Lucia de Jesus Dos Santos

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Sr Lucia de Jesus Dos Santos was one of the three Portugese children who witnessed the Fatima apparitions, which dominated Marian belief throughout most of the 20th century.

Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917, died at the age of 97. Maltese devotion towards Our Lady of Fatima is very noticeable. In Malta, Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated on 13th May by the Parish Church at Gwardamanġia, which is run by the Dominican Fathers.

Lucia was the eldest of the three children who experienced the vision of Our Lady. Her cousins Jacinta and Francisco died in 1919 and 1920 of respiratory disease, at a young age, soon after the revelation of the six apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Jacinta and Francisco were beatified in the year 2000, at about the same time of the first Maltese beatifications with Dun Ġorġ Preca, Adeodata Pisani and Nażju Falzon.

Dos Santos had also revealed that Our Lady of Fatima had told her about the attempted murder of Pope John Paul II. The attempted murder took place on 13th May 1981, one of the anniversaries of the 1917 apparitions, when Mehmet Ali Agca shot and wounded the pope at St Peter’s Square in Rome.

The Catholic Church built a shrine in Fatima, Portugal, which is visited regularly by millions of people from the entire world. In addition, the annual commemorations of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima is attended by about 100,000 people. Maltese and Gozitans are regularly amongst those who attend the commemorations

She died on 13 March 2005, at the age of 88.