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By John Horvat II

 

As I stood on the country highway praying a rosary for marriage, I could not help but think I was on the front lines. Talking about traditional marriage is important, but it can be done from the safety of the home. Writing about the subject is an exercise done in the isolation of an office. When you are out in front of hundreds of passing cars or pedestrian traffic, that is the front lines.

Anything can happen since this is an explosive topic. You are out there directly exposed to those who hate you. You will also experience the consolation of support. You will face the contempt of indifference. You are in God’s hands.

On March 17, 2018, I participated in one of over 2,247 public square rosaries in defense of traditional marriage nationwide. It involved gathering together a group of people in a public place on the Saturday closest to the feast of Saint Joseph. Each rally had a banner that proudly proclaimed: “1 Man plus 1 Woman equals God’s Marriage.” The event was sponsored by the America Needs Fatima campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

 

 

An Ordinary Site Made Extraordinary

The location of our rally could not have been more American. We were out in the countryside amid cornfields, pastures and grain silos. However, it was a busy highway with all sorts of Americans going about their Saturday tasks and shopping. There were semis, pickups, minivans, cars and even tractors passing by our rosary rally for marriage.

It was not a particularly beautiful spot. There are certainly more symbolic locations. The flat area at the side of the road normally serves as a parking spot for commuters. It provided an ample space for our rally. Perhaps it was the ordinariness of the site that made it so extraordinary. It showed that America’s rejection of same-sex “marriage” is deeply rooted.

Surrounded by our banners, we prayed the rosary. It was organized by a family with three generations present. The most enthusiastic were the children who appeared to marvel at the excitement of praying in front of everyone. The grandmother watched over the children as the father bravely and loudly led the mysteries.

 

 

The Utter Audacity of it All

It takes courage to pray the rosary in the public square. There will be people passing by who will know you. Some of them will disagree with you and talk about you behind your back. There will also be others who will secretly admire you and in the silence of their car wish you well.

As we started to pray, I sensed the utter audacity of it all. Our protests do not enjoy the patronage of the fawning media that gives its support to liberal causes. I am convinced that it takes the help supernatural grace to venture out on the public square.

Thus, praying a rosary in the pubic square is counter-cultural. In the secular society envisioned by most liberals, these public displays of prayer are not supposed to happen. They are not politically correct. No one is allowed to publicly disagree with same-sex “marriage.” However, those in the hundreds of cars that passed by made a mental note that it is possible to disagree in public.

I could not help but think of the multiplier effect of these rallies. It was not just our rally in the middle of the countryside, but hundreds of them everywhere, each broadcasting its counter-cultural message far and wide.

 

 

Defying the Liberal Narrative

I was impressed by the different narrative I found on the front lines of the Culture War. We would expect overwhelming rejection of our message based on the news reports and polls spread by the media. But that is not what we found.

As we prayed, the overwhelming majority of those who reacted were favorable. They gave us the thumbs up. They honked their horns and shouted their support. One older farmer came to the lot to pick up a car. In his own picturesque way, he told us he agreed with us to the point that he would like to buy us each a case of beer.

Of course, there were those who disagreed with the rally, but they were surprisingly few. As the traffic zoomed past, they would let loose a foul expletive that was thankfully difficult to discern. Such rare and cowardly displays of opposition usually had the effect of only making us more resolute in our purpose.

Thus, we finished our public square rosary for marriage. Just as there was no media narrative on the front lines, there was no media reporting on the event. Such displays of public piety, no matter how extraordinary, escape their radar. Unlike liberal street theater, our rallies were not done for media consumption. They were done to instill hope in those who share our Faith. Above all, our rosary rallies were all directed to God and the Blessed Mother, in Whom we confide for the final victory.

 

 

 


 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for October 26, 2020

He who does not acquire the love of God will scarcely persev...

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October 26

 

He who does not acquire the love of God
will scarcely persevere in the grace of God, for
it is very difficult to renounce sin
merely through fear of chastisement.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Cedd of the East Saxons

Gaelic, early Welsh, Frankish, Old English and Latin speaker...

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St. Cedd of the East Saxons

What little is known about St. Cedd comes to us from the saintly Venerable Bede, an early English historian.

A native of the region of Northumbria, England, he was one of four brothers, one of whom was St. Chad. By the year 653 he had been ordained a priest.

At the time what is today the British isle was divided into several small kingdoms. Under the influence of St Augustine of Canterbury and other missionary saints the seeds of Christianity were sown far and wide throughout the land.

King Oswid of Northumbria, having been baptized by St. Finan, sent Cedd to evangelize the Middle Angles of Mercia. Mercia’s king was Penda, a pagan tolerant of Christianity, while his son, Peada, had promised to become Christian in exchange for the hand of King Oswid’s daughter in marriage.

Though Cedd made some headway in Mercia, his brother Chad reaped a greater harvest ten years later, probably under the more secure patronage of Peada.

From Mercia, Cedd was sent to re-evangelize the East Saxons at the request of King Sigeberht, who under the influence of King Oswid accepted baptism from St. Finan. Bede speaks of Cedd as a man unafraid to confront the powerful.

His success in this mission, earned for him the respect of St. Finan who consecrated him bishop of the East Saxons. Cedd built churches and founded two monasteries, one of which was the monastery of Lastingham. Both structures were eventually destroyed by the Danes.

In 664 Cedd was present at the Synod of Whitby, and was one of those who accepted the implementation of the Roman calendar and practices as opposed to the Celtic rite. Bede recounts that his ease with languages greatly aided in the communication of the various parties, which spoke Gaelic, early Welsh, Frankish, Old English and Latin.

He died of a plague that struck in 664. He was succeeded by his brother St. Chad as abbot of Lastingham.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The recitation of the Rosary was always a great help to Vero...

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The Rosary Saves Soldiers in Kuwait

Veronica first learned of the Rosary as a small girl watching her father fingering the beads. At first she thought he was “playing” with the shiny strand, but later, realizing the full meaning of her father’s action, and under the promptings of Grace, she became a devotee of the Rosary as well.

The recitation of the Rosary was always a great help to Veronica, who felt the Blessed Mother’s protection in her life. But then, when her youngest son, Randy, was stationed in Kuwait during Desert Storm, the devotion was to play a crucial role.

While attending a convention of Catholic Women, and greatly concerned for her son’s safety, she confided to a presiding priest that Randy was serving overseas. The good priest then suggested she and others in the group join him in praying a Rosary for Randy’s safety and other pressing intentions. Something compelled Father and the ladies not only to say five decades, but to persevere for several hours.

Two weeks later Veronica received a letter from her son in which he described that he and fellow soldiers had been in a harrowing conflict. As the bullets whizzed by, he feared for his and his buddies’ lives and prayed with all his heart. Suddenly, a great calm came over him and he heard a voice, “from the sky” that assured him they would be alright.

Conferring dates and times, mother and son marvelled at finding that the time in which he and the others were in dire peril was the same day and hour Father, Veronica and her friends were persevering in reciting the Rosary.


Note: Based on a story from 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary by Sister Patricia Proctor, OSC

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The recitation of the Rosary was always a great help to Veronica, who felt the Blessed Mother’s protection in her life.

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