Pope Francis makes saints of three shepherd children

Pope Francis has prayed at the tombs of two of the Portuguese shepherd children who will be made saints this weekend ahead of the Canonisation Mass.

He prayed silently in the basilica overlooking the shrine’s square where a huge crowd has gathered.

Outside, huge banners showing images of siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto are draped on the sides of the basilica.

Francis is canonising the children, who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in visions 100 years ago, at a Mass in Fatima on Saturday morning. The pair died in 1919.

See photos below:

Pope Francis prays on the grave of Francisco Marto and Jacinta, two of the three shepherd children

 

Pope Francis prays on the grave of Francisco Marto and Jacinta, two of the three shepherd children

Pope Francis leads the Holy Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The canonisation of the three children is the main event of the weekend

Pope Francis leads the Holy Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The canonisation of the three children is the main event of the weekend

The children being canonised, brother and sister Francisco (centre) and Jacinta Marto (right), who were nine and seven at the time of the apparitions, died of influenza two years later. Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos (left), at 10 the ringleader of the group and who became the main raconteur of their tale, is on track for beatification, the first step towards becoming a saint

The children being canonised, brother and sister Francisco (centre) and Jacinta Marto (right), who were nine and seven at the time of the apparitions, died of influenza two years later. Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos (left), at 10 the ringleader of the group and who became the main raconteur of their tale, is on track for beatification, the first step towards becoming a saint.

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