What is Fatima?

Dr. Chojnowski: Here is a basic chronological description of the life of Lucy dos Santos up until her sudden disappearance sometimes between 1957 and 1967. I would like to put special emphasis --- as I did with my bolding of the text and capitalization --- on the Prophecy that Our Lady made to Jacinta immediately before her death concerning her cousin Lucy. For all of the below, we follow the account given in the excellent text by Mark Fellows, Fatima in Twilight (Niagra Falls, Ontario: Marmion Publications, 2003).

The Life of Lucia dos Santos, Seer of Fatima

Life before and during the Apparition, both of the Angel and of the Mother of God

Lucia dos Santos, born the sixth and last child of Antonio and Maria dos Santos. She came into the world on March 22, 1907. Her family and that of her 1stcousins Jacinta and Franscisco Marto lived in a little hamlet called Aljustrel minutes away from the village of Fatima, which was located about 80 miles north of Lisbon.

Lucy, Francisco, and Jacinta lived lives typical of peasant children in rural Portugal. They learned to work and pray very early on. In her memoirs Lucy writes, “The first thing I learned was the Hail Mary.”

Lucy’s first communion was a quiet affair, upon receiving Our Lord Lucy felt herself “bathed in such a supernatural atmosphere that the presence of Our Dear Lord became as clearly perceivable to me as if I had seen and heard Him with my bodily senses.”

“I then addressed my prayer to Him. ‘O Lord make me a saint. Keep my heart always pure for You alone.’ Then it seemed that in the depths of my heart Our Lord distinctly spoke these words to me, ‘The grace granted to you this day will remain living in your soul producing fruits of eternal life.’

I felt as though transformed in God….After this I lost the taste and attraction for the things of this world, and only felt at home in some solitary place where, all alone, I would recall the delights of my First Communion.”

We are all aware of the apparition of the Angel of Portugal, often understood to be St. Michael, in the summer of 1916. We also are well acquainted with the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cova de Iria from May 13thto October 13th, 1917 when the Miracle of the Sun, as exactly predicted by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Three Children, occurred on October 13th, 1917 exactly when it was predicted to happen.

What we are less aware of, and what most concerns our investigations for Sister Lucy Truth, are the events after the apparitions, from the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta in 1919 and 1929 respectively, and the emergence of a new “Sister Lucy” on May 13th, 1967.

The Death of Francisco and Jacinta and Our Lady’s Warning about Lucy

After Francisco died on April 4th, 1919 from the Spanish flu, Jacinta fell ill also. What I have found to be truly telling and extraordinary is the prophecy which Jacinta made before here death that speaks to us even now, especially now. Just before her death, Jacinta received two messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary, that she entrusted to Fr. Formigao. The second said that, “Portugal would suffer a terrible cataclysm of the social order” in which sinful Lisbon would “become a real image of hell.” Of course, in the 16 years following the Masonic Republican revolution there were 16 violent revolutions and 40 changes of government. Most of the violence was between Freemasons and Communists.



FR. FORMIGAO ACTED DECISIVELY. He persuaded Lucy and Maria Rosa, her mother, to have Lucy go to boarding school to continue her education. In July, 1920, Maria Rosa and Lucy traveled to Lisbon. This plan did not work, however……and why…….because Lucy and her friends were informed that the Masonic government was aware that she was in Lisbon and ways “seeking my whereabouts.”

Lucy was spirited out of Lisbon just as the Masonic authorities began TO CLOSE IN. She was briefly hidden at Fr. Formigao’s house in Santarem for a week, when it was decided that the group must return to Fatima and admit failure.

On August 5, 1920, when Lucy was being secretly taken from Lisbon to Santarem, the diocese of Leira (which contains Fatima) was witnessing the consecration of its first Archbishop, Dom Jose Alves Correira da Silva. He had been imprisones by the Masons in 1910 and tortured by making him stand in icy cold water day and night, an experience which crippled him for life.

Now that Dom Jose was in charge of Fatima, he was spiritually and morally in charge of Fatima’s most famous person, Lucy dos Santos. DOM JOSE WAS MOST CERTAIN ABOUT THE FACT THAT IF LUCY DID NOT LEAVE FATIMA SOON SHE WOULD EITHER BE CANONIZED OR MURDERED.

On June 13, 1921, Dom Jose asked Lucy if she would like to leave Fatima and go to a school of run by the Dorothean Sisters to finish her education. There was such a school on the northern coast of Portugal at Porto. Lucy agreed. Dom Jose, however, gave explicit orders that SHE WAS NOT TO TELL ANY ONE WHERE SHE WAS GOING, SHE WAS NOT TO TELL ANY ONE AT THE SCHOOL WHO SHE WAS, AND SHE WAS TO TELL NO ONE ABOUT THE FATIMA APPARITIONS. Lucy agreed to all of these conditions without hesitation. She was 14 years old.

“I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart shall be your refuge and the road that shall lead you to God.”


Since leaving Fatima in 1924, Lucy had lived a life of anonymity at the college of Vilar, obeying Bishop da Silva as well as the Blessed Virgin, who had told Lucy to learn to read and write. The school was run by Sisters of St. Dorothy, a congregation approved by Pope Pius IX in 1863). The Mother of Superior gave Lucy a new name Maria das Dores --- Mary of Sorrows. --- and forbade her from talking about Fatima. Lucy obeyed. The only time that she spoke of Fatima was in 1924, when she was given permission to respond to an interrogation that was part of the canonical process for approving the apparitions.


4 years after appearing to Lucy at Pontevedra, the Blessed Virgin returned again, as She had prophesized at Fatima in 1917. “to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart…”Lucy had been transferred to the Dorothean novitiate at Tuy, at town on the northernmost border of Portugal and Spain, in 1926. Two years later she made her first vows.

The messages Lucy received at Tuy and Pontevedra complete the cycle of the Fatima Messages.

At Pontevedra the Blessed Virgin instructed Lucy to make known the Five First Saturdays devotion. At Tuy She requested, in God’s Name, the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Holy Father; in union with the bishops of the world.

On October 13, 1930, Bishop da Silva published his solemn decision in a pastoral letter, which read, “We judge it good: 1) To declare worthy of faith the visions of the children at the Cova da Iria in the parish of Fatima in our diocese, which took place from May 13 to October 13, 1917. 2) To officially permit the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.

1934: After receiving and making known Heaven’s request of the consecration of Russia in 1929. Lucy remained in Tuy, Spain until 1934. She made her perpetual vows on the Feast of St. Therese. Her mother was there and so was Bishop da Silva. Afterwards, Lucia returned to Pontevedra.

In May 1946, Lucy returned to Fatima for the first time since her departure in 1921. She was 39 years at the time. Fr. Galambra accompanied Lucy to the places where the Virgin and the Angel of Peace had visited her.

Sister Lucy only stayed in Fatima two days, but this was long enough to rekindle her old longing the Carmel. She requested a transfer from the Dorotheans to the Carmelites. POPE PIUS XII PERSONALLY INTERVENED ON LUCY’S BEHALF. IN 1948, SHE RECEIVED WRITTEN APPROVAL OF HER REQUEST, SIGNED BY DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE MONTINI. The Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal, received her on March 25, 1948.

May 1952, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucy, “Make it known to the Holy Father that I still await the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without this consecration Russia cannot be converted, nor can the world have peace.”

The Last Interview and the Last Message to the World of Sister Lucy of Fatima

On the day after Christmas, 1957, Lucy was visited at her convent by Father Augustine Fuentes, a Mexican priest preparing to become postulator of Francisco and Jacinta’s cause for beatifications. It was in this context that he was allowed to speak to Lucy. Months later (May 1958), after Father Fuentes had return to Mexico, he gave a conference in which he the content of his interview with Lucy.

According to Fuentes, Sister Lucy was VERY VERY SAD, VERY PALE AND EMACIATED.” She told him:

"Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives, and what will happen then? It will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance. I am not able to give any other details because it is still a secret. According to the will of the most Holy Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima are permitted to know the secret, but they have chosen to not know it so that they would not be influenced.

"This is the third part of the message of Our Lady which will remain secret until 1960.

Tell them, Father, that the Most Holy Virgin told my cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as myself, many times, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth and that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation. ( … )

"Sister Lucy also told me: Father, the devil is engaged in a decisive battle with the Holy Virgin, and as he knows what it is that most offends God, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls, he does everything he can to capture souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil separates souls from their leaders, and thereby he can seize them more easily.

That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fail in their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell (…). The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls; he tries to corrupt them in order to deaden the souls of lay people in a final impenitence. He employs all the tricks, even going so far as to suggest delaying entrance into religious life. The result of this is the sterility of interior life, and among lay people, coldness regarding the subject of renouncing pleasure and total dedication to God.

"Tell them also, Father, that my cousins Francisco and Jacinta sacrificed themselves because in all the apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin, they always saw Her very sad. She never smiled at us and this sadness, this anguish caused by offences against God and the punishments which menace sinners, penetrated our souls, and we thought only, with our childish little imaginations, of inventing different means of praying and making sacrifices. ( … ) The other thing which sanctified the children was seeing the vision of hell. ( … ) This is why, Father, my mission is not to tell the world about the material punishments which are certain to come if the world does not pray and do penance beforehand. No. My mission is to tell everyone about the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain obstinate in sin.

"Father, Sister Lucia also said to me, we should not wait for the Holy Father’s call to penitence for the whole world to come from Rome; neither should we wait for it to come from our bishops in their dioceses, nor from the religious congregations. No. Our Lord has already, very often, used these means and the world has not paid attention. This is why it is now necessary for each one of us to begin to reform himself spiritually. Each person must not only save his soul but also all the souls that God has placed in our path. ( … )

"Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but She made me understand this for three reasons.

The first reason is because She told me that the devil is about to engage in a decisive battle with the Holy Virgin, and a decisive battle is a final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat. Hence from now on we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no middle course.

"The second reason is because She said to my cousins as well as to myself that God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, These being the last two remedies, this signifies that there will be no others.

The third reason is because, as always in the plans of Divine Providence, God, before He is about to chastise the world, exhausts all other remedies. Now, when He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever, then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, He offers us with a certain trepidation the last means of salvation, His Most Holy Mother. It is with a certain trepidation because if you despise and repulse this ultimate means we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists of openly rejecting, with full knowledge and consent, the salvation which He offers. Remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother. We have as testimony many centuries of Church history which demonstrate, by the terrible chastisements which have befallen those who have attacked the honour of His Most Holy Mother, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always defended the honour of His Mother.

Two ways of saving the world, Sister Lucia told me: prayer and sacrifice ( … ).

Regarding the Holy Rosary, look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. So much so, that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or, above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nation, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by praying the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves, we will sanctify ourselves, we will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.

Finally, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Most Holy Mother, consists in considering Her as the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon, and as the certain door by which we are to enter Heaven".


For all relevant comparison pictures and research see- sisterlucytruth.org