Nobody can argue that the world today is on an ever-increasing decline into utter evil. Vices plague our nation and our nation’s children: abortion, drugs, homosexuality, pornography, euthanasia, an ever increasing shift towards socialism. These sins threaten the moral health of America.
At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady gave the three shepherd children Blessed Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia a solution, an answer, a master plan, to free us from this seeming bottomless sinkhole: much prayer and penance, especially the Holy Rosary.
And so, it is fitting that on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, we should honor Our Lady and pray and do public reparation for America’s sins.
On October 10, 2009, the Saturday closest to October 13, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, 4,337 Rosary Rally captains organized groups to pray the rosary in front of town halls, in busy intersections, in front of malls, and other public locations.
These 4,337 rally captains were joined by tens of thousands of individuals, young and old, who put aside their work to go out and pray in public. Their voices and devotion spread the, simple yet urgent message, “We’re praying for America and we want God and America to know and see it.”
The Public Square Rosary Rallies started in 2007, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. In 2007, there were 2,107 rallies. In 2008, there were 3,500 rallies.
This year, on October 10, the noon sun shone down on 4,337 rosary rallies.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property and the America Needs Fatima Campaign is honored to host these rallies.
Rallies are a Public Manifestation of Faith
The rosaries are said, not in the confines of peoples’ homes, but rather in public, for everyone to see and hear, and join if they want to. Why the public square? Due to negative pressure and the declining moral atmosphere in society, religion is increasingly pushed inside. Many Catholics dare not proclaim it publicly, because the secular pressure in society will work to crush every external and public expression of Catholic action.
The Rosary rallies are meant to break the secularist grip on society. To share with the world the fact that we will not tolerate this persecution against the faith, and to declare “Yes, I am a Catholic, and I’m proud to show it.”
A Nationwide Answer
On October 10, 2009, an estimated 150,000 Catholics went to the Public Square Rosary Rallies in America.
How did all these people come together? America Needs Fatima director Robert Ritchie explained that “each year, the network of rosary rally captains grows.” He sent out an appeal to previous rosary rally captains and other Catholics, and the answer was enthusiastic. After six months of hard work, 4,337 Rosary Rallies were organized and carried out across America.
Countless hours put in by volunteers at the TFP headquarters in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania and at the ANF rally coordination central in Rossville, Kansas, provided the organizational backbone of the work to recruit, guide and organize the 4,337 rally captains, as well as to print, assemble, and ship all of the supplies and banners the Rosary rally captains would need.
The general public was invited to attend the rally nearest them, on the special directory of rally locations posted on the America Needs Fatima website. People were able to access a list of captains, with their phone number and name. Many times there were several rallies, in the same cities. In Las Vegas, for example, there were 19 rosary rallies.
In Honolulu, there were 10 rallies. All of the 50 states of the United States had rallies. I spoke to several of the rally captains on the phone, and they all realized the gravity of the moral situation into which our society has fallen, and they wanted to save America with the rosary rallies.
One of the rally captains, Ethel Finley from Honolulu, put it this way: “The rosaries would be prayed for the United States of America; that America would keep its head held high.”
Others stated their reasons. Mrs. Glorina Carr said: “I will be praying for the President, because he needs them more than anything else.” Others explained that they would be praying in order to save their states from same-sex “marriage” and other public sins.
Amid the Agitation of New York City
American TFP members carried out a rosary rally in front of the Rockefeller Center right across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in Manhattan on 5th Avenue. The event was graced with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried by an escort of TFP members in ceremonial garb. The schedule of events included the rosary, hymns, and other prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
America Needs Fatima Director Robert Ritchie reminded the participants that the prayers of 4,337 rallies were being presented before Our Lord and Our Lady to console them for the great sins that have been perpetrated against them in today’s secularized, modern, and ungodly society.
Praying for the urgent conversion of America.
Mr. Ritchie especially declared the need for reparation for the blasphemous “relational Rosary,” an immoral parody of the real rosary, but all the mysteries, represented a vice or other action that had a special significance for homosexuals. For example: Lazarus being called out of the tomb, for them symbolizes “coming out of the closet.” This is a grave offence and an enormous insult to Our Lady’s prayer, the Holy Rosary.
The Rosary Rallies attracted about 30 people per rally on average. However, some rallies far exceeded 30, and some others are notably smaller. The age of the attendees ranged anywhere from 0 to 95!
At Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, 300 people prayed the Rosary and sung hymns in honor of the Blessed Mother.
Praying the Rosary for America in Ohio.
On the street, in front of the St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, over 100 people attended the Rosary Rally including three canons. The rally captain writes, “The day began with Holy Mass, offered at a special time (11:00AM) thanks to Canon Wiener. Afterward the Rally started off with a blessing from Canon Apple, who was in attendance with Canon Wiener, and all of the residents of the Rectory.”
A rally captain in Rochester, New York reports, “The public square rosary went very well…there were about 25-30 people. The day was splendid…the rosary was prayed in English, Spanish and Italian.”
Forty-five people attended the rosary rally in Canton, Ohio.
In El Cajon, California: 45 people attended as well as a priest that was recovering from an operation but still wished to attend.
A rally captain in Rochester, New York reports, “Three of us endured rain and cold, by God’s grace. The rain stopped as we finished, and OUR Lady dried the banner for us. We looked at the rain drops as Mary’s tears for all the offenses against her Son.”
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on the steps of the Capitol, parishioners of the local Tridentine Latin Mass participated in a rally. They were aided by the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, and the TFP-staffed St. Louis de Montfort Academy located in Herndon, PA.
In addition, in Canada, there was a rosary rally held. Calling themselves Canada Needs Fatima (owing to their location), the captain announced how they had heard about the America Needs Fatima Rosary Rallies, and decided that the rosary was important enough to do there in Canada.
People in other countries around the world, wrote to America Needs Fatima to say they prayed the Rosary at the same time the 4,337 rallies were being held in the USA.
Because Our Lady favors those who pray Her Rosary, the devil loves to plague those persons and make things difficult for them.
Emile Gelinas from Manchester, New Hampshire told of the difficulties he faced during his rally. “It was the coldest day yet this year and it was extremely windy,” he said. “We had to tie our banner down so it wouldn’t blow away.” But he also informed America Needs Fatima Volunteers that the rally participants had all received ill-willed emails attacking TFP and telling people not to attend the rallies.
The devil does not want the Public Square Rosaries to succeed. Throughout the campaign our volunteer office had been plagued with computer problems, shipping problems with the banners, and phone problems. The few weeks before the Rally were particularly trying. One of our key people with the campaign went home ill several days before the rally. The phone system was been acting up all week and our very skilled technician had not been able to repair it. Our internet system had been down as well. According to the provider it had been out in our whole area.
The devil understands fully well the importance of this campaign, so he will stop at nothing to cause irritations and difficulties. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as in many other regions, temperatures hit a record low for the year and in some cases in decades. The perseverance of the rally goers, however, is a testimony of their strong devotion to Our Lady. Many people also endured snow, sleet and freezing drizzle.
The most salient characteristic of the Rosary Rally is the fact that it is public. And contrary to what it might seem, rally goers were not daunted by the peer pressure. They marched proudly to their respective rallying points and proceeded to publicly profess their faith, each one deriving a special satisfaction in doing so.
“There were only the usual one or two motorists who didn’t like it and spoke in ‘sign language’ or shouted some sort of abuse,” said Timm Reese. “Others who passed the rally blessed themselves.”
Mr. Michael Jordan, recounts his methods of attracting attendees saying, “In reality, a rally captain needs to contact people at churches, barbershops, supermarkets or any places that are frequented by many, and that is what gets the word out.”
Thinking back to his last Rosary Rally in 2008, he recalls that, “Many of the people that had joined my rally last year, started their own rally this year. And that’s really what we are looking for: other people to take the torch that is being handed to them, so they can pass it on, spreading its light.”
Going Back to God
The main theme of the Rosary Rallies was, “save America through prayer,” which was very important.
Because of our sins, and fallen nature, we are unable to do small things, much less anything great, by ourselves. So, when we pray and acknowledge our nothingness, Divine Providence comes to our aid.
With the aid of Providence, the Rosary, a simple and beautiful prayer becomes an occasion for Catholics to unite publicly, to pray for America and to seek Our Lord’s and Our Lady’s intervention to save America.
Some conversions and the renewal of hope and faith in many souls is the immediate, tangible result of the rallies. As for the medium and long term effects of the rallies, we trust they will change the course of our nation, from sin and rebellion to fidelity to God’s Holy Laws. These prayers have consequences on many levels, the most important being their weight before the Throne of Almighty God for the future of the nation.
The urgent message of conversion given by Our Lady at Fatima is evidently a message intended for the conversion of the entire world, not just Catholics. In this sense, the Public Square Rosary Crusade accomplished its goal of making the Fatima message known to the countless people who saw the 4,337 rallies all across the nation and the world.
The tens of thousands who participated in the rosary rallies on Saturday, October 10, “stormed Heaven” with their prayers in the form of hundreds of thousands of Rosaries, which they asked Our Blessed Mother to present to God to beg the return of His blessings for America.
God will not refuse the prayers of so many ardent souls whose only desire is to rush the coming of the glorious day when Our Lady will fulfill the promise She gave the three children at the Cova da Iria in 1917:
“Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”