.- The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, said he thought it was a âvery goodâ idea to request a waiver of the five year waiting period before the process of beatification of Sister Lucia could begin, but that this would be decided by Pope Benedict XVI.
âSister Lucia certainly would deserve (the dispensation) because she was a great saint,â the Cardinal told the Portuguese agency Ecclesia, emphasizing that the decision would fall to Benedict XVI.
âI had much contactâ with Sister Lucia, the Cardinal said, adding that he always had the impression that âshe was living in another world.â
Bishop Albino Mamede Cleto of Coimbra said that during Cardinal Saraivaâs visit to Portugal the issue would probably be discussed, but also noted that the process for Beatification is not yet in his hands.
The beatification process, the bishop said, âwill take many years.â However, he stated that the request for the dispensation could possibly be made âbefore the summer.â
Bishop Cleto said the promoter of the cause would be the Carmel of St. Teresa in Coimbra, and that therefore the necessary consultations must be made both with the Shrine of Fatima and the Portuguese Bishopsâ Conference. âI suppose Benedict XVI will accept the request, but I donât know what his answer will be,â he added.
The Virgin Mary appeared to Lucia along with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta in the early 1900âs. Lucia outlived her cousins by several years and eventually entered the Carmelites.
Both Francisco, who died in 1919, and Jacinta, who died in 1920, were declared âBlessedâ by Pope John Paul II in 2000. Sister Lucia died in February of 2005.