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Pope to canonize Fatima seers May 13; October date for other saints


  • Portuguese shepherd children Lucia dos Santos, center, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, are seen in a file photo taken around the time of the 1917 apparitions of Mary at Fatima. (CNS photo/EPA)
  • Jacinta and Francisco Marto are pictured with their cousin Lucia dos Santos (right) in a file photo taken around the time of the 1917 apparitions of Mary at Fatima, Portugal. Pope Francis has approved the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of two of the shepherd children, thus paving the way for their canonization. (CNS file photo)
  • Cardinals are seen during an April 20 "ordinary public consistory" with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Pope Francis will preside over the canonization ceremony of the Fatima visionaries during his visit to Portugal May 12-13. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
  • Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saintsí Causes, speaks to Pope Francis during an "ordinary public consistory" at the Vatican April 20. Pope Francis will preside over the canonization ceremony of the Fatima visionaries during his visit to Fatima May 12-13. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, Portugal, during his visit to the site of the apparitions May 13.

The date was announced April 20 during an "ordinary public consistory," a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, addressing the assembly noted that of the future saints considered at the consistory, five were children or young teenagers.

"In our time, where young people often become objects of exploitation and commerce, these young people excel as witnesses of truth and freedom, messengers of peace (and) of a new humanity reconciled in love," the cardinal said.

At the same consistory, the pope set Oct. 15 as the date for the canonizations of two priests and two groups of martyrs, including Blessed Cristobal, Blessed Antonio and Blessed Juan -- also known as the "Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala" -- who were among the first native converts in Mexico. They were killed between 1527 and 1529 for refusing to renounce the faith and return to their people's ancient traditions.

Pope Francis will preside over the canonization ceremony of the Fatima visionaries during his visit to Fatima May 12-13.

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