The Fatima Children
Both Jacinta and Francisco passed away shortly after the apparitions, as foretold by Our Lady. Lucia dos Santos joined the Sisters of Saint Dorothy at Tuy, Spain, and later became a Carmelite in Coimbra, Portugal. In 2005, Sister Lucia died in Coimbra Carmel and in the same year her cause for beatification was officially opened.
Saint Jacinta Marto
St. Jacinta Marto was born on 11 March 1910, at Aljustrel. Jacinta was a very busy and lively child. The apparitions aroused in her a deep pity for sinners, and compassion at the thought of what was awaiting them after death – the torments of hell. Therefore, she prayed incessantly for the conversion of sinners, as well as doing acts of penance for them. The Mother of God herself instructed Jacinta in piety during many apparitions to her. During the child’s final illness in a Lisbon hospital, Jacinta conversed with Our Lady about the great world events that were to occur around 1940.
On the day before her death she said: “Our Lady will appear again, but not to me. I will die, according to her prophecy.” And she died on the 20th of February 1920. She offered her great sufferings for the conversion of sinners, for peace in the world and for the Holy Father. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 13 May 2000 and canonised by Pope Francis on 13 May 2017
Saint Francisco Marto
St. Francisco Marto was born on 11 June 1908, at Aljustrel. Unlike his younger sister Jacinta, he was quiet and reflective. He had deep faith and loved to contemplate. He was caring of others and capable of great sacrifices. In the home of the peasant Martos it was customary for the family to recite the Rosary daily. Piety imbued every aspect of their lives. Everyone worked hard, dawn to dusk. Children from an early age helped their parents with tilling the fields and grazing sheep. His whole life of penance he offered to comfort the Lord Jesus.
Blessed Francisco wanted to receive Holy Communion as soon as possible and to attain eternal joy in heaven. Shortly before his death he was allowed to receive Holy Communion. He died on the 4 April 1919 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 13 May 2000 in Fatima and canonised by Pope Francis on 13 May 2017. The body of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta are buried in the basilica of Fatima. Their feast is celebrated on February 20.
Sister Lucia dos Santos
Sister Lucia dos Santos was born on 22 March 1907 in Aljustrel.
As a child she had an extraordinary piety and concern for the welfare of others. On 17 June 1921, four years after the apparitions, Lucia left her native village of Aljustrel for the college of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy in Vilar, on the outskirts of Porto. In 1925 she entered the Dorotheans as a postulant at the congregation’s convent in Tuy, Spain. On 3 October 1928 she took her first vows. Six years later, again on 3 October, she made her final vows, taking the religious name Sister Mary of Sorrows.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) she was transferred for safety to the college Sardao, in Vila Nova de Gaia, where she stayed for some time.
Later, on 20 May 1946, Sister Lucia finally revisited again the places of the apparitions in Fatima, places that evoked so many memories in her heart.
On 25 March 1948, Sister Lucia joined the Carmel of St Joseph of Coimbra, taking the name Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart.
On 13 May the same year she was clothed in the Carmelite habit and on 31 May 1949 she took her vows as a discalced Carmelite nun, assuming the name Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart.
She lived the rest of her long life in silence behind the walls of the Carmel in Coimbra, rarely making public appearances. However, her life was far from idle. She carried on an extraordinary volume of correspondence and was pen friend and advisor to many souls. Even so, she never spoke of the Fatima apparition unless her superiors expressly requested it.
She died on 13 February 2005 in the Carmel of Coimbra. Her cause for canonisation was opened on 13 February 2008.