LUCIA, THE LAST VISIONARY OF FATIMA, HAS DIED
venerable age of 97, on SUNDAY afternoon, February 13th,
in Coimbra Carmel, our Carmelite Sister Lucia went to her
eternal reward. She, together with her cousins, Jacinta and
Francesco, was a witness to the numerous apparitions of the
Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, beginning on May 13, 1917.
The other two visionaries died young, as the Blessed Virgin
had predicted, and have since been declared Blessed by the
lived humbly and quietly in her community, combining a
prayerful-contemplative life with an intense letter-writing
ministry, with which she comforted distressed people,
replied to VIP=s,
encouraged her readers to believe and trust in God, always
zealous in her devotion to Mary. The Popes have always
held her in great esteem. The message that the
Virgin had entrusted to the three shepherds touched upon
present and future events. Pope John Paul II was
particularly fond of this simple Carmelite religious.
He met her on several occasions, expressing his clear
devotion to our Lady of Fatima, returning there three times
on pilgrimage. A year after the attempt to assassinate him
in St Peter=s
square, he offered the Blessed Virgin the bullet that almost
killed him: it was placed in the crown of Mary=s
The message of
Fatima is simple and straightforward: prayer, penance,
consecration to the immaculate heart of Mary. Strange
phenomena accompanied the numerous visions, such as the
dance of the sun@
before an awestruck and incredulous crowd. But what
has especially attracted the attention of the world was the
secret of Fatima@,
made public in 2000 on the occasion of the beatification of
Francesco and Jacinta. It has been confirmed that Sr.
Lucia has had manifestations of our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
The death of
Sr. Lucia has saddened especially the people of Portugal.
The Prime Minister has declared a national day of mourning
and there will be no electioneering on that day for the
forthcoming elections, on February 20.
Fr. General is
not able to attend the funeral due to commitments elsewhere
and has asked Fr. Luigi Gaetani, the Definitor responsible
for Portugal to attend the solemn funeral in Coimbra
has sent the following message to the Coimbra community:
Prioress and Community of Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Coimbra
writing to you from Poland, where I am conducting a
Visitation to our Cracow Province. This evening, after
a long journey, and having learnt of the death of our dear
Irma Lucia, I reflected on her life and all that she has
meant to us. At this particular time we are brought
back in time, almost of necessity, to the marvellous story
of the three poor children whose innocent and pious hearts
were changed in that place by the light of Mary, Mother of
pity and mercy.
2003 I was fortunate to celebrate the Eucharist with your
community on the occasion of the 75th anniversary
of Sr. Lucia=s
profession. Because of that meeting I am able to give
this personal testimony. Together with the gratitude
she showed for her vocation for which she had given thanks,
what I appreciated particularly was her naturalness and
simplicity. Without doubt she lived a life of profound
prayerful intercession and praise, carrying within her heart
the intentions of the Fatima messages. But all of this
occurred with the utmost simplicity. To this naturalness and
spontaneity belonged her sense of humour. At the Eucharistic
celebration and afterwards in the festive encounter I could
clearly see a happiness that was transparently innocent,
trusting and warm. I believe that St. Teresa of Jesus
would be very happy with these qualities in our Sister. And,
what is most important, without doubt these qualities
reflect those of Mary of Nazareth, our Mother and Sister in
faith and our interior model in her dedication to Jesus and
to his Kingdom of justice and communion.
happy that Sr. Lucia has been our sister.
Very happy that she lived the message of
Fatima in such an ordinary human way with simplicity and
sincerity. I would like now to assure you,
together with this personal testimony, that the family of
Carmel is very close to you at this time,
as well as to the Church and the people of Portugal.
We commend our Sister to the Lord and with confidence ask
her to commend us before His throne of glory.
14th February 2005
PRIESTLY ORDINATION IN IRAQ
Bnham, born July 3, 1966 in Kermless (near Mossul) Iraq, was
ordained a Priest in Baghdad Cathedral on January 6th
by Archbishop Jean Sleiman OCD. Baghdad is part of the
Paris Province. It is the first priestly ordination of
the Latin (Roman Catholic) Church in this country (in the
past there have been episcopal ordinations). It was a
beautiful celebration and made even more so by the presence
of the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylonia, Emmanuel
ALVAREZ OF THE CROSS, OCD
Was conferred with the title
by the Pontifical Theological Academy
Alvarez OCD, was conferred with
on January 27th 2005 in the Paul VI hall, at the
Lateran Pontifical University. This honour was given
for his innumerable academic contributions, as a member of
the aforementioned Academy; for his international pastoral
and spiritual teaching ministry, at the service of the
Gospel; for the daily living of the religious life; and for
his spiritual direction. His name has been
included in one of the recent dictionaries of contemporary
theologians, as the most erudite living scholar on the works
of St. Teresa of Avila.
acknowledgement on the part of the Church took place during
an academic session of the pontifical theological academy,
presided by Cardinal Paul Poupard, President of the
Pontifical Council for Culture, who gave the opening
address. Several well known academics from the
universities of Rome were present. Fr. Jesus
Castellano, ocd, gave an introduction to the life and the
academic achievements of the new
The works of this ecclesial and Teresian theologian are well
known and we can say with Saint Teresa
words are a light for the Church@.
was later celebrated in true festive style in the Generalate,
the Teresianum College and in other affiliated institutes.
Congratulations Fr. Thomas!!!!!
N U N S
IN COIMBRA CARMEL, PORTUGAL
took his film The Passion of
Christ to Sr. Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries
(Coimbra, Jan 12, 2005)
Almost a year
after the first worldwide showing of
Passion of Christ@,
the Carmelite community of Sr. Lucia, (the sole surviving
visionary of Fatima) was able to see the film in their own
convent thanks to a project paid for by Mel Gibson.
religious community had asked to see the film. In view
of the fact that the Sisters could not go to the cinema, and
thanks to a young Portuguese woman who made contact with a
who made the film, it was arranged to show it in the
convent, this after 92 emails and many telephone calls.
of the filming were complicated, as the Sisters had only a
small tv and there was no video
or DVD version available at that time. Mel Gibson sent
a screen, a team of cameramen and women, a spokesperson, and
other technicians in order to adapt a large room into a
In July 2004
when Mel Gibson arrived in Portugal to promote the film he
was received, together with his wife for a private interview
with Sr. Lucia. The meeting was kept quiet as the
director (Gibson) did not want to be accused of using the
nuns to promote his film.
the aforementioned Review, Gibson had already visited Fatima
in September 2003 where he asked the Blessed Virgin to help
him with the film.
the Prioress, told the Review that Mel Gibson was very
friendly and for an hour answered the
questions about the film, including some from Sr. Lucia.
(USA) : UNITY IN THE ORDER
decree no. 7504/2005 of Feb.1, 2005,
the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life
and Societies of Apostolic Life agreed to the request made
by Georgetown convent:
remove no. 133 from their Constitutions approved in 1990 and
to observe all the points regarding the Superior General,
according to the Constitutions approved on September
pass from the jurisdiction of the Diocesan bishop to the
Superior General of the Order.
congratulations go the Georgetown community in asking for
this union and communion with the Order and the Superior
General, as our Holy Mother St. Teresa always desired.
(FRANCE) : 400th
ANNIVERSARY OF FOUNDATION
celebration of the 400th anniversary of the
foundation of the convent of St. Joseph, Pointoise (the
from the famous Faubourg Saint-Jacques convent in Paris) was
celebrated in two ways. First, there was an
international conference, November 19-20, 2004: the talks
will be made available later this year. Then, two
Eucharistic celebrations: one on the day itself, Jan 15,
2005, in thanksgiving for the Carmelite family and for the
pastoral team of the place and the Priests from the Oratory,
etc., and presided by Fr. Robert Paul ocd, General Definitor.
The second, on January 16, presided by Mgr. Jean-Yves
Riocreux, the local bishop: the mass was transmitted by the
France-Culture radio. Pointoise is the first convent
of the Order in France dedicated to St. Joseph and the first
church in France placed under the protection of his
patronage. The artwork of Pontoise Carmel was shown in
a very impressive presentation at the local museum
the website at :
which was the old residence of the Bishop, who had received
the first Carmelites from Paris, led by Anne of Jesus.
Anne of St. Bartholomew was the first prioress. The
relics of the famous Madame Acarie (Mary of the Incarnation
ocd) are preserved there (http://www.madame‑acarie.org/
The second part of the series on the history of Carmel of
Pointoise is with the printers.
O C D S
The OCDS community of Montpellier celebrated its 150th
anniversary on the 23rd January 2005. Since its
establishment it has formed three other such groups.
There was a special eucharistic
celebration to mark the historic event presided by the
BROTHER LAURENCE OF THE RESURRECTION
The reputation of the Carmelite mystic Laurence of the
Resurrection (Nicholas Herman)
continues to grow at this time.On the occasion of the
third centenary of his death (1691-1991) the Belgian
Carmelite, Conrad de Meester, published the critical edition
of the writings of this blind cook from the Paris Priory.
The Ecrits et entretiens su la
pratique de la presence de Dieu (The writings and
conversations on the practise of the presence of God)
were printed by the well known Cerf publications. It
has been translated into various languages.