The diocese of Coimbra has concluded its phase of the Cause of Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the three children who saw Our Lady of Fatima in 1917.

Bishop Virgilio Antunes of Coimbra formally closed the local phase of investigation into her life and holiness last week in the Carmelite convent of St Teresa in Coimbra, where she lived until her death in 2005 at the age of 97.

The ceremony included the sealing of 15,000 pages in 50 volumes of evidence and witness testimonies detailing the life of Sister Lucia. The documents will be sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

After a thorough review of the materials and a judgment that Lucia lived the Christian virtues heroically, her Cause still would require the recognition of two miracles attributed to her intercession.

The Marian apparitions at Fatima began on May 13, 1917, when 10-year-old Lucia, along with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reported seeing the Virgin Mary. The apparitions continued once a month until October 13, 1917, and later were declared “worthy of belief” by the Church.

Fr Romano Gambalunga, postulator of the Cause, said that while Lucia is already a saint in the eyes of many people, “the prudent path of the Church is that she is proposed to all, not just those who believe”.

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