucia’s final moments, related by her Mother Superior.
At Friday’s presentation of “L’Ultima Veggente di Fatima” (The Last Fatima Visionary), written by the Pope’s secretary of state, those in attendance saw a video reporting on the Convent of Coimbra, in Portugal, where Sister Lucia lived for the last 57 years of her life.
The visionary occupied the same cell during all those decades, and from there “she flew to heaven,” said the superior of the Carmelite community, Sister Maria Celina of Jesus Crucified.
Recalling her first impressions of Sister Lucia, the superior said, “When I entered, it took me eight days to recognize Sister Lucia. When one of the sisters asked me: ‘Mother, should I bring you a piece of bread to eat tonight?’ I said to myself that this could not be Sister Lucia. And yet it was her.”
Sister Maria Celina recalled how the visionary would stand at the end of the path leading to a statue of the Blessed Virgin, and scold her cousins who also witnessed the apparitions, “You went to heaven and left me here alone.”
The superior said that Sister Lucia always denied any talk of a “fourth secret of Fatima.” Sister Lucia would say of people who spread rumors of the alleged secret that “they are never satisfied; that they should do what Our Lady asked, that this is the most important thing. When someone would say: ‘Sister Lucia, they say there is another secret’ […] she would look at them ironically. ‘If there is one,’ she would say, ‘I wish they would tell it to me: I know of no other secrets.'”
Sister Maria Celina said that the visionary was never satisfied with the image made of Our Lady.
“The image of Our Lady was not how she wanted it,” the superior said. “Sometimes she seemed ugly to her because it did not correspond to her exact memories; it was not what the artist derived from her description. It is somewhat like what happened with St. Bernadette.”
Sister Maria Celina described Sister Lucia as a woman religious who “emanated joy.”
“I lived with her for 28 years and I saw a person who, the older she got, the more she developed an evangelical childhood,” she said. “She seemed again to be the child who had the apparitions in the Cova de Ira. The heavier her body became, the lighter her spirit became.”
Speaking of Sister Lucia’s last hours, the superior said: “When she needed assistance we placed her bed at the center of the cell and we were around her, together with the bishop of Leiria-Fatima. I was kneeling down next to her. Sister Lucia looked at everyone and then looked at me at the end. It was a long look, but in her eyes there was a deep light, which I carry in my soul.
“I pray to her always and I know she prays for us. There are things that have no need of words: A gesture or a thought is sufficient. Sister Lucia had a hearing problem. Now she doesn’t anymore. Now she understands everything without words.”