Thursday, May 18, 2017 The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Greensburg Volume 56, No. 25 PAUL HARING CNS Pope Francis leads a vigil in the Little Chapel of the Apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal May 12. Pope Francis canonizes Fatima shepherd children ‘Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us’ By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service FATIMA, PORTUGAL — Standing before the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope Francis canonized two shepherd children who saw Mary at Fatima, but more importantly, he said, they heeded the call to pray for sinners and trust in the Lord. “We declare and define Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto as saints,” the pope said May 13 as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims broke out in applause before he finished speaking. The Marian apparitions began May 13, 1917, when 9-year-old Francisco and 7-year-old Jacinta, along with their 10-year-old cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing the Virgin Mary. The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church. After contracting influenza, Francisco died April 4, 1919, at the age of 10, while Jacinta succumbed to her illness Feb. 20, 1920, at the age of 9. The children, beatified by St. John Paul II in 2000, are now the youngest non-martyrs to be declared saints by the Cath-olic Church. Before his arrival at the shrine, the pope met privately with Portuguese Prime Minster Antonio Costa and then made his way into the sanctuary that houses the tombs of Sts. Francisco and Jacinta and their cousin Lucia, who died in 2005 at the age of 97. The diocesan phase of her sainthood cause concluded in February and now is under study at the Vatican. Pope Francis stood for sever-al minutes in front of the tombs with his eyes closed and head bowed. In his homily at the canon-ization Mass, the pope re-flected on the brief lives of the young sibling saints, who are often remembered more for the apparitions rather than for their holy lives. But it is Mary’s message and example, rather than an appa-rition, that is important, he told the crowd, which Portuguese authorities estimated at about 500,000 people. “The Virgin Mother did not come here so that we could see her. We will have all eternity for that, provided, of course, that we go to heaven,” the pope said. Instead, he continued, Mary’s messages to the young children were a warning to all people about leading “a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures.” “Such a life — frequently proposed and imposed — risks leading to hell. Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us,” the pope said. The hopeful message of Fati-ma, he said, is that men and women have a mother, and like children clinging to her, “we live in the hope that rests on Jesus.” Continued on page 4 MAY 25 SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD Ascension is the day we celebrate Christ’s ascension to heaven. It is a holy day of obligation. INSIDE THIS ISSUE PAGES 5-19 Men and women religious celebrate milestone anniversaries of their service to the church. PAGES 2, 24 Graduates, Pathways participants and Scouts are honored.