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An Exalting Call to Holiness


Francisco:
Consoler of the Hearts
of Jesus and Mary

By Frére François de Marie des Anges


Since May 13 and the first "vision in God" with which Our Lady had favored Her three privileged ones, Francisco, who had a contemplative soul and tender heart, remained occupied by one single thought, dominated by one single sentiment: The Virgin Mary and God Himself are infinitely sad, it is up to us to console them!

In that agony, as at Gethsemane, Jesus searches for comforters: "And I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort Me, and I found none ..."

It is still the same complaint and the same appeal as at Paray-le-Monial where Jesus made Saint Margaret-Mary understand by showing her His Heart surrounded by thorns.

The life of little Francisco was profoundly impressed by that astounding revelation, that unveiling of the Heart of God, of that sadness which is the supreme, indisputable sign of His love for us. And this is the great message which Francisco bequeaths to us.

What impressed Francisco during the apparitions, "was God, the Most Blessed Trinity, in that immense light which penetrated us in the depths of our soul." Then, he said: “We were burning in that light which is God and we were not consumed. What is God? We could never put it into words! Yes, truly, no one will ever be able to express it! What a pity it is that He is so sad! If only I could console Him!"

On August 19, then again on October 13, the Most Holy Virgin also showed Herself very much afflicted and, in that contemplation, Francisco found his own vocation, the goal of his whole life: to console God and to console Our Lady.

Upon recollecting his sins for Confession, before his First Communion, Francisco was full of remorse, "Perhaps it is because of those sins I have committed that Our Lord is so sad! But even if I were not dying, never more would I begin again to commit them. Now I am sorry for them." And joining his hands, he then said the prayer: "O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need”. "That evening, he was radiant with joy: he had gone to confession and the Parish Priest had promised to bring him Holy Communion the next day."

He rejoiced. For the first time since his miraculous Communion at the Cabeço, he was going to receive his "hidden Jesus", at Whose feet he had spent so many silent hours. Given his sickness, he could have been dispensed from fasting. But no! He wanted to offer that ultimate in sacrifice. "He obtained the promise from his mother that she would not give him any thing after midnight, so that he could receive Communion fasting, like everyone else."

After receiving First Communion, Francisco was ecstatic. He told Lucy and Jacinta: "Today I am happier than you, because I have the hidden Jesus in my heart. I am going to Heaven, and there I am going to pray a great deal to Our Lord and Our Lady that they will very quickly take both of you also."

On First Friday, April 4, 1919, when night had fallen completely, Francisco called his mother, and asked her: "Oh! Mama, see! What a beautiful light, there, near the door!" And then: "Now, I no longer see it ..." Towards 10 o’clock in the evening, his face shone with an angelic smile and, without any sign of suffering, without agony, without groans, he died calmly. He flew away to Heaven in the arms of our Heavenly Mother.

Francisco was 10 years old when he died, just a year and a half after the last apparition at the Cova da Iria. But, showered with graces at each one of the apparitions of Our Lady, sanctified by the numberless rosaries that he had recited, by his solitary prayers in the country and the long hours spent near the Tabernacle, all absorbed in consoling the hidden Jesus, purified finally by the sufferings of his illness, he was already pre pared for Heaven and the Virgin Mary was able to come to get him.

We cannot prevent ourselves from thinking that in thus granting the grace of such a precocious sanctity to Francisco of Fatima, the Most Holy Virgin wants us to know that She is indeed the Mediatrix of all Graces.

Taken from Fatima: Mary’s Immaculate Heart and Your Salvation

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