News by email Donate


REUTERS/Tony Gentile
World News

Pope Francis makes two children saints

The young siblings' visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago made the town one of the world's most important Catholic shrines.

Francis proclaimed Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints at the start of Mass today marking the centenary of their visions.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims applauded after the pope recited the rite declaring the Martos saints.

The siblings and their cousin, Lucia, reported that on March 13 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared to them while they grazed their sheep.

They said she confided in them three secrets - foretelling apocalyptic visions of hell, war, communism and the death of a pope - and urged them to pray for peace and a conversion away from sin.

He urged Catholics today to use the example of the Marto siblings and draw strength from God, even when adversity strikes.

"We can take as our examples Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the immense ocean of God's light and taught to adore him," he said. "That was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering."

Before the Mass, Francis silently in the basilica overlooking the shrine's vast square at the tombs of each of the Fatima visionaries.

The Marto siblings died two years after the visions during Europe's Spanish flu pandemic.  They are now the youngest ever saints who did not die as martyrs.

Earlier that day, Pope Francis privately met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email