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This post is about the League of Tarcisians and encouraging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our youth.
I first learned about the League of Tarcisians many years ago when reading through the booklet for the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home. But that’s where I stopped in gaining anymore insight into what it was.
That is until a priest friend had introduced it into his parish and I talked with him about how my children could become involved remotely. This is because my parish has not formed a league (yet 😉).
I am writing this post on the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is important for us as Catholics to reclaim the month of June.
Traditionally June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let us keep June dedicated to the Sacred Heart, to make acts of reparation for all of the evil and wickedness which are committed this month…and beyond.
And so on this beloved feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I wanted to share more about the League of Tarcisians of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A very much needed devotion for our children and especially in today’s corrupt world.
What is the League of Tarcisians?
This is youth group of sorts that is dedicated to spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — with the main aim of promoting the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home.
They are also commonly referred to as Junior Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The League of Tarcisius of the Sacred Heart was founded by Father Mateo, with ecclesiastical approval. It was first approved by Pope Benedict XV in 1919.
The following text is taken from Rev. Larkin, who wrote “The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart”:
“As in the time of Our Lord, so also now, boys and girls are His chosen friends, and as such their prayers are all-powerful with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He cannot resist the entreaties of these young friends of His, one of whom He once set up as a model for all those aspiring to Christian perfection and the Kingdom of Heaven.
“It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that Father Mateo, the Apostle of the Sacred Heart, from the very beginning of his apostolate, has encouraged children to help him in his work of Social Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Crusade of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home.
“His first apostles were children of eight and ten years of age, chosen from the more fervent pupils of a convent school. One of them, full of zeal, obtained permission to spend many hours, often during the night, writing letters in all languages for the spread of the work.
“Father Mateo does not hesitate to affirm that much of his success is due to the prayers, sacrifices and zeal of his young co-missionaries. A striking incident which took place early in his priestly career, long ago convinced him that no better instruments could be found for the salvation of souls, and the spread of the Reign of Love and Mercy of the Sacred Heart, than zealous boys and girls who are willing to become missionaries of the Sacred Heart.”
The name Tarcisian is taken in honor of the young boy martyr St. Tarcisius. He carried the Blessed Sacrament to the early Christians in prison and died defending the honor of the Blessed Sacrament — which he carried hidden inside of his cloak.
Learn more about Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus here.
Before I go further into what the Tarcisians do, I want to share a brief background about this league.
The following is taken from the Tarcisians of the Sacred Heart leaflet. Which you can obtain copies of from the National Enthronement Center.
“When Fr. Mateo began this work, he did not go to adults. He chose a few children of about 8 to 10 years old, and asked them to copy letters explaining the Enthronement, to be sent to many different parts of the world.
“Fr. Mateo might easily have had those letters printed, but he thought Jesus would prefer to have them written out by children in their spare time. When the letters were finished, the children put them in envelopes, and with their small savings paid the postage themselves.
“Fr. Mateo was so pleased with the large numbers of answers that he decided to start a club and called the members Tarcisians, after St. Tarcisius, the young Saint who was sent to carry the Blessed Sacrament to the Christians in prison during the early persecutions.
“His feast is on August 15.”
Three Golden Pennies
The leaflet continues with this story:
“Fr. Mateo knew exactly what these young apostles would have to do for the Sacred Heart, to spread love for Him and save souls. They would be asked to earn GOLDEN PENNIES.
“What are Golden Pennies, you ask? Well, listen to this true story. Father Mateo once knew a little girl who told him that Jesus spoke to her when she went to Communion. To find out whether her story was true or not, Father told her to ask Jesus for a proof, the conversion of a great sinner, whose heart was closed to God’s love.
“Sometime later the little girl told him that she had asked Our Lord for the sinner and that Jesus had promised her that the man would come into the church to make his confession the next time she went to confession.
“She explained to Father how Jesus had asked her to be His missionary. ‘I am too small’, she said. ‘I will make you a great missionary,’ Jesus answered, ‘but you must earn Golden Pennies for this man’s conversion.’
“Then the Lord explained what He meant: the first Golden Penny would be her prayers; the second her sacrifices, especially obedience; the third, she most promise never miss Sunday Mass through her own fault. The girl promised.
“After she finished her story, the sinner suddenly walked into the church and asked Fr. Mateo to help him make the first confession in many years. The man changed his life and came back to Jesus. After that Father Mateo asked boys and girls everywhere to be missionaries of the Sacred Heart, earning Golden Pennies to bring Jesus into their homes and sinners to Jesus.
“You too can be an apostle of the Scared Heart, another St. Tarcisius, always ready to bring Jesus to others.”
What do the Tarcisians do?
They try to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Enthronement in their homes and the homes of others. They try to get people to know and love God.
And they do this by earning “Golden Pennies”.
Prayers: especially, “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love you!”, “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, thy Kingdom Come!”, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.”, “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!”
Sacrifices: especially acts of obedience.
Eucharist: Mass, communion, adoration and visits to the Blessed Sacrament. If a child hasn’t received their First Communion, they can earn the third Golden Penny by going to Mass and making visits to the church and talking with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
What else can you do? Try to get a Tarcisian club started in their school or at home and get other boys and girls interested!
For more information or to order booklets, contact the National Enthronement Center. They have booklets, checkbooks (to record Golden Pennies), and more info available. They can be contacted at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instead of checkbooks, I made up this simple system for the children on white boards.
They then use their personal white boards for tracking their daily duties & “Golden Pennies”.