Father Jose Bernardo Gonçalves
Like Father Aparicio, he was the Jesuit Superior in Tuy, and therefore Sister Lucy’s confessor and spiritual director. She remained in correspondence with him after his departure, in 1941, for Mozambique.
Brother Franсois de Marie des Anges
The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol.IV.
Ch.VI. Lucy’s patience
Father Bernardo Gonçalves (1894-1967)
Wise and Holy Jesuit
… without having sought it in the slightest, Sister Lucy had the privilege of being directed and advised throughout her life as seer by an impressive series of priests whose intelligence, supernatural wisdom, spirit of discernment and often even personal sanctity were unanimously recognized. This fact undoubtedly corresponded to a design of Providence, for thus all were able to guarantee the authenticity of her apparitions or divine communications.
At Aljustrel, we recall, after the good and holy Father Cruz, there were Canon Formigao and the dean of Olival, who both equally enjoyed a great renown for sanctity (On the uncommon virtues of the dean of Olival, read Canon Galamba’s testimony in Jacinta, p. 139-140. For Canon Formigao, we have already cited the voluminous biography by Father Alonso, which concludes with the request for the opening of his process of beatification).
At Asilo de Vilar, Lucy was directed by two priests, one of whom became later on titular Bishop of Gurza, then auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon with the title of Archbishop of Cizico (Bishop Manuel Ferreira), and the other became vicar general of Porto (Msgr. Pereira Lopes). At Pontevedra and Tuy, after Don Lino Garcia, there were two wise and holy Jesuits, Fathers Aparicio and Gonçalves, who were entrusted with her soul. When they left for the missions, we find our seer in continued communications with Bishop Manuel Ferreira and with the Bishop of Tuy, of whom we will speak later. Now none of these eminent ecclesiastics who had the privilege of knowing the secrets of her soul, including Bishop da Silva or Cardinal Cerejeira, ever doubted the authenticity of the divine communications with which she was favoured. It must be said that few mystics have received so many marks of esteem and trust from the hierarchical Church.
Vitally important letter, which he addressed to the Bishop of Leiria on June 13, 1930
In May of 1930 – and perhaps even a few weeks or a few months earlier – Father Gonçalves had asked Sister Lucy to write down with precision Our Lady’s requests concerning the consecration of Russia and the reparatory devotion of the first Saturdays of the month. Then, on June 13, 1930, he wrote the letter to the Bishop of Leiria:
… This sheet of paper which I am sending Your Excellency
I tried to reassure her (for Sister Lucy feared that she was not doing enough to pass on Our Lord’s requests). To give her soul complete peace and tranquillity, I told her, very insistently, that I would take care of the matter myself. Somehow I would send everything to the Holy Father, and then leave the result in the hands of Divine Providence. When, for our part, we do everything that we can, Our Lord will do the rest.
When I told Sister Dores that I needed some “mediator”, she told me that she greatly desired it to be Your Excellency, in whom she has the greatest trust. She greatly desires this reparatory devotion to spread, but it would also please her immensely if its origin were hidden as far as possible. I therefore did what I promised. Now Your Excellency will do what he thinks best, or at the very least place this in the archives.
Sister Dores has been in bed the past few days because of a mild case of flu, but this is no cause for alarm. She hopes to see you and speak to Your Excellency soon, for it seems that you promised her a little visit on the occasion of the Apostolate of Prayer Congress.
Your Excellency will certainly not remember the author of this letter. But I went to see you two years ago, accompanying the Reverend Father-Visitor Henrique Carvajol…
On July 1, 1930, Bishop da Silva sent Father Gonçalves this laconic response:
I have received (the copy of Sister Lucy’s text) and I thank you for it. I am very touched by the particular letter of your Reverence. I am already aware of the subject. If God wills, I will pass by there next month and we will speak to each other. I recommend myself, and the needs of my diocese, to your Reverence’s prayers