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Sept. 6, 2006: Virtual Fatima recently reported that the conclusion of the process for the canonization of Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco is near. “The path is still very long, but it could take months instead of years”, said the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Cause of the Saints.
Doctors are now analyzing the reported miraculous cure of a child, daughter of Portuguese emigrants in Switzerland who suffered from diabetes. The child is said to have been cured at the moment of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco on May 13, 2000.
“If the doctors conclude that the cure has no scientific explanation”, reports Virtual Fatima, “the process will be examined by theologians.”
Thirty Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops make up the Vatican Commission that will have to analyze and approve the conclusions of the doctors and theologians. The documentation will then be presented by the Prefect of the Congregation to the Pope who will make the final decision.
Blessed Francisco Marto was born on June 11, 1908 in Aljustrel. During and after Our Lady’s visitations to Fatima, his particular spirituality was to “console Our Lord” and directed his prayer and penances to that end. He prayed before the Blessed Sacrament to console Jesus for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences that offend Him. He died a saintly death on April 4, 1919.
Blessed Jacinta Marto was born in Aljustrel on March 11, 1910. Sister Lucy said that Jacinta was the most highly favored of the three children. During and after the visitations of Our Lady, Jacinta showed a maturity beyond her years. Her great desire was to offer her suffering for the conversion of sinners. After a long and painful illness, she died on February 20, 1920. When her body was exhumed in 1935 and 1951, she was found incorrupt.
Our Lady’s visitations were preceded in 1916 by three apparitions of an angel. At the time of these first apparitions, Jactina was six, Francisco was seven, Lucy was nine.
The death of both children within two to three years of Our Lady’s visitations fulfilled the Blessed Mother’s June 13, 1917 prophecy: “I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon”. The two seers are interred in the Basilica at Fatima. Last February, Sister Lucy, who died on February 13, 2005, was also buried in the Basilica next to her cousin Jacinta.
The first step for the process of canonization began in 1945, and was officially opened in 1952. They were declared “venerable” by a Decree of the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints on May 13, 1989. Pope John Paul II beatified Jacinta and Francisco on May 13, 2000, the 83rd anniversary of Our Lady’s first visitation.
The remarkable holiness of Francisco and Jacinta remind Catholics that sanctity is possible for children. They are models toward which young people and adults should strive. Catholics devoted to Our Lady of Fatima long for the day when these two holy children, who led lives of heroic sanctity, will be formally raised to the altar.