Spirituality for Today – February 2016 – Volume 20, Issue 7

Saint of the Month
Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto

February 20

A photo of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta MartoBlessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto

The siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto were born in the village of Aljustrel near Fatima in central Portugal. Francisco was born on June 11, 1908, and Jacinta on March 1, 1910. Like many Portuguese people at the time, their family was very poor. Together with their cousin Lucia, the brother and sister tended cattle. The children, brought up in a very religious atmosphere, spent their time at work, playing and praying. On May 13, 1917, the young shepherds were staying in Cova de Iria. After saying the rosary the children played by building a house with rocks. It was then they saw someone who changed their lives – a woman they did not know, shining with unusual light.

She told them to return to the site on the 13th day of each month. The children returned the next month and again in July. On August 13 they were brought to the mayor of the town of Villa Nova de Ourém because more and more people learned of their visions and suspected the children of making them up. But on August 19 the young shepherds had a vision again. In September and October they experienced their visions undisturbed. During their last vision they were accompanied by some 70,000 people. The woman presented herself then as the Lady of the Rosary.

Mother Mary apparitions in Fatima were great support for the Church and humanity at the moments of great historical tragedies in the 20th century.

Of the three young visionaries, only Lucia lived a long life. Francisco died on April 4, 1919. His short life was devoted to attempts to "solace the Lord" offended by people's sins. Jacinta lived a year longer. She was seriously ill from 1918 and joined the Lord on February 20, 1920.

The children were beatified on May 13, 2000.

God, You granted that Bl. Francisco and Bl. Jacinta
saw Mother of Your Son already in their lifetime.
Let the example of their faith help us reach
the place where we can see her for ages.
Through Christ our Lord.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives