Christ stilling the waves

The Trumpeteer

  • When Children become Prophets

    It must surely be one of Our Lady’s most delightful gestures, and fragrant with all that is truly motherly and comforting; that the miracle that has been recognized as authentic and necessary for the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto should be the healing of a 5 year old Brazilian boy called Lucas, who fell 20 feet from an upstairs window with terrible brain injuries.

    Jacinta always stressed the great need of purity, and Francisco spent his time praying the rosary that he might comfort the suffering Christ. Together with their cousin and great friend Lucia, stand not simply as visionaries but as prophets to a century in which bloodshed, cruelty, sexual immorality, and scientific perversion have all but drowned humanity in a sea of Satanic degeneracy.

    The Woman clothed in the Sun came to these peasant children to ask them to pray for the conversion of Russia, to warn them and the Church and the World that the sin that casts most people into Hell is the sin of impurity, and that if the World did not repent then there would be a Second World War. Despite the continual and at times acrimonious controversy as to whether John Paul consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima said that finally her Immaculate Heart would triumph and the World would be given a period of peace, which no doubt will end with the coming of the Antichrist. There is, to my mind, little doubt that the great miracle of the Sun at Fatima is what we see described in chapter 12 of the Apocalypse.

    What is so wonderful about Jacinta and Francisco is that there is a quality of martyrdom. Both fell victim to the terrible Spanish flu that raged through Europe and the United States in the aftermath of World War I. Both children knew they were to die, and at least Francisco died at home, whereas poor Jacinta was moved from hospital to hospital, but to no avail and Jacinta dies alone in a hospital in Lisbon.

    In a Church where many are obsessed with sex, the question is being discussed by the highest ecclesiastical dignitaries as to whether people who are having sex sinfully can receive communion. Whereas these children stand as rock like witnesses to the truth that impurity damns, and that our highest obligation is to love God with every fibre of our being, and that the road to heaven is not one of ease and comfort, but is the way of the Cross.

    Francisco by nature was somewhat lazy, liked playing his flute and liked being on his own. Jacinta had a sweet singing voice and a talent for dancing; being the youngest of the family she was understandably spoilt. They were very normal children. It is to my mind amazing that Pius XI felt that these two children could not be canonized during his time, as they did not understand what heroic virtue entailed. I quote from Wikipedia this illuminating extract.

    “In 1937 Pope Pius XI decided that causes for minors should not be accepted as they could not fully understand heroic virtue or practice it repeatedly, both of which are essential for canonization. For the next four decades, no sainthood processes for children were pursued. In 1979 the bishop of Leiria-Fatima asked all the world's bishops to write to the Pope, petitioning him to make an exception for Francisco, who had died at age 10, and Jacinta, who had died at age 9. More than 300 bishops sent letters to the Pope, writing that “the children were known, admired and attracted people to the way of sanctity. Favors were received through their intercession.” The bishops also said that the children's canonization was a pastoral necessity for the children and teenagers of the day.

    In 1979 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints convened a general assembly. Cardinals, bishops, theologians and other experts debated whether it was possible for children to display heroic virtue. Eventually, they decided that, like the very few children who have a genius for music or mathematics, "in some supernatural way, some children could be spiritual prodigies." They (Jacinta and Francisco) were declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1989.”

    Two things spring to mind. When the three children are abducted by the authorities, they are interrogated and threatened to boiled alive if they do not retract their testimony that Our Lady has appeared to them. The children, believing that their final hour has come, refuse to recant. This is heroism to the point of martyrdom. Then 42 years later there is a meeting of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to discuss the possibility of the two children becoming saints and they equate Francisco and Jacinta with child prodigies. What has an intellectual or artistic talent in the very young got to do with heroic sanctity; surely it is about co-operation with grace. Did Pius XI read the accounts of their lives? Did he not know, and did not the Congregation for the Causes of Saints know what anyone brought up on the Penny Catechism knows, namely that a child can commit a mortal sin at the age of reason, which is about the age of seven or thereabouts. Heaven help us when such a fine Pope as Pius XI can miss the point, and that the Congregation can come out with such nonsense. How far we are from the Gospel, which is so simple and whose fishermen apostles have so much in common with these little shepherds, who knew nothing of luxury and comfort, but who intuitively knew the language of Heaven, the power of prayer, and the salvific quality penance. How the Church needs them today. The Christian LGBT and sadly the Catholic LGBT along with their Cardinal, bishop, priest, and religious supporters should hang their heads in shame, and so too should the divorced and remarried Catholics wanting to receive communion. They are not worthy to hold a candle to these wonderful children.

    What then do these two wonderful children have to teach us? In a word utter simplicity. Their lives were lived amid the cycle of the seasons for they were from farming stock. They had the liturgical life of the Church to guide them through the Church’s year and there was the joy of the big festivals like Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, The Ascension, Pentecost, and the great feasts of Our Lady. Heaven was close to them as was the liturgical cycle and occasionally these met when the Angel of Portugal gave them communion.

    So let us hope that Saints Francisco and Jacinta will today bring to the Pope a great grace whereby he can fully understand, what so many Catholics have forgotten; that purity and chastity are fundamental virtues that are absolutely necessary if we wish to enter Heaven. This purity is not simply about virginity and chastity. It is about purity of heart. It is about the sixth beatitude.

    Blessed are the pure in heart,

    For they shall see God

    It is interesting to note that the first beatitude, and the last are about inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven, but the sixth is about seeing God. Francisco, and Jacinta and their cousin Lucia, the main seer, and who was destined to outlive her cousins by 84 years, saw Christ, saw his Mother, saw St Joseph and saw the angels; because they were innocent, and were brought up to be natural and unaffectedly pious and devout, because they were taught the simple truths of their faith, and taught what was right, and what was wrong. God sent his Mother to write on the tablets of their hearts what men and women must do to be reconciled to God. What was at the heart of Our Lady’s message? That we repent, that we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as well. Our Lady’s Heart is Immaculate and Pure. Of all of the human race, with the exception of her Son, who after all was God, Mary was utterly pure of heart, and perfectly humble, the utter personification of being “poor in spirit”.

    Francisco and Jacinta and their cousin Lucia are not only spiritually allied to the Anawim, “The Quiet in the Land” as the simple humble and devout Israelites were described, but they are also prophets like Elijah, like Isaiah, like Ezekiel. They call us to repentance, and call us by their lives to be people of simplicity and peace, who obey God’s commandments not out of fear but out of love; love for God, and love for Our Lady. If we wish for a world of goodness, love and peace then let us live our lives with the simplicity and whole heartedness of this radiantly good, and utterly natural brother and sister, who died out of love for God and for the salvation of sinners,

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