The Little Shepherds 2017-05-25T09:54:08+00:00
Blessed Francisco

 “I wish to console Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament…”

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Servant of God Lucia

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“There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult is is that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Most Holy Rosary…”

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Blessed Jacinta

“Tell everybody, that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary…”

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“Two candles lit by God to illumine humanity at times of darkness and anxiety’…

Saint John Paul II ~ Beatification of Little Shepherds

Blessed Francisco

Blessed-FranciscoThe words of the Angel of Peace, “Console your God”, impressed Francisco very deeply and guided his life. He wanted to be the ‘Consoler of Jesus’ primarily by praying the Rosary and adoring the Hidden Jesus in the Tabernacle of the parish church.

Francisco was born on the 11th of June 1908, in Aljustrel, Portugal. He was baptized in his parish church in Fatima on June 20th. Peaceable by nature, he loved games and spent hours playing his flute. He was a born lover of nature. Francisco was the brother of Jacinta and cousin of Lucia.

During the apparitions of the Angel of Peace and of Our Lady, he could see everything but could hear nothing. Lucia and Jacinta told him what the Angel and Our Lady had said.

Blessed Francisco always desired to keep Jesus company in his parish church. He would always say “you go ahead; I am going to keep the ‘hidden Jesus’ company.” He understood that sin is the cause of God’s sadness. “I love God so much!” he said, over and over again. “But He is so sad because of so many sins. We must never commit any.”

Francisco fell sick in October 1918. When his family assured him that he would soon get better, he would promptly reply: “It is no use. Our Lady wants me in heaven with her!” When he was no longer able to pray, he asked his cousin Lucia and his sister Jacinta to pray the Rosary aloud so that he could accompany them in his heart. On the last morning of his life he once again asked pardon of his family for all his faults.  Then he said to his mother: “Look Mother, do you see that beautiful light over there by the door?” It was the 4th of April, 1919. At ten o’clock in the morning, as the sun shone brightly into his small and humble room, Francisco departed for heaven to be forever with Our Lady whose beauty had so won his heart.

From the homily of Pope John Paul II of May 13, 2000:

“What most impressed and absorbed Blessed Francisco was God in that immense light which penetrated the hearts of the three shepherds. However only to him God revealed Himself ‘so sad’ as he used to say.

One night his father heard him moaning and asked him why he was crying. The child replied: ‘I was thinking about Jesus Who is so sad because of the sins committed against Him.’ He lived motivated by only one desire – so expressive of how children think – to console Jesus and make Him happy. ”

Saint John Paul II
Beatifications of the Little Shepherds of Fatima

Blessed Jacinta

“I feel Our Lord within me. I understand what He says to me, although I neither see Him nor hear Him, but it is so good to be with Him.”

Jacinta was Francisco’s sister and Lucia’s cousin. At the time of the apparitions of the Angel, she was only six years old. She was the youngest of the little seers. During the apparitions she saw and heard everything, but she never spoke either to the Angel or to Our Lady.

Being intelligent and very sensitive, she was profoundly impressed when she heard Our Lady say: “The Lord our God is already so much offended,” and on another occasion: “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners.”

After the vision of hell, she decided to offer herself completely for the salvation of souls. Jacinta was no different than so many little children. She loved to play. She loved to hear her voice echoing down in the valleys. One of her favorite amusements was to climb to the tops of the hills, sit down on the biggest rock she could find, and call out different names at the top of her voice. The name that echoed back most clearly was “Maria”. Sometimes Jacinta used to say the whole Hail Mary this way, only calling out the following word when the preceding one had stopped re-echoing.

All the children loved to sing as well. Interspersed among the popular songs – of which they knew quite a number – were Jacinta’s favorite hymns: ‘Salve Nobre Padroeira’ (Hail Noble Patroness) and ‘Anjos, Cantai Comigo’ (Angels, sing with me.) Jacinta was fond of dancing, and any instrument she heard beginning to be played by the other shepherds was enough to set her off. Jacinta, tiny as she was, had a special aptitude for dancing.

The children were told to say the Rosary after lunch, but as the whole day seemed too short for play, the children worked out a fine way of getting through it quickly. They simply passed the beads through their fingers, saying nothing but “Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary…” Jacinta loved to hold the little white lambs tightly in her arms, sitting with them on her lap, fondling them, kissing them, and carrying them home at night on her shoulders so that they wouldn’t get tired.

Blessed Jacinta found incorrupt

Blessed Jacinta found incorrupt

This was the nature of our Blessed Little Jacinta. But let us revisit the nature of this little girl of 7 following the apparitions of the ‘Angel of Peace’ and Our Lady herself.

Sweet Heart of Mary, convert sinners, save souls from hell… Blessed-Jacinta

To save souls from the fires of hell, she spared herself no sacrifice. She denied herself water in the heat of summer; she gave her lunch to children poorer than herself; she endured the torture of a piece of rope tied tightly around her waist with three knots pressing against her tender skin; she underwent exhausting interrogations. She did all this without the slightest complaint. “I’m so sorry for sinners!” she would say.

“If only I could show them hell! How happy I would be if they could all go to heaven.”

In the hospital, Jacinta was favored with three visits from Our Lady. While there, the little girl uttered words of wisdom far beyond her age, both as to their delivery and their content. She spoke of priests, statesmen, doctors, persecutors of the Church, the obedience of religious, marriage, riches, poverty…These were surely ideas that came from above.

Finally, on the night of February 20th, 1920, the promise of Our Lady brighter than the sun was fulfilled: “I shall come to take you to heaven,” she had said.

Jacinta was buried in the cemetery of Vila Nova de Ourem, and later in 1935, in the Fatima parish cemetery.

On March 1st, 1951, her mortal remains still preserved, were placed in a side – chapel to the left of the high altar of the Fatima Basilica.

Blessed Jacinta and her brother Blessed Francisco were both beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Jubilee year 2000.