"We Wanted to Defend Our Beloved Jesus"
In a small Russian town called Ekaterina, fifteen little boys had been preparing for their First Communion.
Ekaterina was full of the foes of the Catholic Church, and the little boys had to be very careful and cautious during the days of their preparation to receive into their little hearts their Lord and God, Jesus our beloved Redeemer, for a tiny little word imprudently uttered would have soon caused a conflagaration. The great day arrived at last and the little boys had the great happiness of receiving Jesus for the first time into their hearts purified by the Sacrament of Confession.
From that day onward these fifteen little boys would regularly meet in the Church every evening, in order to make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as an act of reparation to Our Lord for the abandonment to which He was left by the impious people of the town.
One day, after about a month had passed since the children had made their First Communion, some soldiers appeared in the town, arrested the dear old priest and carried him away, giving him no time to save the Blessed Sacrament! When that evening our little visitors came to the church, they found it closed.
Looking through the keyhole they saw that the lamp was still burning in the sanctuary, and they knew that Jesus was still in the tabernacle. Then standing on the steps of the church door they faithfully made their usual visit of adoration and reparation to our fucharistic Lord. The next evening, the wick in the lamp had burnt out, but the children knew that Jesus was still there and they made their visit as usual.
A group of boys and girls, children who had no religion and were probably brought up by their parents like so many pet animals, decided to organise a dance in the sacred precincts of the Church.
The fifteen little boys—the faithful bodyguards of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament—were horrified at this, and decided to defend their Lord and God even at the sacrifice of their lives. They went to the Church and sought out a window they could easily reach. They next began to try to get inside the church. One boy stood by the wall, another got on top of him and then the third who jumped inside the Church, and in this manner all fifteen succeeded in getting in the church. For a long time those angelic little lads felt happy for being so very near Jesus, their Saviour. But now they heard the sound of many voices. The people of the town, the impious crowd were gathering outside the Church.
Within a few minutes the big door was broken open, and that wretched band of people entered the church, singing and laughing and blaspheming! They carried torches, and as they began to light the candles on the altar, they discovered the fifteen pious lads on their knees with folded hands, grouped together in front of the Tabernacle.
The ruffians ordered the little boys to leave the church. But the faithful bodyguard of the Blessed Sacrament would not move an inch.
Then the renegades fell on those fifteen angelic children, like wild beasts, ill-treating them and trying their utmost to get them out of the Church. But no! Imbued with supernatural strength the heroic Guard-of-honour of fifteen resisted the ruffians who were assailing them. Some of the impious fellows had revolvers with them.
They fired once, twice many times. One after another the fifteen had fallen, wounded. They were vanquished but their hearts still beat for Jesus. Their last words were: "Saviour of the world save our dear Russia!"
The profaners had just begun their dance, when there rushed through them a poor woman, almost mad; she went straight up to the altar steps where the sacrifice had been consummated and took in her arms the bleeding form of her dying child—hero and martyr, of seven years of age.
"Mother darling' the child murmured, "we wanted to defend our beloved Jesus!" Happy mother of a noble, generous little angel of a child! Translated from "O'Rosario" by Mario Franco in The Messenger of the Sacred Heart for Ceylon.'
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, February 2nd, 1935 (1935.pdf pp41)