“For Mr. Laroche, this rapid spread of the Rosary campaign is a sign that ‘I am merely a small tool of the Blessed Mother to re-kindle throughout the world the devotion to her. I have no control over that.’”—Maike Hickson, Monday, December 20, article in LifeSiteNews (link)

    Letter #186, 2021, Tuesday, December 21: Global Prayer

    Reports are coming in from many nations of spontaneous prayer initiatives during this time of pandemic, under such titles as “Austria Prays, “Australia Prays” and “Global Rosary Crusade.”

    Austria is currently suffering one of the most draconian Covid lockdowns in Europe. In response, Austria’s Catholic people have turned to the rosary, as they have in troubled times past, to ask Our Lady for protection from the steadily encroaching power of the state.

    A humble father of 11 children, Louis-Pierre Laroche, in late November started a rosary campaign in Austria that is spreading “like wildfire” throughout Europe and the rest of the world…and even to small towns in America, like Front Royal, Virginia, where Inside the Vatican, together with a number of other Catholic groups, on December 16 launched a local rosary campaign with the same objective as Mr. Laroche. We are making plans to continue the initiative in the weeks and months ahead, and will report on the plans here as they take shape.

    Here below are reports about the prayer campaign in Austria, and developments in Australia.

    Note: We invite you to join Inside the Vatican’s Writers Chat with Dr. Peter Kwasnieski on Friday, January 21, 2022. You can join the conversation live and submit questions for Dr. Kwasniewski in advance. Click here to register.

    We also encourage you to click the ad below from one of our advertisers, Father Peter Vu who has a marvelous story to tell of his journey from Vietnam to the United States.

    Hundreds of public Rosary events launched around the world for an end to COVID crisis (link)

    Austrian Catholics began the Rosary crusade in the hopes that their leaders will “realize that the planned coercive measures are not the right solution”

    Mon Dec 20, 2021 – 2:13 pm EST

    By Maike Hickson

    VIENNA (LifeSiteNews) — An Austrian initiative to implore supernatural assistance against draconian COVID lockdown regulations and threat of mandatory COVID jabs is spreading around the world.

    In late November, an Austrian named Louis-Pierre Laroche started a new Rosary campaign in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary for “peace and freedom,” and the “Kingship of Christ in society.” These public prayers take place every Wednesday. So far, nearly 150 different Austrian groups have joined this campaign, and prayer groups all over the world are being set up, as well. “Austria Prays” is the title of this initiative.

    Laroche told LifeSiteNews that the “Rosary for Austria” initiative, which includes regularly praying the Rosary in front of a church, at a marketplace, or through the streets as a procession, has its origins in a public Rosary prayed in Vienna every Wednesday. Begun by other Catholics, this prayer event attracted Laroche, who participated a couple of times. Additionally, he and his large family attended a local monthly public Rosary that had been started by an elderly man in Wiener Neustadt. Finally, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in Austria started a Rosary campaign on the first Sunday of Advent.

    “All of this has inspired me,” Laroche told LifeSiteNews.

    “In a country where every village has a Marterl [wayside shrine], a statue of the Mother of God, or a Holy Trinity column, why not organize prayers every Wednesday evening on a public square, so that all who wish to do so – without a long trip – can pray?”

    This new Rosary campaign is also a response to the dire political situation in Austria, which, because of the current coronavirus crisis, has again established harsh lockdown rules and even plans to establish a general vaccine mandate in February 2022.

    “We also pray for our government, that they may realize that the planned coercive measures are not the right solution,” Laroche explained.

    It seems that this father of 11 children is at least partly to thank for Catholics being permitted to meet and pray in public despite the lockdown rules. After the first lockdown last year, where such prayer gatherings were forbidden, Laroche lobbied government officials for special permission for prayer gatherings. He considers it a “miracle” that these meetings are now allowed by the government.

    In the early 1950s, Fr. Petrus Pavlicek, OFM organized a series of public Rosary processions, with hundreds of thousands of participants, at the end of which appeared the surprising withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Austrian soil in 1955. This truly astounding historical event is still today an encouragement for Austrians, but now it is one also for growing numbers of people in Germany and even the United States.

    Raphael, a participant in Austrian Rosary events, told LifeSite that, while many had prayed Rosaries for years in private, the need to pray “for peace, freedom, and protection of mankind” has now drawn people out into public spaces.

    “And the initiative is connecting people in Austria and in a growing number of countries in the whole world,” Raphael added.

    “It is amazing how people become active where they are by bringing friends and neighbors and inviting their parish priest to pray with them. We faithful are receiving new strength and encouragement, and many who have never prayed the Rosary before or do not (yet) believe, join us, because they are touched and feel invited by the witness of hope.”

    The common experience, as expressed by this participant, is: “We are not alone! God’s blessing and the intercession of the Mother of God give us new hope and strength. The Blessed Virgin Mary alone, full of the Holy Spirit, is the true initiator and leader of every Rosary movement, calling and uniting us in prayer.”

    “Mary’s Immaculate Heart will triumph!” he concluded.

    Another participant in the growing Rosary campaign, Sandra in Germany, described to LifeSiteNews how this initiative first grew in Austria, where the “split in Church and society,” caused by the impending vaccine mandates, was felt particularly strongly. The same applies to Germany and other countries.

    Sandra joined the group via Telegram.

    “When I became member of the group I saw that there was already also a group for Germany,” she explained.

    “Later followed the founding of groups in Switzerland and Italy.”

    Since her fiancée is an American who lives in Oregon, they decided to found a Rosary campaign for the United States.

    “We hope that more and more people will assemble everywhere and pray publicly the Rosary in order to storm heaven in order to re-establish unity and peace in our countries,” Sandra added.

    Mr. Laroche seems surprised about this rapid growth of the Rosary initiative.

    “I myself had only thought of Austria,” he admitted.

    “But it spread like wildfire to Germany and then Switzerland. In the last days, in went also to other countries (Italy, Slovakia, and so on).”

    In fact, there were 727 events in total planned in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy as this article goes to press.

    For Mr. Laroche, this rapid spread of the Rosary campaign is a sign that “I am merely a small tool of the Blessed Mother to re-kindle throughout the world the devotion to her. I have no control over that.”

    LifeSite’s Jim Hale just published a video of a rosary in Front Royal, Virginia, which was directly inspired by the Austria Prays initiative.

    Here the different groups accessed through Telegram:

    Austria: https://t.me/oesterreichbetet

    Website: https://www.österreich-betet.at

    Germany: https://t.me/deutschlandbetet

    Switzerland: https://t.me/dieschweizbetet

    Italy: https://t.me/italiaprega

    USA: https://t.me/usa_prays_Rosary

    Uganda: https://t.me/uganda_prays_Rosary

    Romania: https://t.me/RomaniaSeRoaga

    Laroche is concerned about the divisions in society caused by the current coronavirus policies, and he hopes that the Blessed Mother will help to solve the current crisis; it seems insurmountable in natural terms. One of his goals is “the waking up of the Catholic laity and clergy,” he told LifeSiteNews. Laroche hopes that, in the event of an even worse crisis developing, Christians would receive, with the help of these public Rosaries, “enough strength that they are able to handle it.”

    When asked, how Austria could exit this current crisis of lockdowns and mandates, Laroche explained that “we are also praying for our leaders, that they realize that the planned coercive measures are not the right solution. How this could take place is not clear to me, and it would be a miracle in light of the continuously one-sided policies.”

    “But miracles happen,” Laroche added.

    Below is the link to Father Peter Vu‘s book. Please consider ordering it as a Christmas gift.

A rosary procession in Melbourne in mid-November

    Here below is a second report, by Kathy Clubb, Australian correspondent for The Remnant, about a spontaneous rosary campaign in Australia which began in November. The story was originally from The Remnant on Wednesday, November 17 (link) and was re-posted on Lifesitenews on Friday, November 19 (link). Published in The Remnant on a Wednesday, the story appears to refer to a procession on the previous Saturday, November 13 (we publish only the beginning of the report; for the rest, go to the links provided):

    Australian Catholics form Rosary procession at massive freedom rally to pray against COVID tyranny

    The procession was led by a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which was carried right into the thronging secular crowd. Agnostics, atheists, and pagans gasped and applauded, seemingly comforted by the sight of an image of their Heavenly Mother.

    By Kathy Clubb

    Fri Nov 19, 2021 – 10:15 am EST

    (The Remnant) — After a turbulent week in Melbourne, Catholics again turned out in force for a public Rosary procession, joining a huge Freedom rally that saw a total of more than 50,000 march against vaccine mandates and COVID tyranny.

    For the third week in a row, a group of Catholics from all over Greater Melbourne processed from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Parliament House, praying the Rosary and singing hymns. The group, which began with only 60 members, reached ten times that number in the second week, while more than 700 attended last Saturday’s rally.

    The procession was led by a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which was carried right into the thronging secular crowd. Agnostics, atheists, and pagans gasped and applauded, seemingly comforted by the sight of an image of their Heavenly Mother.

    The Catholic group was given exorcised St. Benedict medals, and some handed them on to protesters who received them gratefully and thoughtfully. The image of Our Lady was captured in several mainstream media reports, with one referring to “The Madonna” and supplying audio of Catholics praying and singing.

    The Catholic presence at Melbourne’s freedom rallies brings into focus the grave spiritual battle that is raging in Victoria. Catholics have been waiting for one of their bishops to speak out against a proposed law that could lead to the incarceration of those who refuse COVID vaccines. The Pandemic Powers bill would allow Premier Daniel Andrews, a Catholic, to bypass the Parliamentary process, giving him unlimited power over his citizens in the name of “health.”

    Last week, sixty eminent lawyers signed an open letter requesting that the bill, which has already passed in Victoria’s Lower House, be sent to a committee for further scrutiny. The lawyers referred to the proposed law as the “rule by decree.”

    Instead of speaking out against the undemocratic bill, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, banned his priests from attending the Rosary processions and Freedom rallies. On the eve of the second protest, Archbishop Comensoli emailed his priests to tell them not to attend. In the leaked email, sent on November 5th, he said that:

    … I do not support this action, and I ask all Clergy to refrain from attending or promoting something that will place people’s safety and health at jeopardy, and which may be an incitement to illegal activity. 

    Without doubt, there is much to be concerned about the policy and legislative agenda of the Government, and measured steps ought – and are – to be taken to challenge this.

    However, I am concerned that the planned form of action is based on misinformation and half-truths that have fostered a sense of fear and pastoral crisis. What might seem an action of prayer will, in the hands of the media, become a political event that will only generate further confusion and animosity.

    [End, selection from the November 19]

    And now, on another matter, this time, the lirugy, here is another report, also from Maike Hickson (link) which we find important:

    From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War will help Catholics fight for the soul of the Church (link)

    Containing works by 5 cardinals and 5 bishops, among others, the best, most vigorous, most appreciated writings about the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes have been placed in a single volume.

    Mon Dec 20, 2021 – 11:03 am EST

    FRONT ROYAL, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) —In light of Saturday’s devastating news that Rome is further clamping down on the traditional Latin Mass and the traditional Sacraments, it might be timely to review a book on this topic.

    Angelico Press has released a vitally important book for all Catholics who take seriously the traditional liturgy and faith of the Church: From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War: Catholics Respond to the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes on the Latin Mass.

    Edited by liturgical scholar and traditionalist advocate Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (no stranger to LifeSiteNews readers), the anthology brings together a remarkable array of writers: 5 cardinals (Eminences Brandmüller, Burke, Müller, Sarah, and Zen), 5 bishops (Excellencies Aguer, Gullickson, Viganò, Mutsaerts, and Schneider), 8 priests (Fathers Barthe, Fiedrowicz, Grichting, Hunwicke, Pope, and Weishaupt), 2 religious (one of whom is the well-known liturgist Dom Alcuin Reid), and 27 laymen—among them Juan Manuel de Prada, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Ross Douthat, Edward Feser, Phil Lawler, Martin Mosebach, George Neumayr, Joseph Shaw, and Tim Stanley. The authors hail from 12 countries. It is, from this point of view, an impressive and substantial body of work representing the strength of conservative and traditionalist thought in the Church today.

    The purpose of the anthology is explained clearly in the first pages: it is meant to place in one convenient book the best, most vigorous, most appreciated writings about the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.

    The editor’s introduction is brutally honest: “This book is not, and makes no pretense of being, a presentation of ‘both sides of the argument.’ It offers a variety of critiques of this profoundly unwise and unpastoral decree, which suffers from incoherent doctrinal foundations, grave moral and juridical defects, and impossible ecclesiological implications.”

    Dr. Kwasniewski himself, one of the most active “first-responders” to the catastrophe unleashed on July 16 and rumored soon to worsen, is represented in the book with 6 items: 4 essays, one interview, and one lecture.

    Most of the writings were published online between July 16 and September 20, but their location on dozens of different sites, some behind paywalls, makes it useful to have them all neatly printed and chronologically arranged between the covers of a single paperback or hardcover. (Both formats and a Kindle version are available.) Typographical errors have been corrected, and some editorial notes and cross-references have been added.

    Moreover, the book does contain several items that have never been published elsewhere and thus may only be accessed in this collection: Christophe Geffroy and Abbé Christian Gouyaud’s “After the Shock, the Analysis”; Jean-Pierre Maugendre’s “Francis: The Pope of Exclusion” and “Divide and Conquer?”; Juan Manuel de Prada’s “Substance and Form”; and two ambitious lectures by Dr. Joseph Shaw, “Is the Missal of Paul VI the Unum Necessarium?” and “We Will Persevere, and with God’s Help We Will Prevail.” It also has fresh, improved translations of Michel Onfray’s “Ite Missa Est” and Abbé Claude Barthe’s “The Council’s Last Stand?”

    When the book first appeared at the end of October, a controversy immediately sprang up, caused by Cardinal Sarah’s statement that he had not been informed by the editor that Archbishop Viganò and other critics of the Second Vatican Council would be present in the same book—something Cardinal Sarah says would have led to the instant cancellation of his own involvement. He said, moreover, that he had approved the inclusion of an “interview.”

    I reached out to Dr. Kwasniewski for his opinion about this controversy. He replied: “In our request, His Eminence was told that the book would be an anthology of various authors, some of whom we listed—namely, the ones whose permission we had obtained at the time when we invited him. Nothing was said about … ‘the complete list.’ Moreover, we specified that the article of his that we had in view was the one published by the National Catholic Register, translated from Le Figaro. It did not take the form of an interview. I deeply regret that Cardinal Sarah seems to consider certain fellow Catholics with whom he disagrees to be like lepers or pariahs who cannot even share the pages of a 400-page book of 47 authors representing a variety of opinions.”

    Regarding the severity of Cardinal Sarah’s reaction, Kwasniewski added: “My impression is that everyone is quite touchy at this time, and no wonder. The Vatican is attacking thousands of priests and millions of faithful, and so everyone’s nerves are on edge as we watch the barque of Peter swaying wildly this way and that, coming right up against the shoals—a vessel threatened in its fundamental integrity like never before. It seems to me that perhaps certain cardinals either do not realize the gravity of the situation, or politically pretend not to.”

    The title of From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War seems aptly chosen, even if some critical voices have complained that it is too belligerent in spirit. The reality is that a war over the traditional Roman Rite or usus antiquior has long been brewing under this pontificate, and it was only a matter of time before hostilities broke into the open. The entire “liturgical establishment” in Rome has been upset about Summorum Pontificum for 14 years—their own spokesmen like Andrea Grillo and Archbishop Roche admit it openly—and have plotted and planned their strategies for its overthrow.

    [End, Maike Hickson article on the new book on the liturgy]

    A Video Interview Wrapping Up 2021

    Here is a link to an hour-long interview I did last week with Jim Hale of Lifesitenews, in which Jim asks me to discuss some of the events of 2021 in a kind of year-end wrap-up. Some of you may find the interview of interest. Lifesitenews writes:

    “Unite the clans”: Viganò biographer says “evils” of Great Reset must be met with penance, prayer

    Author of Finding ViganòRobert Moynihan, sits down with LSN TV’s Jim Hale to discuss the latest efforts taking place to combat the Great Reset. Moynihan also shares his vision for the future of the fight and his next book on Archbishop Viganò, explaining that resistance to the “cage” being constructed for mankind must be met with prayer and penance.

    [End special note]


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