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Father Anthony Ho

Francisco flew to Heaven

Voices Sep 5, 2017

Portrait of Francisco Marto circa 1917.

After the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, people from afar would come to visit the three children who saw Our Lady. Sometimes they would say to Lucia, "We just came from talking with Jacinta and Francisco; close to them we feel a kind of supernatural atmosphere we do not know how to explain."

Jacinta had a seriousness beyond her age. Other children, though they enjoyed her company, felt themselves restrained by a certain shyness or respect that kept them at a distance. They would only to go Jacinta's room when accompanied by Lucia, or when invited by either Jacinta herself or by her mother.

Francisco was different. He was more easy-going. During his sickness, other children would go in and out of his room with the greatest liberty. One lady said, "It seems that we feel the same going to Francisco's room as when going to church."

One morning, Francisco's sister Teresa came to Lucia and said, "Come quickly! Francisco is very sick and said he wants to tell you something."  When Lucia arrived, Francisco asked his mother and brothers to leave the room because he wanted to tell Lucia some secret. He said to Lucia, "The secret is that I am going to confess so that I may receive Holy Communion and then die. I want you to tell me if you have seen me commit any sins and go and ask Jacinta if she has seen me commit any."

Lucia said, "Sometimes you disobeyed your mother when she told you to stay home and you escaped to be with me and to hide yourself." Francisco said, "This is true. I did. Now go and ask Jacinta if she remembers anything else."

After thinking for a while, Jacinta said, "Tell him that before our Lady appeared to us, he stole a coin from his father to buy the mouth organ of Jose Marto from Casa Velha, and that when the boys of Aljustrel threw stones at those of Boleiros, he also threw some."

When Lucia told Francisco what his sister had answered, he said, "I have already confessed those. But I will confess them again. Perhaps it is because of these sins I committed that our Lord is so sad. But even if I don't die, I will never do them again. Now I am sorry." Then, putting his hands together, he prayed: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy!"

When Lucia saw Francisco in the evening, he was radiant with joy. He had made his confession and the priest had promised to bring him Holy Communion the next day.

After receiving Holy Communion the following day, he said to his sister, "Today I am happier than you for I have within my breast the Hidden Jesus. I am going to heaven, but there I will pray a great deal to our Lord and our Lady that they may take you there soon."

Francisco was too sick to pray the Rosary, so he asked Lucia and Jacinta to pray it for him. Later that night, Lucia said, "Goodbye, Francisco. If you go to heaven tonight, don't forget me there, do you hear?" Francisco said, "I won't forget you, no. Don't worry!" He seized Lucia's right hand and pressed it hard for a long time, looking at her with tears in his eyes. Lucia, also with tears running down her face, asked, "Do you want anything else?" He said, "no".

As the scene was becoming too touching, Francisco's mom asked Lucia to go out of his room. Lucia said, "Goodbye, Francisco, 'til heaven! Goodbye 'til heaven!" Francisco died the following day on Friday, April 4, 1919.


方濟升天堂

 自聖母於1917年在葡萄牙花地瑪顯現後,到來探訪三位目睹聖母顯現的小孩,絡驛不絕。有些人對其中一位小孩、路濟亞說:「我們剛和方濟及雅先達交談過;和他們接近時,感到一陣莫明的超然氣氛。」 

雅先達表現那份認真,超出與她同齡的孩子。雖然孩子們喜歡和她作伴,卻似乎對她有份羞敬之心,不其然保持了一些距離;他們會在在路濟亞陪同下、或受到雅先達或其母親邀請,才敢進入雅先達的房間。

 方濟則不一樣,表現隨和。他生病時,孩子們無拘謹地自由進出他的房間。一位女士說:「我們進入方濟的房間時,感到好像進入聖堂一樣。」

 一天,方濟的姐姐德蘭向路濟亞說:「快來!方濟病況嚴重,他想和你談話!」到了方濟的房間,他要求和路濟亞單獨談話。他對路濟亞說:「我要在死前悔罪、領聖體。你可以告訴我曾犯過的錯嗎?也問雅先達看到我犯過的錯嗎?」

 路濟亞回答說:「你有時不聽從母親,不願留在家裡,要躲到我處來。」方濟說:「不錯,我曾這樣。你替我問問雅先達,她可會記起我曾犯的錯?」

 想了有一想,雅先達回答路濟亞,說:「告訴方濟,聖母給我們顯現之前,他曾偷取了父親一個銀幣,到加薩韋歷為若瑟.馬圖購買口風琴。有一次,肴努斯特男孩向寶里特男孩投石塊時,他也參與。」

 路濟亞如實向方濟轉述雅先達的說話,方濟說:「那些我已辦了告解,但我願意再告明那些罪,可能因為我曾因此而令耶穌如此傷心。即使我不用死,我亦不會再犯。我現在很後悔。」然後他合手在胸前,唸道:「吾主耶穌,請寬恕我們的罪過,助我們免地獄永火;求祢把眾人的靈魂,特別是那些需要祢憐憫的靈魂,領到天國裡去!」

 黃昏時,路濟亞看到方濟充滿著喜悅的光輝。他向神父辦了告解,而神父答應他在次日給他送上聖體。

 次日,方濟領過聖體後,對他的妹妹說:「今天,我比你快樂,因為我心胸內有隱藏著耶穌。我快要到天堂了,但在那裡我會向吾主和聖母多祈求,請他們帶你早登天國。」

 方濟病況越趨嚴重,沒氣力誦唸玫瑰經,他請路濟亞和雅先達替他唸。當晚,路濟亞說:「再見,方濟?。如果你今天晚上要到天堂的話,別把我忘記。聽到嗎?」方濟說:「別擔心,我不會忘記你!」他緊握著路濟亞的右手一段長時間,帶著眼淚望著她。路濟亞帶著眼淚問:「你還有其它需要嗎?」方濟簡單答說:「沒有。」

 氣氛太哀傷了,方濟母親要路濟亞離開房間;路濟亞回頭向方濟道別:「告別啦!方濟!天堂上再見!告別啦!天堂上再見!」翌日,1919年4月4日、星期五,方濟病逝。