(The Power of the Rosary, chapter 6)
Our Lady repeatedly has told us that peace will come only through a return to God through prayer, especially the prayer of the rosary. But so many still do not listen to her message. So, action speaks louder than words. Outlined below are a few facts, of what Mary has done in Japan, Austria, Brazil, Russia and the United States ought to have a cumulative force that should move all Catholics to start praying the rosary daily and, if possible, as a family.
1. Our Lady speaks to Japan: the rosary of Hiroshima.
At 2:45 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a B-29 took off from the island of Tinian to drop the first atomic bomb on Japan. At 8:15 a.m. the bomb exploded eight city blocks from the Jesuit Church of Our Lady's Assumption in Hiroshima. Half a million people were wiped out. All that was left was darkness, blood, burns, moans, fire and spreading terror.
However, the church and the four Jesuit fathers stationed there survived: Fathers Hugo Lassalle, Kleinsorge, Cieslik and Schiffer. According to the experts they "ought to be dead," being as they were within the most deadly one-mile radius of the explosion. Nine days later on August 15, Feast of Our Lady's Assumption, peace came.
The miracle of their survival, their devotion to Our Lady, their church dedicated to her Assumption, made it clear to these survivors that this was more than coincidence. It taught them the power of Mary and her prayer, the rosary. So their response to the atom bomb was to launch a Rosary Crusade for peace in Japan.
Think of the power of a river. It is made up of tiny drops of water, numberless tiny drops of rain. Together these tiny drops make the mighty river, which can carry heavy ships and change arid deserts into fruitful farms and gardens.
So, too, the Rosary Crusade, the rosaries of countless persons all over the world become an immense and irresistable spiritual force for peace.
2. Austria: the miracle of the Russian pullout.
At the end of World War II, the allies did a nasty thing: they turned Catholic Austria over to the Russians. The Austrians tolerated this Soviet domination for three years, but that was enough. They wanted the Soviets out of their country. But what could Austria do: seven million against 220 million?
Then a priest, Pater Petrus, remembered Don John of Austria. Outnumbered three to one, Don John led the Papal, Venetian, and Spanish ships against the Turks at Lepanto, and through the power of the rosary miraculously defeated them. So Pater Petrus called for a rosary crusade against the Soviets. He asked for a tithe: that ten percent of the Austrians, 700,000, would pledge to say the rosary daily for the Soviets to leave their country. 700,000 pledged.
For seven years the Austrians prayed the rosary. Then, on May 13, the anniversary of the apparition at Fatima, in 1955, the Russians left Austria.
Even to this day military strategists and historians are baffled. Why did the Communists pull out? Austria is a strategically located country, a door to the West, rich in mineral deposits and oil reserves? To them it was an enigma.
Al Williams, former custodian of the National Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, heard me tell this story once. He said to me, "You know, Father, I am Austrian. Well, three months before Therese Neumann died, I visited her (June 18, 1962). One question I asked her was, 'Why did the Russians leave Austria?' She told me, 'Verily, verily, it was the rosaries of the Austrian people.'"
In other words, Our Lady's rosary did what the Hungarian Freedom Fighters could not do with a bloodbath of 25,000 people. John Cortes, brilliant writer and diplomat of the 19th century wrote: "Those who pray do more for the world than those who fight. If the world is going from bad to worse, it is because there are more battles than prayers."
3. Brazil: Why not the way of Cuba?
In the November, 1964, issue of the Reader's Digest, there was a story titled: "The Country that Saved Itself." That country was Brazil. The stage was all set in 1961 to take over Brazil, just like Cuba. But guess who thwarted this Communist takeover? The women of Brazil with their rosaries! "Without the women," said one of the leaders of the counterrevolution, "we could never have halted Brazil's plunge toward communism."
One night in mid-1962, Dona Amelia Bastos listened to her husband and a band of anti-Reds discuss the looming threat of Communism. "I suddenly decided," she said, "that politics had become too important to be left entirely to the men. . .Moreover, who has more at stake in what's happening to our country than we women?" She formed CAMDE (Campaign of Women for Democracy). In Belo Horizonte, 20,000 women reciting the rosary aloud broke up the leftist meeting there. In Sao Paulo, 600,000 women praying the rosary in one of the most moving demonstrations in Brazilian history, sounded the death knell of the Communist revolution.
These women with rosaries in their hands or around their necks, issued a 1300 word proclamation:
Sounds like the United States, doesn't it? Our Lady at Fatima said that if her requests were not heard that the errors of Russia would spread over all the world even to the United States. Well, it has happened here. Whoever would have believed that Americans would have defended the right to murder unborn children, to hold up homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle? That the Supreme Court of our nation would outlaw God from our schools, legitimize hard-core pornography, and so on and on.
And who has more at stake here than the women of our nation? Please God, may they, like the women of Brazil, take the lead in getting our country back from the forces that would destroy it. And may they use the weaponry, recommended by Our Lady, and used by the women of Brazil: the rosary! Not just the private rosary, but the family rosary, for it is the family that is threatened.
4. Our Lady speaks to Russia.
a. On October 13, 1960.
Most of us remember the time when Nikita Khrushchev visited the United Nations in October, 1960 and boasted that "they would bury us"—would annihilate us! And to emphasize his boasting, he took off his shoe and pounded the desk before the horrified world assembly.
This was no idle boast. Khrushchev knew his scientists had been working on a nuclear missile and had completed their work and planned on November 1960, the 43rd anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, to present it to Khrushchev.
But here's what happened. Pope John XXIII had opened and read the third Fatima secret given to Sister Lucy. He authorized the Bishop of Leiria (Fatima) to write to all the bishops of the world, inviting them to join with the pilgrims of Fatima on the night of October 12-13, 1960, in prayer and penance for Russia's conversion and consequent world peace.
On the night of October 12-13, about a million pilgrims spent the night outdoors in the Cova da Iria at Fatima in prayer and penance before the Blessed Sacrament. They prayed and watched despite a penetrating rain which chilled them to the bone.
At the same time at least 300 dioceses throughout the world joined with them. Pope John XXIII sent a special blessing to all taking part in this unprecedented night of reparation.
Well, here is what happened. On the night between October 12 and 13, right after his shoe-pounding episode, Khrushchev suddenly pulled up stakes and enplaned in all haste for Moscow, cancelling all subsequent engagements, Why?
Marshall Nedelin, the best minds in Russia on nuclear energy and several government officials were present for the final testing of the missile that was going to be presented to Khrushchev. When countdown was completed, the missile, for some reason or other, did not leave the launch pad. After 15 or 20 minutes, Nedelin and all the others came out of the shelter. When they did, the missile exploded killing over 300 people. This set back Russia's nuclear program for 20 years, prevented all-out atomic warfare, the burying of the U.S.—and this happened on the night when the whole Catholic world was on its knees before the Blessed Sacrament, gathered at the feet of our Rosary Queen in Fatima. Our Lady does not want nuclear war.
b. On May 13, 1984.
On May 13, 1984, one of the largest crowds ever was gathered at Fatima to celebrate the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady there. On that very day a massive explosion destroyed two-thirds of the surface-to-air and ship-to-ship missiles of the Soviet Union's mightiest fleet—the Northern Fleet, charged in wartime with cutting off NATO's Atlantic sea lanes. According to Jane's Defense Weekly of London, this was "the greatest disaster to occur in the Soviet Navy since World War II." Is it not time that we place more confidence in the promises and power of Our Lady?
c. On April 28, 1986.
Everyone has read of the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. Direct damage was about 2.7 billion dollars. The indirect cost was far more, with the contamination of 1,000 square miles of farmland. But the greatest effect was the spiritual effect on the Russian people.
A prominent Russian writer pointed out that Chernobyl is the Ukrainian word for "wormwood" (a bitter herb used as a tonic in rural Russia). Then he observed that in the Book of Revelation, it is written that a great star fell from the heavens making a third part of the waters bitter. And the name of that star is Wormwood (Rev. 8:10-11).
With uncanny speed this connection between the Chernobyl disaster and the words of Revelation has spread across Russia, giving Chernobyl the quality of an almost supernatural disaster. It has had an impact on the Russian people, especially when they remembered that Christianity came to the very region of Chernobyl to the tribe of Rus in 998 A.D.
d. On May 12, 1988.
On May 18, 1988, the Associated Press reported that "Blast shuts Soviet's sole missile motor plant." The article began, "A major explosion has shut down the only plant in the Soviet Union that makes the main rocket motors of that country's newest long-range nuclear missile, according to U.S. officials." The Pentagon issued a statement saying it happened May 12 and "destroyed several buildings at a Soviet propellant plant in Pavlograd," about 500 miles southwest of Moscow in the Ukraine.
Just before that, on May 3, 1988, here in our own country, an explosion ripped apart a Nevada plant that was probably handling the ammonium perchlorate used in the main rocket motor for the SS-24. Again, is not Our Lady preventing nuclear war, in response to our rosaries of reparation?
5. Our Lady Speaks to the U.S.
Heaven always accommodates itself to our limitations. On the first Christmas, to speak to shepherds, God used angels; to speak to the wise men, He used a star; and to speak to the United States, He used our ordinary instrument of communication, the weekly magazine—He used Newsweek, June 12, 1989 and U.S. News, August 7, 1989.
In the June 12 issue of Newsweek, there is a story about atomic help given by Americans to friendly nations. Laws forbid our sharing sensitive information with other nations. American scientists skirt this law with France by a name called "Negative Guidance."
For instance, when the French were trying to develop multiple independently targeted warheads, the Americans let them know by indirection whether or not they were getting hot or cold.
If the French said, "We tried that but it didn't work," the Americans would answer, "There are other ways."
The French would ask, "Other ways?" And the questions would go on till the right answer was reached.
In the June 12 article, Newsweek showed a picture of the French testing of the atomic bomb in the Pacific. Underneath the photo is this caption: "Other ways? French test on the Pacific island of Mururoa?"
In the photo, one can spot very clearly the image of Our Lord crucified and of Our Lady. The image of the crucified Lord is in the red fire of the bomb. But to His right in white light (in the cloud of the explosion) is the outline of Our Lady. She is there as if to answer the question: "Other ways?" Her answer is, "Yes, there are other ways besides atomic war. It is my way: the way of the rosary."
In physics we learned that white fire is hotter than red. Our Lady is in white in contrast to the fiery red of the atomic mushroom. It is Mary's dramatic way of saying now, as once she did at Fatima when the sun twirled miraculously and danced Oct. 13, 1917: "God is more powerful than any atomic bomb. You want peace? Well, it is in my hands and not in bombs, atomic or nuclear. There are other ways, indeed, my way—the way of the mother of all mankind."
In U.S. News and World Report (August 7, 1989), that same atomic bomb photo reappeared twice with an article "America's Doomsday Project." It was subtitled "The U.S. has a secret survival plan in the event of nuclear war." What a sense of humor Our Lady has! She seems to be saying, "There are other ways. Yes, there is a secret survival plan for the U.S.—it is turning to me in prayer, the prayer of the rosary."
On August 14, 1989, a Japanese scientist took his geiger counter to Apparition Hill in Medjugorje to register the radioactivity there. It read 10, which is normal. When Our Lady became present on the Hill at 10:30 p.m., it registered 300,000—the equivalent to the center of a nuclear bomb.
Again, Our Lady is saying, "I am just as powerful as any nuclear bomb. You Americans put too much trust in your own resources. You think the bomb is the answer—your technology! It is not! Put your trust, not in the bomb; the bomb will destroy. There is another way—Me! Put your trust in me! I will bring peace!"
On October 13, 1988, the 71st anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, through Fr. Gobbi, she reminded her priests of that apparition by repeating part of the message there: "I am the Queen of the Holy Rosary and I bless you all with this sign of my sure victory" (Our Lady Speaks to Her Beloved Priests, #391). Her sign of sure victory is the rosary. She promised it at Fatima; and she reiterated it there 71 years later.
And it is being made manifest in the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. How else can we explain this incredible phenomenon? It is not the military, not the politicians, not the media that is bringing this about. It is the millions upon millions of people responding to Our Lady's requests at Fatima, at Medjugorje, etc., who are making this happen—the ordinary people!—their sacrifices, their prayers, their rosaries!