Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the first Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. On 13 May 1917, and on the 13th of each month thereafter through October 13th, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children -- Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos -- to bring to the world, through the three seers, Her Message of repentance and conversion. She requested the consecration of Russia, by name, to Her Immaculate Heart, and warned that if Her Message is not heeded, entire nations will be annihilated and billions of souls lost.
Yesterday, at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope Francis canonized Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco, making them the youngest non-martyrs ever to be declared saints by the Roman Catholic Church. "We declare and define Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto as saints," said the Pontiff, as relics of the young shepherd children, encased in two thin golden crosses, were placed in front of the famed statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the "lady dressed in white" as the siblings and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, described Her.
Francis didn't say much about the actual Message of Fatima, perhaps because a key part of it, the Third Secret of Fatima, has been suppressed by the Vatican, in spite of having been written down by Sister Lucia (Lucia dos Santos became a nun) for publication not later than 1960, at which time, she said, its meaning would be clearer. The Pope looked frail and nervous throughout the ceremony. Perhaps he was fearful that Our Lady would reappear to chastise him and his predecessors for failing to heed Her warning.
Sister Lucia herself told Father Augustin Fuentes, the postulator of the causes for beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, on 26 December 1957 at Coimbra, Portugal, "the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her Message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way, but without giving any importance to Her Message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling upon them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the Message. But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent."