On Saturday, Pope Francis canonized two young shepherd children who saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago. A century ago, the two shepherd children in a small village in Fatima, Portugal, saw visions of the Holy Mother Mary, while tending their sheep. The children – Francisco and Jacinta Marto – and their visions of Mary turned the sleepy Portuguese farm town of Fatima into one of the world’s most important Catholic shrines.

A crowd of around half a million people gathered for the occasion outside the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, the epicenter of the small Portuguese farm town. Outside the basilica, huge banner images of siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto, 11 meters (36 feet) long, are draped on the sides of the basilica. The Pope proclaimed the siblings’s sainthood at the start of the mass, generating widespread applause from the crowd. “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,” the Pope said. “That was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering.”

Hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom slept outdoors to hold their places, broke into applause as the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics canonized siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

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Image Source – The Atlantic


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