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On February 13, 2008, the third anniversary of the death of Sister Lucy, Pope Benedict XVI announced he will dispense with the five-year waiting period established by Canon Law to open the cause of beatification of Sister Lucy of Fatima.
The news was announced in the cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on February 13.
The Holy See Press Office released on February 13 the following communication:
“This evening in the cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at a Mass marking the third anniversary of the death of Sister Lucy. Following the ceremony he announced that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, benevolently accepting a request presented by Bishop Albino Mamede Cleto of Coimbra and shared by many bishops and faithful throughout the world, has waived the five-year waiting period established by canonical norms (art. 9 of Normae sevandae) and granted that, just three years after the death of Sister Lucy (known to the world as one of the three seers of Fatima), the diocesan stage of the cause for her beatification may begin.”
This announcement is most welcome to those of us who not only have prayed for Sister Lucy’s cause to be opened, but who pray and work to help make known Our Lady’s Fatima Message in a world falsely indoctrinated with the idea that Fatima is insignificant and no longer necessary.
Opening Sister Lucy’s cause will draw interest in her life from Catholics around the world. As a result, Sister Lucy, though no longer in this world, will continue to fulfill the incredible work given to her by Our Lord through Our Lady at Fatima in 1917, when Our Lady said to the child Lucy — “God wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved”.
The announcement regarding the opening of Sister Lucy’s cause is even more precious when one considers that on the same day that the announcement was made, the Vatican also announced the tightening of standards for sainthood. ANSA news agency reported that the Vatican will advise bishops around the world to be more rigorous in their selection of candidates proposed for sainthood.
A 20-page document to be presented in the Vatican on February 18 will ask bishops to show “greater sobriety and rigor” in accepting requests to begin inquiries into a prospective saint’s life. Any dossier presented by a bishop will be examined by Vatican officials, who will decide whether the candidate merits official recognition. If the candidate is found meritorious, they will then be declared “servant of God”. After further examination, they may be beatified, which is the final step before canonization.
The Fatima Message calls us to “Pray a great deal for the Holy Father”, and one may likely assume that the prayers of the faithful for Pope Benedict XVI have gone a long way in making it possible for the Pope to heed the appeals of the bishops and faithful with regard to Sister Lucy’s cause.
The enemies of Our Lady and Her Fatima Message try hard to do everything possible to strip, erase and discredit the Fatima Message. These enemies are working even more vigorously after the death of Sister Lucy to undermine her reputation as well. However, once again Our Lady steps in to show the enemies of Christ just Who is really in control.
Thank you, Our Lady of Fatima!
To learn about Sister Lucy’s life, there is a wonderful new book on Sister Lucy written by Mark Fellows (author of the book, Fatima in Twilight), titled Sister Lucia: Apostle of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. It is beautifully written, easy to read, and contains a wonderful photo insert section. To order this book, click here.