DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     June 25-27, 1999     vol. 10, no. 123

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Jacinta and Francisco Could Be Beatified in Rome in 2000

          LISBON, JUN 24 (ZENIT).- The necessary preparatory phases have now been completed to allow the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, two of the visionaries of the Fatima apparitions. This week, the causes were taken to the College of Cardinals, which voted in favor of the beatification.

          According to "Radio Renascenša" of Portugal, the Cardinals' judgment brings the beatification process to an end. The decrees will be read on June 28 in the Vatican.

          Fr. Luis Kondor, vice-postulator of Francisco's and Jacinta's beatification cause, and Bishop Serafim Ferreira e Silva of Leiria-Fatima, have expressed their joy at receiving the news from the Holy See.

    Where and When

          At this point in time, all that remains are decisions on the date and place of the beatification. Carried away by enthusiasm, Bishop Ferreia said the ceremony "could take place this year in Fatima... I would like it to be in Fatima and I know the Pope would also like that."

          Nonetheless, the Bishop realizes his reaction is somewhat unrealistic, as the Pope already has a very tight schedule for the end of this year. It is more likely that the beatification will be celebrated in Rome during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

          Fr. Kondor would also like to receive the Holy Father in Portugal for the event. If this were the case, the ideal date would be October 13 of this year. This is virtually impossible, given that the Synod for Europe is scheduled for that time. The priest recalled John Paul II's interest in this cause and revealed that on one occasion the Pope asked Sr. Lucia, the surviving visionary, to pray for him "so that he would be the Pope who would beatify the little shepherds."

    Message for Our Time

          Quite apart from the date and place, Jacinta's and Francisco's beatification will contribute to give impetus to the message of Our Lady's apparitions. "The pictures of the little shepherds will appear in churches, Masses will be celebrated in their honor, and the voice of the Church will be heard speaking about these servants of God," Fr. Kondor said.

          The two little shepherds have much to say to the world. According to the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, "the official recognition of the great event experienced by these pre-adolescents could give points of reference to people today, who are disenchanted because of the lack of values and certainties."

          This appreciation that is shared by Fr. Kondor, who said that these youngsters highlight for modern man Jesus' words: "Unless you become like little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

          The vice-postulator took a document signed by John Paul II to Portugal which reads: "A blessing on all those who in these more than forty years have prayed and sacrificed so that this process would come to a happy end." ZE99062401

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 25-27, 1999       volume 10, no. 123


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