Breaking News

Pope Francis make saints of two child shepherds of Fatima, half a million people in attendance (PHOTOS)

Half a million people attended an open-air mass in Fatima, Portugal as Pope Francis made two shepherd children who died nearly a century ago saints.
Pope Francis holds up a monstrance during an open-air solemn Mass to canonize Jacinta and Francisco MartoPope Francis, center background, presides over the ceremony

Francis proclaimed Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints at the start of Mass on Saturday marking the centenary of their visions.
Pope Francis led the Holy Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, with half a million people lining the streets to mark the canonisation
One hundred years ago, the two children, and their cousin Lucia, said the Virgin Mary appeared to them and gave them three secrets, including the end of the Cold War and World War Two.
Pope Francis leaves the Basilica as hundreds of thousands of people line the streets and wave their hands out toward the Pontiff
The children being canonised, brother and sister Francisco (centre) and Jacinta Marto (right), who were nine and seven at the time of the apparitions, died of influenza two years later. Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos (left), at 10 the ringleader of the group and who became the main raconteur of their tale, is on track for beatification, the first step towards becoming a saint
Pope Francis waves at the end of the Holy Mass as he leaves Portugal. He is due to attend a farewell ceremony at a nearby military air base where his plane is waiting
But the children were not believed and civil authorities threatened them with death by boiling oil if they didn't recant their story. But they held fast and eventually the church recognized the apparitions as authentic in 1930.
The pope today canonised two of the three shepherd children, but the process to sainthood has begun for the third, who died in 2005
Pope Francis prays on the grave of Francisco Marto and Jacinta, two of the three shepherd children, who were canonised in an open air mass in the village of FatimaPope Francis prayed at the tombs of two of the Portuguese shepherd children ahead of the Canonisation Mass, which was held in the open air and attended by half a million believers.
Among those in the shrine's vast square was Brazilian boy Lucas Baptista who in 2013 suffered severe head trauma he was not expected to survive. His medically inexplicable healing was the 'miracle' needed for the siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto to be canonised.

The boy, aged 5 at the time, had fallen 21 feet (6.5 meters) from a window in 2013 and suffered severe head trauma. His doctors said he would be severely mentally disabled or in a vegetative state if he even survived. The boy not only survived but has no signs of any after-effects.

Lucas and the pope embraced during the Mass.

'Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures,' Francis said in his homily. 'Such a life, frequently proposed and imposed, risks leading to hell.'

He urged Catholics today to use the example of the Marto siblings and draw strength from God, even when adversity strikes.
Faithful attend a candle light vigil prayer at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima on Friday night before the open air mass on Saturday morning
Pope Francis leads a candle light vigil prayer at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima on Friday night after arriving in Portugal
'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.'

The Martos are now the youngest-ever saints who didn't die as martyrs.

No comments