The official portraits of the new saints Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto will remain on the façade of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima until October, as was announced by the Rector of the Shrine on the disclosure of the icons of the two seers.
Underlining the importance of the “happy event” of the canonization, Father Carlos Cabecinhas said that the paintings “will remain there for a while”, and referred later to the end of October.
The chosen images are not exactly the same as the one used for the beatification in 2000; he further explained that, in the context of the canonization of the two seers, it was important that the official portraits should be able to convey the special kind of relation Francisco and Jacinta had to God: “it is of a devotional nature”, he said.
The choice of the dimensions and of the place where they will be suspended, on the façade of the Basilica, is intended to make them visible from any place within the Shrine.
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Sister Angela Coelho, Postulator for the Cause of Canonization of Francisco and Jacinta, underlined that it was also intended that the two official images should not be too different from the images that people are used to be identifying as being those of the two Little Shepherds.
Regarding the representation of the two lamps on the images, she also explained that the shape of their lights were chosen according to their similarities with each of the seers: “Jacinta used to prefer Our Lady’s “light”, the moon; while Francisco showed a specific predilection for Our Lord’s “light”, the sun”.
The painter of the images, Sílvia Patrício, underlined the “huge responsibility” that the offer of the Postulation represented, and added that her main objective was to succeed in conveying what was, for her, the characteristics of the life “far from being easy” of the two children: the suffering and the believing in a cause.
She wanted their gaze to communicate something and to transmit what they were feeling. And that people watching the images should feel something, she stated.
Francisco and Jacinta will be canonized by Pope Francis during the Eucharist on May 13, on the occasion of the first Anniversary International Pilgrimage of the Centennial of the Apparitions.