The Pope approved the miracle in a March 23 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he advanced six other causes, approving one other miracle, two causes for martyrdom and three causes of heroic virtue. In addition, the Pope also approved a positive vote from members of the canonization for six martyrs who are already “Blessed” but do not yet have a second miracle for their cause.Share
However, the most significant of the causes approved is that of Francisco and Jacinta Marto. With the approval of the second miracle, the two may now be canonized saints. It is likely Pope Francis will preside over their canonization himself while in Fatima May 12-13 for the centenary of the apparitions. Francisco and Jacinta are the youngest non-martyrs to be beatified in the history of the Church. The brother and sister, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Servant of God Lucia Santo in the fields of Fatima, Portugal, witnessed the apparitions of Mary, now commonly known as Our Lady of Fatima.
During the first apparition, which took place May 13, 1917, Our Lady asked the three children to say the Rosary and to make sacrifices, offering them for the conversion of sinners. The children did, praying often, giving their lunch to beggars and going without food themselves. They offered up their daily crosses and even refrained from drinking water on hot days. In October 1918, Francisco and Jacinta became seriously ill with the Spanish flu. Our Lady appeared to them and said she would to take them to heaven soon. (Read more.)