The relics of the Holy Shepherds of Fatima in Bell-lloc
28 February, 2020
During the month of February, the relics of San Francisco and Santa Jacinta Marto, two of the three pastorets to whom the Virgin Mary appeared in Fatima in 1917, have been visiting numerous Catalan towns. On Friday, February 28 in the morning they were in Bell-lloc. Many students, family, faculty, and administration and service staff have approached the oratory to pray and learn more about their lives – an example to the entire Church of holiness simple and full of trust in Mother of God.
Who was Jacinta Marto?
According to her cousin Lúcia, she was vivacious and cheerful, she loved to dance, and always went with her heart in her hand. Very sensitive, and a bit grumpy, he would immediately get drunk. Like Francis, he had a spiritual serenity thanks to the climate of family faith. Although the cousins agreed to keep the secret, he did not restrain himself and spoke to his parents about the appearance of the Virgin.
“Greater abundance of thanks”
According to her cousin Lúcia, it is to Jacinta that the Holy Virgin transmitted a “greater abundance of thanksgiving” and a “better knowledge of God and of virtues.” At the appearances, Lucia spoke to the Virgin Mary; Francisco saw, but understood nothing; Jacinta, did not speak, but she saw and understood everything.
His vocation: to save souls
How is it that Jacinta, being so small, was able to fully understand and accept the spirit of reparation and penance? Lúcia explains: “In my opinion, the first reason is a very special grace granted by God through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and secondly, it was a consequence of the vision of hell and the terrible state of the souls that fell there. There are very pious people, who do not want to talk to children about hell so as not to scare them. But God did not hesitate to show her to a seven-year-old girl, knowing she would be terrified; I would venture to say, to the point of feeling dying in terror. ”
Jacinta used to sit on a stone, immerse herself in her thoughts and say, “ What a shame I feel for souls going to hell! … Francisco, Francisco. Are you praying with me We need to pray a lot to save a lot of souls from hell. There are so many of them. Why does Our Lady not teach hell to sinners? If they see it, they will surely stop sinning to avoid going there. You have to tell the Virgin to show it to these people (the crowd that gathered month after month in Cova da Iria). You will see how they become. ”
And he would always say, “I love the Lord and the Virgin Mary so much that I do not get tired of telling them that I love them.” And he sighed endlessly, “Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation! Immaculate Heart of Mary, turn to sinners! ”
Our Lady comes to us to take us to Heaven
She died alone on February 20, 1920, as the Virgin had predicted in a vision: “Our Lady came to see us, and says that she immediately goes to find Francisco to take him to heaven. I was asked if I still wanted to turn more sinners. I said yes. ”
Who was Francisco Marto?
He was the tenth of 11 siblings, of “exemplary obedience,” according to his parents. “Patient, kind and reserved, inclined to contemplation.” In games he kindly accepted defeat, and even when he won and his teammates insisted on victory, he relented without saying a word. He loved silence and never sought a fight. The pastor loved nature, poetry and music and had a great heart. At the age of nine, the Virgin Mary appeared, whom she saw but could not hear.
The first to go with the Lady
The Virgin Mary, during her first appearance on May 13, 1917, predicted that she would soon go to heaven, but that she had to pray many rosaries beforehand. And this would do young Francisco, until his death, because of the so-called Spanish flu that he received as “an immense gift” to console Jesus, “so sad because of so many sins”, he said to redeem the sins of souls and win paradise.
His contemplative vocation: to console Jesus
“Francis, what do you prefer – to comfort our Lord or to turn sinners into hell?” – “I prefer to console God. Did you not see the sorrow of Our Lady last month, when she said that people should stop offending God, because she is so offended? I would like to comfort God, and after that, turn sinners so that they no longer offend Jesus! ”
The Spirit of love and reparation for God offended, were remarkable in their short life. Little Francis spent long hours “thinking of God,” so he was always considered a contemplative.
Its precocious hermit vocation was recognized in the decree of heroic virtues. “I spoke little, and when I was praying or offering sacrifices, I would rather turn away and hide, even to Jacinta and me. Many times, we would find him hiding behind a wall or a hedge, where he would cleverly slip away to kneel and pray or, as he used to say, ‘think of our Lord, who is so sad for so many. sins’. ”
Two days before his death, Francisco asked for his first communion and confessed to his little sister Jacinta: “Today I am happier than you because I have Jesus in my heart.”
On April 4, 1919, at ten o’clock in the night, before he expired, he said to his mother, “See Mom, this beautiful light by the door!”, With a beautiful angelic smile, without suffering or suffering. complaints. Francisco was 11 years old.