Europe

Portugal presents evidence for Fatima nun's beatification

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005 file photo, a devotee holds a picture during the funeral of Sister Lucia Marto at the Coimbra Cathedral before her burial in the graveyard of the Carmelite convent, in Coimbra, Portugal.  Catholic Church officials in Portugal have assembled 15,000 pages of testimony and documentation to support the proposed beatification of Sister Lucia, one of three shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in the town of Fatima 100 years ago. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte, File)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005 file photo, a devotee holds a picture during the funeral of Sister Lucia Marto at the Coimbra Cathedral before her burial in the graveyard of the Carmelite convent, in Coimbra, Portugal. Catholic Church officials in Portugal have assembled 15,000 pages of testimony and documentation to support the proposed beatification of Sister Lucia, one of three shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in the town of Fatima 100 years ago. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte, File)  (The Associated Press)

Catholic Church officials in Portugal have assembled 15,000 pages of testimony and documentation to support the proposed beatification of Sister Lucia, one of three shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in the town of Fatima 100 years ago.

The officials say the case for Sister Lucia's beatification — the first step toward canonization as a saint — will be sent to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The documentation was presented Monday at a convent where Sister Lucia lived from 1948 until her death at age 97 in 2005. The cousins who also said they witnessed the apparitions, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, died at ages 9 and 11 of pneumonia. They were beatified in 2000.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Fatima in May.