Members and volunteers of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) converged on Bismarck, North Dakota on June 27, to pray the Rosary for the restoration of order in the United States. The group organized a rally in front of the State Capitol Building with 40 North Dakotans. One young Catholic family drove five hours from Montana to attend.
The event was the 32nd rally held across the country in the effort to pray in front of all 50 state capitols in America.
As the TFP members piled out of the van, they were immediately met with applause from the locals waiting on the sidewalk to join them. As the group set up for the rally, a muscular man on his morning jog stopped and asked what was happening. “This is a Christian organization going around the country praying for America’s return to order, that’s all,” replied a man. He responded, “I didn’t even know this was going on!” Wiping his brow, he knelt in front of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the miraculous statue that wept tears in New Orleans in 1972, and prayed with the group. As he got up to continue his morning run, he jogged backward, saying the Hail Mary, still praying in unison.
Rosary Rallies for America
For many attendees, it was their first time meeting members of the American TFP. A little boy ran to one of the volunteers, craning his neck and squinting to look up at the briskly flapping red standard. Looking at the trademark gold-emblazoned lion, he whispered, with his nose scrunched, “That’s awesome!”
Several knights of Columbus came, despite the short notice of the event. A journalist and blogger from the National Catholic Register (NCR) also attended, filming the rally and interviewing members of the organization.
Two men held a banner saying, “Pray. Hope. Rebuild One Nation Under God.” One of them is a professor at St. Mary’s School. When asked what brought him to the rally, he said, “I was losing courage because the world’s going crazy. I was just discussing with my wife what the world is going to look like when our son is older.” However, when he caught wind of the rally, he said, “I was excited. It gave me hope.” He called several relatives, letting them know that they can join the rallies in their home states when the caravan passes through their areas.
Patrick Sabat has now cared for the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue for 17 years. He works with the World Apostolate of Fatima, also known as the Blue Army. He is on this tour with the statue. He reported that he traced an email from someone asking for more information about the rally in Bismarck. He discovered that the one message had been exchanged five times before coming to him. He was amazed at how widely and rapidly the word about the Restore America Campaign spread. The caravan members are hopeful about the remaining capital rallies and pray that Our Lady will encourage Catholics to join the TFP in their American crusade.