October 7 is the Feast of the Holy Rosary, and next Sunday, October 13, marks the 96th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun on that day in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. The miracle was witnessed by over 70,000 people and was well reported in the secular papers.
Part of Our Lady’s message at Fatima was to pray the rosary every day for World Peace, for the Conversion of Russia, and for the Conversion of Sinners all throughout the world.
Sometimes we are tempted to wonder if all that praying is having its desired effect as we look around and see continued conflict and increasing acceptance of immorality. So it was with great joy that I read recently that President Vladimir Putin thinks that the introduction of Christianity to Russia in 988 A.D. is the best thing that ever happened to Russia.
In my opinion, that represents a very real conversion, the result of millions of rosaries. It is certainly far from complete, but it represents a tremendous change from the Russia of 1917. A recent article (see http://www.catholicscholars.org/FellowshipQuarterly) by a distinguished Catholic philosopher started with this sentence: “The economist Yegor Gaidar, in his authoritative study, Russia: A Long View, has shown convincingly that ‘the Soviet Union of 1989, the Russia of 1992, and particularly the Russia of 2008 are different countries.’”
There remains much to be done. There are still many Catholics who are not doing what Our Lady told us to do. War is hell, and the price of avoiding it includes this small sacrifice. This week, bracketed by these feasts, is a wonderful time to renew a commitment to pray the rosary daily for the Fatima intentions.
An old saying was transmitted for centuries in Latin: Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war. The new saying is this: If you want peace, do what our Lady has told us to do—pray the rosary daily.
For those wanting an expanded version of the rosary with a bible verse before each Hail Mary, click on The Seven Day Bible Rosary at the top of this page, Easily distracted people like myself find it helpful.