"And taking the hand of the little girl, he said to her, 'Talitha khoum,' which interpreted means, 'Little girl (I say to thee) arise.'"—Mark 5:41
Jacinta Marto was a happy-go-lucky little girl who loved to play; but along with her brother Francisco and her cousin Lucia dos Santos, she experienced the monumental apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima—proving that even an illiterate shepherd girl can become a pivotal figure in world history, as well as a great saint. And indeed Jacinta did become a saint, for our times and for all.
Excerpted from the letters and memoirs of Sr. Lucia dos Santos contained in Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Blessed Jacinta Marto of Fatima describes the life of this little girl whose visions, along with her brother and cousin, radically changed the world. Jacinta was the youngest of the three shepherd children, aged seven at the time of the apparitions. She loved to dance and play, and everyone enjoyed her sweet affect. But upon experiencing the visions of Our Lady and her requests for penance, and especially after the vision of Hell, Jacinta took to heart the message of mortification and conversion. More than her brother and Lucia, she persisted in physical penances and mortifications, like giving up lunches and not drinking water, for the sake of sinners. Along with Francisco and Lucia, she suffered at the hands of the local Freemasonic authorities. After the Miracle of the Sun, many requested her intercession, and she complied willingly.
Finally, in 1918, she and Francisco contracted the Spanish flu. Francisco died first, while Jacinta was taken to two hospitals (as Our Lady had told her) to suffer for souls. When she predicted she would die the next day, the hospital chaplain did not believe her, and so he did not give her the las Sacraments. But she died as predicted; in1935 she was found incorrupt. Pope Francis canonized her in 2017, a hundred years after the first apparition of Our Lady. Let your children learn the lesson of this humble saint, the Church's absolute youngest non-martyr—and learn yourself just what it means to become like a child to enter the Kingdom of God.
Saint Jacinta Marto, pray for us!
- Msgr. Joseph A. Cirrincione
- TAN Books
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