Excerpts from “The
Two Sister Lucys,”
by the apostate Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
The Two Sister Lucys
Photos and Facts
I was invited by the Editor of the TIA website, Atila
Guimarães, to write more about the
possibility of having not one, but two Sister Lucys,
a question I raised in another article. Because of misinformation
regarding one of the photos I used in the article, I am returning to the
topic in order to defend that the hypothesis remains valid.
I had no idea that raising the possibility of having two Sister Lucys would ignite the huge controversy that is still
spreading like wildfire. Independent of any other conclusion, this simple
fact seems to show how many Catholics are suspicious of whatever comes
from the top regarding Fatima. For them, Fatima is not a finished story,
as some ecclesiastical authorities have pretended. It is still alive,
very much alive. It is a curious reaction that I note in passing and
leave for whoever wants to analyze it.
This controversy brought many new plates to the table: historical data
that had been forgotten regarding Sister Lucy, observations about her
features and psychology that enriched the picture, as well as many photos
I had never seen before. I am incorporating these additions from my
readers without quoting sources to assure their privacy and allow them to
express themselves freely to TIA. I thank them for the collaborations.
Also, objections of all kinds were made. I cannot refrain from sharing
with some amusement one genre of objection. When, in my previous article,
I gave my opinion that the first set of photos showed two different
persons, some protested adamantly, stating that I was wrong and the
persons in the first two photos were quite obviously the same person.
Some remarks were violent and offensive – “You must be on
drugs if you are seeing two different persons…”
Shortly afterward, the source for one of those photos, a known magazine,
issued an apology for their caption identifying the nun in it as Sister
Lucy, actually she was not. My violent objectors were caught in their
tracks … Their partiality was fully revealed with this mix-up. How
true it is that people often don’t want to see the reality before their
But I also received serious objections, and I am answering them here as
the topics come up. Again, I will not quote the sources. I also thank my
objectors for their contributions.
I have separated six sets of pictures of Sister Lucy from the collection
of photos I have been gathering. In the comparison sets, I tried to find
similar positions and states of spirit in both the young Sister Lucy and
the older one in order to validly support this assessment: they seem to
be different persons.
After presenting the pictures in each set, I will zoom in on parts of the
face – the eyebrows, nose, mouth, and chin – to better
analyze the different features and allow the reader to follow my points,
as near to a scientific analysis as I can make, without the need of too
As in my previous article, for the sake of convenience, I will call the
person in the set of earlier photos Sister Lucy I, and the older person
Sister Lucy II.
1. The slightly smiling Sister Lucys
Set 1 shows a close-up of
Sister Lucy I slightly smiling. The photo is undated but she wears the
habit of a Dorothean sister and appears to be
in her late 30s. At most, she is age 41, since she was born in 1907 and
entered the Carmel in 1948.
The close-up of Sister Lucy II, also slightly smiling, is a photo dated
May 13, 1982, so she would be age 75. There are many points of difference
in the features that indicate to me we are looking at two different
• The natural line of the thick, heavy eyebrows of
Sister Lucy I is straight (photo 1a). The
brows extend into the forehead area above her nose and past the inner
corner of her eyes.
The eyebrows of Sister Lucy II, partially concealed by the dark frames of
her glasses, are not straight, but slightly arched and taper off; the
arch begins directly over the eye. There is a broad space without brows
above the nose between the two eyebrows.
• Some readers objected that eyebrows thin with age on some people,
which would explain the clear difference between the brows. I don’t
believe this is necessarily so. Even if this were admitted, without
surgery or some artificial means, the shape of the one’s brows does
not change from a straight line to an arched one, because the shape of
the brows follow the shape of the bone structure of the forehead.
• Regarding the focus of the eyes of Sister Lucy I, they seem
normal with a small tendency toward extropia,
or divergent strabismus, that is, the eyes slightly drift outward.
However, the eyes of Sister Lucy II clearly suffer from esotropia, or convergent strabismus, that is, the
eyes strongly turn in toward the nose.
• When Sister Lucy I smiles, her upper cheeks (photo
1b) appear like two small round apples.
Although the cheeks of Sister Lucy II are partially covered by her large
glasses, it seems clear she lacks these bulges.
• I could not find any photo of Sister Lucy I, smiling or serious,
with her nostrils open. They do not flare naturally. All the photos of
Sister II, however, show her with her nostrils flaring. They open
• Under the apple cheeks of Sister Lucy I are
definite dimple creases (photo 1c). William Thomas Walsh mentions
“the little dimples that creased her cheeks when she smiled”
in his description of her in his well-known book Our Lady of Fatima. (See
But, the cheeks of Sister Lucy II are flat and broad, with no creases or
dimples when she smiles.
• In his description of Sister Lucy, Walsh also notes her
protruding upper lip and “heavy lower one” that hangs. The two
lips have different widths.
The lips of Sister Lucy II, however, are flat, thin, tight and of an
• Objectors argued that a possible denture would explain the
different teeth of the two Lucys. I will treat
the teeth as a special topic below in set 4. Here I will simply
discuss the effect of the teeth on the lips of these two photos.
If a person has large lips to cover long teeth, as Sister Lucy I
evidently had when she was young, then if someone replaced her long teeth
with short ones, the lips of this person should easily cover these now
much-smaller teeth. So, we should have photos of an older Sister Lucy
with lips more than sufficient to cover her smaller teeth. But the
opposite happens. Sister Lucy II’s lips do not normally cover her
much smaller teeth.
• When Sister Lucy I smiles, the ends of her mouth point upward.
But when Sister Lucy II smiles, the ends of her mouth point downward.
• Another distinguishing feature of Lucy as a
child that can be seen in her photos up to age 40 is a protuberant muscle
in the middle of her chin, pronounced enough to form a dimpled area
underneath (photo 1d, see also Set 6). But this muscle
never appears in the photos of Sister Lucy II.
• Sister Lucy I’s chin is strong but not salient. On the
contrary, the chin of Sister Lucy II is a prominent chin. The latter has
a square jaw, which does not appear in the photos of Sister Lucy I.
2. The profiles of the two Lucys
The profile picture of Sister Lucy I was taken May 22,
1946 in the Chapel of the Apparitions at Fatima.
Sister Lucia II is seated next to the tomb of Francisco at Fatima on May
Their heads are in very similar positions, they are staring straight
forward, and both have expressions of meditation or prayer.
• Although the face of Sister Lucy I is shadowed, the profile of her nose is very clear. It
aptly fits the description of Walsh, who noted that “the tip of her
snub nose turned up.”
(See footnote 1)
However, the nose of Sister Lucy II is rounded at the tip, pointing
The different shapes of the noses can be measured by the angle formed by
the intercession of the line of the nose with the space above the upper
lip. In Sister Lucy I the angle formed by these lines is an obtuse angle.
On the contrary, the angle of these lines in Sister Lucy II is an acute
• One can also note in this profile close-up of Sister Lucy II how
arched the brows are, confirming the previous observations.
• The chin of Sister Lucy I, even though she is
younger and not overweight, recedes sharply into her neck, with the
tendency to disappear into a double-chin.
However, the chin of Sister Lucy II, although she is older and heavier,
juts forward and outward. It is so prominent that it forms a kind of
platform extending out further than her nose. It is
“lantern-shaped,” as one of my readers so aptly described it
3. The large smile of the Lucys
Set 3 of photos, both undated, shows the two Sister Lucys with broad smiles. I have already analyzed
these pictures in my previous article, so I will repeat only the
essential points and make some new observations.
• In photo 3a, one notes the heavy,
straight eyebrows that project forward on the forehead of Sister Lucy I.
The arching eyebrows of Sister Lucy II are lighter and the forehead is
flat where it meets the eyebrows.
• In photo 3b, when Sister Lucy I smiles
the shape of her mouth forms a U with the edges pointing upward. When
Sister Lucy II smiles, the edges of the lips point downward in the form
of an upside-down U.
• Even when she smiles broadly, the lower lip of Sister Lucy I is
thick, heavy and still a bit slack. When Sister Lucy II smiles, her lower
lip is thin and tight.
• The dimple and creases of Sister Lucy I appear again in this
smile. But they are completely missing on the smooth cheeks of Sister
• The nose of Sister Lucy II has marked nostrils that do not show
on Sister Lucy I’s nose.
• The round tip of Sister Lucy II’s nose extends downward.
But the angular tip of Sister Lucy I’s nose extends upward.
• The teeth of Sister Lucy I are clearly
different, but since many readers pointed out the possibility that
dentures would explain these differences, I will discuss this below
in set 4 of photos.
• The lower face of Sister Lucy I (photo 3c)
is moon-shaped, narrowing at the bottom, with the strong chin sinking
into the neck. The base of her face is oval. But, the shape of the lower
face of Sister Lucy II is square, with her long chin extending outward.
4. Sister Lucy’s teeth
The objections raised by readers about the bad teeth of Sister Lucy I (photo
3, above) and the blatantly different teeth of Sister Lucy II can be
summarized in two arguments as follows:
First argument: Sister Lucy I has very long and bad teeth.
This would make her a candidate for dentures. Now then, dentures can
change the mouth structure. Therefore, all the changes of her face can be
explained by the extraction of all her teeth and the use of dentures.
Second argument: in the photos of Sister Lucy II, she would
appear to be wearing a set of dentures, even though they are small teeth.
Therefore, the conclusion of the first argument is confirmed.
Regarding the first argument, I agree with its first
premise, that is, Sister Lucy I had bad teeth and was a candidate for
But its second premise – dentures change the structure of
the face of a person – is open to dispute. I looked at many
before-and-after pictures of persons who had full mouth reconstruction
dentures, and did not notice any significant structural change in the
smile or face. From what I have read, only cheap and badly constructed
dentures show short teeth and too much gum.
However, it is difficult to imagine that the prestigious Carmel of
Coimbra, to which Sister Lucy I was transferred with her bad teeth, would
contract an incompetent dentist to change the teeth of a person so
important to the Catholic world as Sister Lucy. It is much more probable
that the dentist was good, the dentures of good quality, and that they
would not have significantly changed her smile or face.
Regarding the conclusion – all the differences we see in the
two collections of photos would be explained by the dentures – I
clearly disagree with this. How can false teeth change the shape of the
nose, the eyebrows or the bone of the chin? Only a complete plastic
surgery could explain such differences.
Regarding the second
argument, that Sister Lucy II appears to be using dentures, its
premise is weak. It is not indisputable that Sister Lucy II is wearing
dentures. Some common sense observations pointing to the fact that her
teeth could be natural follow:
• No one replaces bad and ugly teeth by another set of bad and ugly
teeth. Indeed, why would a competent dentist build dentures with an ugly
¼” gum appearing on a person who is often smiling? (see photos
4c and 4d) Why did he choose to set such short, ugly teeth for such a
prominent person destined to play a public role? Professionally speaking,
it is highly unlikely he would have made such a set of teeth. That is,
ugly teeth more likely suggest natural teeth, not dentures
• In addition, since dentures are artificial, they never change
their appearance. But at times Sister Lucy II's gums seem inflamed,
covering one tooth (see arrow in photo 4a), as a reader pointed
out; at times her gums seem to retract making some teeth appear longer as
in photo 4b.
• So, rather than dentures we could well be looking at the natural
teeth of Sister Lucy II.
Therefore, neither the premise nor the conclusion of the second
argument is secure. Whether Sister Lucy II is wearing dentures is
open to discussion, as far as observation of photos goes.
And if these are the natural teeth of Sister Lucy II, then they are
clearly different from the natural teeth of Sister Lucy I. In that case,
how can it be explained except that we are looking at two different
5. The two Sister Lucys in a
It is not difficult to find a serious expression among
the photos of Sister Lucy before 1950. As a child, her expression was
serious, and the air of gravitas deepened with age. In almost
every picture, she is solemn and grave, with a somber, brooding expression.
In photo 5 (circa 1946), in response to a request, Sister Lucy was
trying to duplicate how Our Lady of Fatima looked when she appeared.
It is not so easy to find a picture of Sister Lucy II with a serious
expression. Even when she is not smiling, her face lacks the swarthy
tonus and brooding look of Sister Lucy I. Photo 5 of Sister Lucy
II, in which she appears serious, is from the cover of the 2004 edition
of Fatima in Lucia's Own Words.
• Photo 5a emphasizes the typical
brooding heavy eyebrows of Sister Lucy I that almost meet in the center
of her face when she shows concern. A kind of furrow appears over the
brows, stressing their heaviness. None of this is seen in Sister Lucy II.
• The slight divergent strabismus can again be noted in the eyes of
Sister Lucy I. On the contrary, a strong convergent strabismus is
apparent in the eyes of Sister Lucy II.
• In photo 5b, Sister Lucy I’s lips
are set and closed tightly in an undulant line. Still, ample lips are
apparent. The shape of the mouth of Sister Lucy II, however, points down
as always, the upper lip forming an upside-down U shape. Her thin, tight
lips normally do not cover her teeth.
• The two creases in the cheeks of Sister Lucy I that extend down
past her mouth form two very straight lines. But the cheek creases of
Sister Lucy II form arches.
• Under the lower lip of Sister Lucy I there is a concave shadowed
area. In it the contours of the muscle in her mid-chin can be noticed.
However, there is no concave space under the lower lip of Sister Lucy II,
nor protrusions of any kind on the chin, even
though one might expect this kind of defect to intensify rather than
disappear with age.
• Sister Lucy II seems to have lost the strong peasant-like rude
features and skin of Sister Lucy I and taken on a much clearer skin tone,
indicating to me a person of a different social background.
• Admitting this change of skin tone, some readers argued that it
could be explained by age, which makes the skin flaccid and clearer.
Therefore, they argued, this would give the impression of a person of
different nationality or social level.
Perhaps this can happen sometimes, but regarding the
case of Sister Lucy I, the radical change of skin color one can observe
in the photos does not seem probable. At right is a close-up of
two old Portuguese women who appear in the famous photo of the miracle of
the sun. They are peasants like Lucy, and most probably from that same
area, since they came to witness the miracle the children had said would
take place. They seem to be a good example of what normally happens with
peasant people of that area when they get old. Their faces remain rude
and retain their peasant features.
Also, Lucy’s mother, at the right of the old women, who
probably is in her 50s, does not show any tendency to have a different
6. The space above the lip
Since she was a child, Sister Lucy I had a long space
between the base of her nose and the tip of her upper lip (photos 6a,
In this space we also note a defined vertical groove, the philtrum, in the center.
However, the space between the base of the nose and
top lip on Sister Lucy II appears much shorter, and there is no visible
groove above the lip.
7. The gestures and spirit
The last two sets of pictures present six photos each of Sister Lucy I
and Sister Lucy II in various poses. Most of the photos of Sister Lucy I
are dated 1946. The photos of Sister Lucy II are from her May 2000 visit
to Fatima. …
Footnote 1: On July 15, 1946,
William Thomas Walsh met with Sister Lucy in an interview that lasted
three hours. In his book Our Lady of Fatima, he made these two
descriptions of the Dorothean sister:
“[Lucia’s teeth] were large, projecting
and irregular, causing the upper lip to protrude and the heavy lower one
to hang, while the tip of her snub nose turned up more than ever.
Sometimes her swarthy face suggested a nature that could be sullen,
stubborn and defiant, if not perverse. But the appearance was deceptive,
for under the stimulus of any emotion, the light brown eyes could flash
or twinkle, and the little dimples that creased her cheeks when she
smiled contributed to an expression quite charming." (p. 11)
"She seemed uncomfortable at first, and probably was, for she dislikes
such interviews intensely, and submits to them only when ordered to do
so. She wrung her hands nervously. Her pale brown eyes looked rather
guarded and unfriendly. There was not much conviction in the high and
timorous voice. A few moments later I had almost forgotten this first
impression. She had begun to feel more at ease. She laughed readily; and
when she smiled, a little dimple would appear on each cheek. The voice
now sounded natural and sincere. There was intelligence in this face,
too, and charm. It was impossible not to like her and to trust her."