Our Lady of Fatima Said to Pray the Rosary Daily for Peace. So Let's.

By Chris Sparks

The world's a mess. Let's do a run down:

  • • Christians are being persecuted across the globe, as Pope Francis keeps pointing out and much of the Western world continues to ignore.
  • • Nuclear weapons appear to be quietly (and not so quietly) proliferating, including in nations such as North Korea.
  • • Abortion continues apace across the United States and around the world, symptomatic of the broader culture of death.
  • • Wars and violence continue to displace massive numbers of refugees, driving them to turn to the hospitality of their neighbors in a desperate bid for survival.

And that's just skimming the surface. Why are we facing such troubled times? What does it take to achieve peace in this world? And does God even care?

Pope Francis has a decisive answer for us in his 2016 message for the World Day of Peace: "God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us!"

So what's going on? The Holy Father explains: "Peace is both God's gift and a human achievement. As a gift of God, it is entrusted to all men and women, who are called to attain it."

Peace is in God's gift, yes - but we have a part to play, as well.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's appearances to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, the Marian Fathers ask all Marian Helpers to answer Our Lady's appeal to pray the Rosary daily for peace in the world.

"This will be a powerful way of being renewed in the faith and entering into the realm of the divine in this world," says Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers. "Praying the Rosary daily, as Our Lady requested, allows us to enter into union with the divine plan of our salvation - a plan that promises peace in our hearts, peace in our families, and peace in the world."

Peace comes from right order, from a culture of life leading to a civilization of love, to a world in which relationships are rightly ordered according to natural and divine law, where God's will is our will, and God's will is done.

And all this comes through our cooperation with grace, or not at all.

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 - Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal, July 13, 1917.

Another presidential election has come and gone, and many people are speaking as though the choice of a president will make all the difference in the world. At each presidential election, both parties essentially say to the electorate, "Vote for my preferred candidate or else apocalypse looms!" In reality, the world is shaped less by power, wealth, and strength, and far more by the children, the elderly, and those who are weak in the eyes of the world.

Look at the life and impact of St. Faustina Kowalska, for instance.

A religious sister in pre-war Poland, a largely uneducated gardener, cook, and gatekeeper in a religious order dedicated to taking care of women and girls who had fallen into prostitution and other forms of sin - this does not sound like the resume of one of the most influential women of the 20th century. And yet the Divine Mercy message and devotion that she passed on to the Church and the world from Jesus through her spiritual director, Blessed Michael Sopocko, has sparked what has often been called the greatest grassroots movement in the history of the Church.

In the Kingdom of God, both on earth and in Heaven, the last shall be first and the first shall be last (see Mt 19:30; 20:16).

So in our tumultuous age, the solution to the problems of the present day will not ultimately be found in presidents and prime ministers, in politics and power, in military might or diplomatic cleverness. No. Our answer will be found in God and His Church.

Our answer will be found right where Heaven has been saying it is for these past 100 years.

Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end - Our Lady at Fatima, Sept. 13, 1917.

Our Lady of the Rosary came to us at Fatima and told us what we needed to do to obtain peace in the world. Have we done it? Have we individually, as families, as parishes, as a Church, responded to her instructions? Or have we been like Naaman the leper?

Naaman was a Syrian, a man of great wealth and power, who suffered from leprosy. He came to Israel to seek healing and was told by the prophet Elisha, "Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean." The Scriptures tell us:

But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, "I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?"

He turned and went away in a rage.

It was only after his servants reasoned with him, pointing out that if the prophet had told Naaman to do something difficult, he would have done it willingly, that Naaman consented to go and do the simple, seemingly meaningless task set him by the prophet. And guess what? His leprosy was healed. He was made clean (2 Kgs 5:8-14).

Have we fallen into the same error? Do we dismiss the Rosary, saying (as so many have done in the history of the Church!): "It is a prayer for old women and for children! It went out with Vatican II. We're more advanced than that now. We have better ways, more liturgical ways of prayer. We are too spiritually mature to do something as simple or superstitious as praying the Rosary."

If you or someone you know dismisses the Rosary like that, share with them Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. Share with them the litany of great saints and scholars, of popes and ordinary people who saw great miracles, won extraordinary victories, and welcomed the triumph of the Blessed Virgin Mary into their lives, their times, their particular troubles. This devotion has wrought miracles before, and will do so again, if only we take it up with faith, if only we respond to Our Lady's call.

The Most Holy Virgin, 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, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families ... that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the holy Rosary - Servant of God Lucia Dos Santos, one of the three Fatima seers.

Non-Catholics are watching. Other people suspect that it's our fault, Catholics' fault, that we don't have peace in the world.

Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was present at an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, "War is your fault."

The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, "You Catholics, all of you -we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault."

The priest said, "Ambassador, why do you blame us?"

The ambassador said, "I've read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That's what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there's no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven't done it."

The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, "Isn't peace everyone's responsibility?"

The ambassador was vehement. "No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility."

That ambassador had more faith than a lot of Catholics! So let us respond with faith and fervor as we approach the 100th anniversary of Fatima. Let's commit to praying the Rosary daily in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary for peace in the world.

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