Portugal in mourning after death of Fatima visionary

 Portugal has declared tomorrow a day of mourning, following the death of Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, the last of the Fatima visionaries. She died yesterday, aged 97 at her Carmelite convent in Coimbra, 150km north of Lisbon. As a child, in 1917, together with two of her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, Lucia experienced a series of visions of Our Lady, which have widely been interpreted as predicting the two world wars, the fall of Communism and the return of Christianity to Russia. The appearances took place on the 13th day of each month in Fatima, a town 110 kilometres north of Lisbon. Jacinta and Francisco Marto, died in 1919 and 1920. They were beatified in 2000. . Pope John Paul has a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. He has visited the shrine three times - and has given thanks there for surviving the 1981 attempt on his life. Sr Lucia is to be buried at her convent tomorrow, Her remains will be transferred in a year to Fatima. Describing her death as "very emotional news", Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes, said: "I believe that Sister Lucia is a great figure in the recent history of Portugal." Source:BH/R/DV

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