‘Night of Love’ Unites National Eucharistic Revival and Fatima

New initiative from Blue Army brings together two powerful devotions that will change hearts and souls.

The World Apostolate of Fatima USA is calling for nationwide Eucharistic vigils called ‘Night of Love’ in support of the National Eucharistic Revival and for reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.
The World Apostolate of Fatima USA is calling for nationwide Eucharistic vigils called ‘Night of Love’ in support of the National Eucharistic Revival and for reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. (photo: Courtesy of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA)

On a recent Friday night, at 1 a.m., more than 200 people were present — not to partake in nightlife, but in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

Those gathered were adoring Christ at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago as part of the “Night of Love” initiative.

After the “Night of Love,” Brother Kevin Doerge of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius received many comments: “It was a tremendous blessing, honor, privilege and joy to compassionate the Sacred Hearts of Our Lord and Our Lady. … It truly felt like a night of love. … Can we have one every month?”

The adoration endeavor is causing such positive reactions, and consequently touching hearts, nationwide.

“I was honored to be a part of the ‘Night of Love’ at St. Alice Catholic Church. You could truly feel the presence of Our Lord and Our Lady in the church as we gathered to pray and adore together,” Tina Hanson told the Register, after she attended the first official “Night of Love” at her parish in Springfield, Oregon, on Jan. 5. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to attend these sacred events. They are truly a great blessing for our family.”

The faithful gather at St. Alice Catholic Church for adoration.
The faithful gather at St. Alice Catholic Church in Springfield, Oregon, for adoration. (Photo: Courtesy St. Alice)

“It’s great to have an event for all ages, young and old, and parishioners of different cultural backgrounds. Mary is truly our Mother,” said Father Mark Bentz, the pastor of St. Alice.

The “Night of Love” is a new campaign by the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) USA, calling for nationwide Eucharistic vigils. In support of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival, the WAF, or Blue Army, is urging parishes and shrines to host a “Night of Love” vigil of reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts to pray for the return of all those who have fallen away from the faith and from belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. 

At the same time, the WAF also recommends holding these nights on the First Friday-First Saturdays in honor of the devotions to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.

Barb Ernster, national coordinator for the WAF and editor of Soul magazine, told the Register the idea stems from Fatima’s history. When the Portuguese people would gather at the Cova da Iria to be ready for Mass the next morning, eventually the monstrance was added for exposition, “so people could adore Jesus all night in the Cova before they received Communion in the morning.” The WAF began all-night vigils in the United States in 1969, but over the years, they eventually discontinued.

“So we repurposed the program,” Ernster said. The WAF reprinted co-founder John Haffert’s book Night of Love, where this new initiative takes its inspiration and name.

Blue Army Night of Love
Adoration is underway at the National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Asbury, New Jersey. (Photo: Courtesy photo/World Apostolate of Fatima USA)

She explained: “We’re offering to Our Lord a night of love … a night vigil of Eucharistic reparation.” And while some parishes might want to hold the “Night of Love” all night from Friday through Saturday morning Mass, the WAF is “trying to adjust the program according to the needs of parishes,” Ernster said.

She added, “We’re particularly asking for them to do these on First Fridays at least till midnight, beginning First Saturday, and then ask people to come back the next morning for the First Saturday Mass.”

Strong Double Connection

And the timing is Providential.

“We thought this would be a great way to contribute to the Eucharistic Revival, by trying to get parishes to do a ‘Night of Love’ of reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts and especially to pray for those in their own parish to come back into the church,” Ernster said. One aim is to commit souls to prayer, from loved ones and friends to parishioners and neighbors, with the intention of bringing them “back to the faith and back to belief in the Eucharist.”

The Eucharist-Fatima connection is strong for the “Night of Love,” of course, as the Fatima message calls the faithful to do reparation. “So when you’re giving yourself in a night of love before Jesus, you’re adoring him and making reparation. You’re atoning for those who don’t know him.”

The WAF hopes all dioceses are open to planning such nights of adoration. To help the effort, the Blue Army mailed every bishop in the United States a copy of the book and information about the “Night of Love.” Bishop Andrew Cozzens, of Crookston, Minnesota, and chairman of the National Eucharistic Congress, has endorsed this initiative. He wrote in a letter to the WAF, “Eucharistic-based devotions such as the Night of Love vigils of reparation, which you are promoting nationwide, will most certainly bring more people to a fuller understanding of the truth of our Faith.”

‘Night of Love’ Michigan
‘Night of Love’ Eucharistic procession at Holy Family Church, in Saginaw, Michigan, Dec. 1 and 2 (Photo: Bob Guldenzoph photo)

Exceptional Reactions

St. John Cantius Church decided to hold the “Night on Love” throughout the entire night on Oct. 6-7. After First Friday Mass, most people stayed for some duration, reported Brother Kevin. At 1 a.m., more than 200 people were present, and 60 “remained steadfast by Our Lord throughout the entire night” — until after the 8:30 a.m. First Saturday Mass, followed by the Rosary and Benediction. “The feeling of Our Lord’s presence throughout the night was palpable,” Brother Kevin reported.

Lisa Bergman, who attended, told the Register, “I’m the sort of person who relishes the intimate silence of night adoration, so I was unsure whether the schedule of hourly prayers for this vigil would prove to be intrusive. Yet as we progressed through the night, not only did I find the structure welcome, but the devotion of all those who had committed themselves to this night of prayer as one body gradually blossomed into a palpable sense of exhilaration. By the time morning arrived and we shared breakfast, all of us spoke with infectious joy of a unanimous desire to repeat this vigil soon.”

Father Joshua Caswell, superior general of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, observed, “St. John Cantius embraced the ‘Night of Love’ initiative due to its profound message and beauty. This event presented a radical response, encouraging individuals to sacrifice an entire night of sleep, demonstrating a commitment to spend time in the church with the Lord and the Blessed Sacrament. Witnessing people make this sacrifice was inspiring, as it reflected a deep desire to connect with love of the Church.”

‘Night of Love’ at St. John Cantius in Chicago
‘Night of Love’ at St. John Cantius in Chicago(Photo: ESTHER JULA/Courtesy of Canons Regular of St. John Cantius)

He also shared that choosing to hold this initiative at night holds “particular significance, as the night in big cities like Chicago is often associated with temptations and challenges. The ‘Night of Love’ serves as a positive response to counteract the negative aspects prevalent in cities during the night, providing a sanctuary for people to come together in prayer and devotion.”

Father Caswell recommended praying, as they did, the “Night Litany of a City” because “it would be wonderful to see more cities embrace and engage in nighttime prayer sessions because prayer really changes things.”

At St. Alice Catholic Church, the “test run” “Night of Love” last October followed a viewing of the movie Fatima, with every seat in the parish hall filled, plus seating on the floor “exceeded expectations,” according to parish communications director Sean Marie Long. The response was so positive that the parish began its 2024 first of five “Nights of Love: A Vigil of Reparation” on First Friday, Jan. 5, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., with periods of time dedicated to bilingual Rosaries (on the hour), prayers, quiet adoration and a procession with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Parishioners returned in the morning for the regular First Saturday traditional Latin Mass.

‘Beautiful Experience’

“The ‘Night of Love’ was a beautiful experience of praying the Rosary each hour as a community in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, asking for our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, to pray for us as we make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world,” parishioner Lisa Wasson told the Register.

Likewise, Christine Alvarado, who has four children and is expecting a fifth, said, “My experience with the ‘Night of Love’ brought me back to my childhood when my mom and I, together with other women in our small town, would go from house to house carrying the statue of Our Lady to whoever would like to take her in their home and pray the Holy Rosary with their whole family and relatives. When we processed inside the church following the statue of Our Lady of Fatima being carried by Father Mark, it renewed my devotion to her that started at an early age, and I am grateful for our Catholic faith that we share at our St. Alice Catholic Church, where different cultures join together praying as one big family in reparation for the sins of the world. My devotion to Our Lady just keeps getting even stronger each time. Praise God for his wonderful works through Our Lady, the Queen of Peace.”

According to Long, the evening started with at least 100 people. The next morning, more than 150 faithful attended the First Saturday Mass. She also pointed out another Eucharistic connection for their initiative: The church has been given a “Eucharistic Miracles” exhibit based on the works of Blessed Carlo Acutis. “It debuted this particular weekend so that when people were there for the ‘Night of Love,’” she explained, “coming or at leaving, they saw our exhibit. Every single time we do a ‘Night of Love,’ we’re going to bring that out because we are also a perpetual-adoration parish.”

Parishioner Wasson found this to be an additional spiritual bonus. “Experiencing the ‘Eucharistic Miracles’ exhibit, I felt like I should be on my knees reading about each miracle, a true sense of being on holy ground and how much Jesus loves us and wants us to know he is still present among us in every Mass and we can adore him in Eucharistic adoration as Mary did in the manger,” she said.

People are looking forward to these First Friday-Saturday “Nights of Love,” already scheduled every month through May 4, when the parish will host the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue.

With such results already, Ernster emphasized these “Nights of Love” are part of an ongoing program “that we will be promoting heavily at the Eucharistic Congress. We’re hoping to highlight the need for the beautiful devotions on First Friday for Saturday that our Mother called for. These devotions are more needed than ever.”


Find materials to plan a vigil, free to download, at BlueArmy.com/Night-of-Love.