Pope announces canonisation of Fatima children on 13 May


On the 20th of April 2017, Pope Francis, meeting with the cardinals in a consistory, announced that the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto will take place on the 13th of May 2017, in Fatima, on the celebration of the centennial of the apparitions and during the pilgrimage of His Holiness to the Shrine of Fatima.

It is cause of great joy for the Postulation for the Causes of Francisco and Jacinta Marto to know that these children, who generously responded to the calls of the Angel of Peace and of Our Lady of the Rosary, will be canonized, becoming models of Christ-like life for each of us and for the universal Church.

We remember, with appreciation, what Pope Saint John Paul II said on the 13th of May 2000, on the day of their beatification: “The Church wishes to put on the candelabrum these two candles which God lit to illumine humanity in its dark and anxious hours. May they shine on the path of this immense multitude of pilgrims”. Thus, the joy that Jacinta and Francisco felt when they saw Our Lady becomes now our joy, because the first two non-martyr children to be proclaimed saints in the whole of Church history shine in the heavens and on earth.

The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto, Francisco and Jacinta were typical of Portuguese village children of that time. They were illiterate but had a rich oral tradition.The brother and sister, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lucia in the fields of Fatima, witnessed several apparitions of an angel in 1916 and of the Virgin Mary in 1917. Both died very young, victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic – Franciso was ten and Jacinta nine years old.

Ana Vieira – ACN Portugal