In the face of a general moral decay inside the Church and society, Americans across the nation will be gathering in the public square to pray the rosary on October 13. They will be calling upon God’s aid because human solutions are failing.
What sets this effort apart from any other is the fact that there will be almost 23,000 separate events on the 101st anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on October 13, 1917. Each rally will feature a large banner that explains to the passersby why they are gathered in the public square.
The Public Square Rosary Rally campaign is a project of America Needs Fatima, an effort to win the hearts and souls of Americans for Our Lady and her Fatima message. In 2007, America Needs Fatima began asking Americans to pray for the conversion of the nation in the public square every year on the Saturday closest to October 13. What began with 2,000 rallies has now flowered more than tenfold. The rosary in a conspicuous public place will soon be seen in nearly 23,000 places this October 13.
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“The rallies keep growing every year. It makes sense to do the rallies near the 13th of October when Our Lady directed us to use this prayer as the most effective weapon in the fight against Satan,” says America Needs Fatima director Robert E. Ritchie.
What makes the rallies so timely is that they are held during the month of the “Miracle of the Sun” in Fatima in 1917. Because Our Lady said in advance that she would do a miracle, there were 80,000 pilgrims there to witness it. The scientifically unexplainable movements of the sun were seen by them and served to confirm the Our Lady’s message of reparation, penance and amendment of life. Her message was specifically for the present times.
Putting Together a Rally
Those who sign up for the rally are immediately sent a Public Square Rosary Rally kit that includes a large 9-foot banner, a model rally program and instructions on how to deal with all obstacles. The rally location is put on a map. One red rose for each rally captain is sent to Fatima in Portugal on the day of the rallies as a way of representing the efforts of all before Our Lady.
Rosary rallies do not just happen overnight. The event involves careful organization and planning. At America Needs Fatima’s Rosary Rally Central near Topeka, Kans., volunteers are hard at work months before the October 13 Rally date. The volunteers man the phones in two shifts to recruit rosary rally captains in all American time zones including those in Hawaii and American Samoa.
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“The volunteers are very dedicated and offer sacrifices and prayers so that the rallies will happen on October 13,” says Francis Slobodnik. “I can’t say enough about them.”
At a printing and shipping facility near York, Penn., the rally captains’ names are duly registered. Large high-speed printers print out miles of the 9-foot banners that will be shipped to the captains in time for October 13.
Creativity in Planning Rallies
Everything is then left in the hands of the rally captains who must organize their rally adapting to the local circumstances. A rosary rally can be anywhere public. They are held along highways, town squares, malls and parks. They often happen in famous places like across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral on New York’s Fifth Avenue or near State Capitols.
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No two rallies are the same. They involve a lot of creativity and enthusiasm. Some rallies will be simple affairs of five or ten friends and family assembled at a busy corner. Others will be groups of twenty or fifty with songs, chairs or even refreshments. There are also going to be huge affairs with hundreds of people, featuring speeches, musical programs and even theatrical skits. The important thing is that they all come together to call upon Our Lady on this most important date.
Everyone Is Changed
Rallies do make a difference. No one sees a rally without coming away changed from the public display of faith in the public square. Millions witness these rallies. Most may not know the significance of the date, but they end up either favoring or opposing the rallies. Even the indifferent are forced to acknowledge them. Rallies break in their minds the idea that everyone follows the ways of the world.
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The rallies are especially impressive to those sympathetic to their message. These people at times join the rallies and always leave them encouraged. They see they are not the only ones fighting against the evils of the times.
However, those people that participated in the rallies profit the most from the experience. They bravely appear in public to pray for the nation. Rallies prove to be a unifying force to all those who grieve for the nation. They fill participants with hope for the future. They unite people to God and the Blessed Mother.
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As the rosary rally banner states, there are no human solutions to the present problems. The alternative is supernatural ones. On October 13, there will be nearly 23,000 Public Square Rosary rallies. Will you be there?
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