by Pat Ashcraft
St. Louis de Montfort stated in his monumental Marian work, The Secret of the Rosary, that "Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and [to] call down His mercy..."
He went on to further state that "...Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering..." We are experiencing, day by day, an accelerating decline of spiritual, moral, cultural, and political values in our American society that our leaders seem unable to arrest. What better time than now to pray the Rosary publically for the return of our Christian heritage?
Here are but a few reasons to pray the Rosary publically:
† Duty to honor God publicly: Secularists are attempting to drive religion and morality out of the public square. Children in public schools have lost the right to pray publicly, Christmas scenes can no longer be displayed on public property, crosses are being removed from public places, the list is endless. Public prayer helps to counter these moves to ban God and religion. If we are not on the public square promoting our faith, we leave the square open to secularists and their anti-faith and anti-God agenda.
† The Bible provides numerous examples of public prayer: In 1 Kings 8:22-23 Solomon prayed publicly at the dedication of the temple; in 1 Kings 17:36-37 Elijah prayed publicly on Mt. Carmel; and in Ezra 10:1 Ezra prayed before "a very great congregation..." In John 11:41-42 Christ prayed publicly before He raised Lazarus from the dead, as well as on many other occasions. In Acts 20:36 Paul prayed with the Ephesian elders before he left them; and in 1 Corinthians14:15-16, Paul enters into an interesting discourse entailing public prayer.
† The Fatima message was public: The Miracle of the Sun performed by God on the occasion of Our Lady's last public apparition at Fatima on October 13, 1917, was witnessed by over 70,000 people, including atheists, communists, and anti-Catholics, along with the faithful. Some of the non-believers converted; unfortunately, many did not. This year’s Public Square Rosary Crusades will remind passer-bys of Our Lady of Fatima's message of hope and that conversion and forgiveness are still possible. The Crusades will also fulfill Our Lady's request at Fatima to "Pray the Rosary for peace in the world" and to return to the teachings of the Church.
† Public prayer gets results: Pro-life Catholics have peacefully prayed the Rosary in front of abortion clinics for four decades. On January 22 of each year pro-life groups of all types descend on Washington, D.C., by the hundreds of thousands, peacefully protesting our current day "slaughter of the innocents." The power of these prayers, while not eliminating the murder of the unborn, has most certainly blunted the advance of abortion, with abortion clinics closing throughout the country at the rate of one per month and surgical abortions continuing to decline each year. It has also emboldened states and communities to pass increasingly more restrictive legislation against abortion in all of its forms. These public events have also clearly kept this issue in the minds and on the hearts of the people and of our political parties and leaders.
† Public Rosaries changed world history: In the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, public prayer saved Europe and all of Western civilization and Christianity from the onslaught of the Ottoman Turks when Christian forces, vastly outnumbered by their Islamic attackers who had previously conquered and devastated the Holy Land, Northern Africa, and much of Southern Europe, were lead to victory by Don Juan of Austria after praying the Rosary. Catholics put their faith in Our Lady and prayed their Rosaries, changing history for all time to come. In more recent times public prayer, including thousands of public Rosaries, forced the Soviet troops out of occupied Vienna, Austria, in 1955, without a shot being fired. Large scale public Rosaries were likewise credited with foiling a Communist takeover of Brazil in 1964. History is replete with many incredible examples of how public prayer changed the course of events in world history.
† Public prayer reaches fallen-away Catholics: Polls tell us that less than 25% of the Catholics in America attend Mass regularly and practice their faith; the percentage in Europe is far less at around 2%. Public prayer is a tremendous way to reach the U.S. Catholics who are no longer attending Mass or practicing their faith. It also helps to strengthen those Catholics who are still true to their faith but are struggling with family members and loved-ones who have fallen away from the Church.
† Public sins require public reparation: Our culture openly flaunts sin today. We are exposed to it on the public airwaves, on primetime TV, in the movies, at concerts, on the internet. It has become a part of our daily lives so much so that we frequently fail to recognize it and often even take it for granted. The Rosary Crusade serves as a public act of reparation for these public sins and it also provides us with the opportunity not only to witness for our Catholic faith, but to also publicly display this faith in the heart of our city.
† Don't just preach to the choir behind closed doors: Our Lord sent His apostles forth to teach all nations; they did not remain in the relative obscurity and seclusion of their homes and churches preaching to those who were already converted. We in turn should not put our lighted candle, our incredible gift of faith, under a basket. We have an obligation to share this gift of faith with others, to aid in their eternal salvation - and ours.
† Catholics must not be ashamed of their faith: Our Lord told us that "...Everyone therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in heaven..." (Matt. 10:32). "...Not to defend the truth when it is opportune can be indifference and ... is no less a sin than to encourage them..." Pope St. Felix III. "The greatest sin in the 20th Century is the loss of the sense of sin." Pope Pius XII. We therefore have a moral duty and a spiritual obligation to defend our faith and to protect our families and our nation, especially in a time when the world seems to have lost the sense of sin. If we do not promote our faith, it will not be done. This is an opportunity to proclaim our faith to the world and to help convert non-believers. It is also an incredible privilege - to stand up as a soldier for Christ.
† Preparation for Our Lady's triumph: Our Lady promised us at Fatima that "...In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph..." It is a great privilege to be among those who trust in her triumph and among those who work for this triumph by honoring Our Lady in the public square and by standing up for our faith and our beliefs. Our Lady already told us how world history will end during her apparitions at Fatima; this is our opportunity to become a critical part of that history, a history of triumph for all eternity.
The message of Our Lady to Sr. Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries: Sr. Lucia said: "...the Virgin Mary, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, that cannot be solved by the Rosary..." Imagine the message that we will be sending to heaven regarding all the problems of this nation and the world if, for the reasons detailed above and for many other reasons, 10,000 Rosary Crusades with thousands of Catholics praying the Rosary throughout the United States take place on Saturday, October 12th at 12:00 Noon!
Please be a part of this. Also, please help us to get the message out on the Rosary Crusade.