What is the Eucharistic Crusade?
The Eucharistic Crusade is a Church organisation for children (7 to 15 years). Its primary purpose is to encourage children to pray for their own sanctification and for the needs of the Catholic Church. It is, therefore, both a work of piety and an apostolate. As its name suggests, the Crusade evokes a spirit of combat; primarily against personal vice, and then against the reign of Satan in order to snatch souls from Hell that they may be at the service of Jesus Christ. The necessary supernatural strength for this fight is drawn from the regular, or even daily, frequentation of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
History of the Eucharistic Crusade
This Crusade of children is not a new institution; its spirit is to be found in the decree Quam Singulari of St. Pius X (8th August 1910), who allowed young children to approach the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist after they had reached the age of reason. It was officially founded in 1917 by a French priest called Fr. Bessières with the permission of Pope Benedict XV.
During the First World War, Fr. Bessières encouraged children from a French girls’ school to support the soldiers on the frontline by promising prayers and Holy Communions offered up for victory and the restoration of Christianity inside their country; and they recorded their little treasure by noting their efforts made every day.
Rebirth of the Eucharistic Crusade
Deploring the abandonment of the Eucharistic Crusade since the Second Vatican Council, and convinced that this movement had an important role to play for the good of the Church, the priests and seminarians at Ecône decided to re-establish the Eucharistic Crusade in the 1980s. The movement, intended for the innocent, is an antidote to the corrupt morals of society today; the supernatural power of innocent children being the antithesis to the pride and self-sufficiency of modern man.
The Hostia Magazine
The magazine of the Crusade is called Hostia, meaning Host or Victim, because the strength of the Crusaders comes from devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Through stories, instructions and games, Hostia magazine help to realise the motto and the ideals of the Eucharistic Crusade:
- RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION,
- MAKE SACRIFICES AND
- BE AN APOSTLE!
In this little monthly magazine, the Crusader finds plenty of advice and encouragement to be a good and brave soldier of Christ.
Please find here below a link to the current issue:
To print out a hard copy of this issue use the link to open a file preformatted for stapling into a booklet. If you do not have a printer which can automatically print on both sides of each sheet, it will be necessary to print the first sheet (containing the first and last pages), re-insert it and print the next sheet (containing the second and last-but-one pages), and repeat this process for all 8 sheets.
Earlier issues of the Hostia magazine can be found in the Hostia Magazine Archive.
To subscribe and for more information, please send a request to the Eucharistic Crusade Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Vianney Vandendaele, at [email protected]
Becoming a member
1. How can my child can become a member of the Eucharistic Crusade?
A child is introduced to the Eucharistic Crusade when he subscribes to the monthly Magazine, Hostia , and attends the meetings of the Crusade. A child becomes a fully fledged member of the Eucharistic Crusade when he is officially received in one of the three Degrees of the Crusade, namely PAGE, CRUSADER or KNIGHT (HANDMAID for girls).
2. What are the obligations of a member of the Eucharistic Crusade?
The basic obligations, common to all levels:
- to say the morning offering, with the "intention of the month" given in the bulletin;
- to fill out and send out the total of the Month's Treasure Sheet
The special obligations proper to each degree are as follows:
|PAGES||(a) usual morning & night prayers.|
(a) usual morning & night prayers,
|KNIGHTS & HANDMAIDS||
(a) usual morning & night prayers,
(Members do not have to recite their prayers again if they are already part of the family prayers)
3. Are these obligations binding under pain of sin?
4. When and where do members have to send their completed monthly treasure sheets?
Please send by post early each month after a treasure sheet is completed to:
St. Mary's House
12 Ribblesdale Place
Preston PR1 3NA
5. What to do with late treasure sheets?
Send them anyway! The totals will be included in the total of the previous month.
Contact the chaplain for Great Britain at [email protected]