Mary help us to speak with Jesus, a little bit each day

                                WHAT IS IT?

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The Friends of  Jesus a Mary is an apostolate directed to children of ages 3 to 12.  In them live the Spirit and works the fullness of Grace.

"Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Mk. 10:14)

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father... It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost" (Matt. 18: 10-14)

OUR SPIRITUALITY

CHRIST-CENTERED

Jesus is alive among us in the Eucharist.  He lives in our hearts.   He lives in our brothers and sisters, let us find him these, specially in our families.

ECCLESIAL

We want to promote love and loyalty to the Church and the Pope.

MARIAN

We want to imitate Mary in her YES to God's will

                                   GOAL

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"To know and love Jesus and to make Him known and loved specially in our families because THE FRIENDS OF JESUS AND MARY want to be LIKE JESUS ON EARTH"

St. Henry De Ossó 

                                  OBJECTIVES

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bulletTo promote peace, union and conversion in the families. 
bulletTo encourage a greater knowledge of our celestial family: JESUS, MARY, JOSEPH, ANGELS AND SAINTS.
bulletTo instill love and loyalty to the Church and the Pope.
bulletTo promote faith communities among families and friends.

MEANS

Inspired by the apparitions in Fatima the children are invited to:

bulletForm "Nests of Prayer" in order to get to know and love Jesus better.
bulletConsecrate themselves to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to place themselves under the protection of their Guardian Angel.
bulletPray the Rosary with their families.
bulletPray for peace, union and conversion in their families.
bulletPray for the Church and the Pope.
bulletMake small sacrifices according to their age as requested by our Lady in Fatima. 

NETS OF PRAYER

The Friends of Jesus and Mary are.....

All the Children of the World!

What is a nest of prayer? A nest of prayer is a group of children gathered around Jesus and Mary through common prayer and profound meditation of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

The nest of prayer are the schools where the hearts of the children are molded in the love of Jesus and Mary. Through prayer, from their earliest days, they learn to talk with Jesus,  which means knowing how to live to save one's soul. 

Enjoying and experiencing in prayer....how good is the Lord to those who seek Him, they will love God more each day, living in virtue and growing in grace, maturity and wisdom.

The first religious experiences have a tremendous influence on a child's future growth. We should instill in the children a desire to know the life of Jesus and his teachings, the unity of the church, prayer and how to live a Christian life, in order to prompt them to practice virtuous acts, sacrifices and good works to the extent they are able.

It is essential to develop piety in the children, encouraging in them the need of personal interrelations, as well as interchange of experiences among the nets of prayer and the different leaders.

In order to fulfill the group's purpose, which is the spiritual growth of the little ones and to develop a spirit of unity among them, the nests of prayer should consist of a minimum of 5 children and maximum of 15.

Who is a Leader?

The leader of a nest prayer should be in a position to follow the world of the Lord: "Let the children come to Me. Do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Mark 10:14). The leader should be convinced of the power of prayer, understand the meaning of the Holly Rosary, and the willing to take part in the spreading of the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men and participate in the unification of the family.

The leader is someone who primarily lives a life of prayer and is inclined to work with children, as well as someone who understands their characteristics and behavior at different ages. 

The leader of nest of prayer should not only be caring and patient, but also must be in perfect harmony with what he teaches. He should be able to express our love for God and His love for us; the love of Jesus for His children and the joy that it brings. The love of our Mother Mary, the importance of prayer, its effectiveness in solving family problems, and the power of intercessory prayer for the needs of other children in the world.

It is important that the leader shares his own experiences of faith and that he repeats and emphasizes the most important issues in the teachings and guidelines. He should offer physical activities such as song and praise to the Lord, suggest homework according to the teachings of the session, as well as doing creative work with the hands.   

Spiritual life of a leader?

We recommended to the leaders to make prayer part of their lives. When you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to give you light and guidance so that you may transmit to the children the love and presence of God.

Open your hearts to prayer, using the five little stone that Mary has given us as means to succeed against the power of evil.

The Holy Rosary pray it daily with your heart.

Receive the Eucharistic-Jesus, who loves us, calls us and fills us with his love.

Read the Bible "whenever you pray, go to your room, close the door and pray to your Father in private..." (Matthew 6:6). It is God who speaks to you....Do it with love.

Fast -Offer it to the Lord, if possible, once a week. This will increase the power of your prayer.

Purify your soul - Turn over to Jesus your faults and worries. Make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation often. Put your trust in Mary, imitate her virtues, consecrating yourself to her Immaculate Heart.

Place of Meeting for Prayer 

The place for the nest of prayer should be large enough and comfortable for the children.

They should sit around a table which will be used as a small altar containing a Crucifix, a Bible, the image of the Pilgrim Virgin, a candle, flowers and enough rosaries for all the children participating.

All other teaching materials to be used during the session, should be placed in a different table.

ACTIVITIES

Weekly meetings for the nests of prayer

This ministry is for children from 3 to 12 years old and should last from 1 to 2 hours. (The time period may depend on the age of the children according to the discernment of the leader).

Weekly Development

bulletSong
bulletOpening prayer. (weekly consecration)
bulletReading of one of the parables or miracles of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, life of a saint, or biblical character.
bulletThe Holy Rosary, meditating the mysteries.
bulletProfound study of one mystery of the Holy Rosary.
bulletPrayer to the Blessed Mother and to the Guardian Angel.
bulletHands-on creative & didactic activities. (each activity depending on the child's age).
bulletTeaching about the importance and power of prayer, giving examples. (specially the power of a child's prayer)
bulletPreparation for the holy days of the liturgical calendar. (Holy Week, Eastern, Advent)
bulletMonthly visit to the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. (this visit is programmed according to the possibilities and age of the children)
bulletTeaching about the life of St. Joseph, who was selected to be the adopted Father of Jesus, Mar's husband, and protector of the families.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Discipline and order are elements which go hand in hand with the recommendations. Punctuality is important. Prayer should begin at the set time regardless of the children present.

a) ALTAR

(Should be prepared beforehand)

Articles that would be ready:

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Altar Cloth                                       

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Statue of Blessed Mother

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Flowers

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Bible

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Matches

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Basket with Rosaries

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Crucifix

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Candle

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Petitions

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Pilgrim Plaque

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Baby Jesus

b) HOW TO WELCOME THE CHILDREN

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Greet them warmly

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Whenever it is fitting, according to the time of day, give them some refreshment.

c) Start always with a song. Any song appropriate for the children. 

Suggested songs:   

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Immaculate Mary

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Joy is the Flag

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The Joy of the Lord

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He is Lord

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Hail Mary, Gentle Woman

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This is the Day

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I have decided to follow Jesus

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If I were a Butterfly

d) The first half hour must be dedicated to explaining the theme of the day. A Bible reading may be appropriate narrating it according to the children's ages. Also the life of a saint could be used. Try to follow the liturgical year. Another way of presenting the theme is using a video

e) Praying the Rosary

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Insist on the importance of the time of prayer.

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Light the candle to invite silence and to be aware of the presence of Jesus.

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Start with the Sign of the Cross and the personal petitions.

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Invoke the Holy Spirit

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Spend a little time being aware of the presence of Jesus talking to them.

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Explain verbally or visually the mystery chosen for the day.

Verbal: Narrate the Bible reading

             For the older ones, read it from the Bible.

Visual: Show part of a video.

             Set up posters depicting the mystery.

             Dramatize the mystery with the children.

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Pray one or two mysteries, letting the children recite individually the Our Fathers and Hail Mary's; or they can recite it in unison with the audio cassette for children "The Holy Rosary".

From the pamphlet "The Holy Rosary for Children" choose the fruit of the mystery  to be practiced during the week. Share the results of last weeks practice.

The following items should be prepared beforehand along with the Pilgrim Plaque:

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A tablet for writing the graces received during the visit of our Lady of the house.

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Rosary pamphlet "The Holy Rosary for Children"

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A Rosary

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"The Holy Rosary" audio tape for children.

Explain to the child, who is taking the Pilgrim Plaque, his or hers responsibilities during the days of the Blessed Mother's visit:

bulletTake special care of the Plaque during the week.
bulletInvite the family to pray the rosary daily.
bulletReturn the Pilgrim Plaque the following week.
bulletThe prayer time should end with songs of praises and the final prayer.

A CHILD'S PROFILE

Age 3 - 5 years

At this age children are in the stage of discovery. Because of this, the questions that appear in their young minds are many. Their attention span is very short, they are egocentric, they like to pray and ritualize everything.

These observations show us that they are apt to learn. At this stage they begin the learning process. They are readily receptive to a method of learning that includes a variety of activities, as we find within the rosary itself and its particular method of prayer.

Within their short attention span they can easily memorize the prayers of the rosary, as well the gospels passages, due to its repetitious form of prayer.

The children should only learn one new passage and concept at each prayer meeting. It is important to take the necessary time to instill, as profoundly as possible, each one of these concepts in the child's spiritual life.

The leader needs to emphasize the concept that: God, our loving Father, and protector of all children, is always with with them and everywhere.

Age 6 - 8 years

At this age the children manifest a desire for independence. They do not yet conceptualize, nor do they remember things in the order they have learned them. Their concentration is short. It is a time in which they begin to share, since their friends become more important.  

It is the age in which they develop the capacity to read and to analyze, amidst their short periods of prayer and silence, they can consequently understand in depth that: Jesus is my best friend. The capacity of the love of Jesus for me and all the children of the world is unlimited. Jesus loves me in spite of my mistakes. We are happy because God loves us.

The leader should be patient in dealing with the children's different manifestations of joy, fear, sorrow, pain and anger. In these occasions, he can lead them, through the prayer of the Rosary, and hand in hand with our Blessed Mother, toward Jesus, our eternal friend.

The leader should direct the children to the protection of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to counsel of Saint Joseph.

At this stage children open up more to sharing with their friends. The leader should then teach them the lives of the Saints and encourage them to follow their example in their relationship with Jesus and Mary. He should then help them to become more receptive to the idea that they are also an example to other children.

Ages 9 to 12 years:

At this stage children feel the need to be accepted by adults and wish to belong to group. It is important to develop activities that will enhance their self-esteem. Nevertheless, all their actions require coordination and discipline. They can now discern between good and bad and are judge mental. It is the time to emphasize their limits and responsibilities.

IN PRAYER THIS WORK WAS CREATED AND IN PRAYER IT WILL CONSOLIDATE

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

A) FOR THE NESTS OF PRAYER WEEKLY MEETINGS.

bulletSong.
bulletOpening Prayer.
bulletParable or miracle of Jesus. Video on the Blessed Mother, life of a saint or biblical character.
bulletWeekly commitment.
bulletRosary, meditating the mysteries.
bulletOur Father, prayer to the Blessed Mother and to the Guardian Angel.

B) PREPARATION FOR THE CONSECRATION

bulletFor a good consecration it is necessary that the children be well prepared.
bulletRemind the children of their baptismal commitment.
bulletExplain the rosary and how to pray it.
bulletExplain the importance and power of prayer.
bulletShow them the video "When the Sun Danced" about the miracle of Fatima and the importance of prayer and sacrifice.

C)   DAY OF CONSECRATION

bulletIt should be made attractive with all solemnity, in order that the children remember this day with love.
bulletIt should be a family day as the graces received through this act will be for all the family.
bulletA rosary is given to the children accompanied by a little pamphlet that explains how to pray it.
bulletThe consecrated children will agree to pray the rosary every day and propagate its devotion.
bulletEach "Nest of Prayer" will receive an image of the Pilgrim Virgin, in order that this image visits the children's homes to encourage family prayer.

For more information contact:  

Florida Center for Peace 9779 SW 72 St          Miami, Fl. 33155              Tel.: (305) 412-1700            Fax.: (305) 412-1777