Jacinta and Francisco

Our new Child Saints
By Mary Anne Quizon

Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima, our newest child saints are as of this writing due for canonisation today in Portugal by Pope Francis. May 13 marks the one hundredth year anniversary of the first appearance of our Lady in Fatima in Cova da Iria , Portugal.
Francisco and Jacinta were the visionaries at Fatima where the famous miracle of the dancing sun  happened.

There were actually three visionaries at Fatima. Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia. They were merely seven, nine and ten years in age consecutively when the ‘Dear Lady of incomparable beauty ‘ appeared to them the first time on May 13, 1917.

In her second apparition the ‘Dear Lady’ mentioned that she would be taking Jacinta and Francisco to heaven soon in answer to Lucia’s question: “Are we going to heaven?” Our Lady said : “Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart.”

Surely enough the two children within two years of the apparition got seriously ill and left this world as promised by the Dear Lady.

This century’s generation wonders what the miracle of the dancing sun that happened on October 13, 2017  was really like.  An excerpt from a published testimony from    O Seculo , a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper, published in October 1917 gave an unbiased account of the miracle as follows:

“Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws—the sun “danced” according to the typical expression of the people.”

“People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively….”

A more colorful yet brief testimony was revealed as follows:

“The sun turned everything to different colours—yellow, blue and white. Then it shook and trembled. It looked like a wheel of fire that was going to fall on the people. They began to cry out, “We shall all be killed!” Others called to our Lady to save them.  They recited acts of contrition.  One woman began to confess her sins aloud, advertising that she had done this and that…. When at last the sun stopped leaping and moving, we all breathed our relief. We were still alive, and the miracle which the children had foretold, had been seen by everyone.”
(Maria de Capelinha, one of the earliest believers)

In earlier apparitions at the pasture owned by Lucia’s father in Cova Da Iria after the May 13 apparition, secrets were revealed to the children . It was said that after the revelations of the secret of Fatima,  Jacinta and Francisco led a holy penitential life like adults dedicating their lives to Jesus and Mother Mary.  A miracle healing of a Brazilian boy in 2013 was attributed to them. The Brazilian child Lucas fell seriously ill and went into a coma, after falling out of the window and hitting his head on the pavement . Lucas parents having a long time devotion to our Lady of Fatima and the shepherd children  has requested for prayers at the Carmelite convent thru the intercession of the little shepherds Jacinta and Francisco. Two days later, after their visit to the Carmelites convent, the five year old Lucas woke up from his coma to the amazement of doctors in the hospital. This healing miracle had pushed for the canonisation of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco.

The secrets of Fatima  have long been a question mark to many.  In her memoir, Sister Lucia revealed that the first part of the secret of Fatima was the gift of the vision of hell:

“Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrifying and distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”

It was believed that the secrets revealed to the children have made them set aside the fun of childhood and moved them to care seriously for the saving of people’s souls via penance and sacrifices.


the noblest motive is the greatest good for the greatest number