The two young siblings who Catholics believe saw a vision of the Madonna six times in the Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917 will be made saints, the Vatican said Thursday, per Reuters. Francisco and Jacinta Marto, along with their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, said they received three messages or "secrets" from Mary: the first was a vision of hell and the second was interpreted to be a prediction of World War II and the rise of communism in Russia; the third was not revealed until 2000 by the Vatican, which says it predicted the 1981 assassination attempt of Pope John Paul. Also in 2000, Pope John Paul beatified the Marto siblings, one of the final steps required before sainthood. The siblings died several years after receiving the visions.
Pope Francis on Thursday officially recognized a miracle attributed to the siblings, the last requirement that needed to be fulfilled before they could become saints, the New York Times reports; that same day, he signed the canonization decree, per the AP. While no date has officially been set for the canonization ceremony, one theory is that it will be held in May when the pope visits the Fatima shrine, exactly 100 years from the day the first vision occurred. A shrine official says the miracle involves a Brazilian child cured of a disease. There is also a push for Lucia Dos Santos, who became a nun and lived to age 97, to be beatified. Also Thursday, Pope Francis said he would canonize three Mexican adolescents killed for their faith in the 1500s. (Read more Catholic Church stories.)