of the
Good Shepherd
Centenary of St Francisco Marto of Fatima 4th April 2019

On 4th April we had a wonderful celebration here at the Church of The Good Shepherd for the centenary of the holy death of St Francisco Marto, one of the little shepherds of Fatima. Francisco and his sister Jacinta are the Catholic Church's youngest saints who did not die as martyrs.

When he was only 8 years old, with his sister Jacinta, he started to shepherd the flock of his parents in Cova de Iria, a place where, with his cousin Lucia, they were the witnesses of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. Francisco's intimate desire was to console the heart of Jesus, who was so sad and grief stricken because of the sins of mankind. Francisco's way of doing this was to spend hours in prayer in front of the tabernacle of the parish church of Fatima in order to bring joy and solace to the neglected heart of Jesus.

Francisco's role in the Fatima story is mostly hidden. He never heard the beautiful. voice of Our Lady as he could only see her, but relied on Jacinta and Lucia to tell him what she said. Still, he never ceased being amazed by what Mary showed them in the light that emanated from her hands - heaven and the unfathomable experience of God. That was enough for him and he was no less faithful and generous in his prayer, especially before the "Hidden Jesus" in the tabernacle.

So our celebration centred around little Francisco's example to adore the heart of Jesus ever present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. We wanted to comply with Our Lady of Fatima's request to pray for peace and the conversion of sinners and to make reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. We adored, we sang praises, we said the Holy Rosary and the evening ended with Benediction. Many people attended if only for a short while and parents and grandparents brought their children to pay a visit and to show them where the "Hidden Jesus" lives in the tabernacle.

February 2020 will mark the centenary of the death of St Jacinta Marto of Fatima.

Jacinta was just 7 at the time of the Apparitions.

St. Jacinta had a very special relationship with the Blessed Mother and carried out her deep devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart by offering up her suffering in reparation for the sins of mankind. After the apparitions and especially during her long bout of illness, Our Lady visited Jacinta on numerous occasions, especially when she was sick in the hospital. In fact, Jacinta had a chair next to her bed that she did not want removed because that was where the Blessed Mother sat when she visited her.

Please join us again to commemorate and celebrate the wonderful life and example of this little saint. We will advertise the event both on the website and in the parish newsletter with the first hour of the Adoration Service being especially appropriate for children. Please come if you can and show your children how they can become

"little shepherds of Fatima"

"Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us"
3 Thackeray's Lane, Woodthorpe, Nottingham, NG5 4HT. Tel: (0115) 926 8288