Someone walking down Tremont Street in Boston on Friday evening would have seen something unusual: 125 Catholics gathered around a large statue of Our Lady of Fatima, devoutly kneeling, holding candles and praying the Consecration to Jesus, through Mary, written by Saint Louis de Montfort.
Why this pious gathering?
It was a public act of reparation and protest against the blasphemous production called “Jerry Springer: The Opera” that was playing inside the Caldwell Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. It defies description in detail since it contains so much nudity and blasphemous content. Some examples include:
- The crucifixion is mocked and the Eucharist is trashed
- There is a lady singing “Jerry eleison” (mocking the Mass: Kyrie Eleison)
- Jesus is introduced as “the hypocrite son of the fascist tyrant on high.” He wears a diaper, is fat and effeminate and later admits: “Actually, I am a bit gay.”
- Eve gropes Jesus in a manner too indecent to describe while the Annunciation is described as a rape.
- God is a fat man in a white suit who complains about being blamed for everyone’s problems. He invites Jerry Springer to join Him to “sit in Heaven beside me, hold my hand and guide me.” At the end, Jerry emerges as the true savior of mankind.
Throughout its history, the “opera” has earned its blasphemous reputation. In London, the debut was the subject of a libel suit for defaming Christians. When it was to be aired on the BBC, it drew more than 60,000 complaints.
In face of such insults to the Faith, America Needs Fatima could not and did not remain silent.
Catholic spirit echoes in Boston
To make sure people knew where the protest was to take place, at about 5:30 PM, on-site preparations started. This included unfurling of banners and signs, the raising of large TFP banners, the distribution of prayer programs and metal megaphones to the prayer leaders. This last item was especially important since we had been denied the use of electric bullhorns. Everything was ready on time.
At 6:15pm, the protest started to the sound of “Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above” as the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was carried shoulder high in procession and took her place at the front of the crowd, where she reigned throughout the protest.
We then prayed The Rosary, which echoed through Boston’s corridors of glass and stone buildings, where God’s rights are too seldom remembered and His Holy Name too often invoked in vain.
The participants also joined in saying the Divine Praises and in shouting slogans in protest and reparation:
"O Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us."
The verses of "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" and “Ave, Ave” resounded alternately between the prayers.
Passersby sympathize; some join protest
Three well dressed ladies that were on there way to a fashion show were surprised to see the protest in front of the Boston Center of the Arts. After a few seconds of hushed conversation, they abandoned their program to join the Catholics in prayer and protest. New Englanders don't do things in half measures.
Most people passing by could not join the prayer vigil, but still extended their sympathy. A college student on a bike, stopped and made the sign of the Cross, then bowed her head for a few moments before making the sign of the cross again and cycling off.
A large banner informed the slow downtown traffic about the purpose of the protest.
One of the cars stopped and the occupants said a Hail Mary with the protesters before driving off.
Springer supporters repeat old objections
A group of disgruntled Springer supporters went up to Joseph Gallagher, a young student who was protesting the show, and said: "You haven't seen the show, so how do you know it's bad?" The Catholic 12th grader responded: "I don't need to drink poison to know it is bad for me."
The objection raised by the Springer supporters is the same old, worn-out one we’ve heard over and over for years. It doesn’t have a leg to stand on. For the lack of a better argument, they pretend that one needs to have a direct and first hand experience of everything to make a judgment whether it is right or wrong.
This is ridiculous since it is impossible to know all things from direct and first hand experience. (How many of us – including the blasphemers – have been to the North Pole?) The promoters of blasphemy themselves do not and cannot live according to this principle. Every day, we make numerous decisions on second hand information, by what others tell us is true.
We use maps designed by other people to find places we’ve never been to. We read books that narrate stories we’ve never witnessed. We eat food people say is healthy for us, simply because they say so. We pay money to see movies of animals, people and places we have never seen directly, such as a nature documentary on the ocean floor, or about the Amazon jungle.
Clash between Heaven and Hell
People going into the theater to watch the blasphemous production were very different in many ways to those standing outside in prayer.
For example, the Catholics looked with devotion and hope upon Our Lady’s statue; the theater-goers refused to look at the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The people praying were calm. The people going into the theater were agitated and burst into spurts of mockery and laughter which were followed by a type of sad guilty somberness.
This agitation was most noticeable when the prayer warriors took out candles and lit them, and knelt down to pray the consecration to Our Lady – like in a church, right there on the sidewalk in front of the theater. The theater-goers tried to laugh it off. But they felt the impact and within minutes had melted away.
To close the rally, participants followed Our Lady in a candlelight procession back to the van.
“My Immaculate Heart will triumph”
As Catholics, we know that there is and can be no peace on earth between good and evil. Blasphemy is part of a larger agenda to insult and offend God, and to drag as many souls to Hell as possible.
But we also know who will win in the end. The spiritual war against blasphemy can only have one winner: the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
At Fatima, Our Lady promised mankind: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will Triumph!”
Until that glorious triumph arrives, it is our duty and honor to oppose blasphemy, to offer public reparation, and to win as many souls for Our Lady as possible.
I believe Our Lady will show special mercy and goodness on the day of her triumph to those who publicly upheld her honor in the times when sin seemed unstoppable.