to the Eternal Dwelling of Heaven"
of Pope John Paul II in Sister Lucia’s Funeral
( February 14th, 2005)
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genova (Italy), the
correspondent sent especially by Pope John Paul II, presided over
the funeral Mass.
Venerable Brother Albino
Mamede Oleto, Bishop of Coimbra:
With profound emotion I learned that Sister
Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart, at the age of 97
years, was called by the heavenly Father to the eternal dwelling of
heaven. She has thus reached the end to which she always aspired in
prayer and in the silence of the convent.
The liturgy has reminded us in these days
that death is the common heritage of the children of Adam, but at
the same time it has assured us that Jesus, with the sacrifice of
the cross, has opened to us the gates of immortal life. We recall
these certainties of the faith at the moment we give our last
farewell to this humble and devout Carmelite, who consecrated her
life to Christ, Savior of the world.
The visit of the Virgin Mary, which little
Lucia received in Fatima together with her cousins Francisco and
Jacinta in 1917, was for her the beginning of a singular mission to
which she remained faithful until the end of her days. Sister Lucia
leaves us an example of great fidelity to the Lord and of joyful
adherence to his divine will.
I remember with emotion the various
meetings I had with her and the bonds of spiritual friendship that,
with the passing of time, were intensified. I have always felt
supported by the daily gift of her prayer, especially in the harsh
moments of trial and suffering. May the Lord reward her amply for
the great and hidden service she has done to the Church.
I love to think that the one who has
received Sister Lucia in the passing from earth to heaven has been
precisely She whom she saw in Fatima so many years ago. May the Holy
Virgin accompany the soul of this devoted daughter of hers to the
happy encounter with the divine Spouse.
To you I entrust, Venerated Brother, the
task of expressing to the nuns of the Carmel of Coimbra the
certainty of my spiritual closeness, while, for their interior
consolation in the moment of separation, I impart an affectionate
blessing, which I extend to the families, to you, Venerated Brother,
to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, my special envoy, and to all the
participants in the sacred rite of suffrage.
Vatican, 14 February 2005
John Paul II