Those who had wondered what miracle prompted the canonisations last weekend of Ss Jacinta and Francisco had their questions answered ahead of Pope Francis’ arrival in Fatima.
Speaking at a press conference at the shrine, the Brazilian parents João Batista and his wife Lucila Yurie described the miraculous healing of their son after a terrible accident.
“On March 3, 2013, before 8pm, our son Lucas, who was playing with his little sister Eduarda, fell out of a window from a height of 20 feet (6.1 metres). He was five years old,” João said, continuing, “his head hit the ground and he sustained a very serious injury, which caused a loss of brain tissue.”
He related how Lucas was given medical care in the family’s own city, Juranda, before being transferred to the hospital in Campo Mourao, Parana, because his injuries were so severe. “When we got there, Lucas was in a deep coma,” he said. “His heart stopped twice, and they performed an emergency operation.”
It was then, the couple said, that they “began to pray to Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima, to whom we have a great devotion”, he said, explaining that the following day they called the Carmelite convent of Campo Mouro to ask the sisters to pray for Lucas, but said the sisters did not receive the message as they were observing a period of silence.
With Lucas’ condition worsening, the doctors told them that his chances of survival were low, and that any recovery he might make would be very slow, and would probably leave him with “severe cognitive disabilities or even in a vegetative state”.
Lucas’ parents called the convent again on March 7, with the sisters this time receiving the request. “One of them ran to the relics of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, which were next to the tabernacle, and felt the impulse to pray the following prayer: ‘Shepherds, save this child, who is a child like you’,” Joao said, explaining that she also persuaded the other sisters to pray for the intercession of the “little shepherds”.
“In the same way,” João continued, “all of us, the family, began to pray to the little shepherds, and two days later, on March 9, Lucas woke up and began to speak, even asking for his little sister.”
Lucas was discharged from the hospital a few days later, and has been completely well ever since, without any symptoms or after-effects.
“The doctors, some of them non-believers, said that his recovery had no explanation,” said João, thanking the doctors for their care, and also Sr Angela Coelho, the postulator of the children’s canonisation cause, but above all thanking God.
“We thank God for the cure of Lucas and we know with all the faith we have in our hearts, that this miracle was obtained through the intercession of the little shepherds Francisco and Jacinta,” he said, “we feel a great joy because this is the miracle that leads to their canonisation, but especially we feel the blessing of the friendship of these two children who helped our child and who now help our family.”