On August 11, volunteers of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) prayed a Rosary in front of Vermont’s State House in Montpelier. The rally was part of the Mary, Mother of Mercy, Restore America Campaign with the goal of praying the Rosary at all 50 state capitals across the United States.
Of the 45 rallies completed so far, we knew Montpelier was going to be unique as we drove through the city, littered with rainbow flags and BLM graffiti on the street. As we set up the rally, we could already perceive it was not going to be popular among some locals.
Although Montpelier is a relatively quiet capital city, the silence was quickly broken by an Antifa man who drove up on his motorcycle, cursing and blaspheming God. He pulled to the curb, ripped off his helmet, and swaggered toward the volunteers. To de-escalate the tension and demonstrate our peaceful stance, we immediately avoided an argument and began the Apostle’s Creed. He continued harassing us, while we would interject the Saint Michael Prayer between decades. As the commotion mingled with the stream of prayers, bystanders’ heads turned, sunglasses were removed and people approached for a closer look.
Rosary Rallies for America
The characters who approached were diverse, to say the least. A “transgender” person with Buddhist prayer beads wrapped around the neck filmed the unfolding scene. As the cyclist grew progressively agitated, the person’s response was unexpected. “Why are you harassing them?” Get away from them! They’re just praying.”
A Hispanic man, who did not like the message of the campaign, also confronted the cyclist, telling him to mind his own business. Alone and deflated, his screams morphed into a steady murmur of blasphemies droned on for another forty minutes. He then quickly left. Everyone who drove by would slowly glance at the rally, eyes wide and mouth open. No one could believe we were praying in the heart of such a leftist-controlled area.
The persons most favorable to the rally and its message were two men who watch from across the street. One stopped, pulled out his rosary beads, and prayed two Rosaries with us. The other man saw our demonstration early and watched it until the end.
One of our volunteers talked to him afterward. “I was over here praying that [Saint Michael] would get rid of him!” he told him.
When asked if he knew how to pray the Rosary, he shrugged and said, “I know my Hail Marys and Our Fathers, and that’s it. I was raised Catholic, and, you know, I’m a sinner.”
When asked about the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing chaos, he remarked, “One thing I don’t like these days is that the churches aren’t open! When I was growing up, I could go to the churches any time I wanted to pray. Now you go, and the church is locked. This country is on the brink of civil war. I’m from Portland, Oregon, and I’m glad I’m not there now!”
At the close of the rally, we loaded the van and clambered inside. We eyed each other for several minutes, shaking our heads in bewilderment, trying to make sense of the events that transpired. One thing was certain. The message of a return to order in America was very much needed in Montpelier. However, only time will tell how well it was received.