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Why isn’t Sr. Lucia of Fatima a canonized saint?

Sr. Lucia of Fatima

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Philip Kosloski - published on 03/22/22

Sr. Lucia's cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, were canonized in Fatima in 2017, while her own cause for canonization is still pending.

On May 13, 2017, Pope Francis canonized Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three visionaries who witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. However, their cousin, Sr. Lucia of Fatima, was not included in the ceremony.

Why is that?

Sr. Lucia lived a much longer life

The primary reason why Sr. Lucia has yet to be canonized a saint is because of her long life. Francisco and Jacinta died at the ages of 10 and 9, only a few years after the apparitions in 1917.

In any canonization process, there is an in-depth study of a person’s life. When that life only spanned 9 or 10 years, there is very little to study.

For Sr. Lucia, she lived to be 97 years old, dying on February 13, 2005.

According to the National Catholic Register, “there were the testimonies that had to be gathered from 60 witnesses,” and “all of her writings had to be gathered and examined. ‘Each page that Sister Lucia wrote had to be meticulously analyzed and we are talking of a universe of 10,000 letters that we managed to gather and of a diary with 2,000 pages, in addition to other more personal texts.'”

It took roughly 30 people full-time to analyze her life and to determine if she lived a life of heroic virtue.

Servant of God

While Sr. Lucia of Fatima may not be a canonized saint, on February 13, 2017, the same year that her cousins were canonized, Sr. Lucia was given the title, “Servant of God.”

The next step in her canonization process is for the Vatican Congregation for the Causes for Canonization to review what has been collected and determine whether Sr. Lucia lived a life of “heroic virtue.” (It is her life as a follower of Jesus like any one of us, not her role in the apparitions of Our Lady, that is examined.) If the decision is favorable, Sr. Lucia would then be declared “Venerable.”

Since then there has been no official announcements on the progress of her case, as it is likely the Vatican is still reviewing all of the material submitted.

Furthermore, a miracle through her intercession will eventually be necessary to solidify Sr. Lucia’s status, confirming her presence in Heaven.

Currently there haven’t been any claims that would discredit her personal sanctity and the Vatican has, in general, looked favorable upon her life.

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