liturgy of the hours
LITURGY OF THE HOURS
OF THE BLESSED FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO
Francisco Marto (11.6.1908 – 4.4.1919) and Jacinta Marto (11.3.1910 -20.2.1920) were born in Aljustrel, a village in the parish of Fatima, in the diocese of Leiria-Fatima. In their humble family they learned to know and to praise God and the Virgin Mary.
In the year 1916, they saw an angel three times, and in 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared to them six times and urged them to pray and do penance for the remission of sins, and to obtain the conversion of sinners and peace in the world.
Both responded immediately with all their strength to these exhortations. From then on, even more inflamed with love for God and for souls, they had only one aspiration: to pray and suffer according to the Angel and Our Lady’s requests.
The words of the Angel “Console your God”, impressed Francisco very deeply and guided his whole life.
Jacinta, for her part, made every possible sacrifice for the conversion of sinners and as reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She also had a particular love for the person of the Pope.
In Fatima on 13th May 2000 Pope John Paul II inscribed their names among the Beatified.
(Homily from the Mass of Beatification)
Privileged children of the Father
“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, Jesus praises the heavenly Father for his designs “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!!! 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.
What most impressed and entirely absorbed Bl. Francisco was God in that immense light which penetrated the inmost depths of the three children. A transformation takes place in his life, one we could call radical: a transformation certainly uncommon for children of his age. He devotes himself to an intense spiritual life, expressed in assiduous and fervent prayer, and attains a true form of mystical union with the Lord. This spurs him to a progressive purification of the spirit through the renunciation of his own pleasures and even of innocent childhood games. Francisco bore without complaining the great sufferings caused by the illness from which he died. It all seemed to him so little to console Jesus: he died with a smile on his lips. Little Francisco had a great desire to atone for the offences of sinners by striving to be good and by offering his sacrifices and prayers. The life of Jacinta, his younger sister by almost two years, was motivated by the same sentiments.
In her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fatima to ask men and women “to stop offending God, Our Lord, who is already very offended”. For this reason she asks the little shepherds: “Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them”.
Little Jacinta felt and personally experienced Our Lady’s anguish, offering herself heroically as a victim for sinners. One day, when she and Francisco had already contracted the illness that forced them to bed, the Virgin Mary came to visit them at home, as the little one recounts: “Our Lady came to see us and said that soon she would come and take Francisco to heaven. And she asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I told her yes”. And when the time came for Francisco to leave, the little girl tells him: “Give my greetings to Our Lord and to Our Lady and tell them that I am enduring everything they want for the conversion of sinners”. Jacinta had been so deeply moved by the vision of hell during the apparition of the 13 of July that no mortification or penance seemed too great to save sinners.
RESPONSE Col 1,24 2 Cor 4,10
R. I complete in my flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, ∗for the benefit of his body, which is the Church.
V. We carry always and everywhere, in our body, the sufferings of the death of Christ, ∗for the benefit of his body, which is the Church.
Prayer as in Lauds.
A great sign appeared in Heaven:
a woman clothed with the sun.
God of infinite goodness,
you love the innocent and exalt the humble,
grant that, in imitation of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta,
we may serve you with purity of heart and so be worthy
to enter the kingdom of heaven.
We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ…
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have revealed to the little ones
the mysteries of the Kingdom.
Prayer as in Lauds.