They said, "they will never come."
This booklet is to serve as a                 Guide and Promotion                               of the   Annual Worldwide ...
“In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph”Our Lady to the Little Shepherds of Fatima ~ July 13th ~ 1917
Children of the Eucharist received a perpetual Apostolic Blessing fromHis Holiness Benedict XVI in the Year for Priests, f...
Children of the Eucharist                              movement is:               dedicated to the little Shepherds of Fat...
TABLE OF CONTENTSPREFACEMost Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. JosephFOREWORDProfessor Americo Pablo Lope...
DESIGNATED EUCHARISTIC EPICENTERSIMPORTANT TO NOTETHE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE LITTLE SHEPHERDS OF FATIMAJosé Saraiva Ma...
PREFACE                             Most Reverend Robert W. Finn                        Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, ...
As priests facing the challenging circumstances of our Pastoral Ministry, we daily comebefore the “Ineffable Mystery”: the...
FOREWORDThe CHILDREN’S EUCHARISTIC ADORATION PROGRAM is a fruit of the Holy Spirit,a                beautiful and powerful...
would be able to listen in his heart the voice of God, are authentic qualities so much neededtoday to live a Christian lif...
DECREE
The World Apostolate of Fatima is an association of the faithful that has as itsgeneral purpose “the promotion of the auth...
The Second Vatican Council, together with the post-conciliar teaching, has given specialattention to the new forms of aggr...
In light of articles 131-134 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus for the RomanCuria and according to canon 312; §1,...
INTRODUCTION                     WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH                        EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR             Cat...
The Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour lends the opportunity to open afloodgate of graces and mercy on our world, ...
October ~ 2006Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception           Catholic school children from the    ...
WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH     EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR                     LITURGICAL GUIDE                          This ...
WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH                     EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR                                ORDER OF SERVICE    ...
EXPOSITION AND ADORATION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT  o Eucharistic Hymn: O Salutaris Hostia  o Prayers as taught by the...
WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH                        EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR                                 ORDER OF SERVICE...
The Bishop or Priest begins with the Sign of the Cross and greets all present:Bishop: In the name of the Father …All: Amen...
CROWNING OF OUR LADY’S STATUE“Heavenly Father, to You we offer praise and thanksgivingbecause what You have kept hidden fr...
BENEDICTION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT       • Eucharistic Hymn: Tantum Ergo       • Benediction       • The Divine Pra...
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Youprofoundly. I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul,...
Sensuum defectui.Genitori, GenitoqueLaus et residen,Salus, honor, virtus quoqueSit et residenn:Procedenti ab utroqueCompar...
BLESSING OF THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH                THE BLESSED SACRAMENTThe Divine PraisesBishop leads each acc...
And adoring bend the knee while we own the mystery.   Recessional Procession of the Fifth Annual Worldwide Eucharistic Hol...
Fruit of the Worldwide Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour is           Children and Youth Eucharistic Adoration     ...
THIS IS A SIMPLE ORDER OF SERVICE THAT IS USED IN THE BOOKLET "MY                    VISIT WITH THE HIDDEN JESUS"         ...
Optional  o Gospel or Scripture Reading  o Questions from Children  o Teaching on Eucharistic Reparation, Prayer, Penance,...
DESIGNATED EUCHARISTIC EPICENTERS FOR THE ANNUAL                         WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH                     ...
Children throughout the world are joining in this Global Eucharistic event forChildren                    Children sent th...
IMPORTANT TO NOTEBecause this Global Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour is broadcast, we do not wish toimply that schools ar...
NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE                    LITTLE SHEPHERDS OF FATIMA“Father, to you I offer praise; for what you have ...
The words of the Angel, “Console your God,” impressed Francisco very deeply and guidedhis whole life. He wanted to be the ...
INTRODUCTION TO      Igniting the flame of faith in the hearts of the children of the world!             as they follow th...
When this light was given to them to understand that God loves us and desires to beloved by us, they immediately began to ...
The program is simple – such is the message of Fatima. Here we have mapped out a littleway that will help children, young ...
THE PROGRAM IS SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD!    What follows is a step-by-step easy way and we hope unique way, to introduce...
Each first Friday of October Catholic school children and all the children of theworld gather in their diocesan cathedrals...
DIRECTORS OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATIONAs Coordinator of Elementary Religious Education at Holy Family parish in St. Louis Park(M...
important to you. You tell Jesus about it right now. He is so interested. He will hear you andhelp you if you ask Him.” An...
47
History and Development of the                              Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic                              ...
APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II                    TO FATIMA (MAY 12-13, 2000)            HOMILY OF HIS HOL...
Francisco bore without complaining the great sufferings caused by the illness from which hedied. It all seemed to him so l...
Church” (Col 1: 24). Last Sunday at the Coliseum in Rome, we commemorated the manywitnesses to the faith in the 20th centu...
shepherds became saints so quickly. A woman who gave hospitality to Jacinta in Lisbon, onhearing the very beautiful and wi...
Can Children Be Saints?The children of Fatima responded to the messages Mary brought us all. They did not merelypass these...
incurable. Her realism was reflected in her reply when Lucia asked if she was feeling better.“You know I am not getting be...
They accepted what Our Lady had predicted for each of them – imminent death. But theylooked forward to heaven with inner j...
generous love of others. The supreme infused virtue, charity, love, greatest gift of the HolySpirit.It therefore comes as ...
Stretch out your hand, O beloved and omnipotent children, to      the Vicar of Christ, and give the consolation of the    ...
ENDORSEMENTSOur Holy Father (Pope John Paul II) asks me to convey his prayerful good wishes for theChildren’s Day of Praye...
Inside Back Cover…As I write these words, I am watching through the Eternal WordTelevision Network, the children of the wo...
60
61
CHILDREN OF THE EUCHARIST
CHILDREN OF THE EUCHARIST
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

CHILDREN OF THE EUCHARIST

6,238 views

Published on

A program for every parish ~ school and family to lead our world's

children and youth to the 'source and summit' of the Church the

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
6,238
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
5
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
116
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

CHILDREN OF THE EUCHARIST

  1. 1. They said, "they will never come."
  2. 2. This booklet is to serve as a Guide and Promotion of the Annual Worldwide Eucharistic Holy Hour for Children and Youth and the fruit of this movement is: CHILDREN OF THE EUCHARISTA program for every parish ~ school and family to lead our worlds children and youth to the source and summit of the Church the Most Blessed Sacrament! United let us enroll the Children and Youth of the World into the “School of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”
  3. 3. “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph”Our Lady to the Little Shepherds of Fatima ~ July 13th ~ 1917
  4. 4. Children of the Eucharist received a perpetual Apostolic Blessing fromHis Holiness Benedict XVI in the Year for Priests, for children who prayfor priest before the Most Blessed Sacrament.
  5. 5. Children of the Eucharist movement is: dedicated to the little Shepherds of Fatima! Childrens Eucharistic Adoration is dedicated to Blessed Francisco 1908 – 1919 Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta have been “set on the lamp stand which God has lit to give light to humanity in its hours of darkness and doubt.” May they now shine even more brightly by their example, by the way in which they responded to the call for conversion and to make reparation for the offenses committed against God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It has pleased God to grant many graces to those who have recourse through the intercession of Blessed Francisco… – Pope John Paul II ~ Beatification of the “Shepherds of Fatima” Fatima, Portugal 2000Blessed Francisco wanted to be the “Consoler of Jesus" primarily by prayingthe Rosary and adoring the “Hidden Jesus” in the Tabernacle of his parishchurch. “He lived motivated by one desire so revealing of the way youngpeople think, of “consoling and cheering up Jesus"May the children and youth of the world follow the way of this Blessed Little Shepherd of Fatima. Pope John Paul II ~ Beatification Ceremony May 13, 20
  6. 6. TABLE OF CONTENTSPREFACEMost Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. JosephFOREWORDProfessor Americo Pablo Lopez-OrtizInternational President of the World Apostolate of FatimaAPOSTOLIC BLESSINGS OF THE MOVEMENTPOPE BENEDICT XVIFifth Annual Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy HourYear for Priests - Children praying for priests before the Holy EucharistDECREE of the World Apostolate of FatimaPublic International Association of the FaithfulThe Pontifical Council for the Laity, Vatican CityLETTER OF INTRODUCTIONTO THE WORLD’S CARDINALS, BISHOPS AND CLERGYConnie Schneider ~ International CoordinatorLITURGICAL GUIDE OF THEFIFTH ANNUAL WORLDWIDE CHILDREN’S EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOURApproved liturgy: Bishop Robert W. Finn and Liturgist at the National Shrine of theImmaculate ConceptionORDER OF SERVICE – SHORT VERSIONORDER OF SERVICE – COMPLETE VERSION
  7. 7. DESIGNATED EUCHARISTIC EPICENTERSIMPORTANT TO NOTETHE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE LITTLE SHEPHERDS OF FATIMAJosé Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation of the SaintsCHILDREN OF THE EUCHARIST PROGRAM“CHILDREN OF THE EUCHARIST – CONSOLERS OF THE HIDDEN JESUS”DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATIONMrs. Jean Prather, Coordinator of Elementary Religious EducationHoly Family Catholic Church, St. Louis Park, MinnesotaHISTORY AND DEVELOPMENTWORLDWIDE CHILDREN’S EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOURHOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL IIBEATIFICATION OF FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO, SHEPHERDS OFFATIMA – Saturday 13 May, 2000 – Fatima, PortugalCAN CHILDREN BE SAINTS?Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Australia – ZENIT NEWS – HOLY HOUR EMPHASIZES PRAYERS OF CHILDREN ORGANIZERS URGE PARTICIPATION OF WORLD’S CHILDREN
  8. 8. PREFACE Most Reverend Robert W. Finn Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MissouriFatima’s “Angel of Peace” appeared to the three little shepherds in 1917, and convenedthe first “Children’s Holy Hour.” Quickly they would become students in the “School ofthe Immaculate Heart of Mary,” and apostles of prayer and sacrifice. God used thesesmall children to renew the Gospel message of repentance and call the world back,through Mary, to His Son.On the 90th anniversary of the apparitions I had the privilege to preside at the Basilica of theNational Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington D.C., at the 2007 WorldwideChildren’s Eucharistic Holy Hour.Crowning the image of Our Lady of Fatima and entrusting ourselves to her classroom of faithand love, we readied our hearts in prayer and song and adored our Lord Jesus Christ.In response to the children’s questions I wanted to teach about Eucharistic adoration – thefirst and highest prayer of the human heart, a prayer which directs itself to the supreme andsublime mystery of the Godhead. At the same time, I learned from our children what theworld learned from Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta: a way of trust and joy and prayer by whichwe approach the Blessed Sacrament, hand in hand with Mary, and learn to live with a morepure love.We prayed before the monstrance, and contemplated the mysteries of the rosary, focused asthey are on the unfolding revelation of the Incarnate Lord, His victory over sin and death, andthe exemplary participation of Mary in the pathways of the Christian journey.
  9. 9. As priests facing the challenging circumstances of our Pastoral Ministry, we daily comebefore the “Ineffable Mystery”: the living Presence of Jesus Christ. In Holy Mass, and in itsextension in adoration, we draw strength and light from the Eucharistic Sacrifice, “the centerand root of the whole priestly life,” and the source “from which principally flows the priest’spastoral love.” (Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 14)Children also are drawn to the Eucharistic Jesus. It is not that they become suddenly capableof articulating deep mysteries – any more than we do – but that they begin to acquire peaceand a listening heart necessary to following our Lord.God chose the children at Fatima to be apostles for peace in the world through prayer andsacrifice. The “Lady dressed in white” prepared them to suffer much, to persevere in virtue,and to be images of holiness in ordinary life.This simple outline offers a framework for and resources for such a Holy Hour in yourdiocese and parishes. I ask my brother bishops and pastors throughout the world to considerthe value of children’s Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of families, and as a locusof intercession for peace and authentic conversion.I join the founders of the Worldwide Catholic School Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour ininviting you to gather for the annual observance on the First Friday in October as participantsin a global response to the New Evangelization following Mary’s invitation to renewal.In Christ andMary,† Bishop Finn
  10. 10. FOREWORDThe CHILDREN’S EUCHARISTIC ADORATION PROGRAM is a fruit of the Holy Spirit,a beautiful and powerful inspiration implemented into a Program of the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), an international public association of the faithful, present in more than 120 countries and having more than 20 million members pledged to follow the requests of Our Lady of Fatima to bring peace and God’s kingdom to earth. Prayer is so powerful and so much needed! The lack of faith, materialism, and consumerism of our present societies are poisoning the environment to such degree that salvation of souls is more difficult than ever before! Nevertheless, the infinite power of God’smercy, his perfect love and grace, are superabundant, as they can overcome all obstacles tobring sinners to repentance and friendship to God.Children’s prayers are even more powerful than those of ordinary adults, since the children’shearts are capable of more transparency and authenticity, qualities that God himself can notresist! This is why the three little shepherds of Fatima were chosen to become messengers ofGod’s plan for our days to rediscover the Gospel of Jesus Christ and recover Faith, Hope, andCharity. The Message of Fatima is a great instrument for the New Evangelization of ourpresent societies and the prayer of adoration, taught to the little children of Fatima is the keyto reconciliation and peace through recognizing God’s majesty and honor and makingreparation for the sins of the world, preventing the terrible consequences of evil.We need to teach our children “to experience God” in their prayers. The Holy Hour beforethe Blessed Sacrament in our churches is a wonderful means “to immerse young people inthat light coming from the Immaculate Heart which is God Himself.” Through adoration wecan contemplate the mystery of God and we can go deep into His merciful love as, comingcloser to Him, inviting Him to dwell in our hearts, and experiencing His presence and itsfruits of peace and spiritual joy! No matter how much we may be suffering because ofsickness, poverty, or grievances. Christ’s peace and joy is of such spiritual nature that itovercomes all negative circumstances.Also, through the authentic prayer of adoration, our children “will also see themselves, theirsouls and consciences as in the best of mirrors,” learning to know themselves, developing “aninner life” which will become the theater where they will experience their friendship withJesus Christ, their personal relationship with God Himself Who will forever dwell in theirhearts. Only adoration can open a heart to God in such a degree that the invitation to comeand live in it is irresistible! This is their personal history of salvation.Blessed Francisco Marto is the model for our children and young people who search and longfor the best of friends, Jesus Christ, the Son of God!His meditative prayer, his dedication “to console the Good Lord, so much offended”, his“inner life” that developed into a personal friendship, his “openness to silence” so that he
  11. 11. would be able to listen in his heart the voice of God, are authentic qualities so much neededtoday to live a Christian life!Blessed Francisco, as he was not able to hear Our Lady’s Message, since he only could seeher, learned the great lesson that to hear God’s voice in his heart, he must first empty hisinner self from all materialistic obstacles and must pray in meditation (many Rosaries), asour Blessed Mother did on earth, contemplating in her Heart all those precious moments andexperiences with Jesus Christ, her beloved Son. It is this kind of prayer that today’s worldmust learn if humanity really wants to prevent the terrible consequences of sin and bringpeace and justice to all. This is the path to salvation because through the prayer of adoration,through meditative prayer (like the Holy Rosary well prayed), we will discover the value ofChrist’s Passion, Death and Resurrection and we will live the memory of Him in our innerlife! Then, Blessed Francisco, at the end, of the three children of Fatima, was the one havingthe most profound prayer of contemplation!Blessed Francisco, the little child of less than ten years, will teach us how to walk the path toholiness. This, in synthesis, is the significance and actuality of the Children’s EucharisticAdoration Program of the World Apostolate of Fatima. A program that must be present inour parishes, schools, apostolic movements, youth organizations, and family practices. Hownice to unite our families in prayer, the prayer of adoration before the tabernacle of ourparishes, the same way as we all participate in a baseball game, a football practice, or abasketball tournament.The yearly event of the Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour on the First Friday inOctober must be planned carefully, so that the greatest possible spiritual fruit is achieved. Butnot only this special day, but throughout the year, in many instances that small groups orlarge ones may come to Jesus in the tabernacle of our churches and pray in adoration. Let uslearn the beautiful Fatima prayers that the Angel of Peace and Our Lady taught the littleshepherds and recite them with devotion and faith. Our environment will be much better andour children will become closer to God! Grace and Mercy to all!In Christ and Mary,Prof. Americo Pablo Lopez-OrtizInternational President of the World Apostolate of Fatima
  12. 12. DECREE
  13. 13. The World Apostolate of Fatima is an association of the faithful that has as itsgeneral purpose “the promotion of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Churchand the strict adherence to the tenets of the Gospel; the personal sanctification ofadherents through faithful adherence to the message of Fatima and the promotion ofthe common good by the spreading of the message of Fatima” (Statutes, art. II, 1-3). In the apparitions of 1917, the Blessed Virgin reaffirmed to the three littleshepherds – Lucia dos Santos and her blessed cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto –the perennial Christian message of conversion, prayer and penance in reparation forsins and for the conversion of sinners, together with a more genuine devotion to theEucharist, the devotion to the Rosary and the consecration to her Immaculate Heart. At the same time, “the World Apostolate has the specific purpose ofpromoting the Pledge given by each member of the World Apostolate of Fatima”(Statutes, art. II, 4).The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, spread throughout numerouscountries of the world, commit themselves to become faithful witnesses of theCatholic faith in their families, at work, in the parishes and communities,participating in this way in the “New Evangelisation.”
  14. 14. The Second Vatican Council, together with the post-conciliar teaching, has given specialattention to the new forms of aggregation of the Christian faithful and their participation inthe life of the Church. Deep esteem and consideration has been shown to them (cf. Decreeon Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam actuositatem, 18, 19 and 21; John Paul II, Post-SynodalApostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 29).In his Apostolic letter, Novo millennio inuente, His Holiness John Paul II wrote about thegreat importance of “the promotion of forms of associations, whether of the more traditionalkind or the newer ecclesial movements which continue to give the Church a vitality that isGod’s gift and a true “Springtime of the Spirit” (46).Consequently:Having examined attentively the request presented to this Dicastery, by Prof. Américo PabloLópez Ortiz, President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, that this association be erected as apublic international association of the faithful and that its Statutes be approved; Considering that the World Apostolate of Fatima is a suitable instrument for theformation of the lay people through the message of Fatima in view of the newevangelisation proposed by the Holy Fathers John Paul II and Benedict XVI;Valuing the commendatory letters received from many Dioceses around the world,which reflect the positive appreciation of the Bishops for the activities developed forthe members of the World Apostolate of Fatima to benefit the Church;
  15. 15. In light of articles 131-134 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus for the RomanCuria and according to canon 312; §1, 1º of the Code of Canon Law, the PontificalCouncil for the Laity decrees: 1º. The erection of the World Apostolate of Fatima as a public internationalassociation of the faithful, according to canons 298-320 and 327-329 of the Code ofCanon Law. 2º. The approval of the Statutes of this association duly authenticated by thisDicastery and deposited in our Archives, for a period of five years ad experimentum. Vatican City, 7 October 2005, Memory of the Blessed Mary Virgin of the Rosary
  16. 16. INTRODUCTION WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR Catholic school children and all the children of the world following the way of the little shepherds of Fatima! “The proper meaning of catechesis, in fact, must be this: to bring the flame of Jesus’love, even if it is a small one, to the hearts of children, and through the children to theirparents, thus reopening the places of faith of our time.” – Pope Benedict XVI (Bressanone, Italy, August 22, 2008) Dear Cardinals and Bishops, Clergy, Catholic Educators, and Parents, Let us unite and open the door for a New Springtime for families! At Fatima, the “Angel of Peace” was sent as a Tutor in Love by our Blessed Mother todraw the little shepherds into the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus. He taught them how to adoreJesus, to pray, and to make sacrifices for the conversion of the world as a kind of prelude towhat the essence of her message would be. GOD IS OFFENDED – WE MUST DO PENANCE AND AMEND OUR LIVESLucia wrote in her Memoirs: “The words of the Angel were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a lightwhich made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the valueof sacrifice, and how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He grants the grace ofconversion to sinners …” The Worldwide Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour is a call to the world’sclergy, catholic educators, and parents to escort the children of the world into their parishchurches and chapels each year on the first Friday of October, to spiritually unite the prayersof our world’s Catholic school children and all the Catholic children of the world, as they areguided into the School of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It’s easy, and free, and will serveas a first step to open the hearts of our children and youth then the parents. During these tumultuous times in which we live in which so many parents are burdenedwith anxiety concerning the material and temporal needs of their children, it’s logical to senda call to those who already have the daily care of the souls of our world’s children.
  17. 17. The Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour lends the opportunity to open afloodgate of graces and mercy on our world, as millions of children throughout the worldgather into the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, united in prayer as they console theEucharistic Heart of Jesus, make reparation to His Most Sacred Heart as requested by the“Angel of Peace” at Fatima, Portugal, and give them the unprecedented opportunity to prayfor the needs of their own family and all the families of the world. It is easy and logisticallystraightforward for clergy, school principals, and teachers to literally walk their students totheir parish churches and chapels to participate. The children of the world are wounded by the scourges of divorce, drugs, abuse, impurity– and the list goes on. Who is going to repair these wounded hearts? We must bring theminto His Presence to be bathed in His love because He alone can “fan the flame of faith in thesouls of our world’s children, and through the children to their parents, thus reopening theplaces of faith of our time.” The fruit of this Eucharistic global event will be untold gracesthat will be shed on the families of the world. DOMESTIC CHURCH ENTRUSTED TO THE PRAYERS OF CHILDRENIn his 1994 Christmas Letter to the world’s children, Pope John Paul II stated: “At the close of the year of the family and in this letter he wrote: “My dear youngfriends, it is to your prayers that I want to entrust the problems of your own family and allthe families in the world.” We need a crusade to guide the children of the world into the presence of Jesus, ratherthan leaving it to chance of them finding the Blessed Sacrament while on earth, and thusleaving only the terrible examples offered to them by immoral television programming,movies, and magazines. Please consider making an appeal to your diocese to participate in and support theWorldwide Children’s Holy Hour, which is always held on the first Friday in October. Bydoing so, you would be an instrument in the hands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ourEucharistic Lord in the realization of the long-awaited New Springtime for our families andthe world. The Worldwide Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour will bring grace and peaceto families – it will help change the world. Not with great words, not with great actions, butwith great love … and God’s beloved little children will lead them. Our children will be transformed in holiness and become active evangelizers in theirparishes, schools, and families, and thus will have hope of escaping the consequences of aworld that has literally lost its way.Connie Schneider
  18. 18. October ~ 2006Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Catholic school children from the Archdiocese of Washington Diocese of Arlington and Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  19. 19. WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR LITURGICAL GUIDE This guide was the order of service for theFifth Annual Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC Presided by the Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, D.D. It is an excellent guide for clergy, educators, and parents for the Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour as well as for Children’s Eucharistic Adoration in our parishes, schools, and families.
  20. 20. WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR ORDER OF SERVICE Intentions for the Worldwide Childrens Holy Hour o To console the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus o To pray for the families of the children present and all the families of the world as entrusted to them by Pope John Paul II o For the Holy Father, for his protection and the success of his mission on earth, following the example of Blessed Jacinta Marto.MODERATOR WELCOMES all Present o Lighting of Unity Candle o Announcement of Intentions o PROCESSION OF OUR LADYS STATUE o Placement of Petition Basket o Student Presentation - FatimaThe Bishop or Priest begins with the Sign of the Cross and greets all present o OPENING PRAYERS o Come Holy Spirit prayer Moderator invites those gathered to join in the: o Canonization Prayer of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta o Crowning of our Blessed Mothers statue o Crowning HymnQUESTION AND ANSWER TIMEBISHOP OR PRIEST RECEIVES QUESTIONS FROM CHILDREN This is patterned after Pope Benedict XVI meeting with the children of Rome on October 15, 2005
  21. 21. EXPOSITION AND ADORATION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT o Eucharistic Hymn: O Salutaris Hostia o Prayers as taught by the Angel of Peace o Entrustment Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary o TWO MINUTES OF SILENCEWORLD MISSION ROSARY FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE WORLDBENEDICTION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT o Eucharistic Hymn: Tantum Ergo o Benediction o The Divine Praises o Closing remarks o Recessional Hymn: Holy God We Praise Thy NameTo maintain spiritual unity throughout the world please considerthe four following devotions. o Children are gathered before the Most Blessed Sacrament o Pray the prayers as taught by the Angel of Peace o Pray the Entrustment prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary o Pray the Rosary for all the families of the world
  22. 22. WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR ORDER OF SERVICE WITH PRAYERSINTRODUCTION • WelcomeIn honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we, the children of the world,light our Unity Candle. • Lighting of Unity Candle and Announcement of Intentions and Special Petitions PROCESSION OF OUR LADYS STATUE • Processional Hymn: Hail Holy QueenThe Bishop or Priest processes into church with other participants in the Holy Hour:PROCESSIONAL HYMNHail, Holy QueenHail, Holy Queen enthroned above, O Maria!Hail, Mother of mercy and of love, O Maria!Refrain:Triumph all ye Cherubim! Sing with us ye Seraphim!Heaven and earth resound the hymn!Salve, salve, salve, Regina!Our life, our sweetness here below, O Maria!Our hope in sorrow and in woe, O Maria! (Refrain)When this exile is complete, O Maria!Show us thy Son, our Jesus sweet, O Maria! (Refrain) • Placement of Petition Basket • Student Presentation - Fatima
  23. 23. The Bishop or Priest begins with the Sign of the Cross and greets all present:Bishop: In the name of the Father …All: AmenBishop: Peace be with you!He may explain the meaning of the event before praying the Opening Prayer.OPENING PRAYERBishop: Let us pray:Lord, Jesus Christ,We worship you living among us in the Sacrament of Your Body and Blood.May we offer to our Father in heaven a solemn pledge of undivided love.May we offer to our brothers and sister a life poured out in loving service of that kingdom,where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.All: AmenCOME HOLY SPIRIT, Come by means of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your dearlybeloved spouse.COME HOLY SPIRIT, Unite and heal all the families of the world.COME HOLY SPIRIT, and pour out your Holy Spirit upon all the children of the world.† The Moderator greets those gathered and invites them to join in the prayer:Prayer for the Canonization ofBlessed Francisco and Blessed JacintaAll: Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly with all thepowers of my soul, and I thank Thee for the apparition of the most Holy Virgin in Fatima,which has made manifest to the world the treasures of her Immaculate Heart. By the infinitemerits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart ofMary, I implore Thee – if it should be for Thy greater glory and the good of our souls – toglorify in the sight of Thy Holy Church, Francisco and Jacinta, the shepherds of Fatima,granting us through their intercession the grace which we implore. Amen.
  24. 24. CROWNING OF OUR LADY’S STATUE“Heavenly Father, to You we offer praise and thanksgivingbecause what You have kept hidden from the proud and learnedYou have revealed to the merest of children. Thank You, Father,for You have graciously willed it so.” (Luke 10:21)CROWNING HYMNWe Are the Children of the World – Answering His CallO Lord, prepare my soul to breathe Your breath,come Holy Spirit; You are my joy; You are my strength,my Bread of Life, Holy Eucharist.CHORUSWe are the children of the world, answering Your call!You are the Savior of the world, Jesus in the Eucharist,I love You!Hail Mary full of grace, Blessed is the fruit of your womb,Jesus; He bled and died that I might live; Blessed is the fruit ofyour womb, Jesus; Forever present in the Eucharist, O MostBlessed Sacrament, O Most Blessed Sacrament. CHORUS“Let the children come unto Me,” He said, “Let the childrencome...” (Sing Hosanna!) then repeat CHORUSDearest Lord we pray, bless our families with Your peace andlove; You tell us, “Do not be afraid”; Bless all people with Yourpeace and love; The peace of Christ throughout the world,through the Blessed Sacrament, O Most Blessed Sacrament.CHORUSQUESTION AND ANSWER TIMEBISHOP OR PASTOR RECEIVES QUESTIONS FROM CHILDRENPATTERNED AFTER POPE BENEDICT XVI MEETING WITH THE CHILDREN OF ROME ON OCTOBER 15, 2005EXPOSTION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT • Eucharistic Hymn: O Salutaris Hostia • Prayers as taught by the Angel of Peace • Entrustment Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary • TWO MINUTES OF SILENCEWORLD MISSION ROSARY FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE WORLD 26
  25. 25. BENEDICTION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT • Eucharistic Hymn: Tantum Ergo • Benediction • The Divine Praises • Closing remarks by Bishop/Pastor • Recessional Hymn: Holy God We Praise Thy NameEXPOSITION AND ADORATION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENTOpening Hymn – O SalutarusO SALUTARIS Hostia,Quae coeli pandis ostium:Bella premunt hostilia,Da robur, fer auxilium.Uni trinoque DominoSit sempiterna resid,Qui vitam sine terminoNobis donet in patria.AmenO Saving Victim, open wideThe gate of heaven to man below!Our foes press on from every side;Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow.To Thy great Name be endless praise. Immortal Godhead, One in Three!O grant us endless length of days.In our true native land with Thee.Amen.PRAYERS OF THE ANGEL OF PEACE“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You, and I beg Your pardon for thosewho do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You. (Three times)O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee. My God, my God, I loveYou in the Most Blessed Sacrament!” (One time)My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You, and I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore,do not hope, and do not love You. (Three times) 27
  26. 26. O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Youprofoundly. I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul,and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles ofthe world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges, andindifference by which He is offended. Through the infinitemerits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heartof Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners. (One time) CHILDREN’S ENTRUSTMENT PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY“O Virgin Mary, My Mother, I give to your Immaculate Heart,my body and my soul, my thoughts and my actions. I want to bejust what you want me to be, and do just what you want me todo. I am not afraid because you are always with me. Help me tolove your Son, Jesus, with all my heart and above all things.Take my hand in yours so I can always be with you.” two minutes of silenceWORLD MISSION ROSARY FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE WORLDAFRICA ~ AMERICAS ~ EUROPE ~ OCEANIA ~ ASIABENEDICTION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENTAt the conclusion of the Holy Hour, Tantum Ergo is sung as theBlessed Sacrament is incensed.Tantum ErgoTantum ergo SacramentumVeneremur cernui:Et antiquum documentumNovo cedat ritui:Praestet fides supplementum 28
  27. 27. Sensuum defectui.Genitori, GenitoqueLaus et residen,Salus, honor, virtus quoqueSit et residenn:Procedenti ab utroqueCompar sit residen.Amen.Down in adoration falling,This great Sacrament we hail;Over ancient forms of worshipNewer rites of grace prevail;Faith will tell us Christ is present,When our human senses fail.To the everlasting Father,And the Son who made us free,And the Spirit, God proceedingFrom them Each eternally,Be salvation, honor, blessing,Might and endless majesty.Bishop or Pastor: You have given them Bread from HeavenAll: Having all sweetness within itBishop: Let us prayLord Jesus Christ, you gave us the Eucharist as the memorial of Your suffering and death.May our worship of the Sacrament of YourBody and Blood help us to experience the salvation You won for us and the peace of thekingdom where You live with the Father and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.All: Amen 29
  28. 28. BLESSING OF THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH THE BLESSED SACRAMENTThe Divine PraisesBishop leads each acclamation, all repeat.Blessed be God.Blessed be His Holy Name.Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.Blessed be the name of Jesus.Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.Blessed be His most precious Blood.Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.Blessed be her glorious Assumption.Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin, and Mother.Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.RECESSIONAL HYMNHoly God We Praise Thy NameHoly God we praise Thy name; Lord of all we bow before Thee;All on earth Thy scepter claim; All in heaven above adore Thee.Infinite Thy vast domain, Everlasting is Thy reign!Infinite Thy vast domain, Everlasting is Thy reign!Hark, the loud celestial hymn; Angel choirs above are rising;Cherubim and Seraphim, In unceasing chorus praising,Fill the heavens with sweet accord: Holy, holy, holy, Lord!Fill the heavens with sweet accord: Holy, holy, holy, Lord!Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit: three we name Thee,Though in essence only one; Undivided God we claim Thee,And adoring bend the knee while we own the mystery. 30
  29. 29. And adoring bend the knee while we own the mystery. Recessional Procession of the Fifth Annual Worldwide Eucharistic Holy Hour with Most Reverend Bishop Finn presiding. 31
  30. 30. Fruit of the Worldwide Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour is Children and Youth Eucharistic Adoration in our parishes, schools, and families! The ANGEL OF PEACE Heaven’s “Tutor of Love”Sometimes our Lord himself intervenes to convey to us, by means of private revelations,parts of the universal Message of Salvation which are in danger of being forgotten, andtherefore need to be repeated. Such was the case, for example, of the revelations of theSacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. At other times, our Lord allows HisBlessed Mother to come on His behalf. Rarer still, if not unique in the history of the Church,is the case of our Lady having sent an angel ahead of her to pave the way for her owncoming. She thus provided for the events in Fatima a kind of prelude which at once plungedthe children into a supernaturally charged atmosphere in which they learnt the coordinates ofwhat was to constitute the essence of her Message: God is offended; we must do penance and change our lives. – Fr. Luis Kondor, S.V.D., Vice Postulator of Blessed Francisco and Blessed JacintaThe apparitions of the Angel of Peace preceded the apparitions of our Blessed Mother atFatima, Portugal. She sent him as a “Teacher of Love” to teach the little shepherds how toadore Jesus, how to pray while adoring Him, and the value of reparation and sacrifice,“...thus convened the first children’s holy hour.”Parishes and schools throughout the world participate in the global Children’s EucharisticHoly Hour. We must remember that the fruit of this Holy Hour is Eucharistic Adoration inour parishes, schools, and families. The following Order of a “Visit with the Hidden Jesus” isan excellent outline for a Eucharistic Program for parishes and schools. It is simple, easy tofollow, and easy to do. It is way for clergy, teachers, youth leaders, and parents to draw thechildren in their care into the true Eucharistic presence of Jesus. Most importantly, it followsthe way the Little Shepherds of Fatima who were taught by a “Teacher of Love” fromHeaven. The angel’s instructions developed the children’s spirituality in the “School of theImmaculate Heart of Mary” and into becoming the first unmartyred children to be beatifiedand one day canonized. Let each one of us become a “signpost of love” for the children ofthe world— reading, this way to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. 32
  31. 31. THIS IS A SIMPLE ORDER OF SERVICE THAT IS USED IN THE BOOKLET "MY VISIT WITH THE HIDDEN JESUS" FOR YOUR PARISH, SCHOOL OR FAMILY o Welcome Opening Prayers • Come Holy Spirit • Pardon Prayer • Sacrifice Prayer • Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity TWO MINUTES OF SILENT ADORATION o Prayer to Blessed Francisco and Jacinta for the families of the world o Prayer for Canonization of • Blessed Francisco • Blessed Jacinta o Entrustment Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary o Holy Rosary (complete or a single decade) 33
  32. 32. Optional o Gospel or Scripture Reading o Questions from Children o Teaching on Eucharistic Reparation, Prayer, Penance, and Sacrifice o Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament o Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament 34
  33. 33. DESIGNATED EUCHARISTIC EPICENTERS FOR THE ANNUAL WORLDWIDE CHILDREN AND YOUTH EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOURCardinals and Bishops throughout the world!Would you consider designating a basilica, shrine, or parish church in your diocese as aEucharistic Epicenter for the Annual Worldwide Children and Youth Eucharistic HolyHour?Presently, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the globalEucharistic Epicenter, and it is our hope for the future that each continent and nation willdesignate its own Eucharistic Epicenter for their school children. This will provide regionallocations for the world’s school children to gather and pray before our Lord present in theBlessed Sacrament during the Global Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour.In the future, if funds permit, we hope to link up via satellite connection to enable childrenthroughout the world to visually unite in prayer, powerfully witnessing to each other theunity of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. 35
  34. 34. Children throughout the world are joining in this Global Eucharistic event forChildren Children sent this picture from New Guinea 36
  35. 35. IMPORTANT TO NOTEBecause this Global Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour is broadcast, we do not wish toimply that schools around the country and world join in ONLY if they have the technicalcapabilities to do so.The broadcast of the Holy Hour provides ‘a spiritual Eucharistic epicenter’ for children fromaround the world to spiritually unite with the school children gathered at the Basilica of theNational Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC and all childrenthroughout the world.The primary focus is: On one day, always the first Friday in October, to gather the children ofthe world before our Eucharistic Lord, follow the program, and to pray for peace in ourfamilies and world. It is the responsibility of those leading the Holy Hour in your parish orschool to help the children participating to understand they are spiritually united with otherchildren and young people around the world, and that Jesus truly Present in all theTabernacles of world, sees them united as ONE 37
  36. 36. NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE LITTLE SHEPHERDS OF FATIMA“Father, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever youhave revealed to the merest children” (Mt 11:25). Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation of the Saints spoke of the gift of the “Little Shepherds” to the Church and to the world, in the context of the New Evangelization. October 12 ~ International Fatima Congress for the 21st Century “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God” – June 13Our Lady appeared to the little Shepherds gleaming with light, but in her words and also inHer face, which at times was veiled in sorrow, because of the constant reality of sin.She showed the children her Immaculate Heart crowned with thorns, and explained thatprayer and sacrifice are needed in order to make reparation for the many evils that offendGod, to bring an end to war and to obtain peace for the world. Mary’s language is simple,suited to children, without being toned down or fanciful.The Virgin chooses innocent children as her privileged collaborators in order to combat theterrible leprosy of sin which is corrupting mankind with the weapons of prayer and penance.Pius XII, whose cause for beatification is now under way, made his prophecy. I quote hiswords: “You must not think that a tender age is an obstacle in the way of consummateperfection, for holiness. Our predecessor Pius X declared that there will be saints among young children when heopened to them the Eucharistic Tabernacle. He knew, as we ourselves know, that physicalage does not stand in the way of the soul, so that the human being, even a young humanbeing, can attain the perfection of spiritual age (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III,q. 12, sed contra and ad 2). If Jesus calls for spiritual childhood as a condition for enteringinto heaven, and then goes on to say: ‘Let the little children come unto me,’ how can onedeny that children are able to attain evangelical perfection?”No. In no way. To prove it, we have the example of the two little Shepherds who, inaccordance with the Church’s most recent practice, inaugurated precisely with them, weresolemnly raised to the honor of the altar. These two who, in a sense, originated this newpractice, were also, one might say, the first to benefit from it. Turning to Francisco, 38
  37. 37. The words of the Angel, “Console your God,” impressed Francisco very deeply and guidedhis whole life. He wanted to be the ‘Consoler of Jesus’ primarily by praying the Rosary andadoring the Hidden Jesus in the Tabernacle of the Parish Church.He wanted to go often and stay in church as long as he could in order to be near thetabernacle close to the “hidden Jesus,” as he called the Eucharist in his childlike, profoundway of speaking.God told only Francisco “how sad” he was, as he said. One night his father heard himsobbing and asked him why he was crying; his son answered: “I was thinking of Jesus who isso sad because of the sins that are committed against him.” He was motivated by one desire—so expressive of how children think – “to console Jesus and make him happy.” – Pope John Paul II The RosaryIn addition to all this, if we examine the many episodes in the lives of the little Shepherds, wecannot but see the line which links them all together, namely the recitation of the Rosary.When we pay attention to this undoubted fact, we perceive that for them the Rosary is a replyof love to the Lady who came to visit them.Let us work together to help the children of the world to come to know the “Power of theMost Holy Rosary.” 39
  38. 38. INTRODUCTION TO Igniting the flame of faith in the hearts of the children of the world! as they follow the way of the little Shepherds of Fatima! SCHOOL OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY The World Apostolate of Fatima’s Children’s Program, Children of the Eucharist, is aninvitation to our world’s clergy, teachers, and parents to help the children and young peopleof the world follow the way of the Little Shepherds of Fatima and lead them to enroll into theSchool of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is the school of God Is Love. THIS IS NOT A NEW WAY! It is a way initiated by Heaven to children, approved by the Church, and yet lived bysaints for centuries, notably by St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church. THE WAY IS SIMPLE: “TO JESUS THROUGH MARY” Our Lady of Fatima sent the “Angel of Peace,” as a Tutor of Love to pave the way for hercoming and to place the little shepherds in the loving and true presence of Jesus in the MostBlessed Sacrament, to teach them how to adore Jesus, and to teach them prayers of reparationto pray while in His Eucharistic Presence. He also guided them into the school of adoration,prayer, penance, and sacrifice as they found themselves in the school of love, which is noneother than part of the School of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady desired to present a way, a simple way for the little shepherds and all thechildren and young people of the world, for all of humanity, to make peace with God as Hepours His peace into our families and the world. The souls of the little shepherds were set in a flame of love!In her Memoirs, Lucia stated: “We received from the experience of the Angel of Peace ‘…a light which made usunderstand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, howpleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He grants the grace of conversion tosinners.’” 40
  39. 39. When this light was given to them to understand that God loves us and desires to beloved by us, they immediately began to live heaven’s requests, not because of a command,but out of love. If sacrifices have their origin in love, they begin to change us one step at a time. This isthe path the ‘Angel of Peace’ set the children on and they entered totally and deeply into anintimate relationship with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,where our Lady then continued to gently guide them on their earthly journey to her DivineSon, Jesus. They were thus transformed into saints. God Is Love: Children and our young people need to know that God loves them and thatHe wants to be loved by them. There are too many in the world who do not love God becausethey do not know Him as they should and that He desires their love. By encouraging thisschool of thought to children and youth through making visits out of love for Jesus in theTabernacle, as well as praying throughout the day and showing their love through sacrifices, the children will take on the heart of Blessed Francisco. The little shepherd said, “I am sad, because He is sad, and I wish to console Him.” Children and the youth of the world need to know that God loves all people and that there are those who are in danger of going toHell. Out of love, children can offer prayers and sacrifices to God for souls who do not prayfor themselves and who do not have anyone to pray for them. It is through the transcendentvalue of love, which is the very basis on which such an offering exists that God, Who isLove, grants the grace of conversion to sinners. The Children of the Eucharist program consists of the many calls of the entire Messageof Fatima and its teachings: the offering of prayers and sacrifices, devotion to the ImmaculateHeart of Mary, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, and reparation to the Hearts of Jesus andMary. 41
  40. 40. The program is simple – such is the message of Fatima. Here we have mapped out a littleway that will help children, young people and yes, adults, to begin a life of prayer, penance,and sacrifice, and to become sensitive to sin as they grow in virtue and grace and follow theway of the little shepherds of Fatima, thus growing in holiness. The objective is hope for the children of the world by helping them to learn and live theABCs of the message of the “Angel of Peace” and our Lady’s requests, as they continue theirjourney on the path of life and become active missionaries in their parishes, schools, andhomes. Dear Boys and Girls: Our Lady needs all of you to console Jesus, Who is sad because of the bad things done to Him. She needs your prayers and your sacrifices for sinners. Ask yourparents and teachers to enroll you in the ‘School of Our Lady’ so that she can teach you to be like the Little Shepherds who tried to do whatever she asked them." Pope John Paul II Beatification Ceremony of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta 2000 Fatima, Portugal 42
  41. 41. THE PROGRAM IS SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD! What follows is a step-by-step easy way and we hope unique way, to introduce therequests of Our Lady of Fatima and the “Angel of Peace.” It is a simple way to help childrenof all ages to live the Gospel message by following the way of the Little Shepherds of Fatimain the School of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.It is excellent for your parish, school, and religious education program and family. PROMISE CARD: The Promise card is explained to the children that they are beinginvited to be enrolled in a worldwide mission to help Our Lady of Fatima bring theworld back to God. Certificate of membership is downloaded.Global Morning Offering: Children throughout the world spiritually unite in theprayer of the “Morning Offering” in their classrooms and families, as they offer theirevery thought, word, and action of the day, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,as a daily sacrifice to God, for the conversion of the world.Entrustment Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of MaryChildren are introduced to the “Entrustment Prayer” as a foundation of devotion tothe Immaculate Heart of Mary.Wearing a sign of Entrustment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary o The Brown Scapular o Miraculous medal of Our LadyThe Rosary or the World Mission Rosary for FamiliesThe World Mission Rosary inspired by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, helpschildren to envision how they are praying for their own family and all the familiesof the world, one continent at a time.Annual Global Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour 43
  42. 42. Each first Friday of October Catholic school children and all the children of theworld gather in their diocesan cathedrals, parish churches and chapels, spirituallyuniting their prayers with children throughout the world, for the intentions of theirown families and all the families of the world.Children and Youth Eucharistic Adoration in parishes, schools and families! o This is the fruit of the Worldwide Children and Youth Eucharistic Holy Hour. o Let us unite and begin an International Catholic School Campaign where, on each first Friday, Eucharistic Adoration is beginning to be promoted in every Catholic school and parish. First Friday Adoration, promotes the Great Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Five First Saturday devotions are introduced wherever possible 44
  43. 43. DIRECTORS OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATIONAs Coordinator of Elementary Religious Education at Holy Family parish in St. Louis Park(Minneapolis), the sufferings I see in some of the children I meet can overwhelm me at times.Some carry the hurt of divorce. I’ve met children who carry the burden of drug addiction oralcoholism in their families. I’ve met children exposed to internet pornography as young assecond grade. There are children with illnesses including mental illness at such tender ages.And then there are the almost universal sufferings of so many who struggle with grades,struggle with friendships, or struggle to overcome certain fears. I often pondered, “Is theresomething I can do that would really make a difference in the lives of these children?” Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28At the end of the 2000 school year, I seriously asked myself that question. “Is theresomething that I can do that would really make a difference in the lives of these children?” Iwas specifically thinking of the public school children that came to the parish religiouseducation classes on Wednesday evenings that I coordinated. I went to my pastor, FatherThomas Dufner, and expressed my concerns. What more can be done that we are not alreadydoing in the short amount of time we have them?When dealing with personal challenges, trials, and sufferings, I knew the answer. I knewwhere to go. I knew Who to go to. I turn to our Lord in prayer, making a daily visit to ourAdoration Chapel, asking Him to help me, heal me and guide me. He is always available forme to come to Him and bring Him my burdens so He can console me and strengthen me. Buthow could that truth be bridged over to children? How do you make that truth a reality intheir lives? And not just in the lives of a few children but in the lives of many children? Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:14In the Fall, I took the Wednesday night religious ed students, grades 1-8, into the sanctuaryand together we knelt in front of the altar. Father exposed the Blessed Sacrament for us andthat was the first large group time of Children’s Eucharistic Adoration at Holy Family. Usingthe hand held microphone, I greeted Our Lord truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Ithanked Him for always being here for us. I stood up and pointed to the little white Host inthe monstrance and told the children, “This is really and truly Jesus. Isn’t He so smart andwonderful to think of such a tremendous way of always being with us?” We prayed ourdecade of the Rosary together for our families and for all the families of the world. Then wehad a few moments of quiet time. I said to them, “Boys and girls, now I want you to think ofanything that you are worried about. Anything that is on your mind. Anything that is 45
  44. 44. important to you. You tell Jesus about it right now. He is so interested. He will hear you andhelp you if you ask Him.” And in those moments of silence, He did hear. And He continuesto hear. Since that night, we have implemented Children’s Adoration into our public schoolprogram every month, every year. The effects of our time in prayer have been transformingnot only to the overall success of the Wednesday Religious Ed program, but mostimportantly in the lives of the children themselves. They began to experience the effects oftheir prayers. They met Jesus personally. They started to understand that the Jesus they werelearning about in class, who walked on this earth 2000 years ago, is really and truly presentfor them, right now, tonight, at this moment. I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Matthew 11:25For the past 8 years it has been an amazing experience for me to pray with children beforethe Most Blessed Sacrament. And it doesn’t matter if it is the public school children, thechildren making their First Holy Communion, children coming to special retreats, childrenfrom our parish school or the overwhelming group of children gathered for Catholic VacationBible School every summer. We sing for Him, bow and adore Him, thank Him, offer ourprayers of petition and entrust to Him all our cares.This year I have the great honor of leading the newest formed group of children in guidedEucharistic Adoration. They are the toddlers and preschoolers of Holy Family. Yes, you readthat correctly. And they really get it. I think my favorite part of our time together is the veryend. Spontaneously they will often start waving their little hands and calling out, “GoodbyeJesus! Goodbye! We love You!!!” These are the moments I just can’t seem to forget. Iwonder what Our Lord is thinking? Once, after adoration for our country, a pain pierced my soul and I began to pray in this way: “Most merciful Jesus, I beseech You through the intercession of Your Saints,and especially the intercession of your dearest Mother who nurtured You from childhood, bless my native land. I beg You, Jesus, look not on our sins, but on the tears of the little children, on the hunger and cold they suffer. Jesus, for the sake of these innocent ones, grant me the grace I am asking of You for my country.” At that moment, I saw the Lord Jesus, His eyes filled with tears, and He said to me: “You see, my daughter, what great compassion I have for them. Know that it is they who uphold the world.” – Entry #286 from the Diary of Saint Faustina Mrs. Jean Prather, Coordinator of Elementary Religious Education Holy Family Catholic Church, St. Louis Park, Minnesota 46
  45. 45. 47
  46. 46. History and Development of the Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour Matthew 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits."The Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour was founded by two members of theSaint Paul and Minneapolis, Archdiocesan division of the World Apostolate of Fatima. Theinspiration was presented to Archbishop Harry Flynn as a celebration for the Year of theRosary. At the suggestion of the Archbishop, the World Apostolate of Fatima co-sponsoredwith the Archdiocesan Office of Family, Laity and Marriage, to celebrate and acknowledgethe Year of the Rosary, proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in 2003.The founders knew it would be an inspiring and effective way to spiritually unite the prayersof children around the globe and to offer prayers, especially the Rosary, before the MostBlessed Sacrament, for the families of the world, as entrusted to the prayers of children, byPope John Paul II in his Christmas Letter to the worlds children.Inspired by the success of the program, the World Apostolate of Fatima continued to co-sponsor the event with the Office of Family, Laity, and Marriage, as they continuedpromoting the program nationally and internationally.The Year of the Eucharist in 2005 presented an unprecedented opportunity to spread theprogram to all Catholic schools in the United States. In 2005, “Year of the Eucharist” theArchdiocesan division of the World Apostolate of Fatima, developed a National “Prayer ofPetition” contest to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for Catholic school children to participatein. Irish Singer, Dana, took the winning petitions and put them to song. From that, our themesong was born: We are the Children of the World.This was also the first year that the International body of the World Apostolate of Fatimaparticipated in and promoted the Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour. On February2006 pilgrimage to the Vatican and Fatima, the World Apostolate of Fatima received their‘Decree of Approval’ as a new ‘Public Association of the Faithful of Pontifical Right fromthe Pontifical Council of the Laity. At the first international Congress of the WorldApostolate of Fatima at Rome, the Program was introduced to the delegates participating atthe “Salesianum” by the International President of the WAF, Prof. Américo Pablo López-Ortiz and Mrs. Connie Schneider, Archdiocesan President of the WAF in the Archdiocese ofSt. Paul-Minneapolis. It was during the on going pilgrimage to Fatima and a visit to thegraves of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta, two of the little shepherds of Fatima, thatChildren of the Eucharist was born.In 2006, Our Lady opened the doors of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the ImmaculateConception in Washington, D.C. and for the first time EWTN broadcasted the Holy HourLIVE to over 140 nations. Since then the Basilica has become the Eucharistic Epicenter ofthis annual event. 48
  47. 47. APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II TO FATIMA (MAY 12-13, 2000) HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II BEATIFICATION OF FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO, SHEPERDS OF FATIMASaturday, 13 May 2000Fatima1. “Father,… to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the cleveryou have revealed to the merest children” (Mt 11: 25).With these words, dear brothers and sisters, Jesus praises the heavenly Father for his designs;he knows that no one can come to him unless he is drawn by the Father (cf. John 6: 44);therefore he praises him for his plan and embraces it as a son: “Yes, Father, for such wasyour gracious will” (Mt 11: 26). You were pleased to reveal the kingdom to the merestchildren.According to the divine plan, “a woman clothed with the sun” (Rev 12: 1) came down fromHeaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father. She speaks to them with amothers voice and heart: she asks them to offer themselves as victims of reparation, sayingthat she was ready to lead them safely to God. And behold, they see a light shining from hermaternal hands which penetrates them inwardly, so that they feel immersed in God just as –they explain – a person sees himself in a mirror.Later Francisco, one of the three privileged children, exclaimed: “We were burning in thatlight which is God and we were not consumed. What is God like? It is impossible to say. Infact we will never be able to tell people.” God: a light that burns without consuming. Moseshad the same experience when he saw God in the burning bush; he heard God say that he wasconcerned about the slavery of his people and had decided to deliver them through him: “Iwill be with you” (cf. Ex 3: 2-12). Those who welcome this presence become the dwelling-place and, consequently, a “burning bush” of the Most High.2. What most impressed and entirely absorbed Blessed Francisco was God in that immenselight which penetrated the inmost depths of the three children. But God told only Francisco"how sad" he was, as he said. One night his father heard him sobbing and asked him why hewas crying; his son answered: "I was thinking of Jesus who is so sad because of the sins thatare committed against him.” He was motivated by one desire – so expressive of howchildren think – "to console Jesus and make him happy.”A transformation takes place in his life, one we could call radical: a transformation certainlyuncommon for children of his age. He devotes himself to an intense spiritual life, expressedin assiduous and fervent prayer, and attains a true form of mystical union with the Lord. Thisspurs him to a progressive purification of the spirit through the renunciation of his ownpleasures and even of innocent childhood games. 49
  48. 48. Francisco bore without complaining the great sufferings caused by the illness from which hedied. It all seemed to him so little to console Jesus: he died with a smile on his lips. LittleFrancisco had a great desire to atone for the offences of sinners by striving to be good and byoffering his sacrifices and prayers. The life of Jacinta, his younger sister by almost two years,was motivated by these same sentiments.3. “Another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon” (Rev 12: 3).These words from the first reading of the Mass make us think of the great struggle betweengood and evil, showing how, when man puts God aside, he cannot achieve happiness, butends up destroying himself.How many victims there have been throughout the last century of the second millennium!We remember the horrors of the First and Second World Wars and the other wars in so manyparts of the world, the concentration and extermination camps, the gulags, ethnic cleansingsand persecutions, terrorism, kidnappings, drugs, the attacks on unborn life and the family.The message of Fatima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to dowith the “dragon" whose "tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them tothe earth” (Rev 12: 4). Man’s final goal is heaven, his true home, where the heavenlyFather awaits everyone with his merciful love.God does not want anyone to be lost; that is why 2,000 years ago He sent His Son to earth,“to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19: 10). And he saved us by His death on the Cross. Letno one empty that Cross of its power! Jesus died and rose from the dead to be “the first-bornamong many brethren” (Rom 8: 29).In her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fatima to ask men and women “tostop offending God, Our Lord, Who is already very offended.” It is a mother’s sorrow thatcompels her to speak; the destiny of her children is at stake. For this reason she asks the littleshepherds: “Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell becausethey have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.”4. Little Jacinta felt and personally experienced Our Lady’s anguish, offering herselfheroically as a victim for sinners. One day, when she and Francisco had already contractedthe illness that forced them to bed, the Virgin Mary came to visit them at home, as the littleone recounts: “Our Lady came to see us and said that soon she would come and takeFrancisco to heaven. And she asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I told heryes.” And when the time came for Francisco to leave, the little girl tells him: “Give mygreetings to Our Lord and to Our Lady and tell them that I am enduring everything they wantfor the conversion of sinners.” Jacinta had been so deeply moved by the vision of hell duringthe apparition of 13 July that no mortification or penance seemed too great to save sinners.She could well exclaim with St Paul: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in myflesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the 50
  49. 49. Church” (Col 1: 24). Last Sunday at the Coliseum in Rome, we commemorated the manywitnesses to the faith in the 20th century, recalling the tribulations they suffered through thesignificant testimonies they left us. An innumerable cloud of courageous witnesses to thefaith have left us a precious heritage which must live on in the third millennium. Here inFatima, where these times of tribulation were foretold and Our Lady asked for prayer andpenance to shorten them, I would like today to thank heaven for the powerful witness shownin all those lives. And once again I would like to celebrate the Lords goodness to me when Iwas saved from death after being gravely wounded on 13 May 1981. I also express mygratitude to Blessed Jacinta for the sacrifices and prayers offered for the Holy Father, whomshe saw suffering greatly.5. “Father, to you I offer praise, for you have revealed these things to the merest children.”Today Jesus’ praise takes the solemn form of the beatification of the little shepherds,Francisco and Jacinta. With this rite the Church wishes to put on the candelabrum these twocandles which God lit to illumine humanity in its dark and anxious hours. May they shine onthe path of this immense multitude of pilgrims and of all who have accompanied us by radioand television. May Francisco and Jacinta be a friendly light that illumines all Portugal and,in special way, this Diocese of Leiria-Fatima.I thank Bishop Seraphim, of this illustrious particular Church, for his words of welcome, andwith great joy I greet the entire Portuguese Episcopate and their Dioceses, which I deeplylove and which I urge to imitate their saints. A fraternal greeting goes to the Cardinals andBishops present, with a special word for the Pastors from the community of Portuguese-speaking countries: may the Virgin Mary obtain reconciliation for the Angolan people; mayshe bring comfort to the flood victims of Mozambique; may she watch over the steps ofTimor Lorosae, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe; may she preserve herBrazilian sons and daughters in the unity of faith.I extend a respectful greeting to the President of the Republic and to the authorities who havewished to take part in this celebration. I take this occasion to express, through them, mygratitude to everyone who helped make my pilgrimage possible. A cordial embrace and aparticular blessing to the parish and city of Fatima, which today rejoices in her children whoare raised to the honors of the altar.6. My last words are for the children: dear boys and girls, I see so many of you dressedlike Francisco and Jacinta. You look very nice! But in a little while or tomorrow you willtake these clothes off and ... the little shepherds will disappear. They should not disappear,should they?! Our Lady needs you all to console Jesus, who is sad because of the badthings done to him; he needs your prayers and your sacrifices for sinners.Ask your parents and teachers to enroll you in the “school” of Our Lady, so that she canteach you to be like the little shepherds, who tried to do whatever she asked them. I tell youthat "one makes more progress in a short time of submission and dependence on Marythan during entire years of personal initiatives, relying on oneself alone" (St Louis deMontfort, The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, n. 155). This was how the little 51
  50. 50. shepherds became saints so quickly. A woman who gave hospitality to Jacinta in Lisbon, onhearing the very beautiful and wise advice that the little girl gave, asked who taught it to her.“It was Our Lady,” she replied. Devoting themselves with total generosity to the direction ofsuch a good Teacher, Jacinta, and Francisco soon reached the heights of perfection.7. “Father, to you I offer praise, for what you have hidden from the learned and the cleveryou have revealed to the merest children.” Father, to you I offer praise for all your children,from the Virgin Mary, your humble Servant, to the little shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta.May the message of their lives live on for ever to light humanity’s way! 52
  51. 51. Can Children Be Saints?The children of Fatima responded to the messages Mary brought us all. They did not merelypass these messages on as instruments. They were the first to respond to a divine call toarms, to the spiritual combat called for in an age of revolution, when the golden chain of theholy rosary must be raised against tyranny, persecution, and increasing moral corruption.The children of Fatima were not merely channels, but willing mere children who cooperatedwith divine grace, spiritually mature with heroic fortitude, allowed grace to change theirlives in the space of three or four years.Whatever replies others may have given to this question, on May 13, 2000, in Fatima,Portugal, Pope John Paul II beatified two children who died respectively at the ages of 11and 10, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Their cousin, Sister Lucia, a Carmelite nun aged 93,was present at the solemn Mass of beatification.We know these children as the three visionaries of Fatima, the ones chosen by God to receivemessages of hope and peace for humanity, divine appeals and warnings, even timelyprophecies only revealed by the Church at the beginning of the Third Millennium. Thesecalls for "prayer and penance" were given through the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. On May13, 1917, the first apparition took place on the field known as the Cova da Iria. On this sameday, May 13, 1981, an assassin’s bullet struck the Pope who returned once again in gratitudeto Fatima to beatify the children.These are the two youngest persons ever to be beatified in the history of the Catholic Church,that is, apart from young martyrs. Yet, in a sense, theirs was a path of martyrdom. Both ofthem, in the last years of their short earthly lives suffered greatly in body and spirit and thatis the point to begin in giving praise to God for their sanctity.Their heroic practice of the virtues is surely the best place to begin. Without heroic virtue ormartyrdom the process of beatification and canonization cannot succeed. These reflections inpraise of the virtues of these two children are drawn from various recollections and memoirsof Lucia herself. The virtues of faith, hope, and love shine through her vivid memories of theshepherd children of Fatima. Faith, hope, and love… FAITHThe courageous faith of Francisco emerged in prison, where the children were taken to terrifythem, an attempt to force them to deny what they claimed to have seen. As Lucia tells us, theboy was prepared to die rather than deny what he had seen. In this he was exactly like themen and women who were the witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus, the people who sawthe risen Lord, who could say with the convinced faith of Saint Peter, “Lord, to whom elseshall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”Likewise, through Lucia’s memoirs we see how the childlike faith of Jacinta the littleshepherdess was tried and tested during her final illness, when her small body was rackedwith the aching pains of the influenza that was sweeping the world at that time, often 53
  52. 52. incurable. Her realism was reflected in her reply when Lucia asked if she was feeling better.“You know I am not getting better. I have such pains in my chest. But I don’t say anything. Iam suffering for the conversion of sinners.” Her final illness fulfilled her spiritual thirst formaking personal sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, a practice she developed as OurLady had requested. Ultimately, as Our Lady had told her, this little child was to die alone,separated from her parents and friends in a hospital in Lisbon on February 20, 1920. Thatwas the final cross for Jacinta. She felt it deeply and admitted that frankly to her cousin, butshe feared not. She trusted in God and his Blessed Mother. Her practice of the virtue of faithwas remarkable not only in its simplicity but in its realism.Francisco shared this courageous sense of mortification and self abnegation with his youngersister. For example, Lucia recalled how they both felt abandoned in prison, and reallybelieved they would be martyred, and yet here they offered even this abandonment as asacrifice for sinners and for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XV. Note their consciousness ofthe Vicar of Christ at that moment of fear and stress. This indicates a sense of the widerChurch, which rapidly grew in their lives, going beyond the limitations of their culture andnarrow experience of life in a small community in a remote place in a humble land. Faith inJesus Christ means faith in his Church, fidelity to all her teachings. Their courageousexperience in prison also reveals the single-mindedness, the purity of heart, the candid faithof children that Jesus presented as the model of all faith.They both grew rapidly in the practice of prayer, the essential language and dialogue of faith.Francisco’s prayer life developed an ascetical quality, a portent of the kind of adult faithalready emerging in this young man. Had he lived longer, no doubt he would have found hisvocation in a contemplative life, as did his cousin Lucia. He preferred to pray by himself, to“console Our Lord” as he put it. His mortification helped tame the boisterous side of hispersonality, revealing a spiritual maturity well beyond his years, and this is quite at variancewith the developmental theories of some educationalists of the last century. HOPEThe second theological virtue given by the Holy Spirit is hope. In spite of the pressures theyendured, these children, like all true saints, had a sense of joy about them. This too has to betaken into account in any process of beatification. The Church does not beatify gloomypeople because a lack of joy may well indicate a weakness in living out the virtue of hope.Jacinta loved to dance, although she gave this up as a sacrifice for sinners. She rejoiced in thebeauty of creation, especially collecting wild flowers. There is a quietness and stillness abouther joy. Francisco, on the other hand, was more open and outgoing than his sister; social,friendly and smiling boy, according to Lucia. Both children retained a sense of humorthroughout the final years of their lives. It was tempered by the burdens placed upon thembut seems to have bubbled up in healthy reaction to the somewhat ludicrous behavior ofsome of the faithful who fussed over them.Joy never left them amidst all the trials that came with the responsibility Our Lady hadplaced on them. When their time for leaving this world drew near, they did not fear death. 54
  53. 53. They accepted what Our Lady had predicted for each of them – imminent death. But theylooked forward to heaven with inner joy because they both trusted in her Immaculate Heart.With this motherly heart, Mary never abandons her children, a truth we all need to learnagain and again. Knowing this, Francisco and Jacinta lived the virtue of hope in a spirit ofjoyful trust in whatever God willed for the future. LOVEWe have reflected on their faith and hope. Now we have entered the golden realm of thirdand greatest virtue, charity, love – caritas, agape. How well they learnt how to cultivate thissublime virtue in the best school – the school of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, the temple oflove that can never be separated from the blazing furnace of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.Love points to the Eucharist, “summit and source” of all grace in the Church. Devotion to theEucharist is essential in the life of any saint. Lucia bears witness to these children’s love ofthe Eucharist, “the Hidden Jesus” as both Jacinta and Francisco called our Lord everpresent in the most Blessed Sacrament. Both of them loved to visit the Blessed Sacrament inchurches, and both felt the pain of not being able to do this during their final illnesses. Theirpractice of the love of God found its focus in their devotion to “the Hidden Jesus” in thesacrament of His.It was a time when the intentions of Pope Saint Pius X had not yet been fulfilled everywhere.In that part of Portugal, Children were at least ten years old before they received their FirstCommunion. So both Francisco and Jacinta valued Holy Communion deeply, approachingthe Eucharist with reverent preparation and thanksgiving. Both of the children received theEucharist as penitents. It is particularly moving to read Lucias account of how Franciscoprepared for his death on April 4, 1919. His last confession and Communion were uppermostin his mind. The sacraments of Jesus pardon and union with us were his main concern. Heknew he was preparing for the great and final journey.Both of the children took sin seriously. Their innocence and purity was not naïve or bland.There was much spiritual courage involved in their own struggle to maintain fidelity to Godswill under adverse circumstances. Those circumstances were not merely the hostility theyencountered in the early phase of the apparitions, but something more insidious and enticingfor a child, the great attention they attracted, which included attempts to spoil them, or tomake them into little celebrities, and this is also recorded by Lucia. They seemed to seethrough this, to perceive the temptations involved, and by grace they rose above the choice ofcreatures and chose the love of God.The virtue of love included the love of others. With their different temperaments, Franciscoand Jacinta always showed a sense of charity towards others, of concern for other peoplesneeds. This is an essential factor in discerning the sanctity of candidates for beatification.Both children responded to requests for prayer from people in need. Their deeper lives ofprayer and sense of union with God did not cut them off from others. Indeed they attractedpeople, at first curious to see the little visionaries, but then able to see that in themselvesthese were extraordinary children. Their love of God was thus filled in an outgoing and 55
  54. 54. generous love of others. The supreme infused virtue, charity, love, greatest gift of the HolySpirit.It therefore comes as no surprise that the holiness of Francisco and Jacinta is described byLucia as almost tangible. This is borne out in what Lucia recorded. These are the commentsof some local women about her cousins: "Its a mystery one cannot fathom! They are childrenjust like any others. They dont say anything to us and yet in their presence one feelssomething one cannot explain and that makes them different from all the rest. “Likewise:“We’ve just been talking to Jacinta and Francisco; when with them we feel that there issomething supernatural about them.”In the light of such testimony, we know that these children are not being beatified justbecause they saw Our Lady. An apparition does not cause holiness. We know from otherinstances that contact with heaven is not necessarily an automatic cause of personal sanctity .The children of Fatima responded to the messages Mary brought us all. They did not merelypass these messages on as instruments. They were the first to respond to a divine call toarms, to the spiritual combat called for in an age of revolution, when the golden chain of theholy rosary must be raised against tyranny, persecution and increasing moral corruption.The children of Fatima were not merely channels, but willing mere children who cooperatedwith divine grace, spiritually mature with heroic fortitude, allowed grace to change theirlives in the space of three or four years.As Lucia describes their warm and natural relations with parents and other relatives, wealso see the children of Fatima emerge clearly as saints of the family. In these times we needstrong Christian families built on holy marriages. May Blessed Jacinta and BlessedFrancisco intercede for all our families, and especially that children will grow to be likethem, in lives of faith, self sacrifice, charity, and holiness.So we return to the question with which we began. Can children be saints? Through an act ofher chief Pastor and Teacher on earth, the Catholic Church replies “yes!”Bishop Peter ElliotBishop Peter Elliott is the Titular Bishop of Manaccenser and Auxiliary Bishop in the Southern Region ofthe Archdiocese of Melbourne. 56
  55. 55. Stretch out your hand, O beloved and omnipotent children, to the Vicar of Christ, and give the consolation of the incomparable victory of your precious prayers.Do your parents, your brothers and sisters, and all the adults of your family respond to your humble demands? Yes, they do what you ask; because it is irresistible, and forGod, the way that you speak to him and ask, is also irresistible, and will be your example, to your loved ones, of who you all are. Pope Benedict XV Excerpt from the Homily to the Children of Europe July, 1916 57
  56. 56. ENDORSEMENTSOur Holy Father (Pope John Paul II) asks me to convey his prayerful good wishes for theChildren’s Day of Prayer to be celebrated on the 7th of October 2004. Archbishop Harry Flynn September 28th ~ 2004“I give thanks to Jesus and His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, for the presence of somany children gathered in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in the National Basilica inWashington DC. May God and our Lady so bless the hearts of all these children that theywill respond generously to the invitation of Jesus to go and make disciples of all the Nations. International Secretary General of the Holy Childhood Association, Father Patrick Byrne November 1st ~ 2008His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O’Malley has asked me to acknowledge his receipt of yourrecent letter sent with enclosures concerning the School Children’s Eucharistic and MarianHoly Hour, and to reply on his behalf.It is good to know of the Holy Hour planned at the National Shrine on October 6th…with thehelp of God and through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, may the children of theworld indeed be gathered in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord to pray for families. Reverend Robert T. Kickham Secretary to the Archbishop August 23rd ~ 2006Through our e-mail connection with each parish we are sending this word of the “WorldwideChildren’s Eucharistic Holy Hour.” Cardinal William H. Keeler Archbishop of Baltimore 58
  57. 57. Inside Back Cover…As I write these words, I am watching through the Eternal WordTelevision Network, the children of the world bowing profoundlybefore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in the National Shrine of theImmaculate Conception in Washington DC. and to know that they arebeing joined by children worldwide, including in my own diocese fillsme with an overwhelming, inner joy! Could there be anything morebeautiful than this?... Filipe Neri Ferrao Archbishop of Goa and Daman ( India ) 59
  58. 58. 60
  59. 59. 61

×