“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.
Saint Jacinta found incorrupt
This was the nature of our Saint 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… Saint 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.
Saint Jacinta and her brother Saint Francisco were both beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Jubilee year 2000.