A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

Fatima Pair Closer to Possible Canonization

FATIMA, Portugal, 22 FEB. 2005 (ZENIT)

The bishop of Leiria-Fatima announced the conclusion of the diocesan process for the canonization of the shepherds Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who saw the apparitions of Our Lady in 1917.

The third visionary of Fatima, Sister Lucia, died Feb. 13 at age 97.

Jacinta and Francisco were beatified May 13, 2000, the day of the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions.

"I can affirm that on February 19 the so-called 'positio' was handed in for the canonization of Jacinta and Francisco Marto," said Bishop Serafim Ferreira e Silva announced Sunday during a liturgical celebration of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, in the Fatima Shrine, according to the agency Ecclesia.

At the end of the celebration, Bishop Ferreira e Silva explained that the closing of the "position" means "that the documentary process is complete, translated into Italian, definitively closed and handed to His Eminence the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes.

"From now on, it will be subjected to the judgment of cardinals and doctors. The final judgment is the Pope's decision."
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