Built of red brick and white wooden trim, the State Capitol Building in Dover, Delaware, stood tall against the bright sky of what seemed a typical July day. Its three-tiered central tower overlooks a monument to the Delaware troops who fought in the Revolutionary War. Visible atop the pedestal are three charging colonial soldiers with bayonets forward.
At this central location, a band of Catholics stood together to pray a public Rosary for America. At a time when the lifespans of American monuments are cut prematurely short with violent thuds, Catholics across America are proud to take to the public square as part of the “Mary, Mother of Mercy, Restore America” campaign.
Rosary Rallies for America
Launched in June by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), this campaign is visiting each of the 50 state capitals to hold public Rosary Rallies. Groups of TFP volunteers are organizing and leading these rallies as they travel throughout the United States to secure each of these victories.
The July 20 Delaware rally began after TFP member John Ritchie announced the “Restore America” campaign’s intentions. One intention was to beseech God to grant America the graces of calm, courage and confidence as an answer to the present state of agitation, fear and uncertainty. Yet another was to ask that God and His Blessed Mother grant the American nation a true conversion and return to order.
TFP member Rex Teodosio walked around the capitol building to find those needing directions to the rally. He found a lady who seemed to be waiting for something in the shade of a tree. “Are you here for the Rosary Rally?” he asked, confident that she was. “Yes,” she told him.“But there doesn’t seem to be too many who could come.” Upon hearing about the exact rally location, she gave a sigh of relief: “Oh good! And here I was thinking I was going to do the Rosary by myself.”
The afternoon sun beat down unremittingly, but the high temperature did not faze the rosary warriors. “This rally is hotter than most Southern states that we have gone to,” said Matthew Shibler, one of the TFP volunteers who had braved the summer heat while leading a rosary tour there. Aided by grace and bottles of water, everyone’s prayers could be heard by anyone passing at a distance.
When the Rosary ended, Patrick Sabat explained the significance of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima present at the rally. As the statue’s caretaker, he explained how the Fatima message, and this statue, in particular, are so vital for these days. “It was carved under the direction of Sister Lucy, one of the three Fatima seers, he informed. “She said the statue was the best portrayal of Our Lady of Fatima that she had ever seen.”
While on tour in 1972, the Pilgrim Virgin Statue visited New Orleans, where she wept human tears. News of this miracle spread like wildfire and increased the devotion of many and prompted them to heed the call for prayer and reparation that Our Lady made at Fatima.
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One local lady was enthralled with the prayer rally. “I got an email just a few days ago. When I opened it and saw your whole campaign, I thought ‘Well! No one else is doing anything.’ I should go!” Another woman was pleased to meet the young Catholic men with the TFP. “We need men, not just old ladies, and that was what things were like before you came.”
A man inside the capitol building watched the rally for some time. He stopped his work when he heard the bagpipes. “There are usually counter-protests when pro-police rallies happen,” he later said. He was a Catholic who attends a nearby Latin Mass. In conversation with a TFP volunteer, he complained about those who try to fight evil by adopting a pushover, sheepish attitude that frequently goes hand-in-hand with sentimental forms of piety. Looking at the stalwart, sunburned rows of Catholics boldly praying before his eyes, he said energetically, “We need you here!”
The rally came to a close with all participants gathering around the statue of Our Lady. Before them were those three men, immortalized in a bronze monument, engaged in their bayonet charge for America’s freedom. Today, true freedom is under attack. The anarcho-socialist threat is increasingly appearing upon the horizon, intent upon overturning society.
Catholics are called to oppose this threat and proclaim the true Catholic answer: a return to God, His moral law and Christian values. Consequently, men must take up their leadership role. The spiritual battlefield should see “not just old ladies,” but men ready to pray and serve. May Our Lady grant more brave men the grace to accept their duty and fight with the calm, courage, and confidence that only Heaven can give.