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Canonizing Jacinta and Francisco Marta

“Father, … to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children” (Mt 11: 25).

With these words, dear brothers and sisters, Jesus praises the heavenly Father for his designs; he knows that no one can come to him unless he is drawn by the Father (cf. Jn 6: 44); therefore he praises him for his plan and embraces it as a son:  “Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Mt 11: 26). You were pleased to reveal the kingdom to the merest children.

According to the divine plan, “a woman clothed with the sun” (Rv 12: 1) came down from heaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father. She speaks to them with a mother’s voice and heart:  she asks them to offer themselves as victims of reparation, saying that she was ready to lead them safely to God. And behold, they see a light shining from her maternal hands which penetrates them inwardly, so that they feel immersed in God just as – they explain – a person sees himself in a mirror.

Later Francisco, one of the three privileged children, exclaimed:  “We were burning in that light which is God and we were not consumed. What is God like? It is impossible to say. In fact we will never be able to tell people”. God:  a light that burns without consuming. Moses had the same experience when he saw God in the burning bush; he heard God say that he was concerned about the slavery of his people and had decided to deliver them through him:  “I will be with you” (cf. Ex 3: 2-12). Those who welcome this presence become the dwelling-place and, consequently, a “burning bush” of the Most High. — from the pope’s homily at Fátima: Saturday, May 13, 2000

Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and Board Secretary of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His most recent book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. His The Compleat Gentleman will be published in a new edition by Regnery in May of 2021.