Today in Fatima Portugal, on the 100th anniversary of the Fatima Shepherd Children’s visitation from the Blessed Mother Mary, Pope Francis canonized Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Francisco and Jacinta who were ages 9 and 7 at the time of Mary’s appearance , are the youngest, who were not martyred, the Catholic Church has canonized.
For those unfamiliar with the story of Fatima, beginning in spring of 1917 in Fatima Portugal, 3 shepherd children- Francisco and Jacinta Marto along with their 10 year old cousin Lucia Santos- were visited by an angel. The Angel of Peace taught them prayers.
Then in May of the same spring, visits from Mother Mary started. She appeared to the children as an apparition and they names her Lady of Fatima. The Lady appeared to the children 6 times between early May and early October of 1917.
She prophesied to the children that prayer would end the Great War – World War I – and that in the coming months, the lady would reveal her identity and God would perform a miracle, so all would believe.
The children had been given the date of October 13, 1917 for the great miracle. Over 70,000 gathered on that day to witness. The miracle was shown through an increasing and diminishing sun. Those in attendance testified that they could look directly into the sun without any hurt or harm to their eyes. Mesmerized, they stated the sun literally danced in the sky.
The miraculous event has been coined as “The Miracle of the Sun”.
To this day millions make the pilgrimage yearly to Cova de Iria Fatima- now named Cove of Peace- where it is widely accepted the Virgin Mary appeared to the children. It is one of the most important Catholic shines in the world.