March 7, 2023 // Diocese
Forty Hours Devotion Scheduled Across Diocese as Part of Eucharistic Revival
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 diocesefwsb.org/eucharist.
Forty Hours Devotion
Parishes are Listed in Order by Date
St. Thomas the Apostle, Elkhart: March 19-21
Holy Family, South Bend: March 19-21
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Warsaw: May 3-5
St. Francis Xavier, Pierceton: June 4-6
St. Patrick, Ligonier: June 11-13
St. Pius X, Granger: June 11-13
St. Anthony de Padua, South Bend: June 11-13
Sacred Heart, Notre Dame: June 16-18
SS. Peter and Paul, Huntington: June 25-27
St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, South Bend: June 25-27
St. Catharine, Nix Settlement: June 26
St. Joseph, Roanoke: June 27
St. Martin de Porres, Syracuse: July 16-18
St. Henry, Fort Wayne: July 16-18
St. Mary of the Presentation, Geneva: July 23-25
St. Rose of Lima, Monroeville: Aug. 6-8
St. Jude/Sacred Heart, South Bend: Aug. 6-8
St. Mary of the Assumption, Avila: Aug. 13-15
St. Peter, Fort Wayne: Aug. 13-15
St. Mary of the Assumption, Decatur: Aug. 13-15
St. Hedwig and St. Patrick, South Bend: Aug. 14-16
St. John the Baptist, New Haven: Aug. 20-22
Queen of Peace, Mishawaka: Aug. 20-22
St. Bernard, Wabash: Aug. 20-23
St. Monica, Mishawaka: Aug. 27-29
St. John the Baptist and
Sacred Heart, Fort Wayne: Aug. 27-29
St. Vincent de Paul, Elkhart: Aug. 27-29
Corpus Christi, South Bend: Sept. 8-10
St. Michael the Archangel, Waterloo: Sept. 10-12
Immaculate Conception, Kendallville: Sept. 10-12
St. Mary of the Lake, Culver: Sept. 10-12
St. Patrick, Fort Wayne: Sept. 10-12
St. Patrick, Arcola: Sept. 17-19
St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend: Sept. 17-19
St. Michael, Plymouth: Sept. 24-26
Sacred Heart, Warsaw: Oct. 1-3
St. Louis, Besancon, New Haven: Oct. 1-3
St. Therese, Little Flower, South Bend: Oct. 1-3
St. Therese, Fort Wayne: Oct. 8-10
St. Jude, Fort Wayne: Oct. 15-17
Holy Cross, South Bend: Oct. 15-17
St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel, Fort Wayne: Oct. 15-17
St. Dominic, Bremen: Nov. 5-7
St. Aloysius, Yoder: Nov. 5-7
St. Stanislaus Kostka, New Carlisle: Nov. 12-14
St. Gaspar del Bufalo, Rome City: Nov. 19-21
St. Joseph, Bluffton: Nov. 26-28
Christ the King, South Bend: Nov. 26-28
Most Precious Blood, Fort Wayne: Dec. 3-5
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Mary Mother of God, Fort Wayne: Dec. 3-5
St. Mary of the Annunciation, Bristol: Dec. 3-5
St. Paul of the Cross, Columbia City: Jan. 14-16, 2024
St. John Bosco, Churubusco and Immaculate Conception, Ege: Jan. 28-30, 2024
St. Joseph, Garrett: Feb. 11-13, 2024
Immaculate Conception, Auburn: Feb. 18-20, 2024
St. Charles Borromeo, Fort Wayne: Feb. 25-27, 2024
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fort Wayne: March 3-5, 2024
St. Casimir, South Bend: March 3-5, 2024
St. Joseph, Fort Wayne: March 10-12, 2024
St. Joseph, South Bend: March 17-19, 2024
St. Joseph, Mishawaka: March 17-19, 2024
St. John the Evangelist, Goshen: March 17-19, 2024
Queen of Angels, Fort Wayne: March 17-19, 2024
St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne: April 14-16, 2024
Blessed Sacrament, Albion: April 14-16, 2024
St. Adalbert, South Bend: April 21-23, 2024
St. Robert Bellarmine, North Manchester: April 21-23, 2024
St. Joseph, LaGrange: May 12-14, 2024
St. Augustine, South Bend: June 1-3, 2024
St. Anthony of Padua, Angola: June 2-4, 2024
St. John the Baptist, South Bend: June 23-25, 2024
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