by Barb Ernster –
Everybody has some sort of issue in his or her family. Parents never stop worrying about their kids for issues big and small. We all have family members and friends that we are praying back to Christ. The Fatima seers will not disappoint in their heavenly help.
All three of the children possessed a special charism and an intense love for souls that displayed in various ways.
St. Francisco was the peacemaker who walked away from disputes with a shrug of his shoulders. A compassionate child, he had concern for all God’s creatures, especially the birds. He once paid a neighbor to release a bird he had captured so it wouldn’t be harmed.
Once when a woman approached him to pray for a family issue, Francisco, shunning any notion that he was the “miracle worker,” knelt down before her, pulled out his rosary and asked her to pray with him. The woman left with renewed strength and peace.
He possessed heroic humility and complete trust in God to resolve all issues. This made Francisco a powerful intercessor, and people turned to him often. And he promised his prayers from heaven as well.
When a distraught mother approached him asking him to pray for a reconciliation between her husband and son, he said he would ask God when he got to heaven. The day he died, the mother’s son returned home and reconciled with his father.
During a particularly trying day with my persistent teenage son, I turned to Francisco, challenging him that if he could help the mother on the very day he died, he could help me now. The situation was resolved peacefully within minutes, and my son was the one who realized the foolishness of his whims and changed his mind. St. Francisco is my go-to intercessor for him to this day.
His devotion to the Eucharist is a model for all of us to bring our petitions before the Lord, and then trust.
The fire in Jacinta’s heart
St. Jacinta was a firebrand as a child, and became a child on fire with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She famously said, “If I could only put into the hearts of all, the fire that is burning within my own heart, and that makes me love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so much!”
Her devotion rose up from within and spilled out in a constant prayer to the Immaculate Heart to “be my salvation.” Jacinta had great concern for the souls of those who were lost and in need of salvation. She would imitate Christ by carrying the little lambs on her shoulders as they made their way back from the grazing fields under the hot sun. She often grieved over the horrors of Jesus’ passion and wanted to take his pains away.
She’s my go-to for the stubborn hearts that do not want to turn to Christ and let Him carry them safely to the Father’s home. It is said that because of her total embrace of extended suffering at the end of her life at Mary’s request that she helped save 50,000 souls (per Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR). Her “little lamb” soul contained the fire of love from the Sacred Heart, a fire that she felt within her, but it did not burn.
Surely, her intercession from heaven can help convert the most hardened hearts within our families.
Lucia the evangelizer
Servant of God Sister Lucia never recoiled from an opportunity to evangelize the truth of the Gospels and help people repent and return to God. She was not afraid to point out their errors, but accompanied them as they made their way back. A communist doctor who served the sisters, particularly enjoyed any opportunity to talk with Sister Lucia and promised to contemplate her ideas. Later, when he was sentenced to be executed, he wrote to her to intercede for him before the justices. She sent him a crucifix and assured him of her prayers and had the consolation of knowing that he turned to God and helped his comrades do the same before they were killed.
To another communist who served as a civil authority, she gently pointed out the errors of his thinking, challenging him to give up his own comfortable lifestyle, which seemed to conflict with his communist ideology. The man was struck by the conflict of this and became a Catholic, along with his family. He became devoted to her and helped the sisters on many occasions to navigate the challenging civil restrictions.
Sister Lucia loved teaching children their catechism because they were so receptive. She helped many less receptive adults living in sinful situations or following a wrong path, to return to the right way. This included married people, priests, civil authorities, believers and unbelievers.
Never ashamed of the Gospel, she offered prayers and sacrifices for them and gave them over to the Lord to convert.
Sister Lucia is my go-to for the times when I must let go and be at peace that God will take my prayers, sacrifices and efforts at evangelizing and produce the fruits.
Do not be afraid to turn to these faithful souls for help. St. Francisco, St. Jacinta and Servant of God Lucia, pray for us!
Barb Ernster is the Communications Manager/Editor for the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA