Today our country is full of problems, most with a moral component.......wars in two countries, rampant crime, unsafe streets after dark, over 9% unemployment, a depressed economy, out-of-control government deficits and debt, broken families, promiscuity, endemic sexually transmitted diseases, cohabitation, abortion, etc. They seem to be intractable. Our best brains cannot solve these problems and we sometimes feel helpless. Where will it end? Clearly, we need divine help.
There is great power in public prayer because of its witness of faith and appeal for repentance. For example, the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Austria in 1955, stopping the Turkish advance into Europe at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, and the peaceful overthrow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines in 1986 are all attributed by many to public prayer. In the latter, people praying with rosary in hand stopped a tank attempting to disperse a demonstration of thousands.
In that spirit and faith, St. Louis Church is sponsoring a Public Square Rosary Prayer Rally on Saturday, October 15 at 12 p.m. Noon in the Gallipolis City Park on 2nd Street. The purpose is to pray for world peace and to beg God to save our country from immorality and secularism, both of which put our country in grave danger.
People of all faiths in an ecumenical spirit are invited to participate and join thousands of faithful all over the country to answer an appeal made at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 for prayer and sacrifice in reparation. It would be a new and beautiful experience for many. All Christians can be comfortable with the rosary because it is very biblical (Luke 1:28, 42 & Mat 6:9-13). It includes asking Mary, our model of virtue and holiness, to pray for us, the same as we sometimes ask friends to pray for us. For almost 2000 years her mission has been to bring souls to her son and nurture the faith in us. The rosary is a litany of repetitive prayer, which acts like background music, while the focus is to meditate upon five of 20 different mysteries of the life of Christ and His mother, grouped according to the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious events portrayed or alluded to in the Bible. See www.americaneedsfatima.org.
Families with children are also invited because their prayers are particularly effective. Furthermore, “The family that prays together, stays together.” Prayer has healed millions, ended wars, overthrown dictators, stopped the advance of militant Islam into Europe in 1571 and again in 1683, both chapters in a one thousand year old war that includes today's War on Terror. This certainly gives credence to two quotes by Alfred Lord Tennyson: “A world at prayer is a world at peace” and “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”. These were the themes promoted by Father Patrick Peyton in his Family Rosary Crusade and other programs.
To promote family prayer he recruited Hollywood's top stars for his radio and later, television programs, “Family Theater”, which ran from 1947 to 1969, one of the longest running programs ever. The many stars, who volunteered to play in his productions, constitute a Hall of Fame of Hollywood's Golden Age of Film.......Bing Crosby, Loretta Young, James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Don Ameche, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Lucille Ball, Jane Wyatt, Henry Fonda, Jack Benny, Rosalind Russell, Shirley Temple, Margaret O’Brien, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Durante, Natalie Wood, Charlton Heston, Helen Hayes, Bob Hope, James Cagney, Natalie Wood, Ronald Reagan, and often Grace Kelly until she died. Today, many others collaborate such as James Caviezel, Maria Canals, Sean Astin, etc. Who would be able to organize something like that today? His cause for canonization is advancing. See www.familytheater.org.
Inspiration for the Rally. Many Catholics have an optional devotion and belief in the five appearances of Mary to three shepherd children in the town of Fatima (originally named by the conquering Moors after Fatimah, the favorite daughter of Mohammed) in Portugal in 1917. There she asked the world to repent, do penance, and pray the rosary for peace. She warned that if the world does not repent, there would be a second world war preceded by a “a night illumined by an unknown light” (see clipping below) and even a third as Communism would continue its errors. This prophecy was made before the Communist Revolution in Russia. The message is still current. What chastisement or man made disaster awaits us if our country continues on its present course? A world wide economic collapse? We cannot continue destroying the family and killing one million babies every year in a society that is becoming more and more godless.
In her final appearance on October 13, 1917 there was a great sign as she previously promised. According to 70,000 eye witnesses, including atheists, socialists, and communists, the sun appeared to spin in the sky and fall towards earth for several minutes (See the picture above on the right and the first hand testimony of a college professor at http://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/miracle.asp). It was visible 25 miles away. The Portuguese newspapers dutifully recorded it as their reporters on the scene described it. Thus our nation-wide public square rosary prayer rally is on the first Saturday after that date. We hope that you can come.
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