Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
The sound of Alleluias fills the 50 days of Easter Sunday to Pentecost as we give thanks for the gift of our salvation. The Easter Triduum recalls the passion and resurrection of Christ in the sacred journey from Holy Thursday to Easter Vigil. "Dying he destroyed our death. Rising he restored our life."
Francisco and Jacinta, Children
One has a tendency to think that, short of martyrdom, saints lived relatively long lives devoted to prayer and good works. Francisco and Jacinta Marto, ages 11 and 10 at their deaths, demonstrate to us that even young children ─ maybe especially young children ─ are very close to God and can also become saints. These children lived in a small village near Fatima, Portugal. Like other children, they were sent out into the fields to shepherd the flocks. Beginning on May 13, 1917, the children were visited several times by the Blessed Virgin Mary near Fatima. During these visits, Our Lady also exhorted them to pray for sinners and revealed three “secrets” to them. Today, Fatima is a holy shrine visited by many pilgrims.
We are all “our brother’s keepers” and our prayers and sacrifices are vital to the salvation of souls. In a world that seems to move further away from God with each passing year, we must redouble our efforts to bring about the conversion of sinners.