Letter of Mother Magalhaes to Bishop da Silva (1925-12-29)
On October 24, 1925 Lucia, then 18 years old, entered the College of the Dorothean Sisters at Tuy. The next day she was sent as the postulant to the convent with a school which was located at Travesia Isabel II in Pontevedra. Lucia was staying there until July 20, 1926.
Mother Maria das Dores Magalhaes, Superior of the convent of Pontevedra, was already familiar with Lucia because she was the Directress of the College at Asilo de Vilar where Lucia was the boarding student from June 1921 until October 1925.
It was Mother Magalhaes, who in 1921 had agreed to accept the seer only out of respect to Bishop da Silva. Mother Magalhaes was strict in applying the rule of absolute silence on the subject of Fatima and she gave Lucia her new fictitious name Maria das Dores.
Superior of the convent to Bishop da Silva
J. M. J. 29. 12. 1925.
Most Excellent Lord Don José
I wish Your Most Reverend Excellency happy holidays and a torrent of graces and blessings, not only to Your Excellency, but also to your dear diocese.
I take advantage of this opportunity to give Your Excellency news of Maria das Dores which, thanks to God, are all consoling. She continues to prepare herself for religious life with much fervour, and has succeeded very well in not disedifying anyone. She perseveres in her holy simplicity and humility so well that she charms all her companions. I have assigned her the lowest and most humble tasks, but no matter what work I give her, the same thing always happens. At this moment she is the cook’s assistant. She has already been at it for three weeks, and she could not be happier. She has the wonderful gift of accepting the worst and whatever costs the most. It is enough if she suspects that the cook cannot do a given thing because of her health; right away she springs into action to do her companion’s work.
For myself, I consider it a grace to have her here for these five months of preparation, and through her, I am counting on Our Lady to grant me special blessings for this house. And to be frank with Your Excellency, I must confess that I have already received very great graces! I never imagined that I would have the consolation of having her here! How good Our Lord is to have given her a religious vocation!
But Your Reverence must not think that I am about to make myself her advocate now. No, on the contrary, I even use a certain severity with her to see what that will bring. Pray to Our Lord that with her I may learn to be good, so that at least in my old age I may become what I should be already, having led the religious life for so long. Sometimes I am ashamed to be beside her.
I was also very happy about some news received recently: my brother, Father Magalhaes, is leaving for the seminary of Leiria. Very early! In the person of Your Excellency he will have a real Father. He too is very happy because of what I told him. May Our Lady grant him all the graces he will need to fulfil his duties, and I ask Your Excellency to bless me. I respectfully kiss Your Reverence’s holy ring and I am, very respectfully, your humble servant in Jesus Christ.
P.S.: Maria das Dores had already told me that she had received a great grace from the Most Holy Virgin here, and I don’t doubt it because the child possesses virtue and simplicity in such great abundance that she must even charm the Most Holy Virgin! In these matters I am the most sceptical person you could find in the world, but in her case I absolutely don’t doubt it, whatever the case may be!
I have never spoken to her on this subject, I can only listen to what she came to tell me spontaneously, because she judged it her duty to tell me. For all the difficulties she has, I send her to her spiritual director, (Father) Pereira Lopes, for him to resolve. For these matters I know absolutely nothing.