Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2017 / 06:41 am
Tomorrow, on the 100th anniversary of Mary’s first appearance at Fatima, Pope Francis will canonize Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the three shepherd children who witnessed the Marian apparitions.
A press conference preceding the Pope’s arrival highlighted the miracle that paved the way for their canonization. The miracle involved a Brazilian boy named Lucas, who was miraculously healed through the intercession of the shepherd children.
Jacinta and Francisco both died before age 12 and will become the youngest non-martyrs to be canonized. Sister Lucia, the third visionary, lived much longer, dying in 2005 at the age of 97. The Church is currently examining documents and collecting testimonies for her beatification cause.
In recounting the story of their son’s healing in the face of almost certain death, João Batista and his wife Lucila Yurie could not hold back tears.
“On March 3, 2013, before 8:00 pm, our son Lucas, who was playing with his little sister Eduarda, fell out of a window from a height of 20 feet. He was five years old,” related the boy's father.
“His head hit the ground and he sustained a very serious injury, which caused a loss of brain tissue,” Batista said during the press conference at the Fatima Shrine.
Teetering between life and death, “he was given medical care in our city, Juranda, and given the severity of his condition, he was transferred to the hospital in Campo Mourao, Parana.”
“When we got there, Lucas was in a deep coma. His heart stopped twice, and they performed an emergency operation.”