Monday, April 24, 2017

Virtue and Visions

From The Catholic Herald:
As the prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes from 1998 to 2008, Cardinal Saraiva Martins oversaw the process that led to the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto by St John Paul II in 2000. Cardinal Saraiva Martins told CNS that the process leading up to the beatification was stalled for decades and wasn’t easy because of a general assumption that children “do not have the capacity to practice Christian virtue in a heroic way.” The church’s declaration of heroic sanctity, he added, “is fundamental for beatification.”

While he knew the children’s devotion to the Eucharist and to Our Lady of Fatima were well-known, the cardinal said one specific event during the apparitions left him “convinced” of their holiness.
At the time of the apparitions, the Portuguese government was strongly anti-Catholic. Artur Santos, mayor of the town where Fatima was located and president of the Masonic lodge of nearby Leiria, sent law enforcement officials to block the entry to the site of the apparitions. He also kidnapped the three children to force them to deny Mary was appearing at Fatima after news of the apparitions spread, the cardinal said.

Santos separated Jacinta and Francisco from Lucia, telling the two children that their cousin was boiled in hot oil and that they would share the same fate if they didn’t say they didn’t see Our Lady and that “it was all a fantasy,” Cardinal Saraiva Martins said.

“What was the response of those two children? ‘You can do what you want but we cannot tell a lie. We have seen her (Our Lady),'” the cardinal said.

“I asked myself, ‘How many adults would have done the same?'” the cardinal said. “Maybe 90 per cent of adults would probably say, ‘Yes, of course, it was a lie, it was all a fairy tale.'”
While the fact that the apparitions of Mary contributed to their sanctity “is evident and obvious,” Cardinal Saraiva Martins said, it was Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta’s “personal holiness that counts.” (Read more.)

No comments: