Imminent canonisation of first two Fatima seers
A Portugueses news agency is reporting that the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima has sent the final documents for the canonisation of Jacinta and Francisco Marto to the Vatican.
The third seer - Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos - died only this month, and will need to wait. But the Spirit Daily website reports that Church officials have "sealed" her cell in order to "preserve her particulars", and that this demonstrates she is "all but a sure bet for canonisation".
"I can confirm that the so-called 'Positio,' the final document for the canonization of the two shepherd children, has been sent," said Bishop Serafim Ferreira e Silva during a Mass dedicated to the visionaries of Our Lady of Fatima.
Catholic News Agency reports that the bishop also said the Portuguese bishops are hopeful that "Pope John Paul II can proclaim their canonisation and recommend Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto for public veneration by the entire Catholic world."
Bishop Ferreira e Silva explained that the document sent to the Vatican includes the opinions of doctors, theologians and bishops regarding the second miracle attributed to the intercession of the children.
On 13 October last year, the canonical process was opened for recognizing the miracle that would make their canonization possible. The case involved the healing of an infant named Felipe Moura Marques, now 5, the son of a Portuguese couple living in Switzerland.
Felipe was born with type 1 diabetes, a disease considered incurable. His mother and his grandmother, fervent devotees of Francisco and Jacinta, took the child to the Shrine of Fatima and placed him near the tombs of the two Blesseds.
On May 13, 2000, while watching the beatification on television, the mother prayed to Francisco and Jacinta for the health of their child. Since that time Felipe has not needed to take insulin and has been completely cured of his diabetes.
Canonization of Jacinta and Francisco Marto likely (Catholic News Agency 22/2/05)
Sanctuary of Fatima - Official Site
Fatima visionary's death 'deeply moved' Pope (CathNews 17/2/05)
Last Fatima witness Sister Lucia dead at 97 (CathNews 15/2/05)
Sister Lucia Has Told All Details, Says Researcher (Zenit/Catholic Online 21/2/05)
Intrigue promises to follow Fatima seer as photographs of her, writings emerge (Spirit Daily)
23 Feb 2005