2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to 3 shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. In honor of this important centennial, Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year from the 27th of November 2016 to to the 26th of November 2017. The Holy Father granted the opportunity for the Catholic faithful to obtain indulgences if they could meet one of many conditions. They included a pilgrimage to Fatima or a visit to an image of Our Lady of Fatima on display for public veneration in any Church.
Papal Artifacts acknowledges the close of this Jubilee Year honoring this 100th anniversary.
A Story about the Cancelled Check Signed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima:
The check is framed with a holy card printed on the occasion of her fiftieth anniversary at the convent. The check was given to an extern nun (one who is able to leave the convent) and this same nun gave the holy card to Father Kunst.
Sr. Lucia has a very strict policy against signing autographs. Father Kunst obtained this one by making a check out to her personally and delivering it to the convent where she was cloistered in Coimbra, Portugal.
I was able to travel to Coimbra, Portugal in 1999 to the convent where Sr. Lucia was living. She was one of the seers of Our Lady of Fatima, an event that occurred over a period of months in 1917. In 1999 she was the only one of the three children still alive.
It was very difficult to have any type of connection with her because of the cloistered life and because of the many people seeking information from her particularly about the third secret of Fatima about which people wanted information.
Her autograph is highly sought. Even cardinals have tried repeatedly to get it without success.
So I brought a check for Sr. Lucia directly to the convent. I received assistance from a friend who wrote it in Portuguese. If she wanted the money she had to endorse the check.
Six months later the canceled check was returned to me with her endorsement. –Fr. Richard Kunst
John Santos Marto & Father Kunst’s Visit with Him
In 1999, Father Kunst purchased a copy of Fatima In Lucia’s Own Words: Sister Lucia’s Memoirs. The photograph above is of John Santos Marto, younger brother to (now) Saints Jacinta & Francesco Marto. He was 93 years old at the time of this photograph and died just a few weeks before his siblings’ beatifications on May 13, 2000.
It adds to the lore surrounding the Fatima appearances of Our Lady to have this keepsake from the saints’ family.
Their canonizations occurred on May 13, 2017, the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s first appearance at Fatima.