Praying the Rosary in public is wonderful. It is better when hundreds join in. It is best when it causes evil to flee! This is what the members and friends of Tradition, Family Property—Louisiana (TFP) experienced during a historic campaign in New Orleans.
TFP—Louisiana sponsors caravans of youth who travel about the country engaging in public campaigns around hot-button issues. One of these TFP caravans this summer traveled throughout the South. This caravan had two goals. The first was to dry the tears of Our Lady of Fatima. Her International Pilgrim Virgin Statue (now under the custodianship of the World Apostolate of Fatima) wept tears in New Orleans on July 18, fifty years ago. The second aim was to thank God for the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
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The main campaign stop was in New Orleans to commemorate the weeping. The volunteers gathered in front of the Cathedral of St. Louis, King of France, to pray the Rosary. What caused Our Lady to weep in 1972 still afflicts the Church and society today and is evident in Cathedral square. Immodestly dressed people entered the cathedral. Two men stood arm-in-arm in a clear display of homosexual affection, seemingly in defiance of the prayerful event. Fortune tellers and tarot card readers spread throughout the cathedral square. Impurity, homosexuality and witchcraft are widespread and notorious in New Orleans. Its Mardi Gras is an occasion for many sins. The Southern Decadence festival (first held in the city in 1972) is also known for its debauchery.
The rosary rally was a call to virtue and reparation for all these things. As people exited the cathedral, they were invited to join in the act of consolation. Hundreds stopped and prayed a few Hail Marys. A few stayed to pray for a few decades. Many were awed by the display of standards, banners and young volunteers and took pictures or streamed it on social media.
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Some witches and fortunetellers complained about the prayer rally. The TFP’s presence was not good for the business of paganism. An odd thing happened halfway through the Sorrowful Mysteries. The pagan soothsayers rushed away from their stations. A tarot card reader ran away looking scared with her A-frame board advertising her fares tucked under her arm as if chased by someone.
After the Rosary, the TFP volunteers carried high on their shoulders a copy of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima and walked in solemn procession to the levee. The TFP’s grand standard led the way as the volunteers filed behind two abreast. This attracted much attention, and again people took out their cell phones. Some signed themselves with the cross as the statue passed them. This solemn procession was a very fitting way to honor Mary in the city where she wept.
Newspapers worldwide reported on her weeping 50 years ago. After the initial sensation subsided, little consideration was given to the event. Today, most people in New Orleans are unaware of the weeping or the sins that caused her to cry.
In 1972, the great Fatima apostle, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, read the newspaper articles published in Sao Paolo, Brazil, about the weeping and wrote an article about its significance.
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He commented, “These mysterious tears show Our Lady of Fatima crying over the modern world, as Our Lord once cried over Jerusalem. They are tears of most tender affection, tears of deep pain for the punishment that will come. . . . Our Lady charged the little shepherds to tell the world that she was deeply upset by the wickedness and corruption of men. She warned that if men did not amend, a terrible chastisement would come that would annihilate many nations. It will come. . . if they do not reject immorality and corruption. It will come if they do not fight especially against the self-destruction of the Church, the cursed smoke of Satan that according to Paul VI has penetrated even into the sacred places.”
The TFP caravan’s campaign is a small effort to remember the cause of Mary’s tears.