During the first apparition on May 13, 1917, Lucia asked Our Lady if Francisco would go to heaven. Our Lady responded, “He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.” From that time onward, Francisco was known for his perpetual praying of the Holy Rosary as well as for being a contemplative who lived always “In the light and experience of God.” Above all, Francisco felt the call to console Our Lord, as he states: “more than anything else I want to console Him.” We here present Sister Lucia’s commentary on the life of Blessed Francisco. – Ed.
Apart from his features and his practice of virtue, Francisco did not seem at all to be Jacinta’s brother. Unlike her, he was neither capricious nor vivacious. On the contrary, he was quiet and submissive by nature.
When we were at play and he won the game, if anyone made a point of denying him his rights as winner, he yielded without more ado and merely said: “You think you won? That’s alright! I don’t mind!”… If one of the other children insisted on taking away something belonging to him, he said: “Let them have it! What do I care?”
…When I was seven and began to take our sheep out to pasture, he seemed to be quite indifferent. In the evenings, he waited for me in my parents’ yard, with his little sister, but this was not out of affection for me, but rather to please her. As soon as Jacinta heard the tinkling of the sheep bells, she ran out to meet me; whereas Francisco waited for me, sitting on the stone steps leading up to our front door. Afterwards, he came with us to play on the old threshing floor, while we watched for Our Lady and the Angels to light their lamps. He eagerly counted the stars with us, but nothing enchanted him as much as the beauty of sunrise or sunset. As long as he could still glimpse one last ray of the setting sun, he made no attempt to watch for the first lamp to be lit in the sky.
“No lamp is as beautiful as Our Lord’s,” he used to remark to Jacinta, who much preferred Our Lady’s lamp because, as she explained, “it doesn’t hurt our eyes.”
Enraptured, he watched the sun rays glinting on the window panes of the homes in the neighboring villages, or glistening in the drops of water which spangled the trees and furze bushes of the serra, making them shine like so many stars; in his eyes these were a thousand times more beautiful than the Angels’ lamps….
Francisco Sees the Angel
During the Apparition of the Angel, he prostrated like his sister and myself, carried away by the same supernatural force that moved us to do so; but he learned the prayer by hearing us repeat it, since, he told us, he heard nothing of what the Angel said.
Afterwards, when we prostrated to say that prayer, he was the first to feel the strain of such a posture; but he remained kneeling or sitting, and still praying, until we had finished. Later he said: “I am not able to stay like that for a long time, like you. My back aches so much that I can’t do it.”
At the second Apparition of the Angel, down by the well, Francisco waited a few moments after it was over, then asked: “You spoke to the Angel. What did he say to you?”
“Didn’t you hear?”