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Farewell to a Friend in Fatima

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We devotees of Our Lady of Fatima have lost a dear friend here on earth.

Sister Marta PatrĂ­cia Marques Mendes of the Fatima-based Alianca de Santa Maria, a congregation that helped spearhead the canonization cause of two of the Fatima visionaries, Sts. Jacinta and Francisco, died May 17, at the age of 35.

You may recall that in 2017, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, Marian Press published a coffee table book by Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, titled Fatima: A Pilgrimage with Mary.

Sister Marta was a tremendous help to us in our preparation for that book. Staff from Marian Press, along with Fr. Joe, spent hours with her in Fatima learning some of the finer details of the Fatima message and about the lives of the child visionaries.

"We see throughout history God choosing the small and humble — the shepherds who travel to Bethlehem, King David, Mary herself, and many others," Sr. Marta told us. "In Fatima, that's what happened. God chooses three humble children from a humble home exactly to emphasize that [this powerful message] doesn't come from man, but from God."

Sister Marta died following a brain hemorrhage on May 13 — the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. During Holy Mass that day, she was reading words she had written for the occasion and ended with the sentence from the Song of Songs: "Draw me after you! Let us run! The king has brought me to his bed chambers" (1:4). She died four days later.

Born in Guimaraes, Portugal, on Oct. 29, 1984, Sr. Marta entered the religious life on Jan. 1, 2006, offering herself to God through the hands of Mary.

She was a friend to the Marian priests stationed in Fatima.

"We give thanks to God for the gift that Sister Marta was to her family, to our Congregation, to the Church and to so many that crossed her life and were touched by it," her Congregation said in a statement. "We are certain that the testimony of her love for God, the Beloved of her heart, will keep illuminating our path of faith. With the family of Sister Marta we share the grief for her departure and also the hope that we will meet again in eternity."

The Marian Fathers said Masses for the repose of Sr. Marta's soul in Rome, Fatima, and at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
— Felix Carroll

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Kim Kittson - Sep 2, 2020

Sr. Marta seems to have touched many lives. May all that knew her and now know of her life story be blessed and inspired.

Roxanne Woodruff - Sep 2, 2020

I think we know 3 Saints who greeted her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

Joseph G Canepa - Aug 22, 2020

May she rest in Peace with the communion of saints and be before the throne of God. Thank GOD for the gift of her life to the church and the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Please continue to pray for all us!

Rosemary Lynch-Kelleher - Jul 29, 2020

Let us pray to Sr. Marta for her intercession in helping us embrace humility and an ever deeper love of God.

Serene - Jul 28, 2020

May Sr. Marta Rest In Peace.