Pope Declares Francisco and Jacinta Marto Saints

via Wikimedia Commons
via Wikimedia Commons
Francisco and Jacinta Marto have become saints.

Pope Francis proclaimed Blessed Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto as saints[/tweetit] during Mass on the solemnity of Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima. The event was held to honor the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima. Thousands of pilgrims were in attendance at Fatima, Portugal. This showed that sainthood can be bestowed upon children too. The event was held on May 13.

Pope Declares Francisco and Jacinta Marto Saints[/tweetthis]

Pope John Paul II had beatified both Jacinta and Francisco on May 13, 2000. It was done on the 83rd anniversary of Our Lady's first apparition at Fatima. They were the youngest of all non-martyrs to undergo beatification in Catholic Church history.

Pope Francis reminded the attending audience that not being with God can push the concerned individual towards hell. He said Mary reminded us of God's light and how it is within every human being and it protects us. He continued saying that the shepherd children can be regarded as examples. The children, according to the pontiff, are introduced by Virgin Mary into God's light and they adored the Supreme Being.

Francisco and Jacinta are brother and sister. They tended to sheep owned by their family in Fatima. Lucia Santo, their cousin, helped them to do so. They witnessed apparitions of Mary, commonly known today as the Our Lady of Fatima.

Mary requested the children to undergo conversion and pray, specifically the recitation of the rosary. She also asked them to make sacrifices on sinners' behalf and a told them a secret composed of three parts regarding how the world will turn out in the future. The two children heeded Mary's requests. They prayed frequently, and gave their lunch to the needy, often starving themselves for others. They even stopped drinking water during hot days and offered their daily crosses.

The blessed children soon ran into rough political weather. With anti-Catholic sentiment running high, the Fatima district mayor, Artur Santos, was suspicious of the increasingly popular apparitions. He tried unsuccessfully to make the children recant what they had told. Santos was a high Mason and an apostate Catholic. Despite bribes and threats, the children declined to take back what they said earlier.

Mayor Santos soon concocted a plan to stop the children from viewing the fourth apparition. His plan was to kidnap the two prior to scheduled day of Mary's appearance. Both of them lived lives full of penance and prayer post apparitions and offered themselves for the sinners as requested by Mary. Both of them suffered due to the influenza epidemic which swept Europe in 1918. Francisco died of influenza in 1919. Jacinta breathed her last in 1920. Both were under 12 years old.


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