by David M. Carollo –

I am dismayed at the assertion in the article written in ‘The Atlantic’ by Daniel Panneton, that devout Catholics use the rosary as a weapon of hate. There is no greater act of love that exists beyond the Mass than the recitation of the Rosary. The 20 decades follow the history of our Faith found in the life of Christ. The grace that the Rosary calls down from heaven is hard for us to imagine, because we cannot see it, nor where it is applied. It is especially hard for a non-believer to comprehend.

Panneton claims that “rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture,” claiming that the Rosary has become a symbol of war against certain groups enlivening hatred. I am sorry that this is his view, but the Rosary enlivens the truest love that exists. As I told the Catholic News Agency, “We don’t pray against people, we pray for people. That’s what the rosary is all about.”

We are all sinners, some greater or lesser. I consider myself a most unworthy messenger, but one who understands the power found in repentance. I believe that those who are devoted to the Rosary are dedicated to bringing our world back in sync with the plan of God. In this world today, those who do not agree with a narrative of morality are labeled as hating those who follow a different path. It is anything but hate that motivates us to be devoted to prayer, in general, and the Rosary, in particular.  We pray for the salvation of souls, the path to which is adherence to the laws of God. It is only out of love that one is concerned for the eternal salvation of others and prays for them. During the August apparition at Fatima, Our Lady specifically asked us to pray and make sacrifices for sinners “for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”

I look at the violence that has plagued our country in the past years and I do not see rosaries being slung at police officers and law-abiding citizens. The vandalism against women’s pregnancy counseling centers around the country are not the work of people devoted to the Rosary. These acts are, in fact, the actions of those who oppose the idea that there is objective truth, such as that found in Christianity.    

In places around the globe, devotion to the Rosary is countering the hate of those who are persecuting Christians and other religious groups. ‘The Atlantic’ has a wrong assessment of those who pray the Rosary. St. Padre Pio referred to the Rosary as a “weapon”.  It is a spiritual weapon against sin and temptation. He never left his monastery, so I cannot imagine that anyone could accuse him of violence. The Rosary has defended against evil and violence more times than can be imagined.

At Fatima, Our Lady asked for the recitation of the Rosary to bring peace to a war-torn world. Peace and reconciliation with God are the fruits of devotion to the holy Rosary, not violence and hatred as is claimed in ‘The Atlantic’ article. We will continue to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world. We will pray especially for those who accept a narrative that is based on false notions and biased opinions.

Given the secular climate that we are facing as Catholics, I would encourage all to join Our Lady’s Blue Army, which our founders called, “a silent army on its knees, opening the doors of their hearts to the Heart of Mary.”

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

God bless you and Mary keep you in her Immaculate Heart.

David Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA/National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Washington, New Jersey.