The fate of the three children
Lúcia reported seeing the Virgin again in 1925 at the Dorothean
convent at Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain). This time, she said she was
asked to convey the message of the First Saturday Devotions. A subsequent
vision of the Christ Child Himself reiterated this request, by her
Lúcia was transferred to another convent in Tui or Tuy, Galicia
in 1928. In 1929, Lúcia reported that Mary returned and repeated
her request for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
Lúcia reportedly saw Mary in private visions periodically throughout
her life. Most significant was the apparition in Rianxo, Galicia in 1931,
in which Sister Lúcia said that Jesus visited her, taught her
two prayers, and delivered a message to give to the hierarchy of the
In 1947, Sister Lúcia left the Dorothean order and joined the
Carmelite order in a convent in Coimbra, Portugal. Lúcia died
on February 13, 2005, at the age of 97. After her death, the Vatican,
specifically Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (at that time, still head of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) ordered her cell sealed off.
It is believed this was because Sister Lúcia had continued to
receive more revelations, and the evidence needed to be examined in the
course of proceedings for Lúcia's canonization.
Lúcia's cousins, the siblings Francisco (1908–1919) and
Jacinta Marto (1910–1920), were both victims of the Great Spanish
Flu Epidemic of 1919.
Francisco and Jacinta were declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in
a public ceremony at Fatima on May 13, 1989. John Paul returned there
on May 13, 2000, to declare them 'blessed'. Jacinta is the youngest non-martyred
child ever to be beatified.
In 1941, Lúcia claimed that the Virgin Mary had predicted the
deaths of two of the children during the second apparition on June 13,
1917. Some accounts, including the testimony of Olímpia Marto
(mother of the two younger children) state that her children did not
keep this information secret and ecstatically predicted their own deaths
many times to her and to curious pilgrims. According to the 1941 account,
on June 13, Lúcia asked the Virgin if the three children would
go to heaven when they died. She heard Mary reply, "Yes, I shall take
Francisco and Jacinta soon, but you will remain a little longer, since
Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also
for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart. Jacinta,
in fact, accurately foretold the time and detailed circumstances of her
death, according to Lúcia and hospital staff.
Exhumed in 1935 and again in 1951, Jacinta's body was found incorrupt.
Francisco's had decomposed.