In a private audience yesterday with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI approved the “heroic virtue” of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, thereby officially opening the well-loved radio and television preacher’s cause for canonization.
When Fulton J. Sheen was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois in 1919, he promised to make a Holy Hour each day before the Most Blessed Sacrament. He remained faithful to his promise for the entire sixty years of his priesthood. It was during his Holy Hour that he learned to listen to the voice of Our Lord and abandon himself to the love of His Heart. Archbishop Sheen was a tireless promoter of the daily hour of Eucharistic adoration, particularly among priests. Concerning this practise, he wrote:
I keep up the Holy Hour to grow more and more into His likeness… Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way as the face of Moses was transformed after his companionship with God on the mountain.
The Holy Hour is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption. ‘Could you not watch one hour with Me?’ Not for an hour of activity did He plead, but for an hour of companionship.
The purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage deep personal encounter with Christ. The holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us to come to Him, to hold converse with Him and to ask such things as we need and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him. One of the by-products of the Holy Hour was the sensitiveness to the Eucharistic Presence of Our Divine Lord.