Pope recognizes miracle attributed to Fatima visionaries

By OSV Newsweekly

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has approved the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of two of the shepherd children who saw Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, thus paving the way for their canonization.

Pope Francis signed the decree for the causes of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto during a meeting March 23 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Vatican said.  

The recognition of the miracle makes it likely that the canonization ceremony for the two children will be scheduled soon. The cardinals and bishops who are members of the congregation must vote to recommend their canonization and then the pope would convene the cardinals resident in Rome for a consistory to approve the sainthood.

Many people are hoping Pope Francis will preside over the canonization ceremony during his visit to Fatima May 12-13.

The pilgrimage will mark the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions, which began May 13, 1917, when 9-year-old Francisco and 7-year-old Jacinta, along with their cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing the Virgin Mary. The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

A year after the apparitions, both of the Marto children became ill during an influenza epidemic that plagued Europe. Francisco died April 4, 1919, at the age of 10, while Jacinta succumbed to her illness Feb. 20, 1920, at the age of 9.

Francisco and Jacinta's cause for canonization was stalled for decades due to a debate on whether non-martyred children have the capacity to understand heroic virtues at a young age. However, in 1979, St. John Paul II allowed their cause to proceed; he declared them venerable in 1989 and beatified them in 2000.

Their cousin Lucia entered the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy and, later, obtained permission to enter the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra, where she resided until her death in 2005 at the age of 97.

Following her death, Pope Benedict XVI waived the five-year waiting period before her sainthood cause could open. Bishop Virgilio Antunes of Coimbra formally closed the local phase of investigation into her life and holiness Feb. 13, 2017, and forwarded the information to the Vatican.

Also March 23, Pope Francis signed other decrees recognizing miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues in six other causes, the Vatican said.

The pope also approved the bishops' and cardinals' vote to canonize two Brazilian priests -- Blessed Andre de Soveral and Blessed Ambrosio Francisco Ferro -- as well as Mateus Moreira and 27 laypeople, who were killed in 1645 as violence broke out between Portuguese Catholics and Dutch Calvinists in Brazil.

Pope Francis also approved the vote to canonize three young Mexican martyrs, known as the child martyrs of Tlaxcala, who were among the first native converts in Mexico. Known only by their first names -- Cristobal, Antonio and Juan -- they were killed in 1529 for rejecting idolatry and polygamy in the name of their faith.

In addition, Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing the martyrdom of Franciscan Claretian Sister Rani Maria Vattalil, who died in 1995 after being stabbed 54 times, apparently because of her work helping poor women in India organize themselves. With the signing of the decree, a date can be set for her beatification.

 

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Recent

Pope recognizes miracle attributed to Fatima visionaries

Thursday, March 30, 2017
By Catholic News Service OSV Newsweekly VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has approved the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession... Read More

'Sesame Street' wins with Julia

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
By: Ester Garcia, Janice L Benton OSV Newsweekly "Sesame Street" has done it again — helping children understand people and... Read More

Make confession more available, God's heart is always open, pope says

Sunday, March 26, 2017
By Catholic News Service OSV Newsweekly VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Hear confession every time someone asks, Pope Francis said, and don't ever put... Read More

Learning from icons

Friday, March 24, 2017
By Judith Sudilovsky OSV Newsweekly During a recent lesson, Ian Knowles, director and tutor at the Bethlehem Icon Centre, held open a textbook and,... Read More

The Ten Commandments

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
By Michael R. Heinlein OSV Newsweekly From the beginning, it has been made clear that God intends for us to live in friendship with him and in... Read More

Archdiocese announces beatification date for Oklahoma priest

Saturday, March 18, 2017
By: Catholic News Service OSV Newsweekly WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that one its native sons, Father Stanley... Read More

Priest hits the street fishing for souls

Thursday, March 16, 2017
By: James Graves OSV Newsweekly Walk the streets of St. Joseph, Missouri, and you may have a memorable encounter with a tall young priest wearing a... Read More

Highlights of Year 4

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
By: OSV Staff OSV Newsweekly Pope Francis as the newly elected pontiff appears for the first time on the central balcony of St. Peter's... Read More

Sewing with the Sisters promotes joy of religious life

Saturday, March 11, 2017
By: Mariann Hughes OSV Newsweekly Practical skills and spiritual growth were to be stitched together into one fun event when a New Ulm, Minnesota,... Read More

Temper tantrums

Thursday, March 9, 2017
By: Teresa Tomeo OSV Newsweekly A few years ago, I was traveling to Florida for a speaking engagement. If anyone has ever visited Orlando, you know... Read More