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Another thing that comes to mind is that the practice of reception of First Holy Communion in the fourth or fifth grade is fairly new. The custom was to wait until much later. Pope St. Pius X who’s Papacy was around 100 years ago encouraged several things, one was daily communion for those who were well disposed, the second was to lower the age of first communion. This link to the Vatican webpage discusses what the good Pope did.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congr … nf_en.html