Sr. Lucia was the last visionary of Fatima alive and she lived well into old age, leaving behind a plethora of journals and notes. She also directed the sculpting the famous statue of Our Lady of Fatima, with exceeding detail and reverence. While she was directing the sculpting of the statue, she also gave much insight and clarity to the messages of Fatima. Fr. Thomas McGlynn O.P., who sculpted the statue, recorded much of this in his book Vision of Fatima. Here are several interesting points.
The motivation for the apparitions was the conversion of sinners
Sr. Lucia (commonly called Irmã Dores) said this exactly to Fr. McGlynn and also for the return of souls to God. He also recounts that she told him, “‘Obviously [Our Lady] wanted more than the fulfillment of duty,’ Irmã Dores replied to an interpretation offered by Mother Provincial, ‘because she had already asked us not to offend God– that means doing one’s duty– then she went on to ask for sacrifice and penance.'”
Did Pope Pius XII’s consecration of the world, and Russia, to the Immaculate Heart in 1942 count?
Deferring to Fr. McGlynn’s text entirely for this one: “‘Did the Holy Father consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart?’ I asked Irmã Dores. ‘He included Russia in the consecration,’ she said. Then, very humbly, as if wishing that she were wrong, she added, ‘In the official way that our Lady asked for it? I don’t think so.’ Father Gardiner, wishing to make certain of this point, reframed the question, ‘Do you think that our Lady’s request has been complied with?’ Irmã Dores replied: ‘As our Lady made it, no.’ But she added, ‘Whether our Lady accepted the consecration made in 1942 as fulfilling her wish, I don’t know.'”
Sr. Lucia remembered what Our Lady looked like with exacting detail
She meticulously instructed the sculptor on every last detail of the statue down to the position of each arm, forearm, and hand. Fr. McGlynn recalls, “She would study especially the angle of the right hadn’t, as if recalling the hand of our Lady and the projection of light that came from it upon her when she was a child. Knotting her brows slightly, she would draw an imaginary line from her hand downward, as if from our Lady’s hand to the children.” How incredible to be blessed with such an exacting memory of Our Lady!
Sr. Lucia thought it was foolish to try to recount exactly how Our Lady looked
In an interview to get more details for the statue, Fr. McGlynn asked Sr. Lucia about Our Lady’s appearance, beauty, and age. What was telling was that Sr. Lucia smiled and politely answered the questions (she always appeared to be about seventeen, never smiled but was pleasant, and her beauty was beyond telling) but also was unafraid to remark that these were foolish inquiries. There’s a humility in sharing what you know and also understanding that you cannot possibly fathom all that you have seen. Sr. Lucia shined with this humility.
It can be concluded that Our Lady of Fatima carried a rosary of five decades, not fifteen
Sr. Lucia was making a small rosary for the statue and it was in proper scale to what she remembered Our Lady as carrying. For the purpose of the statue, Fr. McGlynn asked on about this rosary and recalled it this way: “Irmã Dores could not say definitely that the rosary carried by our Lady was of five decades, rather than fifteen. But she did assert that the Rosary extended about to the knees when our Lady’s right hand was in the position of the June apparition. From this information and Irmã Dores’s identification of the size of the beads, it is a fair deduction that our Lady’s rosary must have been of five decades, for one of fifteen decades with that size bead would have gone far below her feet. Irmã Dores said that the rosary was all white, the cross included.”
Sr. Lucia’s insights combined with Fr. McGlynn’s retelling provide a pivotal understanding of the apparitions at Fatima and how they impact the faithful. For a better understanding, without any of the fear mongering or damnation, pick up a copy of Fr. McGlynn’s book Vision of Fatima and find out!