He said that the shrine at Fatima is among his favorite, and said that "it's very moving to be here but especially be here with the Holy Father, for the hundredth anniversary and the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta. It's just an unbelievable occasion."
Particularly touching for him was the offertory at the canonization Mass, when the gifts were brought up by the family of the young boy whose miraculous healing was attributed to the intercession of two of the Fatima shepherd children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, paving the way for their canonization.
The young Brazilian boy, named Lucas, was just five years old when he fell out of a window from a height of 20 feet. His head hit the ground, and he sustained serious injuries and a loss of brain tissue.
Doctors told the family that the boy's chance of surviving was low, and if he did survive, he would have severe cognitive disabilities or even remain in a vegetative state. However, after the family and a nearby religious community prayed to the young shepherd children, Lucas suddenly made a full recovery, with no lasting effects of the injury.
"I had heard the interview on the television, and he was given up for dead and the cure was so obviously miraculous," Cardinal O'Malley reflected, "and to see that child come up and give the Pope a hug. It was...very moving and it reminded us that the canonization is about the holiness and the goodness of little children."
Francisco and Jacinta are the youngest non-martyrs to be canonized, a fact which Cardinal O'Malley saw as significant.