2017: Fatima Centenary Year
May 20-21: 6th Sunday of Easter
In his homily at the canonization Mass, the pope reflected 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 apparition, 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 Fatima, 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.”
Pope Francis called on the pilgrims to follow the example of heroic virtue lived by St. Francisco and St. Jacinta, particularly their insistent prayer for sinners and their adoration of “the hidden Jesus” in the tabernacle.
This continual presence of God taught to them by Mary, he said, “was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering.”