VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is making five more child saints: two Portuguese shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in Fatima 100 years ago and three Mexican adolescents who were killed for their faith in the 16th century.
Francis signed the canonization decrees Thursday.
In the case of the Mexicans, Francis declared the three Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala worthy of sainthood without having a miracle attributed to their intercession, once again sidestepping the typical saint-making process. The boys, Cristobal, Antonio and Juan, were converted to Catholicism by missionaries in the early 1500s.
Francis followed the rules in approving a miracle for Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the Fatima siblings, just two months before he is to travel to the Fatima shrine to mark the centennial anniversary of their apparitions.