By Junno Arocho Esteves | Catholic News Service | twitter:@arochoju
VATICAN CITY — As extraordinary as the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, nearly 100 years ago were, the sanctity of the shepherd children did not hinge on their having seen Mary, a cardinal said.
"The apparition of the Virgin Mary was an occasion, but it has nothing to do with or has not influenced the reason" Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto will be declared saints, Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, former prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, told Catholic News Service.
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary to three young children at Fatima, Portugal. While 100 years is a long time, the significance of an event shouldn't be judged solely on the time since it occurred. Indeed, the core message of Our Lady of Fatima is still fresh and relevant today.