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Photo: Felix Carroll
Pray the Rosary for Peace!
By Chris Sparks (Aug 29, 2013)
God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.
— Our Lady at Fatima, July 13, 1917
"We have seen an increase in wars throughout the world," observed Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, in a recent interview. "Today, I think, there's an estimated 150 wars — civil wars as well as wars between nations and ethnic groups — all over the world. To say that there is a place that isn't in turmoil is to really be oblivious to the news."
Feel helpless in the face of so much violence and hatred around the world? Don't know how to respond to such information? There's no time for that! Those who love Mary have been given a special role to play in bringing peace to the world.
"At Fatima, Our Lady didn't ask us to go to Mass daily," said Fr. Dan. "She didn't ask us to make pilgrimages. She didn't ask us to read a lot of books. She asked us to do something that was easy and accessible to everyone — to children; to the educated; to the uneducated; each of us in our own way: to pray the Rosary for peace in the world."
Our Lady said to the three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, on July 13, 1917, "Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it."
She reiterated that call throughout her apparitions there, saying in May 1917, "Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war [World War I]," and in September, "Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end."
Father Dan said, "And as we all know, an insufficient number of people responded to that call to pray for peace."
World War I ended shortly after the last apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. But the world certainly didn't fully respond to the calls of Fatima: praying the Rosary; repenting of sin and turning to God; fasting and offering other sacrifices in reparation for sin and for the conversion of poor sinners. We have a long way to go to answer Our Lady's program of conversion.
And Pope Francis is taking the lead in answering Our Lady of Fatima's call, having the Archbishop of Lisbon consecrate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima on her feast day, May 13, and planning to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Oct. 13, the anniversary of the miracle of the sun at Fatima.
"When we look at the Holy Father's upcoming consecration, it's really a preliminary to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the call of Mary at Fatima," said Fr. Dan. He explained that Mary calls us "to consecrate ourselves as beacons of prayer, praying not just for ourselves, not just for our own family or nation, but praying for world peace, as she called us to at Fatima, and in a very particular way to recognize the importance of consecrating ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
Why the importance of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Because this is "the Heart of Mary which loved God first and foremost; the Heart of Mary which was always the handmaid of the Lord; the Heart of Mary which became the refuge of the Christ Child; the Heart of Mary which was the one that comforted Jesus and consoled Him in His Passion; the Heart of Mary which was the heart of His first disciple and the woman who became the center of the cenacle of prayer for the Apostles at Pentecost; the Heart of Mary who is still at the center of the Church and to whom all of the bishops, along with our holy Father, will hopefully consecrate themselves, the Church, and indeed the world, that we might all help bring about God's kingdom here on earth."
In these days when people are using chemical weapons against each other, Christians across the world are being savagely persecuted, and wars and rumors of wars abound every day, let all Marian Helpers live up to their name — help Mary bring peace to the world! Pray the rosary for peace in the world and spread devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart.
Today we have come to pray for our dead, for our wounded, for the victims of the madness that is war! It is the suicide of humanity, because it kills the heart, it kills precisely that which is the message of the Lord: it kills love! Because war comes from hatred, from envy, from desire for power, and — we've seen it many times — it comes from that hunger for more power.
— Pope Francis, Homily, June 2, 2013
To learn more about the Fatima message and devotion, see our interview with Judy Studer, the custodian of the U.N. Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.