Lúcia Abobora—later renamed Lúcia de Jesus de dos Santos was the youngest child of António dos Santos and Maria Rosa Ferreira. She had six brothers and sisters. Lúcia’s father António, by her report, was a hardworking and generous man. Lúcia remembered him telling fairy tales and singing folk songs, but he was also the one who first taught her to make the Sign of the Cross. Contrary to popular hagiographical accounts of the apparitions, he believed the children and there is some evidence that he conspired to make sure Lúcia got to the Cova for the visitations after her mother had forbidden it. While her mother, Maria Rosa was literate, although she never taught her children to read. She gave catechism lessons to children.
Lúcia’s First Communion occurred at six years of age despite ten being the usual minimum. Initially, the parish priest refused because of her young age. However, Fr. Cruz, a Jesuit missionary visiting from Lisbon, interviewed Lúcia after finding her in tears that day and concluded that “she understands what she’s doing better than many of the others.” Because of this intervention, the parish priest admitted Lúcia to Holy Communion. After her First Confession she prayed before the altar of Our Lady of the Rosary and saw the statue smile at her. Upon receiving the Eucharist, Lúcia felt “bathed in such a supernatural atmosphere that the presence of our dear Lord became as clearly perceptible to me as if I had seen and heard Him with my bodily senses.” Lúcia’s First Communion left a deep impact on her. “I lost the taste and attraction for the things of the world, and only felt at home in some solitary place where, all alone, I could recall the delights of my First Communion.”
Between May and October of 1917 three shepherd children, Lúcia and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported visions of a luminous lady believed to be the Virgin Mary. She appeared to the children in the Cova da Iria fields outside the hamlet of Aljustrel near Fatima, Portugal. She appeared to them on the 13th day of each month at approximately noon, for six straight months. The only exception was the month of August, when the children were arrested by the local administrator. It is said that Virgin Mary revealed three secrets to the children during her visitation.
According to Lúcia’s accounts, the lady told the children to do penance and to make sacrifices to save sinners. Lúcia said that the lady stressed the importance of saying the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world. Many young Portuguese men, including relatives of the visionaries, were then fighting in World War I. Lúcia heard Mary ask her to learn to read and write because Jesus wanted to employ her to convey messages to the world about Mary, particularly the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Sister Lúcia of Fatima, Truly, a Saint for these times. She has the distinction of being canonized in her lifetime by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. When Our Lady visited the three shepherd children on June 13, 1917, Lúcia pleaded with her,
“From now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility.”
“I would like to ask you also to take us to Heaven.”
“Yes”, Our Lady answered, “I will take Francisco and Jacinta soon. You, however, are to stay here a longer time. Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish the Devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne.”
Lúcia was filled with sadness to hear the news that she was to be left alone in the world, and cried out, “Am I going to stay here alone?”
“No, my daughter.” Our Lady responded tenderly to Lúcia, whose eyes were brimming with tears,
“Does this cause you to suffer a great deal? I will never leave you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
Although all three children were promised Heaven, it was to Lúcia that Our Lady made the promise that she would be with her always. What a remarkable thing it must have been for that child to hear from the Mother of God that, “Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved.”
This world is dying under the errors which have been growing and spreading ever since the arch-heretic Martin Luther revolted against the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, tearing Christendom asunder. In response to this grave attack, Jesus requested public devotion to His Sacred Heart. He specifically asked that the image of this adorable Heart be placed publicly, revered publicly. We all know that this was not done and so the Masonic revolution, which was not publicly known at that time, grew in power until it finally erupted in bloody violence in the French Revolution, in which the King was beheaded and the Church suppressed and persecuted.
In time, this same satanic force even penetrated the Vatican, and at this point our Lord Jesus Christ sent His Blessed Mother to Fatima with a message, “Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish the Devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world.”
Lúcia Dos Santos, who told of seeing one more vision of the Virgin Mary in 1920, dedicated her life to God and became a Carmelite nun. While the two Marto siblings died two years after the visions during the Spanish Flu pandemic in Europe. Both children have now become the youngest Catholic saints ever not to have died as martyrs.
On July 13, 1917, around noon, when the lady is said to have entrusted the children with three secrets. Two of the secrets were revealed in 1941 in a document written by Lúcia, at the request of the Bishop of Leiria, José Alves Correia da Silva, partly to assist with the publication of a new edition of a book on Jacinta.
On January 25, 1938, a massive aurora borealis, described variously as “a curtain of fire” and a “huge blood-red beam of light,” appeared in the skies over Europe and was visible as far away as Gibraltar and even parts of the United States. Lúcia believed this event was the “night illuminated by a strange light in the sky” which she had heard Mary speak about as part of the Second Secret, predicting the events which would lead to the Second World War and requesting Acts of Reparation including the First Saturday Devotions, along with the Consecration of Russia.
When asked by José Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria in 1943 to reveal the third secret, Lúcia struggled for a short period, being “not yet convinced that God had clearly authorized her to act.”:203 She was under strict obedience in accordance with her Carmelite life, and conflicted as to whether she should obey her superiors, or the personal orders she had heard from Mary. However, in October 1943 she fell ill with influenza and pleurisy, the same illness which had killed her cousins, and for a time believed she was about to die. Bishop Da Silva then ordered her to put the third secret in writing.:204 Lúcia then wrote down the secret and sealed it in an envelope not to be opened until 1960.  She designated 1960 because she thought that “by then it will appear clearer.”:208–09 The text of the third secret was officially released by Pope John Paul II in 2000. The Vatican described the secret as a vision of the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
Sister Lúcia had been blind and deaf and ailing for some years prior to her death. She died at the Carmelite convent of Santa Teresa in Coimbra, where she had lived since 1948. The day of her funeral, Pope John Paul II and the future Pope Benedict XVI said that she would go to Heaven. February 15, 2005, was declared a day of national mourning in Portugal; even campaigning for the national parliamentary election scheduled for Sunday, February 20, was interrupted. Sister Lúcia was a registered voter, and her polling place visits were covered by the Portuguese press.
On February 13, 2008 (the third anniversary of her death), Pope Benedict XVI announced that in the case of Sister Lúcia he would waive the five-year waiting period established by ecclesiastical law before opening a cause for beatification; this rule was also dispensed in the causes for Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Pope John Paul II.
On February 13, 2017, Sister Lúcia was accorded the title Servant of God, as the first major step toward her canonization.