Why did Sr. Lucia of Fatima become a Carmelite nun?

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Venerable Lucia, visionary at Fatima, sought a life of contemplation and seclusion in a Carmelite monastery.

While most are familiar with the early life of Venerable Lucia, one of the three visionaries in Fatima, Portugal, few know what happened to her afterwards.

Her cousins, Sts. Francisco and Jacinta, died shortly after the famous visions of Our Lady of Fatima, but Lucia lived to the ripe old age of 97.

Initially she was very famous in Portugal, and many sought to speak with her. Her parents recognized this reality and after consulting the local bishop, sent her to live in a convent with the Sisters of Saint Dorothy.

There she lived with the sisters for about 20 years, taking final vows with the Sisters of St. Dorothy.

However, this religious congregation was not cloistered and had an active mission of service to the poor and educating children in schools.

Furthermore, her true identity was eventually leaked and people began to seek her out again, infringing on her privacy.

According to an interview in the Messenger of St. Anthony with Fr. Valinho, nephew of Sr. Lucia, she asked permission to join a Carmelite order.

[H]er old wish to live a life of contemplation had returned with a vengeance. This was also due to the fact that, after the Bishop of Leiria had revealed her true identity, she could no longer hope to be left in peace. She therefore asked permission to leave the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in order to enter a cloistered nunnery in the Carmelite Order of St. Teresa of Avila. Her wish was granted, and she moved to the Carmel in Coimbra.

She entered the convent on March 25, 1948, and made her profession on May 31, 1949, taking the name of Sr. Maria Lúcia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart.

Sr. Lucia remained in the Carmelite convent for the rest of her life, dying on February 13, 2005.

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