Sts Jacinta and Francisco Marto, also known with their cousin Lucia dos Santos as the Fatima Seers, were poor children from Portugal to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917. The two young saints died while still children, while Lucia lived into adulthood.
What are the 3 Seers of Fatima?
Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto, with their cousin Lucia dos Santos, are known as the 3 Seers of Fatima.
Jacinta Marto was born on March 11th, 1910, and her brother Francisco Marto was born on June 11th, 1908.
They came from a humble, devout Catholic family in Aljustrel, a small village near Fatima.
The Marian apparitions began on May 13th, 1917, when the three children saw the Virgin Mary while they were tending to their family’s flock of sheep.
The Virgin Mary appeared to the children multiple times, delivering messages that included a call to prayer, penance, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The apparitions included prophecies about world events and the urgent need for conversion and repentance. The children took to heart our Lady’s messages and practiced mortification and penance as reparation for sin and for the salvation of souls.
The children faced skepticism and persecution from both their families and local authorities. They were even briefly imprisoned for refusing to recant their story.
On October 13th, 1917, the culmination of the apparitions occurred with the Miracle of the Sun. Thousands of people gathered to witness the sun dancing in the sky, an event that was widely reported and documented.
Both Jacinta and Francisco fell seriously ill during the influenza epidemic in 1918. Francisco died on April 4, 1919, at the age of 10, and Jacinta died on February 20, 1920, at the age of 9.
Jacinta had asked the hospital chaplain who had heard her confession to give her Last Rites because she was going to die that night. The chaplain told her that her condition was not dire and that he would return the next day. The next day Jacinta was dead. She died alone, as she had known that she would.
Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13th, 2000, during the Jubilee Year.
They were canonized as saints by Pope Francis on May 13th, 2017, on the centenary of the first apparition.
Their feast day is celebrated on February 20th, the anniversary of Jacinta’s death.