By Dr. Richard Watson

Past President Catholic Medical Association (USA)

14 May, is the Memorial for 


The name of this second-century martyr has gained recent attention because of a fortuitous link between her name and that of the current pandemic.



More apropos is the feast day for Our Lady of Fatima.  Two of her visionaries, were:

Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto

World Fatima Tv: Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Prayers / Mass Feb ...

Both of them died while still very young, as victims of the so called Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918.

SAINT JACINTA, dying at age 9, is the youngest Catholic saint to die not a martyr. Her death unites her, in a special way, with the many patients who have suffered and died alone, as victims of the coronavirus, on isolation wards and in intensive care units.  Jacinta underwent a series of futile hospitalizations, including painful open chest surgery without general anesthesia, offering up her suffering for the remission of our sins.

“Do you suffer much?” Lucia asked her.

“Yes, I do suffer; but I offer everything for sinners and to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

And she began to speak enthusiastically of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother:

“I am so glad to suffer for Their love! To make Them pleased! They love very much those who suffer to convert sinners.”

And when Lucia asked Jacinta what she would do once in heaven, 

“I am going to love very much Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray a lot for you, for sinners, for the Holy Father, for my parents and siblings, and for all those who have asked me to pray for them.”

“My God, I love You! Immaculate Heart of Mary! Sweet Heart of Mary!”

SAINT FRANCISCO was only a year older than his sister when he died, also a victim of the flu epidemic. Their feast day is on 20 February.