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I Was There

by John Horvat II   

 

I could have found plenty of reasons not to the go to the Public Square Rosary Rally this October 13. But as the date approached, I was determined that I would not miss it for anything in the world. All across the country, tens of thousands of Catholics would be gathering at 9,077 public places and praying for our nation in these troubled times. This was an historic event and I wanted to be part of it.

What made my rally particularly exciting was that I was going to one of America’s premier public places—Fifth Avenue. We were situated in a small square in front of Rockefeller Center and across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The place was so full of foreign tourists that we can say that it is really the world’s public square. We could not have asked for a busier and more representative place to pray the rosary.

What I like about Public Square Rosary Rallies is that they have impact. If you pray a Rosary inside a church, no one is especially surprised. But when you are at a busy intersection or on Fifth Avenue, people are shocked, intrigued, edified or consoled. No one expects to see two hundred people standing—some even kneeling—on the sidewalk affirming our Catholic Faith. Thousands of people are impacted by the spectacle. Many leave the scene changed.

Of course, we want to cause impact. Rosary Rally Captains are encouraged to be conspicuous. At our rally, I could sense the maximum impact caused by our banners, signs and bagpipes as tens of thousands passed by. Our voices were loud as we proudly prayed and sang hymns to Our Lady, which echoed off the glass and concrete canyons of midtown Manhattan. The sight of people praying for the nation in face of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” blasphemy and so many other ills is very strong.

What is impressive is that few think it strange that we are out there. Many think it is logical that we pray since the state of the nation is such that it merits prayer. The dramatic circumstances of our times demand that we do something of this nature. So compelling are the reasons for prayer that some people actually came up and joined us. I saw several others praying rather timidly from afar but who gradually made their way to the prayerful crowd and became part of our rally. Still others prayed a few Hail Marys at a distance. Some dared not even pray, but took out their cameras, cell phones and iPads, snapping plenty of pictures which found their way into the social media.

I cannot say that everyone was edified by our appearance there. There were definitely people who did not like it. I saw the smirks, the patronizing looks and the scowls of the enlightened ones who despise religion. Nor is this surprising, since as faithful followers of Our Lady, we can expect the scorn of the world. These poor figures acted as if our prayers were hopelessly out of time and place as they watched our invasion of “their” world. They feigned a disregard for our action but in the back of their heads, we shook their certainties. You could tell that that we disturbed their smug complacency by our lively, proud and public witness to the Faith. Who knows? Maybe we planted a seed of grace in their souls that might sprout in the future.

There were also those who were indifferent. For them, our presence on the street was an inconvenience. We got in their way as they jogged down the street. We hardly existed to others inside their cyber-cocoons tethered to their electronic devices.

The most important part of the Public Square Rosary Rallies for me was the fact that Our Lady was queen at all 9,077 locations for a full hour. Even the police were there to protect our right to proclaim her as queen. It was truly an historic event. We do not know how many people were reached by the rallies. We cannot gauge the immense impact these rallies had on souls. We do know that the pleas of faithful Catholics across America and the world were heard by God in Heaven. We can be consoled by the fact that we heeded the requests of Our Lady at Fatima to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins of man.

I can only give the impressions for my rally, but I suspect from speaking with others that similar considerations apply to all the rallies. Nine thousand points of light dared to pierce the moral darkness of our days. This veritable flood of light was invisible to the media but not to God who looked down upon us. All sensed the blessing of Our Lady who took comfort to see literally hundreds of thousands of her children honoring her on this special day, the 95th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima.

Many years hence, when the present confusion in men’s minds is dispelled, history will record that there were those who braved the scorn of men and gathered in public squares to pray for our nation. While others went about their affairs, I can say that I was there, making history on the public square. And I would have it no other way.

 

 


 

 

 

 

DAILY QUOTE for February 23, 2019

Prayer is the conversation of a child with its Father; of a...

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February 23

 

Prayer is the conversation
of a child with its Father; of a subject with his King;
of a servant with his Lord; of a friend with the Friend
to whom he confides
all his troubles and difficulties.

St. John Vianney

  
Tell NETFLIX to CANCEL its EVIL Teenage Witchcraft Series

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Polycarp

A spear was thrust into his side, killing him. A dove flew o...

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St. Polycarp

Polycarp, a holy man and bishop of Smyrna, was part of the group of early bishops. When heresy arose in Asia, violence toward Catholics arose with it, and Polycarp was persuaded by his friends to go into hiding.

Eventually Polycarp was found and arrested. When his persecutors arrived at his hideout, he went to them and served them a meal, asking for a short time to pray before being taken away. Polycarp was sent to trial, where his captors tempted him with freedom and tried to convince him to denounced Our Lord. “Fourscore and six years I have served Him and He hath done me no wrong,” he said, “how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”

Soon after this, in the year 155, Polycarp was burnt at the stake – though there was no odor of burning flesh: instead a smell of incense was in the air. When the fire seemed to do him no harm, a spear was thrust into his side, killing him. A dove flew out of the wound, and Polycarp’s blood quenched the fire, causing part of his body to remain intact. However, his remains were later burned to ash because the heretics feared other Catholics would revere the body as a relic.

WEEKLY STORY

Cause of Our Joy

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreadi...

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Cause of Our Joy

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreading her graces as we travel to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. On a recent visit in south Texas, we were surprised to see Our Lady’s visit to one household as the culmination of a beautiful story of grace, nine months in the making.  

Our hosts had gathered friends and neighbors from their small town on a sunny afternoon to welcome the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. As the program progressed, the lady of the house asked to tell a story about a certain grace she had received.

Two years ago, her daughter had suffered a miscarriage in her first pregnancy, which had a devastating effect on the family. This past year, the same daughter again became pregnant.  However, rather than being a cause for rejoicing, the family was apprehensive due to what had happened previously. Our hostess then explained how she and her husband vowed to take a dozen roses at the beginning of each month of the pregnancy to Our Lady’s shrine at the local parish, asking the Queen of Heaven for a safe delivery.

The florist of the town, upon hearing the story, took great care to make an extra-beautiful bouquet in honor of our Blessed Mother.

For nine months, the couple was faithful in bringing the flowers and asking Our Lady’s powerful help. To their great surprise, the final time coincided with our visit with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Our hostess began to cry tears of joy in telling the story, so honored was she to have such a clear sign of the intercession of the Mother of God. She then told that the doctors all gave reports of a healthy pregnancy, and the child was due any day now. The last bouquet of roses, lovingly arranged by the town’s florist, was placed at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in thanksgiving for a healthy pregnancy and their soon to be newborn grandchild.

We later learned that a healthy boy was born two days after the visit. Not only did Our Lady grant new life to a family who was so eager to welcome it, but she also restored the hope and strengthened the faith of this family and all who were gathered to share their joy. This easily brought to mind one of the beautiful titles of Our Lady from the Litany of Loreto: Causa nostrae letitiae, Cause of Our Joy. May Our Lady bring to the fullness of joy all who invoke her with confidence.

By Ben Broussard

Become a Child Of Mary

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreading her graces as we travel to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. On a recent visit in south Texas, we were surprised to see Our Lady’s visit to one household as the culmination of a beautiful story of grace, nine months in the making.

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