• Before the canonization Mass, Pope Francis met with Portugal’s Prime Minister, then continued to the Sanctuary of Fatima. There, he visited the tombs of the two shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta.
    Once the ceremony began, and Pope Francis officially declared Jacinto and Francisco saints, the crowd of 500,000 pilgrims unleashed an extended applause. 
    We declare and define Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto, saints.
    The rite of canonization in the plaza of Cova de Iria was emotional. One of the tenderest moments came when the family of Lucas, the child who received the miracle, approached the pope with the offerings. The little boy could not hold back his desire to embrace him. 
    During his homily, the Holy Father spoke about the impact that encountering the Virgin Mary has on a Christian’s life.  He recalled the two shepherd’s whose lives were changed. Jacinta and Francis, in fact, are the youngest saints that are not martyrs of the Church.
    “We have a Mother. Let us cling to her as children. From her arms will come the hope and peace that’s needed, and I beg for all my brothers in baptism and in humanity.”
    After the conclusion of Mass, the pope greeted the sick and addressed a message before blessing them with this spectacular monstrance in the form of the sun: “Dear sick people, live your life as a grace, and tell Our Lady, like the shepherds, that you want to offer God all your heart.”