IN HOUSTON, TEXAS -
PRECIOUS BLOOD DEVOTION SPREADS RAPIDLY TO ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD AFTER EARLY EFFORTS OF PIONEERS OF THE DEVOTION IN HOUSTON WHICH LED TO THE FORMATION OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS APOSTOLATE IN HOUSTON WITH THEIR ASSOCIATES IN VIRGINIA, KENTUCKY, INDIANA, AND CALIFORNIA.
Currently the Precious Blood of Jesus Apostolate in Houston, Texas, under the previous directorship of Aurora Protomartir, is working with many countries for the spread of this devotion around the world. On October 15, 2002 Mrs. Mary Agnes Kumar brought the first 50 prayer books for the Precious Blood Devotion to America for use in Houston. She brought to America the Nigerian prayer book which was being printed in Singapore at that time and which is identical to the first Nigerian prayer book. The devotion had already gone to England before it had arrived in Singapore. A Nigerian devotee entered the Magnificat Marian Centre in Singapore where Mary Agnes was working. He showed her the prayer book from Nigeria and the chaplet beads, and told her all about Our Lord's remarkable work to re-awaken and strengthen the devotion to His Most Precious Blood as the "last great devotion of the end times." Moved by The Holy Spirit, Mary Agnes was greatly inspired to write a complete report on this alleged development in Nigeria to Pope John Paul, II and to Archbishop Nicholas Chia of Singapore. As more developments in the devotion occurred, she kept the Pope and other Church leaders informed of Our Lord's work in Nigeria while working in Singapore and after returning to the U.S.A.
As the first director in America of the Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus out of Nigeria, Mary Agnes Kumar provides some important and relevant dates pertaining to its propagation in America and abroad beginning with October 15, 2002 when she brought to the U.S. from Singapore the first 50 prayer books for the devotion. She handed out the books everywhere with minimal success toward getting the devotion going until a devotee in England placed her phone number on the internet on a website for the Precious Blood. Then, people began calling her from all around the country, and she developed a book of contacts who became early pioneers of the devotion in America. One of these pioneers is Claire Schaefer, Publisher of California’s Queenship Publishing Company. Some others are Debra Landry of Virginia. Kathy Thomas of Kentucky, and Margaret Durbin of Indiana. Many others embraced the devotion in various states. Finally, after some time, Patricia Fason of Tallahassee, Florida, got interested in the devotion and began to work with Mary Agnes through telephone conversations. Mary Agnes learned of her fine computer skills. During that time Mary Agnes was looking for somebody to replace her as director due to her family obligations. Thinking that Patricia had a sincere heart to promote the devotion, she recommended to the Nigerian Apostolate that Patricia Fason become the next Director of the Apostolate. Since Nigeria relied on Mary Agnes, they named Patricia Fason to be the next director of the Precious Blood Apostolate in America. Patricia Fason served as director until she experienced conflicts with both Fidel Odum, the Nigerian Secretary General of the devotion and with Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, the worldwide spiritual director of the Precious Blood Devotion.
Mary Agnes agreed with the Nigerian Apostolate to look for another director to replace Patricia, and through prayers, approached Aurora Protomartir, whom she had known for many years and who by then had been active in promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in homes as well as the promotion of Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament at her Parish. Aurora had begun to embrace and promote the Precious Blood Devotion by then, and was the founder of the Holy Rosary Crusade in Houston, Texas, which was begun in the year 1981 with the guidance of her Pastor and the favor of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Due to Aurora's (then) more than two decades of chairing this Marian ministry of the Holy Rosary crusade, due to her sincerity and humility in promoting Our Blessed Mother, due to her good standing with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and due to her devotion for Our Lord's Precious Blood, through prayers, Mary Agnes decided to recommend Aurora to the Nigerian Apostolate, as the next Director of the Precious Blood Apostolate here in America. The Nigerian Apostolate favored her recommendation, and Aurora Protomartir of Houston, Texas accepted from Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi of Nigeria the next directorship of the Precious Blood Apostolate in America. In 2005, the Nigerian Apostolate, through Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, wrote a letter to Patricia informing her to step down and to cooperate with Aurora Protomartir as the new director of the Precious Blood Devotion for all of America.
On March 19, 2005 (on the feast of St. Joseph), Aurora took a small group to St. Joseph Church in Houston to pray the Chaplet of the Precious Blood, hence the start of the Precious Blood Devotion here in Houston, Texas. Devotees depended on photocopies of the prayers before the Precious Blood prayer book was finally published by Claire Schaefer of Queenship Publishing with the approval of Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi of Nigeria. Queenship had been awarded the copyright to the prayer book by the Nigerian Apostolate, and at this time, she is catching up with paying the royalties to the Nigerian Apostolate on the sale of the prayer books. Difficulties had been experienced in paying the royalties for a while due to distance and imperfect communications, but these problems have been resolved.
On March 15, 2005 the first consecration in America to the Precious Blood of Jesus occurred in Houston at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in which four devotees were consecrated. Among them were Aurora Protomartir and Fr. Peter Mastrobuono, the associate pastor of the same church. Mary Agnes Kumar had already been consecrated in Singapore before returning to America in 2002. During the journey of Father Evaristus Eschiowu across our country, other devotees including Debra Landry of Virginia and Patricia Fason of Florida were also consecrated following the consecration of the Houston devotees. On March 16, 2005, Aurora Protomartir (along with Father Evaristus Eschiowu, Father Peter Mastrobuono, and Mary Agnes Kumar) went to the Chancery Office in Houston and received the blessings of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (then working under Archbishop Fiorenza) to continue promoting the Precious Blood of Jesus prayers in Houston.
In March of 2005, the prayer book for the Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus was sent to print by Queenship Publishing, and it was released for sale in June 2005. The first order placed in Houston was for 30 books and since then there have been so many hundreds and thousands of Precious Blood books ordered. Many devotees got more interested to pray the devotion, and it especially began reaching the Spanish devotees. In the year 2008, the book was translated into the Spanish language with the help of Mary Agnes Kumar and Mark Van Riper. With the growing number of devotees, it became necessary for Queenship to publish the book in French and Vietnamese and Tagalog.
Gethsemane Hour prayers for the devotion in Houston first began in the house of Aurora Protomartir, then moved by The Holy Spirit, the devotees decided to take it into a church. To have the Gethsemane Prayers to be held inside the church, Aurora approached the Pastor at St. Albert Church which then had 24 hour adoration at their Parish. So, St. Albert Church is the first church in Houston that held the vigil prayer of the Gethsemane Hour on Thursday nights.
In summary, from the year 2005 to the present - The devotion first began in the house of Aurora Protomartir, then in St. Albert’s Church, and finally at Notre Dame Church where we continue up to this date. During this time, Aurora was at first a coordinator representing Houston, Texas, and through prayers she made a tremendous effort to promote the devotion to her co-parishioners at St. Justin Martyr Church in Houston and to the officers and members of the Holy Rosary Crusade – a Marian group recognized by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Many joined the devotion, especially attending the Gethsemane Hour prayers at her home, and her untiring work with the help of Mary Agnes never ended. When Aurora was named the Director of the Precious Blood Apostolate for the Americas, she continued her grass roots effort to spread the devotion, encouraging priests and pastors of different churches to hold the weekly Gethsemane Hour prayers at their own parishes, and many devotees were consecrated. Especially many Spanish devotees joined when the Spanish translation of the book was published. Through prayers, Aurora was able to receive the favor and blessings of the pastor of Notre Dame Church in Houston to hold a bilingual Mass every 1st Thursday night during the early morning hours of the 1st Friday of the month, up to the present time. Also, through the power of The Holy Spirit, Aurora used the radio media and newspapers, including the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston newspaper called the “Texas Catholic Herald” and the Filipino Newspaper, as well as the Spanish radio, “Radio Maria,” for the promotion of the Precious Blood Devotion. “Radio Maria” broadcasts throughout the Hispanic world. On Radio Maria, the Precious Blood Chaplet prayer has been aired everyday at noon time and is reaching more Hispanic people.
In September of the year 2012, when Aurora visited the group in Chicago, she not only gave talks and assisted the pastor for the consecration of their new members but visited the Radio Maria and she was able to meet the Director whom she encouraged to air the Precious Blood Chaplet prayer at their radio media in correlation with the Radio Maria in Houston. By the Grace of God, everything was favored and accepted. Aurora had also a desire to spread the Precious Blood Devotion through the TV media and was waiting for Our Lord Jesus Christ to provide the right time in the days to come. (In 2013, a devotee tried to promote the devotion at the EWTN television station in Alabama and was given an open aired interview about the Precious Blood devotion, which was an open door for the devotion.
After the first Consecration Mass to the Precious Blood of Jesus on March 15, 2005, there have been many consecrations in Houston, and inquiries continue to come in for the devotion from around the world. Through encouragement to different leaders and coordinators in different states and other neighboring countries as well, Consecration Masses are offered at individual parishes where local pastors are encouraged to get involved and be the celebrants. Aurora and some Precious Blood devotees joined her in the Philippines to meet Barnabas, who gave her a special letter from the Precious Blood Apostolate in Nigeria recognizing her as the Director of the Precious Blood Apostolate for the Americas, and she worked in cooperation with them in a good relationship as one whole family until toward the end of her life when the communications with Nigeria became somewhat interrupted.
Barnabas had earlier provided more books and tapes that Aurora could promote not only in the United States but to other neighboring countries with the possibility of translating into Spanish and other languages.
Many other nations are holding their own Consecrations now and even providing their own sacramentals for the devotion to their own people, eliminating shipping costs. Those countries into which from America the Precious Blood of Jesus devotional sacramentals and materials are going (or have gone) include so far the following: England, Scotland, Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Canada (from where it went into France), Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Venezuela, Colombia, Spain, Hungary, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Germany, Argentina, India, Brazil, Peru, Hong Kong, and various countries of Africa.
At the beginning of 2004, After her initial early efforts to spread the devotion in Houston, Mary Agnes Kumar had only one or two prayer books left from Singapore, but through a priest from India she came to know Debra Landry in Virginia, who volunteered her services to make the Precious Blood of Jesus prayers available to the people through photocopies, chaplet cards, and through the internet finally as she developed a data base. Debra Landry bought supplies and began making hundreds of chaplet beads for the Precious Blood Chaplet Prayer. Within a few months, Debra was receiving requests for materials from nearly all the states in the U.S. and several countries, including Canada, Panama, the Philippines, Spain, England, and India to name a few. Surviving from surgery, working from a wheel chair, and unable to drive, Debra's husband made all the trips to the post office, and in a short time, they were making available the Agonizing Crucifixes to the devotees everywhere also. Debra's husband Clay made the stands for the crucifixes.
After Queenship released for sale the prayer books, Margaret Durbin lined up St. Ann's Religious Articles Store in Morganfield to help make available the prayer books and sacramentals to the people. She worked with Mary Agnes in Houston and with many people in Kentucky. Darlene Margaret Durbin did all the necessary research and calling required to help Kathy at St. Ann's Religious Articles Store to manufacture and supply the "Rose of Perfect Purity," another sacramental instituted by Jesus for the devotion which is given to devotees after every three years of praying the Precious Blood prayers.
Since those early days, Aurora Protomartir worked hard to promote the devotion and the same with Darlene Margaret Durbin in order to get this "last great devotion of the end times" into the world. Before Queenship published the first Precious Blood of Jesus prayer book in America, we were using in our churches and homes photocopies of the prayers and also prayer cards that Debra Landry made in Virginia, Aurora Protomartir made in Houston, and Margaret made for Indiana and Kentucky. Aurora Protomartir experienced Our Lord's request to help establish the Apostolate here in Houston. She typed and photocopied as necessary to make the prayers available and she rounded up the people for the prayers first in English and then in Spanish, as mentioned both at St. Justin Martyr Church in Houston and at Notre Dame Church in Houston where she established the Gethsemane Hour Prayers every Thursday night from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Friday morning.
Soon after Queenship Publishing released the Precious Blood prayer book for sale, Patricia Fason sued Queenship Publishing, claiming herself to be the author of the prayer book. But, Queenship was holding the copyright of the book authored in Nigeria by Jesus Himself, and God saved the authentic Church-approved prayer book of Queenship Publishing for the devotion in the United States with the outcome that the devotion has gone forward and it has spread from America all around the world. As mentioned earlier, since the Nigerian Apostolate could no longer work with Patricia Fason, Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, the spiritual director of the devotion, had appointed Aurora Protomartir as the next director of the devotion for the Americas. Thus, the directorship of the devotion returned to the Apostolate in Houston where it remained for more than ten years under the directorship of Aurora Protomartir until her passing to The Lord on February 25, 2016 and until recently when some elections were held in Nigeria by the Nigerian Apostolate for "servers" to head the devotion in the various countries for three year terms.
Because God chose to save this devotion in America, the world is now benefiting from all the sacramentals and books from America. The Universal Spanish edition of the prayer book was perfected by Maria Isabel Landers, Director of the Venezuelan Apostolate of the Precious Blood of Jesus, with her team of people who worked directly with the Houston Apostolate to achieve the Universal Spanish prayer book for all Hispanic nations. In one consecration to the Precious Blood of Jesus in Mexico, 400 devotees were consecrated. Also, in one church there in Mexico, as many as 500 faithful have attended the Gethsemane Hour prayers. However, recently some bishops in Mexico have tried to shut down the devotion in that country. The prayer book has been translated into Hungarian also.
Aurora Protomartir, (director of the Precious Blood Apostolate in America for more than 10 years), with the help of The Holy Spirit and her Spiritual Directors together with her coordinators, (mostly bi-lingual), traveled to different cities and states to evangelize and give talks about this great devotion. Praise God for most of the pastors and priests are now open to the devotion, and they welcome our group to give talks and teachings at their Parishes. Praise be to the Precious Blood of Jesus for His speedy work throughout the United States to move this devotion everywhere. May He do likewise in every country to bring the reign of Christ The King to Earth soon.
In respect of all the work done by Aurora Protomartir I cannot delete the history above written by her.
The new Director to continue Aurora's Protomartir mission, is Alejandrina Perez is not bonded with Nigeria wishing them the best in
Christ our Lord(Alexa ... the donkey of our Lord Jesus Christ)
Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, Save us and the whole world!
One of our Goals in addition to the promotion of the Precious Blood books and the Agonizing Crucifix to everyone is to encourage the devotees to promote the devotion to their own parishes, to their dioceses, and to participate in the Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. We believe that we can console our Lord Jesus Christ and our prayers will be pleasing to Him, especially by attending the weekly GETHSEMANE VIGIL PRAYERS IN FRONT OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, for His consolation. Our Lord Jesus Christ is drawing us back to come and spend time with Him through the adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Many received graces, and prayers have been answered through this great devotion.