Friday, October 1, 2021

(258) Dad, Lead Your Family in the Rosary Often If Not Daily.........The Family Rosary Can Renew the Church and Change the World


A young family praying the rosary together.  The family may be big or small…….babies, little kids, or big kids!  “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).  Our Lord is there and Mary too during the Family Rosary.  It will solidify your family if done frequently.  


      The first motivation of Blessed Fr. Michael McGivney in founding the fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus was the spiritual and material welfare of the members’ families especially in cases where they would lose their fathers to a fatal accident on the job and the state would take over the care of indigent children.  Their life insurance program has been a great help over the years.

Today the Knights of Columbus still promotes strong families and thus is encouraging its members to make their homes domestic churches where Christ is the center of the family.  There’s no set formula, but there are basic principles.  Each family is unique; yet there are different ways to make your home a domestic church…….each family in its own way.  

Carl Anderson, the previous Supreme Knight stated: “OUR MISSION IS TO BUILD THE DOMESTIC CHURCH AND STRENGTHEN PARISH LIFE (see and  Their “Building the Domestic Church” kiosk with a variety of booklets can be very helpful to build your domestic church.  It’s in the vestibule of many churches.  See   

     One tremendous help toward making your home a domestic church is gathering your family together to pray the rosary as often as possible, ideally on a daily basis, perhaps right after supper or at bedtime.  

There are families in our small parish (St. Louis Church Gallipolis, Ohio) who do……..Tim & Chrissy Stapleton, DJ & Kara Stapleton, Scott & Bernadette Lewis, and perhaps others.  Noteworthy is that these three families are the grandchildren of James and Harriet Davison who prayed the Rosary with their twelve children……what a beautiful legacy they left for all of us to follow!  See  In addition our parish family prays the Rosary before all the Masses on the first Saturday and first Sunday of each month as well as before the four times a year Fifth Sunday Knights of Columbus Mass in regalia.  

The family rosary with six kids and Grandma too.  Notice in the background the image of Our Lady of Fatima appearing to the three shepherd children,  asking for repentance, offering our crosses for the conversion of sinners, and praying the rosary daily for peace.

      October is the Month of the Holy Rosary; October 7 is the Feast of “Our  Lady of the Rosary” and this coming October 13 is the anniversary of the great “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima in 1917.  Let us use this month to at least give the family rosary a try.  Although it’s easier to start when the kids are very small, any family can do it.  Once the kids are accustomed to the daily Rosary, it becomes a daily routine and disruptions will be minimal.  Every knight should have the Knights of Columbus rosary which is given to every newly inducted knight upon receiving the First Degree.  Any knight may obtain a replacement by going to

       Praying the Rosary is simple; yet deep and Biblical……enhancing virtue, a source of grace and strength.  It’s not simply repetitive prayer.  That’s really like rhythmic background music for the essence of the Rosary…….meditation on key events in the life of Christ and His mother who had such an intimate part in His mission of salvation for us all if we only follow the Lord.  See Deacon Keith Fournier explain it at

In the first photo above, each child is holding a rosary, which is shown here to keep track of the prayers.   If you don’t have one, ask your pastor or obtain a free rosary at, which also explains how to say the rosary with the prayers spelled out.  The crucifix symbolizes the “Apostles Creed”.  It is followed by an “Our Father” prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father, three Hail Mary prayers for the increase of faith, hope, & Charity, and a “Glory Be” prayer. 

 That is followed by five groups of one “Our Father”, ten Hail Marys, and a “Glory Be”.  During each group, we meditate on a mystery of the Rosary.   One may choose one of four sets of five mysteries each: either the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, or Glorious Mysteries, 20 in all.  See with the prayers spelled out in multiple languages &

 At the end of each decade or mystery, we say the prayer that Mary taught us at Fatima:  “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”

The Joyful Mysteries (Usually Monday & Saturday): 1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38);  2. The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56);  3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20);  4. The Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple (Luke 2:21-40);  5. The Finding of the Christ Child in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52).

    The Luminous Mysteries (Usually Thursday) : 1. The Baptism of Christ By John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-17);  2. The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11);  3. The Proclamation of  the Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15);  4. The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13);  5. The Institution of the Eucharist (Luke 22:14-20).

    The Sorrowful Mysteries (Usually Tuesday & Friday): 1. The Agony in the Garden (Luke 22:39-53);  2. The Scourging at the Pilar (Mark 15:1-15);  3. The Crowning of Thorns (Mark 15:16-20);  4. The Carrying of the Cross (Luke 23:26-28);  5. The Crucifixion (John 17-42).

    The Glorious Mysteries (Usually Sunday & Wednesday): 1. The Resurrection (John 19:38-21:25);  2. The Ascension (Matthew 28:16-20);  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-41); 4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (Revelation 11:19; 12:1);  5. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Revelation 12:1).

Meditating on the Mysteries. The parents can tell the story of each mystery at story time or simply read them the relevant selection from a children’s Bible.  During the recitation of the Rosary the father can introduce each mystery with a brief story, meditation, or lesson to be learned.  Once the children know the Bible stories and are older, they can meditate on their own.  

Tell the kids to play back in their minds the story behind each mystery and to try to think about its meaning as to why it is important.  Ask the children to imagine that they are there when each event or mystery occurred.

EWTN has Rosary with images of each mystery four times a day at 7:30 am, 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, and 9:30 pm Eastern Time.  Available are booklets, pamphlets, and DVDs of the Rosary for each set of mysteries with images (go to or call 1-800-FORMARY).  At (this site) there is an article on each set of mysteries at Blog Numbers 50, 73, 78, and 84.  The Appendix below has links to written meditations and video recited rosaries with meditations.    

Options. Some families have the kids take turns announcing and leading the prayers of each mystery.  Mischief and boredom can be a problem at times.  Parents should try to make it as interesting as possible with some variety.  The Rosary should not last more than 20 minutes.    

When the weather is good, the family can take a Rosary Walk.  In this way they get some exercise at the same time.  When on an outing, the family can pray the Rosary in the car.  The Rosary can be after supper and if everybody behaves, they can be rewarded with cake and/or ice cream. 

Be careful in using excessive force or letting the Rosary drag out.  Then the kids might resent the Rosary and even hate it.  Brother knight Bruce Davison made it optional for his older kids.  “More often than not, when a kid skips the Rosary and goes to his/her room, s/he feels guilty and joins the family later or the next day.”

The group has put out tips on saying the Family Rosary at


In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s the Venerable Fr. Patrick Peyton (1909-1992) (see for his life story) promoted the Family Rosary with rallies (Family Crusades) all over the world, including 1.5 million in Rio de Janiero.  Often he would fill up stadiums.  

       Fr. Peyton before 1.5 million people in Rio

The Rosary Priest recruited numerous movie stars of the silver screen to volunteer to act and participate in his Family Theater on 460 radio stations, videos, and special television programs over a period of 22 years.  You can see reruns of Family Theater radio episodes on Sunday evenings at 11:30 pm at and its affiliated diocesan radio stations such as St. Gabriel Radio in Columbus, Ohio at 820 AM and 88.3 FM.  The best writers and musicians also volunteered.  Among the most prominent stars are Bing Crosby, Loretta Young, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Don Ameche, Rosalind Russel, Ann Blyth, Ethel Barrymore, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, and Bob Hope.       Fr. Peyton with two big Hollywood stars of the day…….Jack Benny and Lucille Ball.  He even put on a "Fiesta of the Stars" for Family Theater.  Many Hollywood stars came and Fr. Peyton ended the fiesta with a Rosary.  Crash the party at 

He constantly repeated the themes, “The Family that prays together stays together”;  “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”; “A world at prayer is a world at peace”.  You can see more of Fr. Peyton, his life, rallies, homilies, etc. on the internet and

One of Fr. Peyton’s Rosary Rallies

·     Pray the enacted Joyful Mysteries with Fr. Peyton at


·    Pray the enacted Luminous Mysteries with the Rosary Priest at


·     Pray the enacted Sorrowful Mysteries with him at  


·             Pray the enacted glorious mysteries with the future saint at

 See the video of one of his rosary rallies at, his story and message at, and a conversation with St. Mother Teresa regarding the Rosary on the Family Theater  at 


Fr. Peyton and two Hollywood Movie Stars Bobby Driscoll and Rita Johnson on the air waves doing a live Family Theater radio program in the 1940s on the Mutual Radio Network beamed all over the United States.  In the 1960s he expanded into television.

     St. Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) had a Rosary with him at all times and prayed the Rosary every day, taking advantage of car rides or pauses between meetings.  Imagine the depth of his meditations with his extensive and deep knowledge of Theology and Scripture!  Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903) wrote twelve different encyclicals on the Rosary.  St. Pope John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter, “ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE on the Most Holy Rosary” and declared October 2002 to October 2003 as the Year of the Rosary.  You can read it by going to  St. Padre Pio called the rosary his weapon against evil.


One saint and a future saint.  St. Pope John Paul embraces the Venerable Fr Patrick Peyton in the 1980s.  "How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening." — Pope John Paul II

           Many other popes have promoted the Rosary:

    "Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favored by so many miracles as the Rosary devotion." — Pope Pius IX

     "Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." — Pope Pius IX

   "The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary." — Pope Saint Pius X

     "Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors." — Pope Pius XI

     "If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary." — Pope Pius XI

     "There is no surer means of calling down God's blessings upon the family... than the daily recitation of the Rosary." — Pope Pius XII

     "Dear young people, I invite you to value this traditional Marian prayer which helps us to understand better the central moments of salvation realized by Christ." — Pope Benedict XVI

During this month of the Holy Rosary, give the Family Rosary a try in your home.  The rest of the year you could make it a daily routine or simply keep it to October,  Advent, Lent, and/or May, the month of Mary.  In any event make the Rosary a frequent family activity and the probability of your kids being faithful life-long Catholics will greatly increase as they pass on the faith to the next generation……your grandchildren.


Praying the Rosary (Videos)

Joyful Mysteries (Mondays & Saturdays)  - Holy Land Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries with Fr. Patrick Peyton. Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with Fr. Groeshel. – The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary – Scriptural. - “The Flame of Love Rosary”: The Joyful Mysteries

Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays  & Fridays)  –Holy Land Rosary – the Sorrowful Mysteries with Fr. Patrick Peyton. – the Sorrowful Mysteries with Fr. Groeshel  -  Our Lady of Fatima Meditative Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary


Luminous Mysteries (in full) (Thursdays) - The Rosary Luminous Mysteries: With Music  - Luminous Mysteries - Fr. Kevin Scallon & Dana Rosemary Scallon –  LUMINOUS MYSTERIES (Thursday) – Virtual Luminous Mysteries – Holy Land Rosary – the Luminous Mysteries with Fr. Patrick Peyton. - The Luminous Mysteries with Fr. Groeshel


Glorious  Mysteries (Sundays & Wednesdays) – Holy Land Rosary– Glorious Mysteries with Fr. Patrick Peyton. – Glorious Mysteries with Fr. Patrick Peyton (Newer Version)   – Glorious Mysteries Fr. Groeshel – Glorious Mysteries – Glorious Mysteries - Mother Teresa Prays the Rosary for life in Knock Shrine - Glorious – The Rosary led by St. Pope John Paul II. – Another Rosary led by St. Pope John Paul II. - 8:16 A Conversation between Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., and Saint Mother Teresa, M.C. – Fr. Patrick Peyton’s Family Rosary Crusade - 21:12 The Miracle Hidden in Your Rosary


Written Rosary Meditations and Articles

Joyful Mysteries

Luminous Mysteries


Sorrowful Mysteries  

Glorious Mysteries




Saturday, September 11, 2021

(257) The Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Triumphs on the Streets of Budapest, Hungary After a Bloody and Oppressive 20th Century Against the Church and Its People Yearning For Freedom


To me the most moving event of the Eucharistic Congress was the triumphal procession of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  As a son of deceased Hungarian immigrants (they met Cardinal Mindszenty in the U.S. in the early 1970s), I lived and suffered through all of the aggressive actions against Hungary, its people, their freedom, their culture, their Church ---many of them bloody between the 1938 and 2021 Eucharistic congresses in Budapest--- in the news and family discussions.  Thus I can tearfully appreciate the magnitude of this triumph of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus on the streets of Budapest.  He prevailed through it all and was with the Hungarian people all the time.

    All this week September 5-12 Budapest, Hungary is hosting the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, a religious gathering held for the purpose of increasing faith in the Blessed Sacrament and promoting Eucharistic devotion. This follows the tradition of Catholic Hungary founded by their first king, St. Stephen (975-1038), who introduced Christianity to the people.  

It is said that the crown of St. Stephen was given as a gift by Pope Sylvester II (945-1003) in appreciation for Christianizing Hungary.  While the Soviets occupied Hungary at the end of World War II, the Hungarian Crown Guard gave it the U.S. Army for safekeeping from the Soviet Union.  It was kept in Ft. Knox until January 6, 1978 when Cold War tension was reduced and President Carter returned it to Hungary under a set of strict conditions.  At the time Hungarian Americans strongly opposed the decision.  My family saw it at the National Museum when we visited Hungary in 1999.  I was thrilled.  The crown is currently displayed in the central Domed Hall of the Hungarian Parliament Building.

        Today according to the 2019 Eurobarometer 75% of the population of 9.8 million Hungarians claim to be Christian and 62% Catholic including the Byzantine Rite (3%).  For a history of the Catholic Church in Hungary see 

The 34th International Eucharistic Congress May 25-29, 1938

        This is not the first time that Hungary hosted such an important event.  It was the 34th International Eucharistic Congress May 25-29, 1938 (a week after I was born), and a little over a year before the official start of World War II when Germany invaded Poland September 1, 1939.  Half a million pilgrims attended from all over the world.  However, the Nazi government of Germany forbade its citizens from attending.  The flag of Hungary was red, white, and green with the crown of St. Stephen in the center.  See and the video

The crown of St. Stephen, a symbol of Catholic Hungary, became part of the coat of arms of Hungary, which is often at the center of the Hungarian flag.

      World War IIThen Hungary had to suffer the ravages of World War II.  Caught between two tyrannical totalitarian regimes…….Germany to the west and the Soviet Union to the east, Hungary chose as an ally perceived to be the lesser of the two evils……Germany.  Previously, Hungary had to live under Communism for six months in 1919.  Before long Germany occupied Hungary.  

        In their defense against the Soviet Union 300,000 Hungarian soldiers were killed and 600,000 civilians including 400,000 Jews who lost their lives in the gas chambers.  Budapest was bombed at least 37 times.  A former Hungarian soldier, Laszlo Fugedy, a friend of the family whom we called Laci, told us how the Soviets would send one wave after another of soldiers to be mowed down by machine gun fire as the bodies piled up.  Towards the end of the war the Soviet Union occupied the country.  Tyrannical boots marched up and down the streets of Budapest.  Who would have dreamed of another Eucharistic Congress in Budapest?

      Communist TakeoverOnce the war ended, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, taking advantage of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, set up puppet regimes in Hungary as well as Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, etc., annexed the Ukraine and imposed Communism upon the people while the West did nothing to prevent it, really a de facto conquest.  

    Churches were closed; apostolic and charitable work of the Church was forbidden.  Priests were tortured and jailed, including the primate of Hungary, József Cardinal Mindszenty (1892-1975) who was forced to confess to treason under great duress in a show trial.  Basic freedoms of religion, assembly, and the press were crushed.  The Hungarian flag with the crown of St. Stephen was replaced by the hammer and cycle.  Who would have dreamed of another Eucharistic Congress in Budapest?

     The Hungarian Revolution.  In 1956 the people revolted.   Freedom fighters destroyed Communist tanks with home-made Molotov Cocktails made of gasoline.  The flag of Hungary now consisted of a hole in the center formerly occupied by the hammer and cycle.  Cardinal Mindszenty was freed.  These freedom fighters were winning and controlled the country.   

    Fearing the defeat of Communism, the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev sent in troops to crush the rebellion.  Soviet tanks patrolled the streets, killing 2,500 people and destroying.  In desperation the free government of Hungary appealed to the West, particularly the United States for help, but key leaders were afraid to act.  Over 180,000 fled to Austria as refugees and many were executed in the aftermath.  I met a few including a girl I dated.  Who would have dreamed of another Eucharistic Congress in Budapest?  For greater detail see my blog article: "A Son of Immigrants Remembers the Hungarian Revolution".          

        In the 1970s and 1980s the Communist regime mellowed somewhat, but the people were still not free and the Cold War continued.

  Democracy RestoredFinally in 1989 Communism in Europe collapsed because socialism over the long run is untenable.  Central planning and government ownership of the means of production were very inefficient.  Shortages of basic commodities were common.  There was little or no incentive to innovate and increase productivity.  The economy was stagnant and inflationary.  The people needed and yearned for basic freedoms.  

    Finally, the system collapsed in all of the communist countries of Eastern Europe along the Iron Curtain and democracy was restored……so sudden that it bordered on the miraculous, reminiscent of the sudden collapse of the walls of Jericho.  Interesting is that now St. Pope John Paul II in union with the bishops of the world consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984 as Mary requested at Fatima.  Business now has the freedom to prosper, benefiting both capital and labor.  The Church now has freedom to evangelize and serve the people with diverse charities.  No longer does the Hungarian flag have the hammer and cycle in the center.

      An Immense Procession Through the Streets of Budapest. This week Hungary has the freedom to host the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress. The Eucharist is the source for the life and mission of Christians”, Cardinal Péter Erdó, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, said at the opening Mass.  Each day consists of Holy Mass, prayer, catechesis, workshops, exhibits, testimonies, and adoration.  Even the President of Hungary, János Áder gave a testimony!

The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress September 5-12, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary, postponed one year because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.  For a two video summary of the youth night and Eucharistic procession click on

      The climax of the Congress was a Eucharistic procession of some 150,000 prayerful people extending over a mile……young and old, men, women, and children followed by a truck carrying a platform holding an altar with a large monstrance……..the Blessed Sacrament…….the Eucharist, the body of Christ, soul and divinity, His true presence, manifesting His infinite love towards each one of us.

     See for yourself the Mass and procession at  The opening ceremony and Mass with huge choir and instrumental accompaniments can be seen at  It was indeed a joy to hear Hungarian spoken and Hungarian hymns that I heard my parents and relatives frequently speak. For the closing Papal Mass see  For the much shorter five minute highlights video see  

The huge Heroes Square was once the scene of Communist demonstrations, military parades, and propaganda shows.  Now it is the venue of an outdoor Mass with a huge platform that served as the altar.  The boots of the Gestapo marched on these streets, seizing Jews from their apartments and sending them to the gas chambers.  Later the boots of Communist soldiers trod the streets.  During the 1956 Hungarian Revolution Soviet tanks patrolled the boulevards, destroyed numerous buildings, and fired on the people as blood flowed onto the streets.  Who would have dreamed of a Eucharistic procession on these same streets?    

Today September 11, 2021 the Blessed Sacrament, the Body of Christ, of whom the people are a part, is processing on the very same streets that have such a bloody history.  This is the triumph of the cross which was part of the procession.  THIS IS THE TRIUMPH OF THE EUCHARISTIC HEART OF JESUS that always comes sooner or later even when the current outlook seems to be so dark!  God is always in control.  

Presidents, kings, and dictators come and go through the millenniums.  Empires rise and fall.  Nazism and European Communism that once threatened all of mankind are now on the ash heaps of history.  Throughout history forces of evil have tried to stamp out Christianity --from pagan Rome to atheistic Communism and radical Islam-- but the Church has always prevailed.  Through all of this there is one constant.  The truth of the Eucharist endures and continues to thrive.  How true the theme of the Congress is: “In You (Eucharistic Jesus) is the source of all our blessings” (Cfr.: Ps 87, 7).   

    Today there is another enemy perhaps more sinister than ever……secularism that takes God out of social discourse and public life, ignoring traditional morality and Church teaching for the false gods of pleasure, personal convenience, money, power, prestige, and the materialistic accumulation of wealth and things while restricting religion to the four walls of the church as though God did not exist. This mentality has caused a marked drift of people away from the Church.  

     Let us pray today on this 20th anniversary of 9/11 (2001) that the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus will also triumph with a Eucharistic Revival that will bring those who have drifted away back to the Church as faithful Catholics.  Lord, please do not permit another 9/11 that brings people back to the Church only for the duration of the terrorism crisis.