Fatima, Portugal, Feb 20, 2006 / 22:00 pm
Some 250,000 people gathered on Sunday to witness the transfer of the remains of Sister Lucia, the last witness to the Marian apparitions of 1917, from the Carmelite convent in Coimbra to the Basilica of Fatima in Portugal.
Before Mass the crowd participated in an act of homage to the three Fatima children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, who witnessed the apparitions in 1917. Amid a sea of white handkerchiefs and loud applause, the casket bearing the body of Sister Lucia was carried to the Basilica of Fatima. Her tomb in the shrine was sealed with the inscription, “Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart – To whom Our Lady appeared.”
During the homily for the Mass, Bishop Serafin Ferreira of Leiria called on the faithful to build a “kingdom of truth, justice, love and peace.” He recalled Sister Lucia as “an example of courage” and he expressed gratitude for her “testimony and fidelity” to the Church.
Pilgrims from across Europe traveled to Fatima for the ceremony, with the largest groups coming from Spain and Ireland.