Francisco and Jacinta
Marto saints at the start of Mass marking the centenary of their visions.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were on hand,
many of whom had spent days at Fatima in quiet prayer, reciting rosaries before a statue of the Madonna. They clapped as soon as Francis read the proclamation aloud. Francisco and Jacinta, aged 9 and 7, and their 10-year-old cousin, Lucia, reported that on March 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary made the first of a half- dozen appearances to them here while they
grazed their sheep. They said she confided in them three secrets — foretelling apocalyptic visions of hell, war, communism and the death of a pope — and urged them to pray for peace and a
conversion away from
THE POPE urged Catholics today to use the example of the Marto siblings and draw strength from God, even when adversity strikes.