Ordinary Time: February 20th
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time; Sts. Francisco & Jacinta Marto (Portugal)
Old Calendar: St. Eucherius, bishop (Hist)
Franciso and Jacinta Marto were officially declared saints of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis on May 13, 2017, in Fatima, Portugal. The brother and sister who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lucia Santo in the fields of Fatima, witnessed the apparitions of Mary, now commonly known as Our Lady of Fatima. Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta May 13, 2000, on the 83rd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. Both under 12 years old, they were the youngest non-martyrs to be beatified in the history of the Church.Historically today is the feast of St. Eucherius, Benedictine bishop of Orleans, France, exiled for opposing Charles Martel, the famous and powerful Mayor of the Palace.
Sts. Francisco & Jacinta Marto
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three children, Portuguese shepherds from Aljustrel, received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. At that time, Europe was involved in an extremely bloody war. Portugal itself was in political turmoil, having overthrown its monarchy in 1910; the government disbanded religious organizations soon after.
This Saint was born at Orleans, of a very illustrious family. At his birth his parents dedicated him to God, and set him to study when he was but seven years old, resolving to omit nothing that could be done toward cultivating his mind or forming his heart His improvement in virtue kept pace with his progress in learning: he meditated assiduously on the sacred writings, especially on St. Paul's manner of speaking on the world and its enjoyments as mere empty shadows that deceive us and vanish away. These reflections at length sank so deep into his mind that he resolved to quit the world. To put this design in execution, about the year 714 he retired to the abbey of Jumiége in Normandy, where he spent six or seven years in the practice of penitential austerities and obedience.
At Rome, the Station is in the church of St. Anastasia, where, formerly, the Mass of the Aurora on Christmas Day was celebrated. The first church was built in the late 3rd or early 4th century, and was one of the first parish churches of ancient Rome. It was given by a woman called Anastasia and called titulus Anastasiae after her. Later, it was dedicated to a martyr of the same name.