St Francisco Marto

Francisco was born in 1908 in Fatima, Portugal and was the sixth child in his family. He was one of the three children who Mary appeared to in Fatima. He loved games and playing with other children. He was a peacemaker, but courageous. He had a love for nature, and animals in particular. He was known toe a kind and gentle boy. Francisco was there with Lucia and Jacinta for the apparitions but he  never heard the Lady’s words, although he saw her and felt her presence. After the first apparition, Lucia conveyed the Lady’s message to him, that he would go to heaven if he prayed many Rosaries. In the second apparition, Lucia asked to be taken to heaven, and the Lady replied that Francisco and Jacinta would be taken soon, but Lucia would have to wait for a time. In the third apparition, the children were given a secret, including a vision of hell, which so changed them that they became more like adults than children. At this time the Mayor of the district, devised a scheme to discredit the apparitions by terrorizing the children. He tried to bully them into admitting they lied, threatened them. Francisco showed extravagant courage in anticipation of going to heaven and jailed them to keep them from their appointment with the Lady on the day of the fourth apparition. After the apparitions ended, Francisco much of his time  praying to the “Hidden Jesus” in the Tabernacle. His great concern was to console His sorrowing Lord and the Heart of His Mother. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Francisco answered, ” I want to go to heaven.” In August 1918, when World War I was nearing an end, Francisco and Jacinta both contracted influenza, which at the time could be life threatening.  In April of the following year, Francisco, knowing his time was short, asked to receive the Hidden Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. The next morning he passed away. Pope Francis declared both Jacinta and Francisco saints in 2017.