Jacinta Goode, Norwich Catholic minister, celebrates after her shepherd girl namesake is canonised
She was named after a Portuguese shepherd girl who saw the Virgin Mary in a series of visions, 100 years ago.
And this week, Norwich mother-of-two Jacinta Goode has been celebrating after Pope Francis canonised her namesake, St Jacinta of Fatima.
Mrs Goode, who is eucharistic minister at St George’s Catholic parish in the city, which is part of the Diocese of East Anglia, said she was delighted about the canonisation.
She said: “It’s not every day that the person you were named after becomes a saint.
“Many Catholics might be named after a saint, but my mother was so drawn to the message of Fatima that she wanted to name me after Jacinta even before the church confirmed her presence in heaven.”
Jacinta Marto, aged seven, her brother Francisco, nine, and their cousin Lucia, 10, were grazing their sheep near Fatima in Portugal when they were reported to have seen the Virgin Mary, who asked them to pray with rosary beads for world peace, and to make sacrifice for sinners.
More visions followed, and they have together become one of the Catholic church’s most important events of the 20th century.
Pope Francis canonised both Jacinta and Francisco on May 13 - the centenary of the first vision - at a ceremony in Fatima attended by about 500,000 people.
It means they are the Catholic church’s youngest saints who did not die as martyrs.
Mrs Goode, who is also a qualified hypnotherapist and flute teacher, said she watched the ceremony online, and also organised a service to recite all 40 ‘decades’ of the rosary at St George’s church.
She said the celebrations continued with a rosary cake made by her son Jamie and drinks after the service.
Mrs Goode said: “It was very moving to join with the Pope via YouTube to pray the rosary at the vigil and to feel part of the mass on Saturday.
“The warmth, and the feeling of the power of prayer, during the service at St George’s was palpable.
“It is a day that I will always remember.”
The rosary is a central part of the Catholic veneration of Mary.
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