According to the Portuguese Catholic news agency, Ecclesia, Bishop Albino Cleto of Coimbra, Portugal, revealed this week that Sister Lucia, the Fatima visionary who died last Sunday, received a message from Pope John Paul II the day before her death.

Bishop Cleto, who was at Sister Lucia’s side together with her Carmelite sisters during the final moments of her life, said Sister Lucia read the Holy Father’s message that was sent last Saturday in which he encouraged her to pray in order to be able to “live this moment of pain, suffering and offering with the spirit of Easter.”

Sister Lucia was the last surviving witness of the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima, which took place beginning on May 13, 1917.  She died at the age of 97 and was laid to rest at the Carmelite monastery where she lived.  A year from now her remains will be transported to the Shrine of Fatima.