In every tabernacle we find Jesus with his Body, his Blood, his Soul and his Divinity. It is a real presence, to be believed and lived: if I have a good friend who is in the hospital or can’t get out of the house, love urges me to go and visit him to keep him company, sharing his joys and sorrows. Jesus is not only my best friend, He is my «brother, sister and mother» (Mk 3,35), He is «my Lord and my God» (Jn 20,28), He is my «All» who for love of me has made himself a prisoner in the tabernacle and tells us: «Bring the children to me, theirs is the kingdom of heaven, they are a great relief in my captivity».
When we understand Jesus’ distress in the words said on the cross: «I thirst» and when we hear that Jesus’ thirst for souls and Love continues in the tabernacle, we cannot remain indifferent before His suffering. The biggest relief we can give Him is to bring Him children, who are immediately in tune with his Heart which beats in every tabernacle: just read Lucia’s Memoirs – which we report in full in this site – to feel the personal and profound relationship the children of Fatima established with the «hidden» Jesus, with the «lonely» Jesus as they used to call Him.
When children are in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament they “feel” all of this, and they have a greater trust in God; they “live” his presence and they let themselves be swept up by his love which invites them to a more profound intimacy in Eucharistic Communion. In this context, the prophetic words of St. Pius X are fulfilled: «We will have children saints» and John Paul II: «There will be apostles among the children».
It is important to teach children that when they enter and exit a church they must make the sign of the cross and genuflect to the ground. We must genuflect every time we pass by the Most Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle: we are standing in front of the King of kings!
If possible, the time for the encounter must be set when there are no other activities going on in Church which could distract the children and prevent them from concentrating in this moment of particular intimacy with God.
Invite the children to arrange themselves, with confidence and respect, near the altar where the priest or deacon or, in their absence, the extraordinary minister exposes Jesus.
Then read the «Visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament for children». Pause for a few minutes of silence.
For the recitation of the Rosary go back to the suggestions for the Prayer Nest in the family.
Finally, a Eucharistic song in preparation for Communion; if it is not possible to receive sacramental Communion, spiritual communion is done. After Communion, in thanksgiving, recite the prayers which the Angel taught at Fatima. Conclude with the blessing and a song.
The prayer material is the same suggested for the Prayer Nest in the family and can be requested at our address.
Maricruz Ripoll, the tireless missionary of Our Lady’s Armata Bianca, who has approached and consecrated more than 80,000 children of the Dominican Republic to our Father in Heaven, wrote to us on May 7, 2005.
«Dearest father Andrea, Our Lady is doing many good works here in Santo Domingo. I have the encouraging witnesses of a few teachers who, after the recent consecrations done in their schools, tell me about the marvels our Lord is working with the children. I’ll tell you about a specific episode. I showed the children how the Angel at Fatima prostrated himself and adored Jesus-God in the Host to ask him for the conversion of sinners and peace in the world. They prostrated themselves too and asked me if they could do it every day in their homes and how long they had to remain prostrated.
At the end of the encounter, I spoke with the professor of the parish of the Good Shepherd and she told me that during a retreat they had a few days before, they spoke to the children about sanctity and afterwards they exposed the Most Blessed Sacrament: the children asked them if they could prostrate themselves to adore Jesus, they did so and a few of them were moved and cried for a long time. After, they told her they felt so much joy and they felt as if they were lightened from a heavy load. Just think Father, eight-year-old children feel this, after experiencing the Love and company of the Lord….
In another College the children arrived at the chapel with bored faces, but when adoration began with the recitation of the rosary, I invited those who wished to pray by adoring Jesus prostrated. Most of them came closer and, although the professor told them to stay seated, many of them remained on their knees and came one at a time to recite the mystery by prostrating themselves in the central aisle. At the end of the Mass, I noticed that their faces had changed completely; they asked to go to confession, forming a very long line. I was amazed at the fact that when the older ones saw us prostrated they left, while the younger children stayed: Our Lady calls little children.
I believe that today we must show children that God must be honoured as our God, Creator and Redeemer and that all we can do to honour him is always little compared to what He deserves, since He allows us, although we are sinners, to remain before His real Presence as long as we want…
The children of the neighbourhood I am approaching are very devoted to Padre Pio and St. Francis.They pray the rosary on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays prostrating themselves with their faces to the ground; on Thursdays they adore the Most Blessed Sacrament. They go to Mass every day and the little group is growing more and more, most of them want to become a Brother of the Armata Bianca when they are older. They accompany me in the consecrations, because where they live there are many parishes and colleges and they know them all. They are very active kids and they know their neighbourhood well. Before the consecrations, most of them were Protestant. I wish you could meet them, they are really something special. The oldest is Diandi who is 12, and he is clever and intelligent. He’s the leader of the group, he learns very quickly and is very able in expressing himself; I am going to give him the booklet so he can learn how to do the consecrations, I think he will soon be able to do them by himself. But first I will bring him with me for a while so that he can learn well and consecrate the new children who want to join the Prayer Nest».
It is interesting to compare Maricruz’ testimony with the one sent to us, about 30 years before, by Fr. Vittorio Narducci, the pastor of Canosa, a small town in Abruzzi: the Spirit which gives life to children of different cultures and languages, so far away in time and space, is the same Spirit who moved the three children of Fatima in Portugal ninety years ago. It is beautiful to live this marvellous action of the Holy Spirit who unites children throughout the world in his always identical and always new action.
Canosa, 1974: «Every evening a group of children, whose number varies from ten to a hundred, comes to church to pray the Rosary and to keep the «hidden Jesus» company. These children don’t cease to amaze me: they often come early and I find them already intent on saying the Rosary. When they leave, they genuflect and bow down with their faces to the ground, and they stay like this for quite a while, reciting the prayer of the Angel of Peace: «My God, I believe, I hope, I adore and I love You…»; some stay in this position during the Rosary too. They renew their consecration to Our Lady, every day they often repeat the prayers which the Angel and the Virgin Mary taught the shepherd children and they receive Jesus in Holy Communion: they give thanks in silence, some with their faces to the ground, and they conclude with the song of the message of Fatima. At first, almost all of them came, then the number decreased, but a small group of the most faithful remained: strangely enough, the ones who live further away, even a few kilometres…» (Father Vittorio Narducci – Pastor of Canosa – CH)
From Sulmona (AQ), Giulio: «When Father Andrea, my spiritual father, told me to make the children pray, the task seemed quite demanding and difficult because I thought it would be difficult to convince children to come to church to pray the rosary, instead of playing with their games. But I soon had to change my mind because from the first small group, which was composed of 8-10 children, we soon arrived at peaks of 30, with an average of more than 150 children a week. This is proof of the power of Our Lady’s love which makes up for our little faith in a clear and unequivocal way…»