Initially the children were scolded and even threatened with death for spreading what were considered baseless stories. Francesco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos were in an isolated rocky outcrop called Cova de Iria, near the small town of Fatima. A newspaper of the day reported, "Before their dazzled eyes the sun trembled, the sun made unusual and brusque movements, defying all the laws of the cosmos, and according to the typical expression of the peasants, 'the sun danced'". (The last apparition of Our Lady to the children took place on October 13).The Fatima event has entered profoundly into the hearts and spirituality of Catholics especially in Europe, but also worldwide.
Some people wonder about a connection to Islam because the village has the same name as the Prophet Muhammad's favorite daughter.
The "Splainer: Who is Our Lady of Fatima and what is the 'Third Secret"?
Francis will canonize the two children at the beginning of the Mass at the shrine on Saturday, May 13, the 100th anniversary of the first apparition.
"For me it is the second time I am here with a pope, first with John Paul II and now with Papa Francisco", said pilgrim Elisabete Fradique Conceicao. - Days before his trip to Fatima, Pope Francis said Mary's "yes" at the Annunciation was more than a yes to bearing the Son of God, but was also an acceptance of everything she would endure after - something every mother experiences with a new child.
His parents had prayed to the late Jacinta and Francisco for help. While the Marto siblings died two years later during the Spanish flu pandemic, Lucia became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005.
In his message the Pope also said he is entrusting all Portuguese faithful to Our Lady asking her to "whisper into the ears of each one of them, and assure them that her Immaculate Heart is a refuge and a path leading them to God". First, she let the children see a brief vision of hell-"we saw something like an ocean of fire".
Protester killed in violent demonstrations in Venezuela
In March, Venezuela's Medical Federation said hospitals had less than 5 percent of the medicine needed to properly treat patients. People gather for a homage to Miguel Castillo at the spot where he died yesterday in Caracas, Venezuela , Thursday, May 11, 2017.
What Our Lady offered during her apparitions is a message "that deals with mankind as mankind, not only Christians or believers", and because of this, it "has an extraordinary authority" in the world today. They weren't, and World War II began in 1939.
The second was a warning that Russian Federation would "spread her errors" in the world if people did not turn to God. However, the process could not start until after her death.
Carolina Palacios, a 48-year-old civil servant from Paraguay, said she and her fellow group members had taken turns sitting on fold-up chairs through the night before to make sure no one took their spot. She died five years later at the age of 97.
Pope Francis says Catholic leaders do a "great injustice" when they say God judges sinners when in fact he forgives sinners with his mercy. The prophecy turned out to be an apocalyptic vision of a bad persecution of Christians, including priests and bishops and in particular "a Bishop dressed in White" who was killed by soldiers as he knelt before a cross at the top of a hill. The Polish-born pope credited the Virgin Mary with having saved his life in 1981 when a would-be assassin shot him on Fátima's feast day, 13 May, in St Peter's Square. He later sent the bullet to Fatima where it was placed in the crown of the original image of Our Lady of Fatima, fitting perfectly into the only empty space left available when the crown was made 40 years earlier. "And Mary is a woman who listens, who welcomes existence as it comes to us with its happy days as well as its tragedies, which we never want to encounter", he said.
During his general audience, Pope Francis centered his catechesis on the few lines from the Gospel of John that describe Mary "standing by the cross of Jesus".
That's a message that Vatican has been trying to connect to the Fatima apparitions for years in an effort to shift attention away from the more sensational claims and interpretations.