A Girl's Heroic Holy Hour

(Homily for Holy Thursday)

A few months before he died in 1979, Bishop Fulton Sheen gave a television interview. The reporter asked, “Your Excellency, you have inspired millions. Who inspired you? Was it the pope?”

Bishop Sheen responded that it was not the pope or a cardinal or another bishop or even a priest or nun. It was an eleven-year-old girl. He explained that when the communists took over China in the late forties, they imprisoned a priest in his own rectory. Looking through the window, he saw the soldier enter the church and break open the tabernacle, scattering the Blessed Sacrament on the floor. The priest knew the exact number of hosts: thirty-two.

Unnoticed by the soldiers, a young girl had been praying in the back of the church and she hid when they came in. That night the girl returned and spent an hour in prayer. She then entered the sanctuary, knelt and bent over to take one of the hosts on her tongue.

The girl came back each night, spent an hour in prayer and received Jesus by picking up a sacred host with her tongue. The thirty-second night, after consuming the final host, she made an accidental sound, awakening a soldier. He ran after her and when he caught her, he struck her with his rifle butt. The noise woke the priest – but too late. From his house, he saw the girl die.

Bishop Sheen said that when he heard about this, it inspired him so much that he made a promise that he would spend one hour each day before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He always said that the power of his priesthood came from the holy hour.

Tonight, brothers and sisters, we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist. At the end of the Mass we will have a procession inside the church to adore our Savior. We will invite you to spend an hour with Jesus. From him comes our strength.


Spanish Version

From Archives:

2010 Homily: Foot Washing & Celibacy
2009: Join the Nearest Household
2008: Grandma, Can I Wash Your Feet?
2007: The Passover Lamb Must Be Eaten
2006: A New Friend at the Banquet
2005: Our True Companion
2004: A Girl's Heroic Holy Hour
2003: Do This!
2002: Humiliation of Priesthood
2001: Super-Abundance of Mercy
2000: Washing of Feet & Eucharist
1999: Family Struggles & Strengths
1998: In Remembrance of Me

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Bulletin (Holy Week, Sharon & Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Seeing The Passion a Second Time)

Mel Gibson's Surprise Visit to Little Sisters of the Poor:

The Sister said she didn't recognize Gibson or know much about his career. "I have to plead very ignorant. In our community, we don't go to the movies and aren't up on the actors."

Gibson's donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor was several thousand dollars, but we've agreed not to release the exact amount. Gibson told the nuns that he'd like to make a movie about the life of Moses and about Sarah, the wife of Abraham in the Old Testament.

800,000 and counting!

DaVinci Code: Facts Behind the Fiction

Catholic Distance University is offering a three week course titled Debunking the Da Vinci Code (April 19 to May 9)


Twenty-First Century Idolatry: "Science gave me a gift" (Boston Globe article)

By "science" she meant a process in which she received hormone injections to produce multiple ova and her husband received an adult magazine with instructions to masturbate into a sterile container. Technicians extracted several ova from her, mixed them with his semen, thus conceiving a number of human embryos. Some were implanted in her womb and two of them developed into beautiful children (the "gift"). Four of their siblings, however, remained frozen and the parents had to make a decision what to do with them.

"I felt I should give back." That is, she and her husband decided that instead of having the siblings simply placed in the garbage, they would give permission for scientists to use them for stem cell research - even though "she knew they were far more than balls of cells." Like the Old Testament deity Moloch, our modern idols require child sacrifice. But they do deliver the goods, so who can complain?


Pascal Fast "One of the most ancient traditions of the Church is the fast from the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening until after the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. This is a complete fast for those who can do it -- only water."

St. Mary of the Valley Album

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