Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer
March 7, 2023 // Diocese

Forty Hours Devotion Scheduled Across Diocese as Part of Eucharistic Revival

Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer

Beginning in June, focus of the National Eucharistic Revival will shift from the diocesan level to individual parishes. One of the initiatives Bishop Rhoades has requested during this time is for each parish to host a “Forty Hours” event, where the Blessed Sacrament will be solemnly exposed for adoration and prayer for approximately 40 consecutive hours.

The tradition of Forty Hours dates back to Milan, Italy, in the 16th century. Known as “Quarant’ore” in Italian, the devotion recalls the Forty Hours our Lord spent in the tomb from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning and invites the faithful to keep vigil with Him in the Eucharist during the same span of time.

Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria and other legendary evangelizers, including St. Charles Borromeo, St. Philip Neri, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Ignatius Loyola, were known to enthusiastically encourage this devotional practice.

Often offered in penitential seasons, Forty Hours was undertaken by parishes to make atonement for sin, to deepen in personal conversion, to pray for healing of divisions within the Church, to be strengthened against enemies of the faith, and to be delivered from material or spiritual evil.

St. John Neumann, who served as Bishop of Philadelphia, desired to begin Forty Hours in the United States in the 1850s. However, some priests in his diocese expressed hesitation and fears that the practice could worsen anti-Catholic sentiments or even result in the desecration of the Eucharist due to its prolonged exposure with little security. While working late at his desk one night, Bishop Neumann fell asleep in his chair. The candle on his desk burnt down and charred some of his papers, but they were still readable. He awoke, surprised and thankful that a fire had not ignited. He fell on his knees to give thanks to God for protection, and heard the Lord’s voice saying, “As the flames are burning here without consuming or injuring the writing, so shall I pour out my grace in the Blessed Sacrament without prejudice to my honor. Fear no profanation, therefore; hesitate no longer to carry out your design for my glory.” This experience reassured Neumann and he instituted Forty Hours in his diocese, asking that each parish host the practice yearly. He also composed a special booklet for the devotions and obtained special indulgences for the faithful attending them. Following its success in Philadelphia, the practice spread across the country. In 1866, six years after Neumann’s death, the Plenary Council of Baltimore approved the Forty Hours Devotion for all Catholic dioceses in the United States.

Within some Catholic dioceses, a custom arose of having these devotions staggered throughout various parishes to commence in one church around the time it had concluded in another. Pope Clement VIII wrote of this, emphasizing, “We have determined to establish publicly in this Mother City of Rome an uninterrupted course of prayer in such ways that in the different churches, on appointed days, there be observed the pious and salutary devotion of the Forty Hours, with such an arrangement of churches and times that at every hour of the day and night, the whole year round the incense of prayer shall ascend without intermission before the face of the Lord.”

This reveals a strong connection of Forty Hours to practice of Perpetual Adoration. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is blessed to have multiple locations specifically dedicated for continuous and perpetual adoration, including the Oratory of St. Mary Magdalene and the St. Jude Perpetual Adoration Chapel, both in Fort Wayne. The upcoming initiative for each parish to host a Forty Hours event will allow the tradition of extended adoration to be brought into the life of every local Catholic community, ensuring all the faithful an opportunity to encounter the Eucharistic Lord in adoration.

Parishes of the diocese have already scheduled their Forty Hours services for this upcoming year, which will take place between March 19, 2023 and June 23, 2024. The structured format for the parish event will include solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. While this is meant to be primarily a time of silent meditation and contemplation before the Eucharist, there may also be occasions of communal prayers, singing, or even preaching, similar to a parish mission.

Depending on the parish, Masses may continue to be offered as scheduled. If this is case, the Eucharist will be reposed in the tabernacle beforehand and then re-exposed after Mass.

For the conclusion of the Forty Hours, Bishop Rhoades has asked that parishes either pray Vespers (Evening Prayer) for Corpus Christi, hold a Liturgy of the Word service focused on the Eucharist, or celebrate a Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist. All are invited to attend the closing liturgies of nearby parishes.

For more information about the Eucharistic Revival, visit

Parishes are Listed in Order by Date


Most Precious Blood, Fort Wayne: December 3-5

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception: December 3-5

St. Mary of the Annunciation, Bristol: December 3-5

Immaculate Conception, Ege: December 7-8



St. John Bosco, Churubusco: January 29-31


St. Joseph, Garrett: February 11-13

Immaculate Conception, Auburn: February 18-20

St. Charles Borromeo, Fort Wayne: February 25-27


St. Joseph, Garrett: March 2-4

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fort Wayne: March 3-5

St. Casimir, South Bend: March 3-5

St. Joseph, Fort Wayne: March 10-12

St. Joseph, South Bend: March 17-19

St. Joseph, Mishawaka: March 17-19

St. John the Evangelist, Goshen: March 17-19

Queen of Angels, Fort Wayne: March 17-19


St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne: April 14-16

Blessed Sacrament, Albion: April 14-16

Our Lady of Good Hope, Apr 21-23

St. Adalbert, South Bend: April 21-23

St. Robert Bellarmine, North Manchester: April 21-23

Sacred Heart, Notre Dame: April 28-30


St. Joseph, LaGrange: May 12-14


St. Anthony of Padua, Angola: June 2-4

St. John the Baptist, South Bend: June 23-25


St. Augustine, South Bend: July 13 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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