When a city needs peace, the power of the Eucharist is not to be underestimated
In an interview with Radio Maria Argentina, a priest from Mexico, Father Patricio Hileman, told the story of something that happened in 2013 in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, a city plagued by violence from the war on drugs.
In the midst of the conflicts between rival drug lords and traffickers, a parish decided to begin perpetual adoration.
Within three days, they had what they needed to begin; the faithful had taken on the challenge of accompanying Christ in the Eucharist 24 hours a day, with the obligation that someone would always be present with the Eucharist, which would be exposed on the altar for prayer.
The same year that adoration began, a woman was headed to the chapel for a 3 a.m. turn with the Blessed Sacrament.
Six soldiers intercepted her, questioning why she was on the street at such an hour and doubting her report that she was headed to church.
So she invited them to accompany her.
When they arrived to the chapel, the soldiers were surprised to see six other women in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 3 in the morning.
Their wonder only grew when one of the women said to them, “Do you think that you are the ones protecting us? We are praying for you 24 hours a day.”
One of the soldiers began to cry and fell to his knees before the Eucharist.
The next night, again at 3 a.m., this same soldier, in plain clothes, was again before the Blessed Sacrament, offering his own Holy Hour, and crying “oceans of tears.”
For its part, Ciudad Juarez is no longer the center of such an extreme level of violence, though it still is in the precarious position of being caught in the middle of the supply/demand routes, with drugs headed to customers in the States from suppliers in the South.
It still needs not only wise governance but also much prayer. God always wants us to do our part, and among the various steps taken to mitigate the violence of the city, Eucharistic adoration has been one of the most powerful weapons!
[This article is translated and adapted from Aleteia’s Spanish edition]