After three days of driving on the hot and dusty road, our fourteen-member group of volunteers reached Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, on June 20. This was the second capital we would be visiting as part of a nationwide campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). Several “caravans” of young volunteers hope to hold Rosary rallies at every state capital and territory, asking for a true return to order for our nation.
As our 15-passenger van pushed westward from Austin, the humid wetlands and cattle pasture in east Texas gradually turned into vast expanses of arid desert, cactus and dry underbrush stretching as far as the eye could see. We saw jagged mountain-peaks rising dramatically in the distant horizon and isolated mesas of different shapes and sizes towering above the desert floor like huge ships.
On the way to the Arizona capital, we stopped by the border city of El Paso, Texas, where we hiked to the top of North Franklin Mountain, a 7,192-foot peak with stunning desert scenery and spectacular views of the surrounding valley. The blazing hot sun, dry atmosphere, and high elevation presented unique challenges, but with a prayer on our lips, we all made it to the top and back.
Phoenix is located in the middle of the desert, surrounded by rugged, barren mountains. As we approached the city, the temperature rose to a blistering 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Our Rosary rally was scheduled for five o’clock. While waiting, we held a campaign on two corners of a busy intersection near the city center. Amidst the sweltering heat, we unfurled our banner that read “ Praying for America’s Return to Order” and displayed our “Honk against socialism” and “Honk against Communist China” signs. Many drivers showed their support with honks or thumbs-up.
At the end of the campaign, a Hispanic man and his young son recognized us and asked if we were on YouTube.
“When I saw you, I told my son that I recognized you from somewhere,” the father said. “Then he asked me ‘on YouTube, Dad?’ That’s when my son encouraged me to tell you that we’ve seen all your videos!” He was referring to TFP Student Action’s widely viewed YouTube channel.
About twenty-five, local friends and supporters braved the heat and joined us in prayer. Caravan leader Cesar Franco welcomed the participants saying that “By the force of our prayers,” he declared, “we will storm heaven and thus pry graces from the throne of God.”
As we prayed the Rosary, several pedestrians observed silently, and a cyclist made the sign of the cross. There were no incidents to disturb our prayers. However, we soon learned that protesters were nearby.
A friendly police officer warned us that a Black Lives Matter march heading to the place of our rally on the capitol steps. As we drove out of the city center, we caught sight of a crowd of protestors marching towards the capitol building where we had just been. It was a close call, and we said a quick prayer of gratitude to Our Lady for looking out for us.
The next day, we were in Mesa, Arizona, to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Mater Misericordiae Parish in Phoenix. Fortified spiritually for our next battle, we learned from a friend that Luciferians were planning a demonstration in the city that day, so we stayed to do a campaign of reparation and protest. At a busy intersection, we prayed the Rosary and held banners and honk signs. The reception was excellent.
“I thought I was the only one here praying for America,” an enthused older gentleman exclaimed. “My sister is going to love this!” He took a picture of our statue of Our Lady of Fatima to send to her.
Not everyone was supportive. “You guys think that prayers work, but God has never answered my prayers!” a woman shouted from her car. When a volunteer offered her a flyer, she screamed, “I left the Christian faith 45 years ago, and I want nothing to do with your fairy tales!”
A disheveled man with long hair shouted at us from his van. He objected to our sign against Communist China, arguing that communism was good and worked well in Venezuela and the Soviet Union.
“Do you prefer to eat from trash cans like in Venezuela?” one volunteer retorted.
The man responded by saying, “You’re spreading hate in the name of God!”
After the campaign, an army veteran and his wife came to speak to us. “We saw your rally, and we wanted to do more than just honk,” the veteran explained. His wife added: “I’m from Romania, and I lived under communism. Most Americans have no idea what it’s really like to live under socialism, but both my father and brother were imprisoned for opposing the communist regime, and we had to flee. I fear that we are now seeing a repeat of what happened in Romania.” The couple thanked us sincerely for standing against socialism and bought the TFP book, Return to Order.
Apparently, the Luciferians did not show up. As our caravan continues its journey west, we continue to unite our prayers with countless Americans who want real solutions to our nation’s problems, not socialist ones.