Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto

St. Francisco (1908-1919) and St. Jacinta Marto (1910–1920) were siblings and the youngest of the three shepherd children, who, along with their cousin, Lúcia Santos, witnessed three apparitions of an angel in 1916 and six apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917 while tending sheep in the countryside of Fatima, Portugal. They were entrusted by Our Lady of Fatima with many messages and warnings for the world, and that they were to do penance and pray for the conversion of sinners. Both became prayerful mystics, much wiser than their age, on account of these visits. Although only young children, they faithfully offered up many sacrifices as Our Lady requested, by praying the rosary daily, giving their lunches to the poor, denying themselves water on hot days, wearing a rough rope next to her skin, calmly facing ridicule on account of the apparitions, and bravely enduring the suffering that ended in their deaths. The Blessed Mother told Francisco and Jacinta that they would die young and that she would soon come to take them to heaven. Francisco and Jacinta both fell sick from influenza in 1918. Francisco died first, and Jacinta the next year after a long illness and two hospitalizations. They were canonized by Pope Francis on May 13, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the first Apparition of Our Lady of Fátima. Their feast day is February 20th.

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