Catholics put hope in Mary with coast-to-coast rosaries

By Donal Anthony Foley –

One of the most fundamental appeals of Our Lady’s message at Fatima was her request for the praying of the daily Rosary, to bring about peace in the world. The public coast-to-coast Rosary events that are now spreading around the world are a wonderful response to that request, which was made during the first apparition on May 13 to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia: “Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and an end to the war.”

In Britain, we recently experienced the “Rosary on the Coast”, which turned out to be a great success. This event was inspired by the big Rosary celebration in Poland last October, which saw up to two million Poles assembling on the borders of their country to pray for salvation for Poland and the world. It was held to commemorate the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7, which itself came out of the great Rosary victory at Lepanto in 1571, when the Christian fleet defeated the much larger Ottoman fleet in the eastern Mediterranean and saved Christian Europe.

The Polish Rosary celebration was followed by a similar one in Italy, and then by the “Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith” in Ireland, which took place on the Feast of Christ the King last year on November 26. There were two particular intentions for this: to counter the threat of abortion and to pray for the preservation of the faith in the country.

This, too, was a great success with 30,000 Irish people taking part. These events inspired a group of Catholics in Britain to organize their own similar event, and thus the idea of a British “Rosary on the Coast” began to take shape. The result was that tens of thousands of people from all over the country gathered at hundreds of locations around the coast on Sunday, April 29, and prayed the Rosary for the spiritual renewal of Britain. They were also marking the 50th anniversary of the introduction of abortion, which has led to the deaths of nearly nine million unborn children.

As reports have come in from around the country, there have been unusual (for the time of year) pictures of the coasts and islands of Scotland bathed in beautiful sunshine, while those who attended locations on the coast in southern England and Wales had to put up with bitterly cold winds and gray skies. But that didn’t deter people, and the extra penance no doubt made the rosaries said in those locations even more powerful.

The Rosary on the coast was followed by the “March for Life,” with its slogan, “Life from conception—no exception.” This took place in London on Saturday, May 3, and attracted about 4,000 people. As might be expected, there was virtually no mention at all in the secular media.

Another big Marian event that will commence later this year is the forthcoming tour of the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham to every Catholic Cathedral in England. Walsingham is the premier Marian shrine in England, and this tour will begin later this year and carry on until early 2020, culminating in a ceremony rededicating the country as the Dowry of Mary in Westminster Cathedral in London.

So what are we to make of all these initiatives? It seems that modern Catholics are beginning to rediscover the public power of the Rosary, which for various reasons went into eclipse after Vatican II.

Prior to that, the Rosary was very popular, and there were large rosary rallies in both Britain and the United States. In 1952, over 80,000 Catholics filled Wembley Stadium in London to pray the Rosary with Fr. Patrick Peyton, and this was repeated at other venues around the country. And although it might be hard to believe now, in 1961, over half a million people attended a rosary event in San Francisco, similarly hosted by Fr. Peyton.

Although the numbers attending the Rosary on the Coast around Britain were relatively small, in comparison with the total population of the country, that in itself is not important. What matters is that it, and the other events mentioned above, are signs that things are beginning to change. And once enough people do pray the Rosary, then England, in particular as Mary’s Dowry, will once more be open to an infusion of grace that will surely radically change the country for the better.

This movement is not just confined to Europe: plans have been announced for a nationwide Rosary in Australia on the anniversary date of May 13, and for a “Coast to Coast Rosary” in the United States on October 7 this year.

The next logical step would be to have a round-the-world Rosary. Now that would be some event, and surely, one that even the anti-religious mass media could not ignore! Perhaps this is something the World Apostolate of Fatima could sponsor and promote.

To conclude, Our Lady of Fatima’s request for the daily Rosary is just as powerful today; it is up to us to take her words to heart, pray the Rosary with devotion, and thus bring about the period of peace that she promised.

Donal Anthony Foley, the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, writes from Nottingham, England (www.theotokos.org.uk). He is also on the board of the World Apostolate of Fatima/England – Wales.

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