Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta
canonized May 13, 2017
by Mary Herzogenrath
Francisco Marto was born on June 11, 1908 in Aljustrel, Portugal. His sister, Jacinta Marto, was born on March 11, 1910. They are the two youngest shepherd children to whom Our Lady appeared for six months from May through October, 1917. Francisco was 9 and Jacinta was 7.
In 1916, while tending to their sheep in the countryside around Fatima, the Angel of Peace appeared to the three shepherd children. Their cousin Lucia, age 14, was also with them. The Angel appeared to them three times that year to prepare them for the apparitions of Our Lady the following year.
After Our Lady’s appearances to them on the 13th of the month, May through October, 1917, “they consecrated their days to the love for God, for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the Holy Father, as well as for their brethren, especially for the sinners for whom they prayed and made sacrifices”. (Ref 1)
Francisco died on April 4, 1919 and Jacinta on February 20, 1920 both from complications of the Spanish Flu.
Saint John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary on May 13, 2000. The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will canonize these two younger shepherd children on May 13, 2017, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima and the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition to the children.
Relics of the coffins of then Bl. Francisco and Bl. Jacinta were obtained by parishioners from the Francisco and Jacinta Marto Foundation in Fatima, Portugal in September, 2016.
Ref 1 Francisco and Jacinta Marto Foundation, Rua de S. Pedro, Fatima, Portugal, www.pastorinhos.com.