Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Why you should have these two Fatima child saints in your spiritual life

Fr. Edward Looney - published on 02/20/18

These two will teach you how to make little sacrifices, even when you don't want to

Last year’s 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions afforded many the opportunity to examine the lives of Sts. Francisco and Jacinta Martos, especially in light of their canonization.  

Dominican Fr. Thomas Petri recently tweeted, “Last year, my devotion to Our Lady of Fátima began and flourished. Then after a pilgrimage to Fátima and reading Sr. Lucia’s memoirs, I found myself praying to St. Jacinta. So now I’ve got a little 9-year-old saintly girl roaming around my spiritual life.”  

Like Fr. Petri, I too share similar sentiments after visiting Fatima in 2016, and continued reading about the Fatima apparitions through the centenary year and beyond.

I recently read Jean Heimann’s Fatima: The Apparition that Changed the World (St. Benedict Press). Even though I attended the Pontifical International Marian Academy’s symposium on Fatima and have studied the apparitions, Heimann’s introductory text taught me a lot about Fatima and its message, but most especially the visionaries.

I never knew much about Francisco and Jacinta, especially the spirituality of these two child saints. As I read about their spiritual practices, it made an impression on my soul, compelling me to live the Fatima message.  

On one occasion, Jacinta wept when she heard the Passion of Jesus being read, and she made a resolution to never again cause Jesus suffering.  Jacinta took to heart the words of Mary and, according to Heimann, “quickly developed within her heart a burning love for God and the souls of her fellow men.” She offered her life as a living sacrifice to please God and save souls. Some small sacrifices included giving away her lunch and snacks to the poor. When she suffered illness, she accepted it as an opportunity to suffer for the conversion of sinners and for the salvation of souls.  

Francisco was a simple soul, who often would climb a little mountain and there play his flute and sing songs to the Lord. After the apparitions, Francisco knew two things: he was going to die soon and he needed to pray many rosaries. What a special grace Francisco received from Our Lady, to know that he would soon go home to be with God. This allowed Francisco to contemplate his death often (#MementoMori) and prepare himself spiritually for the hour of his death.  

Francisco and Jacinta took Mary’s message seriously. They prayed the Rosary daily, made small sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, and offered their suffering to God as a prayer. Learning how they dedicated themselves to Mary’s message renewed within me a desire to better live the Fatima message.  

I’m often presented with the opportunity to make sacrifices (small acts of self-denial) or offer moments of suffering as a prayer. Unfortunately, I’m weak, and sometimes refuse to make the sacrifice, or all I do is complain when suffering presents itself. I’m inspired by Sts. Francisco and Jacinta.  They were so young, but their love for God and humankind was so evident. They challenge me to seek holiness, to live the Fatima message, and to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.

Fatima’s importance extends well beyond last year’s 100th anniversary celebrations. And if the experience of Fr. Petri and myself tells us anything, devotion to the apparition and the child seers continues to this very day among the faithful.  

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Sts. Francisco and Jacinta, pray for us.  




Read more:
How I pray the Rosary with my friends (the saints)

(Want to visit Fatima? Join Fr. Edward Looney on a pilgrimage this October. Learn more here.).  

Tags:
Saints

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.