Thousands of children around the world will gather before the Blessed Sacrament on Oct. 7 for the 14th-annual Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour. EWTN will broadcast this two-hour special presentation live from the Cathedral of St. Paul, National Shrine of the Apostle Paul, in Minneapolis, and from the Church of the Little Shepherds of Fatima, in Aljustrel, Portugal. This program for youth and children, called Children of the Eucharist, Young Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is sponsored by the International World Apostolate of Fatima.
Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who will preside over the events in Minnesota, spoke about the Holy Hour’s significance. (Read more at NCRegister.com.)
How is this year particularly significant, with the approach of the 100-year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearances?
The appearance of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 was arguably one of the most important events in the history of the 20th century. Certainly her message has had a dramatic impact on the history of the 20th century and our own 21st century.
But the message needs to continue to spread. The message is basically about the power of prayer, the power of conversion and the importance of prayer and fasting for the conversion of the world.
The beautiful thing is that Our Lady of Fatima appeared to children, and she must have believed that children have an important role because she chose them to be the recipients of her message, which was so important for the 20th century.
And we know those children had a profound impact on the Holy Father, most especially Pope John Paul II, who, following the other popes, consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary after the invitation of Our Lady of Fatima. It’s very important, with the 100th anniversary coming up, that the people of today, most especially children, learn the importance and power of their prayers.
What are the blessings of fostering devotion to the Eucharist and prayer in children?
The blessing of fostering the Eucharist and prayer in children is that children’s hearts are more open. They’re more open to receiving and knowing Jesus’ love, and this certainly benefits us. As Jesus said, we have to become like them. So we have to learn from their pure-hearted love how to love Jesus the way that they do. Most especially, we have to learn to trust him the way that they do.
This is actually one of the beautiful things you see about childhood saints. Even the childhood saints of Fatima: the incredible trust they had, because they knew that they had experienced Our Lady’s presence, and they were able to be strong in the midst of it. You see the same thing with Bernadette at Lourdes, who was also young when Our Lady appeared to her. In fact, it’s remarkable that, most of the time, when Our Lady appears to people, it’s to children. The more our hearts become like children’s, the more Our Lady will come to us.
This is the 14th year of this event. Why do you think it is gaining popularity?
I think it’s a beautiful thought that children throughout the world are joining together in prayer around the Rosary. I’m quite sure that it makes Our Lady happy that we adults would put in effort to do this for our children.