During the apparitions witnessed by little Francisco he only saw the Angel and Our Lady, unable to hear what they said. But this was enough to develop his vocation and his specific role within the set of apparitions.  

With his eyes focussed only on the light that he was able to see, he lived marvelled at the beauty of God and the Lady. Subsequently, helped by his sister and cousin’s explanations of the words of the Angel and Our Lady, he then pierces the experience of the Mystery of God: “we were burning in that light which is God, yet we were not consumed. What is God like!!! It is impossible to say! That, we can never say”(MIL 145).

And even though he might never have found the right words to say to God, he was perhaps the one who better understood and penetrated His mystery. In fact, Francisco allowed himself to be so intensely invaded by God, that immersing in the Divine presence in adoration, he found in God the beauty and the purpose of his life, he learnt perfect worship. (Cf. Mt 21:16)

From his own experience of the compassionate love of God for all human beings and conscious that humanity so often chooses to wander from God, an intense feeling to correspond to this divine love grows in Francisco, consoling the One he called the Hidden Jesus. The witness we have that all he  “wanted (was) to console Him” (MIL 145) reveals to us a child of intense contemplative prayer, whose only concern was to intimately live a relation of friendship with God.

  This friendship is nurtured by the silence of the Aire Mountains, leading Francisco to “think of God”, “how beautiful He was” and “how sad He was”, and how he longed to give Him joy; it is nurtured by the endless hours in Eucharistic adoration in a corner of the parish church, before the Blessed Sacrament, learning from Jesus the way to live life as gift; it is renewed in the rosary prayer, so many that he prayed, taking comfort in the arms of his Mother, allowing himself to be transformed by Her heart centred in the Son, Jesus. In the simplicity of this silent surrender we narrate the story of the contemplative loving gaze of Francisco, and the touch with which the mystery of God converts his life into light for others.

About Francisco

June 11th

He is born in Aljustrel, parish of Fatima, the next to last of the seven children of Manuel Pedro Marto and Olímpia de Jesus.

June 20th

He is baptized under the name of Francisco in the parish Church of Fatima.

When he turns 8, he starts shepherding his parents’ flock.

1st apparition of the Angel in Loca do Cabeço.


2nd apparition of the Angel in Arneiro.


3rd apparition of the Angel in Loca do Cabeço

May, June and July 13th

1st, 2nd and 3rd apparitions of Our Lady in Cova da Iria.

August 13th

He is taken to Vila Nova de Ourém.

August 15th

He is brought back to Aljustrel.

August 19th

4th apparition of Our Lady in Valinhos.

September and October 13th

5th and 6th apparitions of Our Lady.

October 18th

He falls sick with the Spanish flu epidemic.

March 19th

The health condition becomes worse.

April 2nd

He receives the sacrament of Reconciliation from Father Moreira.

April 3rd

He receives the Viaticum.

April 4rd

He dies peacefuly at 22:00.

April 5rd

He is buried in the cemetery of Fatima.

March 29th

The most reverend José Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria, received the authorization from the Sacred Congregation of Rites, to organise the Diocesan Process on the fame of holiness, virtues and miracles of Francisco.

February 17th

Identification of the remains of Francisco.

March 13th

Translation of his remains to the Shrine of Fatima.

April 30th

Beginning of the Diocesan Informative Process (63 sessions and 25 witnesses).

August 3rd

Closing of the process.

December 20th

Opening of the process in Rome.

May 13th

John Paul II proclaimed the heroism of the virtues of Francisco (decree of the virtues) granting him the title of venerable.

June 26th

Presentation of the process on the healing of Emília Santos in Rome.

June 28th

Decree on the healing miracle of Emília Santos.

May 13th

Beatification, in Fatima, by Pope John Paul II.

March 23rd

23 de Março de 2017 - Aprovado o milagre de Lucas Maeda de Oliveira, que conduziu à Canonização.

Canonização, em Fátima, no Centenário das Aparições de Nossa Senhora pelo Papa Francisco.