by Father Martin Lucia, M.S.S.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus is the Patroness of all missionaries, even though she never left the convent. She died at the early age of 24, but accomplished great things through the power of prayer. The Church made her Patroness of all missionaries, to emphasize and dramatize this most important truth: All conversions and all apostolic activities in the Church are accomplished by grace generated by prayer.
The Church also teaches us that the most efficacious prayer is prayer in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Prayer in the Divine Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases the power, blessings and graces of God upon mankind.
The best example of this is from Sacred Scripture. Jesus asked His Apostles who touched Him, because He felt the power go out from Him. He was referring to a woman who made an act of faith by touching the hem of His garment, knowing that by doing so she would be healed.
Each time you go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, you touch His Heart with your faith. Each Holy Hour you make in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases His power and graces upon you, your family, your parish, your diocese and the world. This is why our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, says that "the Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic Adoration."
The Pope canonized Maximilian Kolbe, who made 10 visits every day to the Blessed Sacrament during his adult life.
The Pope beatified Sister Faustina, who wrote in her diary that each Holy Hour of prayer so pleases
the Heart of Jesus, that every man, woman and child on earth receives a new effect from God's goodness and love, all because of the value of a single Holy Hour made in His Presence.
The Pope also beatified Dina Belanger, because of her devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus revealed to Dina the power of the Holy Hour as reparation. Reparation is when you repair for, or make up for, what is lacking in the life of another person.
One day, before her Holy Hour, Jesus showed Dina a multitude of souls on the precipice of Hell. After her Holy Hour, Jesus showed the same souls go to Heaven, who otherwise would have gone to Hell. So one person can make up for what is lacking in the lives of others, by winning precious graces for their salvation.
In other words, Eucharistic Adoration brings with it the outpouring of God's Divine Mercy on the world!
In the past, there were many Religious communities and monasteries devoted to Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Now there are very few, as most of them no longer exist. God did not cause this, but has allowed it to happen because this is the age of the laity.
There are a growing number of lay people who are experiencing the call to make a Holy Hour - not just once a week, but every day. Bishop Fulton Sheen was the great apostle of the importance of the daily Holy Hour.
I am fully convinced that if it were humanly possible to fully understand the value of the Holy Hour, everyone would either find time or make time to do it. The difficulty of finding time in today's busy world makes the daily Holy Hour that much more precious and meritorious in the eyes of God.
For those who make a daily Holy Hour, or as a result of this article are inspired to do so, I ask you to please pray for the spread of Perpetual Adoration throughout the world.
Pope John Paul II, attended the 45th International Eucharistic Congress held in June, 1993, in Seville, Spain. The Holy Father prayed that the fruit of the Congress would be the establishment of Perpetual Adoration in every parish throughout the world.
For the past 17 years, I have dedicated my priesthood helping establish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for the laity. Just as contemplative vocations are now being given to the laity, so too is the gift of Perpetual Adoration coming to the parishes, instead of houses of Religious.
In 1987, I met a Bishop who said I should not be the only priest who promoted Perpetual Adoration, because there was such a need and urgency to spread it all over the world. To do this, Bishop Felix Zafra told me that God wanted me to start a new community of priests.
The Bishop was right. Because Heaven wants Perpetual Adoration, we have been richly blessed with vocations. Eight men have already been ordained to the holy priesthood, with another 31 seminarians studying for the priesthood.
Each priest ordained in placed in a diocese with a Bishop who wants and encourages Perpetual Adoration in every one of his parishes. Bishop Gracida of Corpus Christi, Texas, was the first Bishop to ask for one of our priests. Because of the success in Corpus Christi, Bishops in seven other states have asked for priests to spread Perpetual Adoration in their dioceses.
Our goal is to help every parish establish Perpetual Adoration, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.
What will make this possible are the Lay Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament.
A Lay Missionary is one who make a daily Holy Hour, and contributes a donation each month to help support a seminarian studying for the priesthood.
Your daily Holy Hour generates the graces necessary for the spread of Perpetual Adoration. (The Holy Hour can be before the Tabernacle when Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is not available.) And your monthly donation makes it possible for a young man to study for the priesthood.
Not everyone is called to be a priest. But to make it possible for someone to become a priest: one shares in the merits of his priesthood, and in the glory and graces of his Apostolate. In this case, the priest you help will dedicate his priesthood to going from parish to parish, setting up Chapels of Perpetual Adoration.
With the support you give this seminarian, and with all the graces generated by your daily Holy Hour, you will make a major impact on the Church.
Like Saint Therese, you will be a missionary without ever going to the missions!
If you feel called by God to be a Lay Missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, and are willing to make a daily Holy Hour, and to help a seminarian with a monthly donation, please fill out the Member's Promise and enrollment form.
On behalf of Our Eucharistic Lord, I thank you!
Father Martin Lucia, MS.S. is Founder of the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament. Their special apostolic work is promotion of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
For additional Information:
Lay Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
4761 Foxdale Drive
Kettering, Ohio 45429 Phone: (513) 433-8781
Eucharistic Exposition & Benediction
EXPOSITION—After the people have assembled, the following or another suitable song may be sung while the minister prepares the Holy Eucharist for adoration.
|1. O saving Victim, open wide
The gate of heav’n to us below,
Our foes press on from ev’ry side;
Your aid supply, your strength bestow.
2. To your great name be endless praise,
|1. O salutaris Hostia
Quae caeli pandis ostium:
Bella premunt hostilia,
Da robur, fer auxilium.
2. Uni trinoque Domino
ADORATION—The Liturgy of the Hours may be celebrated during the period of exposition, or there may be prayers, songs, readings from scripture and a brief homily to direct the attention of the faithful to the worship of the Lord. The following or another suitable eucharistic song may be sung.
Down in Adoration Falling
|1. Down in adoration falling,
Lo! The sacred Host we hail;
Lo! O’er ancient forms departing,
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
2. To the everlasting Father,
And the Son who reigns on high,
With the Holy Spirit proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
|1.Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui;
Praestet fides supplementum,
2. Genitori Genitoque
EUCHARISTIC BLESSING—If the minister is a priest or deacon, there may be a blessing. Before the blessing a prayer such as the following may be said.
have given them bread from heaven,
The Divine Praises
ACCLAMATION OR SONG—The
people may say an acclamation or sing another song such as the