Newsletter of the District
- April 2007
you not watch one hour with Me?
The story of a little Martyr of the Eucharist
A couple of months before he died Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was
interviewed on national television. One of the questions he was
asked was this: “You have inspired millions of people all
over the world. Who inspired you? Was it a pope?” He responded
that it was not a pope, cardinal, another bishop, or even a priest
or nun, but rather an eleven-year-old Chinese girl.
that when the communists took over China, they imprisoned a priest
in his own rectory near the church. After being locked up in his
own house, the priest looked out the window and was horrified to
see the communists enter the church. Once inside, they went into
the sanctuary, broke open the tabernacle and in a hateful act of
desecration, threw down the ciborium scattering the Hosts on the
floor. The priest knew exactly how many Hosts had been in the ciborium:
When the communists
left they either didn’t notice, or didn’t pay any attention
to a small girl praying in the back of the Church who saw everything.
That night she returned, and slipping past the guard at the rectory,
entered the Church where she made a holy hour perhaps of reparation
for the desecration she witnessed of the Blessed Sacrament.
After her holy
hour she went into the sanctuary, and kneeling down, she bent over
and received Jesus in Holy Communion with her tongue.
the girl returned to the church to make her holy hour and receive
Jesus in Holy Communion on her tongue just as she did the first
night. On the thirty-second night, after having consumed the last
Host, she accidentally made a noise that awoke the guard who was
asleep at his post by the priest’s residence. From his bedroom
window, the priest could only watch in horror as the heartrending
scene unfolded before his eyes. The girl tried to run away but the
guard caught up with her and beat her to death with the butt of
Sheen heard the story he was so inspired that he promised God he
would make a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day for
the rest of his life. And he was not only faithful to his promise,
but he took every opportunity to spread this devotion of the daily
holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament.
know the name of the eleven-year-old Chinese girl of our story,
but her heroic act of going to the church every night at the risk
of her life to adore and receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
serves as a powerful testimony against the attitude of so many Catholics
today who show nothing but callous indifference toward the Real
Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
also to spend a continuous Holy Hour every day in the presence of
Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament . . . The Holy Hour. Is it difficult?
Sometimes it seemed to be hard; it might mean having to forego a
special engagement, or rise an hour earlier, but on the whole it
has never been a burden, only a joy… The purpose of the Holy
Hour is to encourage a deep personal encounter with Christ. The
holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us to come to Him,
to hold converse with Him, to ask for such things as we need and
to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him .
. . I have found that it takes some time to catch fire in prayer.
This has been one of the advantages of the daily hour. It is not
so brief as to prevent the soul from collecting itself and shaking
off the multitudinous distractions of the world. Sitting before
the Presence is like a body exposing itself before the sun to absorb
its rays. Silence in the Hour is a tête-à-tête
with the Lord. In those moments one does not so much pour out written
prayers, but listening takes its place. We do not say:
Lord, for Thy servant speaks,” but “Speak, Lord, for
Thy servant heareth.”
Treasure in clay, the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen