Modern Day Miracles of Our Lady and The Rosary
Almost everyone has heard of the famous Battle of Lepanto, that infamous day in 1571 when through the prayer of the rosary, Our Lady interceded to lead to victory a fledgling Christian navy over the far superior forces of the invading Moslem Turks.
But there have been equally stunning miracles of the rosary as recently as the 20th century.
In 1917, the powerful prayer of the Rosary took on another urgent moment, The "Great War," World War I, was raging. It was the largest war in history.
At this point, the Mother of God appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, with a warning and a request that was meant to save the world.
For six consecutive months, from May 13 to October 13, she appeared
to Lucia dos Santos, age nine, and her
cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, ages eight and six.
Nearly three thousand people were gathered for the July 13th apparition, waiting for the young visionaries to arrive. When the Blessed Mother appeared to the children, she once again asked them to return the following month and reminded them to pray the rosary for peace. And then something remarkable occurred. Shafts of light flowed from Our Lady's hands through the children to the earth below them. Suddenly, the ground seemed to roll back and the three visionaries were staring into the pit of hell. Years later, Lucia wrote of what they saw: "A sea of fire; and plunged in this fire the demons and the souls, as if they were red-hot coals." Our Lady explained to the children:
"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war (World War I) is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this, I will come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."
Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the Fatima seers, was later quoted as saying, "
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."
Another breathtaking event occurred in Hiroshima, Japan on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945 at 8:15 a.m., when Fr. Hubert Schiffer and seven other Jesuits were just sitting down to breakfast.
"Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air with one bursting thunder stroke," Fr. Schiffer said in a public testimony of the event. "An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me 'round and 'round like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind."
When next his eyes opened, he was laying outside on the ground. Dazed, he looked around and saw that except for the rectory behind him, not a single building on the block was left standing.
Although they didn't realize it at the time, Fr. Schiffer and his fellow priests had just survived the blast of the world's first atomic bomb.
Miraculously, the priests suffered only minor injuries, even though the rectory was a mere kilometer from the center of the blast and the initial explosion which sent out a shockwave of heat in excess of 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The wave traveled with a sonic velocity capable of blowing apart everything in its path, which is why no other building in sight of the rectory was left standing and all of the people in the vicinity died instantly, were severely burned, or would die within days of radiation poisoning.
When they were finally able to comprehend the magnitude of the miracle that had just happened, Fr. Schiffer and his fellow priests knew at once why they were spared.
We believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima and we lived and prayed the rosary daily in that home," Fr. Schiffer said.
As if in confirmation, he would later learn that the Franciscan Friary in Nagasaki, established by St. Maximilian Kolbe, was also unharmed in an atomic blast that destroyed the city a few days later. The Friars were also devoted to the
daily recitation of the rosary and felt that an act of Divine Providence led them to build their friary in a location where a hill protected them from the full force of the blast.
|Gerngross Wien_ Vienna_ Austria
Less than a decade later, in the wake of World War II, an army of the faithful in Austria, bearing only the rosary, decided to take on communism.
Their battle began when the war ended and a massive power struggle erupted in the country between the Allied forces who were occupying the nation and the communists who were in possession of the richest sector of the country in Lower Austria, which was rich in oil, agriculture and industry.
Although the communists won only four seats in the freely elected Austrian government, they used their lucrative holdings to bully the people and try to topple the government.
"Austrians had to persevere in apartments without heat, lacking sufficient food, and enduring many other privations," said an Austrian priest named Father Norbert Burmettler in 2005 to a group of students from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
"People would go out into the countryside with backpacks begging for food. The black market flourished."
He went on to describe how, on February 2, 1946, a Franciscan priest named Petrus Pavlicek made a special pilgrimage to the famous Marian Shrine at Mariazell to beg Our Lady for help for occupied Austria. During his prayers, he heard the voice of Mary within his heart.
"Do what I tell you, and there will be peace," she said.
She went on to ask for a renewal of the requests she made to the three shepherd children at Fatima in 1917.
Father Pavlicek responded by founding The Atonement Crusade of the Rosary, a national prayer crusade that dedicated itself to praying for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world and freedom for Austria.
The centerpiece of the crusade was around-the-clock recitation of the rosary. Father Pavlicek asked for a "tithe" of rosaries from at least ten percent of the Austrian population who would
pledge to pray the Rosary daily until the Soviets left the country.
Crusaders staged processions and "assaults of prayer" in parishes which consisted of the Mass, sermons, confession, blessing of the sick and recitation of the Holy Rosary. These "sieges" of prayer could last up to five days.
The people of Austria responded generously. Within four years, more than 200,000 Austrians pledged to pray the rosary daily and by 1955, the number had grown to half a million.
Suddenly, on the eve of the Annunciation, March 24, 1955, the Russian Foreign minister invited an Austrian delegation to Moscow for the first of many conferences about a possible communist withdrawal from Austria. These talks eventually lead to a deal struck on a day that could only have been picked by Our Lady herself - May 13, 1955 - the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima.
Two days later, the Austrian State Treaty was signed at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna and Austria was free.
This event marks the only time in history that militant Marxist forces peacefully left a country in which they held power.
During a thanksgiving celebration on Sept. 10, 1955, Austrian Prime Minister Leopold Figi acknowledged this gift from heaven.
For eight years we prayed the Sorrowful Rosary and implored that heaven would grant us again, full and completely, our freedom and independence," he said. "Our prayer has been heard."
Our Lady of Fatima has given us her peace plan. Will we follow
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