“He knew exactly what his destiny was.” (Olimpia Marto)
Francisco’s vocation was he was to make a total oblation of his young life in reparation for sins, and to console the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
“You will get well, Francisco, you’ll be a robust man!” his father would say to him. … But the child would repeat, with assurance and serenity: “Before long Our Lady will come to take me.” His father would try furtively, to wipe away the tears from his eyes with the back of his calloused hands; those same eyes which were fatigued from so many sleepless nights. “Lights from on high!” he murmured.”
“If Our Lady heals you”, said his godmother Teresa, “I promise to offer Her your weight in wheat!” Francisco answered with a gentle smile. “Our Lady will not grant you this grace.”
Francisco was certain of going to Heaven soon, and being reunited with Our Lord and Our Lady. No doubt this filled our little seer with an immense supernatural joy. But we should not be mistaken: this joy was not always a palpable one, and the wonderful promise of Our Lady demanded on his part an act of heroic love, an act which is so contrary to nature, and consists in making the sacrifice of our own life. If there were moments of luminous joy and luminous hope, there were other moments when all feelings of joy disappeared: at those times he saw nothing but the sacrifices he had to accept to fulfill God’s designs.
Here is one such moving incident, which Ti Marto told Father de Marchi:
“I remember once that he went out and fetched a small basket of olives and then sat on a bench and began to cut them. “Francisco”, I said, “how nice to see you work; do you feel better?” But he said nothing, looking a little sad. He clearly foresaw that, despite everything, he was going to die… “ He knew exactly what his destiny was”, Olimpia added.
Consoler of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
The constant thought and ideal of Francisco was always the same. He wanted to offer all his prayers and sufferings to console Our Lord and Our Lady. Lúcia tells us,
“When Jacinta and I went into (Francisco’s) room one day, he said to us: “Don’t talk much today, as my head aches so badly.” “Don’t forget to make the offering for sinners”, Jacinta reminded him. “Yes. But first I make it to console Our Lord and Our Lady, and then, afterwards, for sinners and for the Holy Father.” He was quite conscious of the fact that his special role was that of consoler of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This was to be his vocation here below and in eternity. For if he desired to go to Heaven, it was to be able to console Them that much better.
Francisco, who had a contemplative soul, was fascinated above all by the sadness of Jesus and Mary and to have compassion on Their pain, to console Them by his loving prayer. Jacinta also had a tender and affectionate heart, but seized with fright at the sight of so many souls falling into the fire of hell, she wished to make reparation in every possible way for their crimes, and obtain the grace of their conversion from the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Mercy in Suffering
So often today, even Catholics cannot quite grasp the significance of these children’s lives. It seems to them contradictory to assert a merciful design to suffering. This is because we have all to some extent been compromised by the spirit of the world (which belongs wholly to satan at the moment) which convinces us that anything that does not feel good, taste good or appeal to our senses cannot be good. To them, suffering is to be avoided at all costs. And yet Francisco and Jacinta embraced their crosses with fervor and total dedication. How can one explain this to today’s Catholics?
We must get past our distaste for the unpleasant truth because, in this time we are faced with a situation similar to that of the earliest disciples of Christ: they embraced the tortures, humiliations deprivations and brutal deaths because they knew the only way to Christ was through Golgotha. As then, so now, the faith is renewed only by suffering,
By our sufferings, we prove our love for Our Lord.
“Under the pressure of pain, I prove my love by test divine” sang St. Therese. By accepting the suffering offered us, we demonstrate with our actions and the resolve of our will that we are faithful, through all the suffering, loss and pain, faithful unto the end. We understand that we cannot endure these trials on our own, but only through His grace, and so these trials become a very fruitful exercise whereby we learn to live only in His light, in His sanctifying grace. Only in Him! Enduring our suffering for love of Him proves to us that on our own we are nothing, but in Him we live free and soar so high! As St. John of the Cross expressed so beautifully.
The sufferings we accept from the hands of Our Savior also confirm us in His Love. They have an essential role in detaching us from the things of this world and in focusing our aim higher than this passing, earthly life. Life and pain are short, eternity awaits us!
And one of the best reasons is the salvation of souls! Jacinta, more than Francisco understood this. By ransoming souls, she was giving the greatest possible comfort to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to His Immaculate Mother. As the Angel assured them:
Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon (your Church). I am its Angel Guardian … Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.
Thus, we see the designs of mercy, and we know a bit clearer our own portion in this. As we pray Our Mother’s Rosary, we ask her help in this great task before us. There are souls to be saved and heaven awaits!
Please pray the Rosary, for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!
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