Three small and humble shepherds lived and witnessed the apparitions of the Angel of Portugal and of Our Lady in the Cova da Iria, Fatima, in 1916 and 1917. Lucia de Jesus, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto became known worldwide as the "Three Shepherds" or the "Seers of Fatima”.
LÚCIA She was born on March 28, 1907, in Aljustrel, parish of Fatima, and was baptized on the 30th in the Fatima parish church. Of the three children, Lucia was the only one who was able to speak to Our Lady, Jacinta could see and hear Our Lady while Francisco could only see Her. Lucia was therefore the great protagonist of the Apparitions of 1917. Lucia received the mission of spreading the Message of Fatima and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She left several records describing the Apparitions of 1917, printed as "Memories" and divided into six parts, written at the request of the Bishop of Leiria, Dom José Alves Correia da Silva. Written between December 1935 and March 1992, these memories include the account of the Apparitions of the Angel of Portugal and of Our Lady (part 2 and 4), the recollections of Jacinta (part 1), of Francisco (Part 4), of her father (part 5) and of her mother (part 6). Living a cloistered life in the Carmelite Convent of Saint Teresa in Coimbra since 1946, Sister Lucia dies on February 13, 2005 at the age of 98. She was buried in the Carmel of St. Teresa but her remains were transferred, one year after her death, to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.
SAINTS FRANCISCO AND JACINTA The two siblings had a short life: they were born in the village of Aljustrel in Fatima, Francisco on June 11, 1908 and Jacinta, two years later, on March 11. The little visionaries died shortly after the Apparitions; Francisco in 1918 and Jacinta in 1920, both victims of the Spanish Flu. In the apparition of June 13, 1917, Our Lady had warned the little seers that she would soon take them to heaven. Nevertheless, both of them fulfilled their mission here on earth: Francisco, ledby the intimate desire to comfort the heart of Jesus, lived a life of contemplative prayer intensely. He would spend successive hours praying in front of the tabernacle in the Fatima Parish Church. Jacinta's preoccupation with the suffering of sinners (which she perceived in the vision of Hell during the Apparition of July 13, 1917) filled her heart with compassion and increased her devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The youngest of the three little shepherds prayed intensely and endured various sacrifices for sinners. Franciso and his sister Jacinta were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and canonized by Pope Francis on the May 13 2017 at the Sanctuary of Fatima.