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Pope declares Fatima child shepherds who ‘saw Virgin Mary’ saints

Fatima, Portugal: Two young shepherds who had visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago in Fatima, a Portuguese site now a global draw for pilgrims, were declared saints Saturday by Pope Francis.
Catholic faithful from all over the world cheered, filling a giant, 400,000-capacity, esplanade that faces the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, some of them crying — with many more watching the canonisation from adjacent streets on giant screens.
“We declare the blissful Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto saints,” the Argentine pontiff said in front of the white basilica where the siblings are buried, two giant portraits of the little shepherds hanging in the background.
“We register them on the list of saints, declaring that they must be venerated as such by the Church.”
The canonisation took place on the 100th anniversary of the day when Jacinta, then aged seven, her brother Francisco, nine, and their cousin Lucia, 10, first reportedly saw the Virgin Mary on the spot where the sanctuary was built.
She is said to have appeared six times between May and October 1917 to the three impoverished, barely-literate shepherds, and apparently shared three prophesies with the trio at a period marked by the ravages of World War I.
These reportedly included a warning of a second conflict.
Francisco died in 1919 and his sister Jacinta the following year in the Spanish Influenza epidemic that swept through Europe at the end of the war.
Their cousin Lucia lived on until 2005, becoming a nun and meeting several popes including the late John Paul II.
A process that could lead to her also becoming a saint has been opened.
Pope John Paul II was possibly the most devoted to Fatima, attributing his narrow escape from an assassination attempt at St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981 — the anniversary of the first reported apparition — to the intervention of the Virgin Mary.Fatima, Portugal: Deux jeunes bergers qui avaient des visions de la Vierge Marie il y a 100 ans à Fatima, un site portugais maintenant un tirage au sort mondial pour les pèlerins, ont été déclarés saints samedi par le pape Francis.
Des fidèles catholiques de partout dans le monde ont applaudi, remplissant une gigantesque évasion de 400 000 personnes qui fait face au Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Fatima, dont certains pleurent – avec beaucoup plus de regarder la canonisation des rues adjacentes sur les écrans géants.
“Nous déclarons les fervents saints Francisco Marto et Jacinta Marto”, a déclaré le pontife argentin devant la basilique blanche où sont enterrés les frères et sœurs, deux portraits géants des petits bergers suspendus à l’arrière-plan.
“Nous les enregistrons sur la liste des saints, déclarant qu’ils doivent être vénérés comme tels par l’Église”.
La canonisation a eu lieu au 100e anniversaire du jour où Jacinta, âgée de sept ans, son frère Francisco, neuf ans, et leur cousine Lucia, 10, ont d’abord vu la Vierge Marie sur le lieu où le sanctuaire a été construit.
On dit qu’elle est apparue six fois entre mai et octobre 1917 pour les trois bergers pauvres et alphabétisés et a partagé trois prophéties avec le trio à une époque marquée par les ravages de la Première Guerre mondiale.
Ceux-ci incluaient un avertissement d’un deuxième conflit.
Francisco est mort en 1919 et sa soeur Jacinta l’année suivante dans l’épidémie de grippe espagnole qui a balayé l’Europe à la fin de la guerre.
Leur cousine Lucia a vécu jusqu’en 2005, devenant une nonne et rencontrant plusieurs papes, y compris le défunt Jean-Paul II.
Un processus qui pourrait lui amener à devenir un saint a été ouvert.
Le pape Jean-Paul II était peut-être le plus dévoué de Fatima, attribuant son évasion étroite à une tentative d’assassinat à la place Saint-Pierre le 13 mai 1981 – l’anniversaire de la première apparition signalée – à l’intervention de la Vierge Marie.Fatima, Portugal: Dos jóvenes pastores que tuvieron visiones de la Virgen María hace 100 años en Fátima, un sitio portugués que ahora es un sorteo global para los peregrinos, fueron declarados santos el sábado por el Papa Francisco.
Los fieles católicos de todo el mundo aplaudieron, llenando una gigantesca explanada de 400.000 habitantes que se enfrenta al Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Fátima, algunos de ellos llorando – muchos más observando la canonización de las calles adyacentes en pantallas gigantes.
“Declaramos a los dichosos santos de Francisco Marto y Jacinta Marto”, dijo el pontífice argentino frente a la basílica blanca donde están enterrados los hermanos, dos gigantes retratos de los pastores colgados al fondo.
“Los inscribimos en la lista de los santos, declarando que deben ser venerados como tales por la Iglesia”.
La canonización tuvo lugar en el centenario del día en que Jacinta, de siete años de edad, su hermano Francisco, de nueve años, y su prima Lucia, 10, supuestamente vieron a la Virgen María en el lugar donde se construyó el santuario.
Se dice que apareció seis veces entre mayo y octubre de 1917 a los tres pastores empobrecid

We are prepared to deal with bad monsoon7

Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh is a senior BJP leader from Bihar. The Modi government’s handling of the agriculture sector during its first year in office has drawn some criticism. Singh rebuts the criticism and claims that the government is well-prepared to tackle the after-effects of the coming monsoon, if it turns out to be deficient

IMD has revised its weather forecast and now says the monsoon will be deficient. Should that not worry you?

We are taking stock and I have directed my officers to give updated reports on the preparations. In fact, immediately after the April forecast, my officers held discussions with state officials to understand the. situation. We have prepared a contingency plan for 580 districts. Now that the forecast has been lowered further, I have directed that the plans be updated.

Officials are also talking to agencies like the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture. I will also hold discussion with IMD. But, we are better prepared this time than last year to deal with uneven rain. Last year, too, IMD had lowered its forecast during this time of the year. We had just come to power and faced a drought-like situation. Everyone was tensed up. But our ministry worked hard to minimise the damage. There were losses in production but the losses were not that huge. Also, there are alternate seed varieties available, if there is deficient rain and the drought management panel is monitoring the situation. Of course, there will be some losses if there is deficient rain, but we are confident that our policies will ensure minimum damage to the sector and the economy.

Recent data has shown that growth of agriculture and allied sectors has dropped from 3.7 per
cent in 2013-14 to 0.2 per cent in 2014-15. In fact, production fell in the third and fourth quarters. Is this a worrying sign?

It is correct that growth was negative in the third and fourth quarters of 2014-15, due to the uneven monsoon and uncertain rain during the rabi season. But, if you look at the gross value added in agriculture and allied activities, it has grown from ?15.23 lakh crore (adjusted for inflation) in 2012-13, to ?15.79 lakh crore in 2013-14 and ?15.83 lakh crore in 2014-15. This was triggered mainly by the fisheries and livestock sector, which has grown faster than crops.

What initiatives have you taken during the last one year?

I have already spoken about our initiatives like Gokul Mission and Blue Revolution, which have given a boost to livestock and fisheries. Another initiative was on organic farming. We sanctioned ?300 crore for it, with a special focus on the northeastern states. The entire focus has been on lowering the cost of production for farmers through less use of fertiliser, while increasing the value of their produce.

When I came into this ministry, only ?72 crore was spent (in a year) on soil testing and there were 13 mobile soil testing labs. We sanctioned ?80 crore in the first year itself and started almost 100 mobile soil testing labs. Then, we embarked on a massive scheme to give soil health cards to all the 130-plus
million farmer families. For this, over ?500 crore was sanctioned for three years, of which we have given about ?200 crore to states in 2014-15.

Why have your delayed the announcement of MSP for key crops?

I do not feel the announcement of MSP has been delayed. We are planning to announce it over the next two weeks.

What are your immediate worries on the food situation?

While the government had ample supply of rice and wheat, there are concerns over pulses; but, my ministry has been working on ways to supplement domestic supply through imports. We imported a record 4.5 million tonnes of pulses last year and are ready to import more when required. We are working on raising pulses and oilseeds production too. Data on the states’ requirements is also being collated.

How important is the agriculture sector to the Modi government?

Agriculture and allied sectors in India account for 17.2 per cent of GDP and 14 per cent of exports. Almost half the population is dependent on agriculture as the prime source of income. We, therefore, have to keep the momentum of growth of agriculture to achieve targeted growth of its economy and meeting the increasing and diverse demand of food.