Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces are given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.
~ St Padre Pio
We live in dark times. As St. John Paul the Great rightly predicted in 1979, the cultural climate of the world today is anti-catholic; the morals, values, traditions and beliefs that were held as truth for centuries together are now being viewed as backward, rigid and even hateful.
While we live in an age of incredible medical and technological advancements, the modern world has brought darkness and confusion: the darkness of death and the confusion of relative truth. This is not the first time the Church and her faithful have faced difficult and turbulent times. We need to look back and see the various times our blessed Mother and her rosary have saved the world.
THE BATTLE OF LEPANTO
7th October 1571
“Give me an army saying the rosary and I will conquer the world”
~ Pope Pius IX
Pope St. Pius V recognized the Islamic threat, but the rest of western Europe paid no attention to him. Only Philip II of Spain made a weak attempt at defending Western Europe by sending his half-brother Don Juan of Austria and a few dozen ships to engage the oncoming Turks. Don Juan managed to garner a small fleet of volunteers and 208 ships. This army, which was much smaller than the Islamic fleet, was known as the Holy League. Pope St. Pius asked all of Europe to pray the rosary to ensure victory and when the fleet set sail from Messina on 16 September 1571, “all of the men had rosaries, too.”
In the early morning of 7th October 1571, the battle of Lepanto began. Later that day, Pope Pius suddenly halted a meeting with his treasurer. He stood up, walked to the window and announced: “This is not a moment for business; make haste to thank God because our fleet this moment has won a victory over the Turks.” He had seen a vision of the Holy League’s victory. Pope Pius V pronounced 7th October as the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Later, it was changed to the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
This great battle not only saved the Christian faith in the western world but also showed us how the rosary is a weapon against evil.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA
13 October 1917
“Say the Rosary, to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”
~ The Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima
Our Lady fulfilled her promise to show the world that she was, indeed, appearing in Fatima by performing what is now popularly called the “miracle of the sun”. This was the most widely reported and the recorded miracle of the modern world, viewed by more than 70,000 people with a great number of sceptics in the mix.
The apparitions at Fatima remind us of the reality of hell and the dangerous consequences sin has on the world, through wars, suffering and sickness. She urges us to turn to God in prayer and how the rosary is one of the most effective means to win this war.
GROUND ZERO, HIROSHIMA, JAPAN
“Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the heart of God; it obtains necessary graces!”
~ St. Padre Pio
As predicted by Our Lady of Fatima, a war much worse than the WW1 broke out in 1939 and lasted till 1945. Following the bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August respectively by the United States, the war finally came to a close. The devastating effects of the atomic bombs were unlike anything the world had seen previously and lasted for generations thereafter.
However, in the middle of all this chaos, 8 German Jesuit priests miraculously survived the horrifying effects of the blasts. Living just eight blocks away from ground zero of the atomic explosion, the Jesuit priests walked away with only minor scrapes and scratches and no subsequent radiation poisoning. Later, when they were interviewed, the priests proudly declared our Lady’s hand in their escape from the tragedy, stating that “In that house, the holy rosary was recited together every day.”
AUSTRIA’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
“The rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”
~ Pope Leo XIII
Soon after the end of the second world war, communism was rearing its ugly head in several parts of the world. Austria decided to fight this battle with the rosary. Fr Pavlicek, a Franciscan priest, founded the Atonement Crusade of the Rosary. The national movement was dedicated to praying for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world and freedom for Austria through around the clock recitation of the rosary. Fr Pavlicek asked for a “tithe” of rosaries: a daily rosary from at least 10 per cent of the Austrian population. On May 13,1955, a deal was signed, and the militant Marxist forces peacefully left the country.
THE ROSARY CAMPAIGN OF BRAZIL
“The holy rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.”
~ St. Josemaria Escriva
In another battle against communism, the catholic women of Brazil formed a group called the “Campaign of Women for Democracy”. The only requirement was an agreement to pray the rosary in large groups for the intention of blocking the Communist takeover of the country. As the movement caught on, the women influenced media houses, developed their own literature for dissemination, met in parishes to form prayer cells and managed their household budgets in order to fund the campaign. They organized a march for peace while praying the rosary at Sao Paulo. Their prayers even drowned out the voices of communist officials who tried to speak and disrupt the march. Finally, on April 1, 1964, all the communist officials fled to Uruguay, thus ending the communist threat to the country.
The devil is real. The confusion and seeds of hatred he sows is real. The attacks on the Church and the faithful are real. Too often we ignore the spiritual warfare that is happening in our own lives. Every day the devil relentlessly seeks to destroy us. Our strength and preparedness for spiritual warfare depends on the habits we’ve cultivated. Regular personal prayer, Lectio divina, frequent mass, communion and confession, with a daily rosary are minimal requirements to be battle ready.
“The rosary is the weapon for these times,”
~ St. Padre Pio
told us. The rosary is needed now more than ever. Let us arise from our slumber and fight.
“One day, through the rosary and the scapular, our Lady will save the world. “
~ St Dominic