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How a little girl’s Eucharistic faith inspired Fulton Sheen

FULTON SHEEN

ABC Radio/Public domain/Wikimedia Commons | MIA Studio/Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/31/22

Fulton Sheen was inspired to make a daily holy hour after hearing about the faith of a little girl in communist China.

Fulton Sheen was well-known for his habit of making a daily holy hour, no matter the time of the day. It was a permanent part of his schedule and reflected a deep love of the Holy Eucharist.

Sheen would often talk about a story of a little girl who was martyred in Communist China, reportedly dying at the hands of Communist soldiers.

He offers a version of the story in his autobiography, Treasure in Clay, that sets the scene of this heroic girl.

Elsewhere in China, a priest had just begun Mass when Communists entered and arrested him and made him a prisoner in a house adjoining the little church. From a window in that house he could see the tabernacle. Shortly after his imprisonment, the Communists opened the tabernacle, threw the Hosts on the floor, and stole the Sacred Vessels. The priest then decided ­­ to make adoration to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as much as he could day and night. About three o’clock one morning, he saw a child who had been at the morning Mass open a window, climb in, come to the sanctuary floor, get down on both knees, press her tongue to the Host to give herself Holy Communion. The priest told me there were about thirty Hosts in the ciborium. Every single night she came at the same time until there was only one Host left.  As she pressed her tongue to receive the Body of Christ, a shot rang out. A Communist soldier had seen her. It proved to be her Viaticum.

It is believed that this story inspired Fulton Sheen and renewed his love of Jesus in the Eucharist.

The identity of this little girl has never been known, though some now call her, “Li,” or “Little Li,” and various versions of the story have been spread over the years.

Regardless, it is a beautiful story and can inspire us in our belief in the Eucharist, showing us how much love this little girl had, not wanting her greatest love in life to be disrespected or discarded.

Tags:
Eucharist
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