Sister Lucia of Fatima’s case for beatification

Sister Lucia of Fatima’s case for beatification is ready to be presented to Vatican officials.

The Catholic Church in Portugal says it has assembled over 15,000 pages of testimony and documentation to support Lucia’s case.

Lucia was one of three shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in the town of Fatima 100 years ago.

Lucia’s cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who also witnessed the apparitions, died when they were aged nine and 11 of pneumonia. They were beatified in 2000.

The case for Sister Lucia’s beatification is the first step toward canonisation as a saint.

The documentation will be sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The Catholic bishop of Coimbra, Virgilio Antunes, said the documentation on Sister Lucia took eight years to compile. It includes information from 11,000 letters she wrote as well as some 61 witness statements.

If the Vatican congregation’s experts agree Lucia lived a virtuous life, her case will be sent to the pope, who signs a decree attesting to the candidate’s virtues.

Pope Francis is to visit Fatima in May, to mark the centenary of Our Lady’s visitation to the children.

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