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by Ben Broussard


October 12, 2019 was no ordinary Saturday. Across the country as Americans went about their business, people saw the unexpected. The radiant face of Our Lady of Fatima could be seen in thousands of public places.

Was this an apparition? No, but it was a great manifestation. Mary’s faithful children came out to honor their heavenly mother. They came to pray. They came to sing. They came to manifest their faith in God’s power.

There were Catholics praying in public in every state. Catholic Americans stepped out and prayed in big cities: Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York. They could be seen in the remote Pacific Islands: Guam, Saipan, American Samoa. They prayed in English, in Spanish, and other languages. On the side of highways in rural areas, at busy intersections with honks in support—in so many places, public life was met with public prayers.

Coxsackie NY Rally

Puerto Rico Rally

Baytown TX Rally

Carson CA Rally

Centralia IL Rally

Downingtown PA Rally

Escondido CA Rally

Harvey LA Rally

 

The Rosary: The Solution for Our Times

The year 2019 has seen no shortage of difficulties. Scandals continue to rock the Church. Public immorality is on the rise. Violence and terrorism threaten many communities. One thing is certain about America’s situation: public prayer is more needed than ever.

In spite of many obstacles, Rosary Rally Captains were more willing than ever to sacrifice. These devoted prayer warriors did all the work: finding a good location, printing flyers, getting the word out. Some experienced Rally Captains have been leading Rosary Rallies for years. Other first time captains rose to the occasion.

They had to deal with the elements. Heat waves, rain and wind, under calm or threatening skies—Catholics prayed in every type of weather.

As the prayers were offered up, the banner of the Queen marked each rally. On the 102nd anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, Our Lady of Fatima’s face could be seen in public places across the United States. The Rosary Rally Banner with the message asking for a heavenly solution is now part of America’s landscape. Even if one doesn’t stop long enough to read the text, the gaze of the Queen of Heaven speaks volumes.

She gazes as Americans go about their business. She sees so many pass, absorbed in their own cares. She sees others pause and read the banners. Some pull out their phones and snap photos. A few stop and join the prayers. Still others shout insults in opposition.

And she looks out as her faithful children rally to her banner. They pray as she requested at Fatima. Coming at a time when worldly political promises are making headlines, humble prayer warriors were focusing on heavenly promises.

Hilton Head Island SC Rally

Catholic Student Rally

Kernersville NC Rally

 

Gaining the Merits of So Many Prayers

One thing’s for sure: Catholics who weren’t at a Rosary Rally really missed out.

In The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort writes: “Someone who prays his rosary alone only gains the merit of one rosary, but if he says it together with thirty other people he gains the merit of thirty rosaries.”

For the 2019 Rosary Rallies, Catholics were gathered in groups large and small. In some places, they were just two or three. In others, crowds of over 400 participated. The prayers began at the same time and were offered in unity for the conversion of our country. The Queen of Heaven received these supplications, and bestowed the merits of thousands and thousands of rosaries on her faithful children.

And that is not all. So many Americans today are unsatisfied and unhappy with modern life. Fast-paced lifestyles and superficial relationships are leaving a large void.

Contrasting with this, more and more American Catholics are finding true joy by taking a public stand for God. Saint Augustine put it well: “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

It is one thing to privately profess one’s faith. It is quite another to take it to the streets. Taking the time to unite in the public prayer of the rosary: this simple act pleasing to the Blessed Mother will ensure our spiritual progress.

Livingstone NJ Rally

Los Banos CA Rally

Munster IN Rally

 Macomb County MI Rally

 

The Rosary—America’s Best Kept Secret?

To those who pray the rosary, the Blessed Mother promised: “You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.”

Through the rosary, the Blessed Mother has given Catholics great victories. Will she do the same today in America? That all depends on the confidence of her faithful children.

Do we want solutions for our country’s problems? Do we want to stem the tide of immorality? Do we want to protect the innocence of children? In short, do we want the conversion of America?

If the answer is “yes,” we must be willing to take a stand. Like so many others are now doing, we must step out in public, not caring what others think. We must stand for God when so many are turning their backs on Him. We must pray as Our Lady asked us to—with the greatest confidence she will grant everything we ask.

No, the victory will not be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.

The mission of America Needs Fatima is clear: to win the United States for Mary Most Holy. God certainly wills the conversion of America. He is constantly sending the needed graces for this to happen. But since hearts are openly hostile to these graces, we must call upon the Queen of All Hearts to intervene.

To those who have been Rosary Rally Captains for many years, the power of the rosary is no secret to them. But so many Americans still do not call Mary their mother. And among those who do, the rosary’s power is still a mystery to them.

The annual Public Square Rosary Rallies are an excellent opportunity for so many Catholics to recommit to spreading the rosary. More and more captains are organizing monthly public rosaries in their communities. With confidence in Our Lady, she will complete the work already begun.

Entrusting the Public Square Rosary Crusade to the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, let us claim this land for her by raising her banners in more places. Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

 

 New Martinsville WV Rally

Niles IL Rally

Waltham MA Rally

Williston Park New York Rally

Rosary Rally


 

Banners and Roses in Fatima:  October 2019

Fatima Candlelight Procession 2019

The courtyard before the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is filled with light on the eve of the 102 Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.

Candlelight Banner Procession - with Banner insert

America Needs Fatima Banner bearing the names of nearly 11,000 devotees of Fatima is carried in the candlelight vigil.

Banner and Roses

Fresh red and white roses are presented to Our Lady. Each red rose comes from a Rosary Rally Captain and each white rose represents a Rally Supporter. Over 20,000 roses in all!

Roses in Fatima

Magnificent rose bouquets for Our Queen.                Trucks were needed to deliver all the roses!

 

Candles and Intentions

Twelve massive red candles created from many thousands of smaller ones sent from friends across America. Antonio Fragelli holds an envelope containing prayer requests that he placed at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima.

  

 

 


 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 24, 2021

It is easy to infuse a most fervent devotion into others, ev...

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July 24

 

It is easy to infuse
a most fervent devotion into others, even in a short time;
but the great matter is
– to persevere.

St. Philip Neri


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Charbel Makhlouf

Multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was fi...

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St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born in the village of Bekka Kafra in Lebanon on May 8, 1828 and was one of five children born to Antoun Zarrour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. His father was a mule driver who died when Youssef was only three years old, leaving his widow to bring up their children alone.

Although Brigitta was left nearly destitute, she reserved a profoundly religious atmosphere in their home and instilled in her children a deep spirit of piety. Because of this fidelity, Youssef became unusually devoted and inclined to prayer and solitude at a very young age. He was greatly attracted to the life and spirituality of hermits; and as a young boy tending his family’s small flock, he would often go to a nearby grotto where he had erected a little shrine to the Holy Mother of God and would spend his whole day there in prayer.

When he was twenty-three years old, Youssef, feeling the call to the religious life, left his home and family to join the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Marfouq. Here he began his formation as a monk before later being transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron near Beirut. There he received the religious habit of the Maronite monk and took the name Charbel. He made his final profession as a religious brother on November 1, 1853 – he was twenty-five years old.

Brother Charbel immediately began his studies for the priesthood under the instruction of Father Nimattullah Kassab, who was also later declared a saint by the Church. Charbel was ordained on July 23, 1859, following which he returned to the Monastery of St. Maron where he lived a life of great austerity. In 1875, he was granted permission by his superiors to live a solitary life in the Hermitage of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was under the jurisdiction of the monastery; and there he resided for the remaining twenty-three years of his life until his death on Christmas Eve, 1898.

St. Charbel is renowned for his many miracles both during his life and after his death. His most famous miracle – which was also his first – occurred when, multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was filled with water. He is also credited with many healing miracles.

After his death, he was interned at the Monastery of St. Maron, now a famous pilgrimage site. His tomb was often witnessed surrounded by a dazzling light, and to this day his remains are incorrupt and an unexplainable blood-like fluid flows from his body. He was canonized on December 9, 1977, by Pope Paul VI, who held him up as an example to help us understand “in a world, largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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