Fatima. Lucia Santos. 1st Memoir (1935-12-??)
This is certainly not the first manuscript we have from Sister Lucia’s pen, but it is the first long document that she wrote. Previously, we have had letters, many letters in fact, interrogations, reports and so on; but now we have a long and important document before us. If Lucia has not written it of her own accord, how then has it been accomplished?
On 12th September, 1935, the mortal remains of Jacinta were taken from Vila Nova de Ourém to the cemetery of Fatima. On this occasion various photographs were taken of the body, one of which was sent by the Bishop to Sister Lucia, who was at that time in the convent of Pontevedra.
On 17th November, 1935, Lucia, writing in acknowledgement, said among other things: “Thank you very much for the photographs. I can never express how much I value them, especially those of Jacinta. I felt like removing the wrappings in order to see all of her...l was so enraptured! My joy at seeing the closest friend of my childhood again was so great. I cherish the hope that the Lord, for the glory of the most Blessed Virgin, may grant her the aureola of holiness.She was a child only in years. As to the rest, she already knew how to be virtuous, and to show God and the most holy Virgin her love through sacrifice...”
These very vivid recollections of her small cousin, Jacinta, caused the Bishop to request Lucia to write down everything she could still remember about her.
The manuscript, which she began during the second week of December, was actually completed on Christmas Day, 1935, that is, in less than a fortnight. This manuscript which Lucia composed forms a perfect whole; it presents a picture of Jacinta, whose soul is illumined through and through by the very light of Fatima, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The main purpose of this manuscript is to give us a picture of Jacinta as it is reflected in Lucia’s reminiscences. Consequently, she did not intend to write a “story” of the Apparitions for us. These form, as it were, a frame from which the picture of Jacinta shines forth. The language throughout is simple, and even, one might say, childlike at times, whenever the context calls for it. Lucia never lost her flair for realism, whatever the events she was describing.