Saints of the Eucharist


Saints of the Eucharist

St Aloysius Gonzaga (Jubilee Year began March 9th 2018)

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St Aloysius Gonzaga is the official Catholic patron saint of youth. On March 9 2018 is the 450th anniversary of this wonderful saint, who died at the age of 23 and inspired all these around him, including St Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Catholic Church. As a child he inspired St Charles Borromeo and the future queen of France. St Charles Borromeo, a cardinal in the Church became Aloysius’ spiritual director when he was only twelve years old and gave him the Catechism of the Council of Trent for study.Aloysius is the perfect example for our times that we should challenge our children to be holy at the very earliest ages. We need not coddle them and definitely should not underestimate them.
 
The definitive book on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was written by one St Margaret Mary’s spiritual directors while she was still alive. In that book devotion to St Aloysius was specifically mentioned as a method to become closer to Jesus.
 
From the time St Aloysius Gonzaga was a little boy he was a model and inspiration of devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament. He was born into a noble Italian family in 1568 and from his earliest childhood, in large part due to the influence of his mother, recognized a call to holiness he answered with all his heart soul, mind and strength.Taking the words of Jesus to “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” he practiced a life of prayer and penance that brought to the heights of holiness.
 
At the age of five he began studies that would last his whole lifetime such that at his death he spoke five languages.At this early age he began serving Mass and reciting an impressive collection of vocal prayers.He made a decision to make kneeling on the floor in prayer a habit.
 
Aloysius loved private prayer, public prayer, meditation and above all spending time in the Presence of our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.The Eucharist was the very center of his spiritual life.
 
Today’s world is not that much different from the world of Aloysius where there is such lust of the senses, greed and false sense of entitlement. He lived in a world where sexual sins and permissiveness were common place. Aloysius rejected all these temptations which were at his fingertips. He wholeheartedly lived for Christ in the Eucharist.
 
He is most certainly a model for young and old alike.
 

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

St. Norbert

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Sisters of Charity, is known as a saint of our age especially for her care of the "poorest of the poor" and her vocal opposition to abortion but many are not aware of the incredible impact and importance of the Eucharist on her life and her religious Order.

“To be able to do something beautiful for God we need Jesus. Jesus became the Bread of Life so that you and I, and even a small child, can receive him and have life. In a special way we need the Bread of Life to know the poor, to love them, and serve them. Each one of us needs to encounter Jesus. Without him we can do nothing [John 15:5]. We need the Bread of Life to Live. Jesus said very clearly, ‘If you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will not have eternal life.’ . . .

I always tell Christians we not merely social workers. No co-worker or Missionary of Charity is a social worker. If we take Jesus at his word, all of us are contemplatives in the heart of the world, for if we have faith, we are continuously in his presence. We need a life of prayer for this kind of prayer for this kind of faith. We need to worship God and have a spirit of sacrifice. We need to spiritually feed ourselves on him constantly.
 
In the beginning of our congregation, we used to have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament once a week. At our last general meeting [1977] or convocation, there was a unanimous consensus o the part of all the sisters that there should be daily Adoration. We now have an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament every day. Upon returning home, we spend an hour alone worshipping Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I believe that this has been the greatest gift to our congregation. It is something that has worked important changes in our lives. It has brought us closer together and has made us more understanding. It has helped us to know our poor better. It has fostered a greater tenderness and love in us.
 
We owe it all to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We cannot be co-worker or Missionaries of Charity without an intense life of prayer.”
 
The 1977 book “Something Beautiful for God” by Malcom Muggeridge, which helped to bring Mother Teresa to the world stage has a number of insights into the importance of the Blessed Sacrament: Daily Holy Mass was the spiritual food without which Mother Teresa she said she could not get through one single day or hour of the life she had chosen. This interview excerpt sheds light on this.
 
Mother Teresa:
“But in Christ we can do all things. That is why this work has become possible, because we are convinced then it is He, He who is working with us and through us in the poorest of the poor.”
 
Malcom:
“The stimulus, the fire, the strength of what you are doing comes from that?”
 
Mother Teresa:
“It comes from Christ and the Sacrament.”
 
Malcom:
“Which is why you begin each day with Mass?”
 
Mother Teresa:
“Yes,without himwe could do nothing [John 15:5]. It is there are the altar we meet our suffering poor. And in Him that we see that suffering can become a means to a greater love, and greater generosity.”
 
Malcom:
“I think what you do is to make one see that these people are not just to be pitied: they are marvelous people. How do you do this?”
 
Mother Teresa:
“…Because it is a continual contact with Christ and His work, it is the same contact we have during Mass and in the Blessed Sacrament. There we have Jesus in the appearance of bread. But here in the slums, in the broken body, in the children, we see Christ and we touch Him.”
 
Finally regarding abortion Mother Teresa was once asked by Mark Miravalle, a professor at the Franciscan Universtiy of Steubenville what could be done about abortion.  Mother Teresa told him that "if every parish in the United States offered three hours of Eucharistic Adoration each day, abortion would end." 
 

St. John Paul II

St. Norbert

 “I hope that ... Perpetual Adoration, with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that the fruit of this Congress results in the establishment of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”  
St John Paul II 1993

 
St John Paull II, a saint of our time, was instrumental in growing Eucharistic Adoration. His 1993 call for Perpetual Adoration fueled a movement that continues to this day. In his encyclical letter "On the Eucharist (Ecclesia de Eucharistia) he outlines the importance of Eucharistic for the world, the Church, and ourselves.
 

“With the institution of the Eucharist in the upper room. . . Jesus Christ entrusted to his Church the perennial making present of the paschal mystery. … The thought of this leads us to profound amazement and gratitude. In the Paschal event and the Eucharist which makes it present throughout the centuries, there is a truly enormous ‘capacity’ which embraces all of history as the recipient of the grace of the redemption. This amazement should always fill the Church assembles fo the celebration of the Eucharist. . . I would like to rekindle this Eucharistic ‘amazement’.”

“In many places, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also an important daily practice and becomes an inexhaustible source of holiness. . . Unfortunately, alongside these lights there are also shadows. In some places, the practice of Eucharistic Adoration has been almost completely abandoned. In various parts of the Church abuses have occurred, leading to confusion with regard to sound faith and Catholic doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament. At times on encounters and extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet. . . This has led here and there to ecumenical initiatives which, albeit well-intentioned, indulge in Eucharistic practices contrary to the discipline by which the Church expresses her faith. How can we express profound grief at this? The Eucharistic is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and deprecation.

It is my hope [we can] banish the dark clouds of unacceptable doctrine and practice, so that the Eucharistic will continue to shine forth in all its radiant mystery.”

”The Church has received the Eucharist from Christ her Lord not as one gift—however precious—among so many others, but as the gift par excellence, for it is the gift of himself, of his person in his sacred humanity.”

“The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. . . It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particularly, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.

It is pleasant to spend time with Him, to lie close to his breast like the beloved disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to fell the infinite love present in this heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the ‘art of prayer,’ how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brothers and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation, and support. This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium, is supported by the example of many saints.”

“A Christian community desirous of contemplating the face of Christ . . . cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.”

 
 

St. Norbert

St. Norbert

St Norbert (d. June 6, 1134) is known as "The Apostle of the Eucharist." He founded the Religious Order of Premonstratensians (Norbertines) and we are blessed to have them in the diocese of Orange based at St Michaels Abbey in Silvarado Canyon (which holds a daily Holy Hour of Adoration with Exposition) as well as St John the Baptist Parish in Costa Mesa (which holds 24/7 Eucharistic Adoration with Expostion).

 St Norbert is often depicted holding the Blessed Sacrament with the heretic Tankelin, who denied the Real Presence.

St Norbert's first Abbey was in Prémontré France and the saint made the Eucharist the heart of his Order's liturgical prayer in the spirit of the first Christians who "devoted themselves to the breaking of the bread" (Acts 2:42).  St Norbert and his Order are in no small part instrumental in the growth of Eucharistic piety in the twelve century which gave rise to such devotion as genuflecting and kneeling before the Eucharist along with a desire to see the Host via the ritual elevation of the Host during Holy Mass. St Norbert made the Mass the center of his spiritual life and ministry.  Contrary to the custom of the time he celebrated Mass everyday and loved to preach after Mass when his heart was overflowing with the love he had drawn from contact with Christ.

St Norbert was one of the first saints to start a "Third Order" comprised of the laity and the Norbertine Third Order is vibrant in the  Diocese of Orange living off the following Five Marks of the Third Order:
 
  1. The Most Holy Eucharist
  2. Liturgy of the Hours and Personal Prayer
  3. Marian Devotion
  4. Penance
  5. Missionary Zeal of Souls 
 
 
 

St Maximilian Kolbe

St. Max Kolbe

St Maximilian Kolbe is primarily known as the saint of Auschwitz, a Franciscan priest from Poland who gave his live for another prisoner with such a degree of love that even the Communist government who took over Poland after World War II put up a plaque in Auschwitz honoring this martyr of love.

In addition, even more importantly St Maximilian founded the Militia of the Immaculata, a worldwide Catholic organization dedicated to the consecration of souls to the Blessed Virgin Mary in order to save souls and bring them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Steeped in the ideals of chivalry St Maximilian stated: "We establish a new knighthood, Militia Immaculata, serving the Virgin Mary & fighting her enemies with spiritual weapons."

Like so many saints, St Maximilian recognized that prayer and sacrifice should be the primary methods of the Church militant on earth, and that those methods would bring about change.
 
The following excerpts from his writings summarize his priorities. Remember, this was a man whose magazines were published around Europe in many languages that were publicly critical of Adolph Hitler, Communism, and other evils of the time.
 
"Fruitfulness of action doesn’t depend on ability, energy, money though these are gifts useful to the Catholic apostolate. Fruitfulness of action depend solely and exclusively on union with God. If this decreases, [ability, energy, money] will avail nothing."
 
"Our 1st weapon is prayer. Some underestimate or neglect this weapon believing work and action to take priority but this is not so."
 
"The knees, not the intellect or the pen, give efficacy to action...Prayer before and after every activity."
 
Prior to the start of World War II St Maximilian ran the largest Catholic magazine in Europe and can be considered the Mother Angelica of his time. He had plans for Catholic radio and television growth before World War II. If you are not familiar with St Maximilian and his Militia of the Immaculata, it would be well worth your time to become familiar.
 
Below we only concentrate on his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
 
From early childhood St Maximilian participated in Eucharistic Adoration. His father, a 3rd Order Franciscan, was the parish coordinator of Eucharistic Adoration at his parish so he was certainly taught to love and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament from a very early age. His mother, also a 3rd Order Franciscan, taught him to love his Catholic faith.
 
During his life as a religious St Maximilian made numerous visits to the Blessed Sacrament each day. Even during his prolonged illnesses during the seminary, the Blessed Sacrament was his companion. During his life of missionary work and publishing he would make stops at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel throughout the day.
 
When war broke out in Europe one of his first activities was to establish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at his friary of Marytown in Poland.
 
Certainly, St Maximilian is a model of us in Eucharistic Adoration. We should make it a priority in our lives and work towards making it a priority in the lives of others. By doing so, Our Lord will give us the grace and strength to accomplish more than we ever could on our own.
 

Sts. Francisco & Jacinta Marto

Sts. Francisco and Jacinta Marto

Even though Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the Fatima visionaries, died quite young their lives are lessons for us all. We assume you are already familiar with the stor of Our Lady of Fatima and its messages. If not, please become familiar right away!

A somewhat forgotten message of Fatima is Eucharistic Adoration. In fact, the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament is on May 13 and before Our Lady appeared the children were taught Eucharistic Adoration by an Angel.
 
Francisco and Jacinta lived in earnest the lessons described below for the rest of their lives. There are so many examples in Francisco and Jacinta’s lives that we can emulate but here we limit just to their lives of Eucharistic Adoration. The Fatima Angel of Peace taught the children Eucharistic Adoration by example. In one hand, he held a golden chalice and in the other hand a Sacred Host which became suspended in the air. At this point the angel bowed his head to the ground and instructed the children to follow his example.
 
He then taught them the following prayer: 
“Oh, most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and offer the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, present in every tabernacle of the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference of mankind, by which He is continually offended. And through the infinite merits of His Sacred Heart, and through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I plead for the conversion of unfortunate sinners.”
 
From this time forward the children lived lives steeped in prayer and meditation and they accepted hardships in a spirit of sacrifice.
 
After all the Fatima apparitions were over the children were constantly overwhelmed by visitors. They often fled to the Church and hid there in adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
 
They had such love and attachment to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament calling Him “dear Christ on earth” and they never missed an opportunity to enter church and spend time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They would kneel before the tabernacle with the same attitude they had during the Marian apparitions.
 
Jesus was hidden in the tabernacle but to Francisco and Jacinta Jesus was a real Presence from which they received divine grace. When it came time to leave Francisco would often stay behind telling Lucia and Jacinta saying “I am going to stay with the hidden Jesus.” Later the two girls would return and find Francisco near the altar, his hands folded, and his eyes fixed on the tabernacle, in ecstasy.
 
When Francisco was bedridden in the illness before his death he would tell say to Lucia “Go into the Church and tell Jesus everything for me!”
 
Jacinta also loved our Eucharistic Lord. Nothing pleased her more than to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. “I love it here,” she would say, “and I have so much to tell Him!” And when Jacinta was nearing death and also bedridden she told her cousin Lucia to visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and “tell Him I love Him so much, and give Him all my affections.”
 
Francisco and Jacinta observed what Our Lady revealed that everybody, without exception, observe.
  1. A return to God with a denial of ourselves
  2. An avoidance of sin, especially sins of impurity, and the occasions of them, by fighting without quarter, our evil passions and tendencies.
  3. The observance of God’s Commandments—all of them—and the Commandments of His Church.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

St. Peter Julian Eymard

When it comes to Eucharistic Adoration enough cannot be said about St Peter Julian Eymard. He founded the religious order of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers along with a congregation of nuns, a priests’ Eucharistic league, and a Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. His series of books on all aspects of the Blessed Sacrament can be life-changing when one reads them and applies them to one’s life.

When St Peter was a child in the early 1800’s he was known enter the church and climb up the alter so he could pray right next to Jesus Eucharistic hidden in the tablernacle.

 

His entire life was dedication to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Below are just a few examples of his teachings:

“The Eucharist is the life of all nations. It affords the very principle of life.”

 

"Unity in the early Church "Because they were assiduous in ... persevering in the breaking of the bread."

 

The Eucharist is therefore the life of the soul as well as the life of human society, just as the sun is the life of the body as well as that of the earth.

 

"Furthermore, the Christian community is a family. The bond that unites them is Jesus in the Eucharist."

 

"The Eucharist imparts on the Christian community the power to preserve the law of honor and love of neighbor." St Peter Julian Eymard

 

"WIthout Communion we deal only with the painful side of life's struggles"

 

"The object of Eucharistic Adoration is Jesus. He is living there. He wants us to speak to Him & He will speak to us."

 

"The conversation between the soul & the Lord is the true Eucharistic Meditation ie Adoration"

 

"Look upon the hour of Eucharistic Adoration assigned to you as an hour in paradise."  

 

"Tell Jesus of His Blessed Mother who He loved so much & you will make Him experience anew the happiness of a good son."

 

"There is nothing you can do more glorious to God, more profit to your soul than to hear Mass piously and frequently."