Vatican City, Jun 28, 2018 / 11:11 am
Among the Church's newest cardinals is Antonio Augusto dos Santos Marto, who oversees the diocese of Leiria-Fatima. He says his elevation to the rank of cardinal is not only a sign of Francis' affinity for popular devotion, but shows the relevance of the message Mary gave to the Church when she appeared in the small town over 100 years ago.
When Pope Francis visited Fatima in May 2017 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of one of the most famous Marian apparitions in the history of the Church, "he understood and intuited" not only what was happening in the Church and in global society 100 years ago, but also what is happening today, Santos said.
Speaking to journalists hours before the June 28 consistory in which he was elevated to the rank of cardinal, Santos said that "Pope Francis intuits a lot in a short amount of time...he deeply understands the value of what the Church is living."
"In my view, he intuited and understood the universal projection of the Fatima message," both for the Church and for humanity, he said, and pointed to modern crises which parallel the global challenges present in 1917, such as persecution of the Church and what Pope Francis has called the "third world war in pieces."