Giving Your life to protect the blessed sacrament?


SHould you risk your life to protect the blessed sacrament? Are there any saints or people who have done this?



Many priests over the years have risked their lives running into burning churches to rescue the Holy Sacrament in the tabernacle. Several priests burned to death in these fires.

I don't know about elsewhere in the world but the bishops here, I think it was the 1960s, ordered all wooden tabernacles to be replaced with metal ones.


This is the only one I know of, also spelled St Tarcissus.


A tradition dating from the sixth century says that St. Tarcisius was an acolyte whose fidelity and courage so impressed the leaders of the Church during the persecution of Valerian that he was entrusted with taking the Blessed Sacrament secretly to the Christians who awaited martyrdom in prison. This custom arose when the priests who ministered to the prisoners would be easily discovered, while the acolytes were less known to the heathens. The Roman Martyrology, based on the fourth-century poem of Pope St. Damasus, gives the story of the “boy martyr of the Eucharist” in these words: “At Rome, on the Appian way, the passion of St. Tarcisius the acolyte, whom pagans met carrying the sacrament of the Body of Christ and asked him what it was he was carrying. He deemed it a shameful thing to cast pearls before the swine, and so was assaulted by them for a long time with clubs and stones until he gave up the ghost. When they turned over his body, the sacrilegious assailants could find no trace of Christ’s Sacrament either in his hands or in his clothing. The Christians took up the body of the martyr and buried it with honor in the cemetery of Callistus.” In his poem Pope Damasus compares St. Tarcisius with St. Stephen who was stoned by the Jews, and praises the martyr for suffering a cruel death rather than surrender “the divine Body to raging dogs.” The body of St. Tarcisius was most probably laid to rest with those of Pope St. Zephyrinus and others in the Basilica of St. Sixtus and Cecilia, but at present it is said to be in the Church of San Silvestro in Capite. St. Tarcisius is venerated as a model for altar boys and as an example of loving and heroic devotion to our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

Taken from"A Saint A Day" by Berchmans Bittle, O.F.M.Cap., published by The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee © 1958

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A few years ago, I read somewhere of a priest in South America who was walking past a church that had been vandalized and looted by government troops. Looking through the open door, he saw that the tabernacle had been broken open and the consecrated hosts had been scattered among the debris on the floor of the church. He went inside began to pick up and consume the hosts, crawling through the trash on the floor. Some guards pointed their guns at him and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t stop but he kept on doing it. I think they didn’t shoot him. Maybe they were ashamed to. I don’t remember where I read this.

I remember thinking that I would die for Jesus in the Eucharist, or I hoped I’d be brave enough to do so. Then I thought, if I really loved Him that much, why wasn’t I going to daily mass? I started to go every now and then (when I could fit it in easily). Now I’m trying to go every day. This is such a wonderful gift He has given us, Himself!


I would definitely risk or give my life to protect the Blessed Sacrament. Or at least I think that way now. Not sure how I'd react when the situation became a reality. :(


That is an interesting question. I feel the same way you do. I often think of St Peter and his bold statements on never denying Christ but in reality he did. The plus side is he was forgiven and became the rock. Who knows how we would react in certain situations until they actually happen.


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