Pope leads thousands in prayer at Portugal shrine

Pope in Fatima to honor simple children who changed church

Pope in Fatima to honor simple children who changed church

"We can take as our examples St. Francisco and St. Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the huge ocean of God's light and taught to adore him", the pontiff said in his homily.

"It is wonderful, it is like an answer to prayer because I felt that always they would be canonised", said Agnes Walsh from Killarney, Ireland.

Fátima has since become one of the world's most important Catholic shrines.

May 12, 2017 12:20 p.m.:On the flight to Portugal, Anna Eliza Ferreira, a young Brazilian television reporter for Redevida de Televisao, asked Pope Francis to bless the child in her womb.

In a homily given to hundreds of thousands at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, where some had camped for days to reserve their spots, the pontiff also said Catholics should be "sentinels of dawn" who work for a church that is missionary, welcoming and free.

"Dear pilgrims, we have before us Jesus hidden yet present in the Eucharist, just as we have Jesus hidden yet present in the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are sick and suffering", he told them.

The two died at the ages of 10 and 9 years old, within three years of the 1917 apparitions, making them the youngest saints of the Church who were not martyrs. "Thus may we rediscover the young and handsome face of the Church, which shines forth when she is missionary, welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means and rich in love".

Pope Francis says he'll be "sincere" with US President Donald Trump over their sharp differences on subjects such as immigration and climate change when the two hold their first meeting at the Vatican later this month. Pope Francis hopes to spread the message of peace and love among his followers, as the three children of Fatima did while World War I raged on 100 years ago.

One of these was reportedly a prediction that the First World War would end soon - it did, a year later - and that a second great war would start during the reign of the next Pope "if men continue offending God and should Russian Federation not convert".

At the time of the reported apparitions, local authorities considered the child shepherds to be troublemakers, throwing them briefly in jail before they were released under public pressure.

The goal of his short trip was declare the Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto saints. Many Catholics believe the children received three secrets from the Virgin Mary during six apparitions in 1917.

The Portuguese church declared the visions authentic in 1930. The beatification process for her began in 2008. Normally, a candidate must be associated with at least two miracles. The third foretold of an angel demanding "penance!" before the pope and other clergy climbed a mountain to be killed by soldiers firing bullets and arrows.

We all can, in a special way, receive blessings from Our Lady of Fatima by doing the First Saturdays Devotion, or the Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He was possibly the most devoted to Fatima, attributing his narrow escape from an assassination attempt at St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981 - the anniversary of the first reported apparition - to the intervention of the Virgin Mary. He donated it to the sanctuary, where it is now embedded in the crown of the statue of the Madonna.

The children reported that the Madonna revealed to them three "secrets", and urged them to pray for peace and turn away from sin.

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