Tens of thousands of pilgrims have gathered in central Portugal to pay hommageto Sister Lucia who is said to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
Today her remains were transferred from the Carmelite convent in Coimbra where she died a year ago to a shrine in Fatima where the apparitions apparently took place. In May 1917 Lucia de Jesus dos Santos was ten years old when as tradition has it she saw the visions with her younger cousins. The children were tending sheep when the Virgin Mary revealed three prophecies. Sister Lucia had a special place in the late Pope John Paul’s heart. He interpreted the final secret as a prediction of an attempt on his life. He credited the Madonna of Fatima with his survival and made three pilgrimages to the holy site now a focal point for the catholic religion. Pilgrims have been clamouring for Sister Lucia to become a saint. Pope John Paul beatified her two younger cousins who died just three years after seeing the Madonna.