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Jacinta: a heart turned compassion


The central attitude in Jacinta is compassion. In her we recognise a heart with depth and passion, utterly committed to the mission entrusted to her by Heaven. These are her words: “ If I could put in everyone’s heart the fire I have within my heart, burning me and making me love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so much!”(MIL 130)


In Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s words we understand how the love for Our Lady configured Jacinta’s life: “to have devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is to draw closer to this attitude of the heart, in which the fiat – let your will be done – becomes the defining centre of one’s whole life.” In fact the little shepherd Jacinta learnt with Mary in the school of Her Immaculate Heart to make God’s will the centre of her whole life: she learnt with Her to “do like Our Lord”(MIL 44).


This desire to configure her existence with the Heart of Jesus, made Jacinta want to follow Him, taking the same path as the Master. The Lord did not run from the agony in Gethsemane, nor from the loneliness and abandonment of the Cross. And little Jacinta did not reject loneliness in her illness, the spiritual dryness of having had Eucharistic communion denied, which would have been the last possible consolation before her death, did not escape from the open wound on her chest, as the pierced Heart of Jesus whom she so tenderly loved. And she lived through all this with serene joy and loving surrender, as is witnessed by those who were questioned for he canonical process.


Little Jacinta “who so loved to think” (MIL 61), meditating and keeping everything in her heart, (like the Lady who has become her “teacher in the school of holiness” [John Paul II] had done, “the one who introduced her to the intimate knowledge of the Trinitarian Love”[Benedict  XVI]), learns how to have a universal heart.  While she was in prison, when Lucia asks her to choose an intention for which to offer her sacrifices, for the poor, for the Holy Father, or in reparation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jacinta without hesitation replies: “I will offer for them all, because I like them all so much.” (MIL 53)


  She developed a profound sense of compassion for all forms of human suffering as she understood them in the intense light of God and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She was insatiable in this thirst for prayer and to offer sacrifices for sinners. Her soul brunt with “zeal” for the salvation of humanity, which she took upon herself. To listen to Jacinta, in her countless expressions of compassion for all types of suffering and misery, makes our gratitude to the Father grow, for He hid these truths from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to children. (Cf. Mt 11:25)