We are less than two months away from the 100th anniversary of the first of the Marian Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal. On 13 May 1917 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children -- Jacinto and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia (Lucy) dos Santos -- the Seers of Fatima.
Our Lady of Fatima returned on the 13th of every month through October, to bring Her Message of prayer, penance and the necessity of praying and working for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, which will bring to our troubled world a period of peace. She also warned that unless Her requests are heeded, nations will be annihilated and millions of souls lost. For more on the relevance of the Fatima Apparitions to the turmoil we face today, see "The connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam", WWW 9/3/17.
Devotees of Our Lady of Fatima have cause to rejoice this weekend. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved a miracle through the intercession of Blessesds Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three children who witnessed the Apparitions. The decree, released on March 23rd, fulfills the requirements for the canonization of the two Seers. Both died in their youth, shortly after the Fatima Miracles. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
The March 23 decree creates the possibility that Pope Francis could preside at the canonization of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinto Marto in May, when he will visit the Fatima shrine to mark the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions.
The third of the Seers, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and lived until 2005. In 2008, a separate cause of beatification was opened for Sister Lucia. Pope Benedict XVI waived the usual five-year waiting period after a candidate's death for the opening of her cause.