Fatima child shepherds declared saints
POPE Francis has added two Portuguese shepherd children to the roster of Catholic saints, honouring young siblings whose reported visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago turned the Portuguese farm town of Fatima into an important Catholic shrine.
Francis proclaimed Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints at the start of a mass marking the centenary of their visions.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were on hand, many of whom had spent days at Fatima in quiet prayer, reciting rosaries before a statue of the Madonna. They clapped as soon as Francis read the proc- lamation aloud. “It is amazing, it is like an answer to prayer because I felt that always they would be canonised,” said Agnes Walsh, from Ireland.
Francisco and Jacinta, aged 9 and 7, and their cousin, Lucia, reported on March 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary made the first of a half-dozen appearances while they grazed their sheep.
Pope Francis at Fatima.