July 2008 - Crusade of the Rosary

Lepanto 1571, Vienna 1683... These are names and dates that resound like clarion calls of victory.
But these triumphs too often remain sunken in oblivion, as we exhume them only twice a year when the Church, in the Divine Liturgy, invites us to celebrate these victories due to the intervention of Our Lady and the prayer of the Rosary.

 

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Lepanto 1571, Vienna 1683... These are names and dates that resound like clarion calls of victory.

But these triumphs too often remain sunken in oblivion, as we exhume them only twice a year when the Church, in the Divine Liturgy, invites us to celebrate these victories due to the intervention of Our Lady and the prayer of the Rosary.

For us, it seems that these interventions of Heaven are certainly very beautiful episodes, but belonging to days gone by. We think that it cannot be thus today; some, even, push their skepticism to the extreme of putting in doubt the reasons of the victory of Christian armies and argue against facts that have been, however, duly authenticated.

To answer these smiling scorners, to especially encourage those which do not forget that Providence is a reality of incarnation, to strengthen those who are devoted to Our Lady and who use their Rosary as a powerful weapon, for the honor of our Good Mother in Heaven, we would like to recall a recent but little known event, showing the unquestionable intervention of Our Lady in response to the Rosary.

At the defeat of Nazi Germany, Austria was divided by the victors into zones of occupation. The Russians received Vienna and its surroundings as their share, thus holding in their power the richest areas of the country and the key to Europe, because it has been said that he who holds Vienna, holds Europe. With the elections of November 1945, the Communists did not manage to win, but, according to them, their victory was only postponed: "We are only at the beginning of the war in Austria, and we will win this war." It was impossible to be more clear, especially when they were supported by an army of occupation!

However the following year, coming back from captivity, Father Petrus, a Franciscan, went to Mariazell, the great Marian shrine of Austria, and prayed there for the release of his country from the communist yoke that tried to choke it. He then heard an interior voice saying to him: "Do what I say to you, pray the Rosary and there will be peace."

After a year of reflection, Father Petrus decided to launch a Crusade of the Rosary in reparation for the offenses committed against God, for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world, and especially in Austria.

1948: 10,000 people were registered, counting among them Figel, the Austrian federal Chancellor. The number of "crusaders" kept growing.

1949: General elections; the prayer of the Rosary intensified; the Franciscan convent was visited in a few weeks by 50,000 people. The Communists obtained only five seats but the tension rose and all knew that, disappointed by their ridiculous results, the Communists will try to obtain their ends by having recourse to armed force, taking power by a coup.

Father Petrus took up again his Marian offensive and organized an official public prayer, which should end on September 12, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, by which Vienna solemnly commemorates its liberation from the Turkish threat in 1683. The Archbishop feared a disappointment, but the Chancellor gave to the priest a splendid answer: "Father Petrus, even if it were to be only the two of us, I will come: it is worth doing for our country." 35,000 people were present that evening behind the Chancellor, rosaries and candles in their hands!

The response came with lightning speed: at the end of the month the Communists launched a general strike and attempted a coup. But the anti-Communist trade unions reacted and these attempts failed. At that time, the crusade of the Rosary counted 200,000 members.

One defeat couldn't bring down the communist power. The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the famous Molotov, clearly said so to the Austrian Chancellor when they met: "Abandon your hopes. We, Russians, never release what we have once taken."

Father Petrus took again his pilgrim staff: in April 1955, the crusade counted 500,000 members. On May 13, Chancellor Figel, convoked to Moscow, understood that this time the Russians were determined to act and to act soon. At the end of the interview, he noted: "Today, day of Fatima, the Russians are still hardened. Let us pray the Mother of God to help the Austrian people."

The die was cast. Force belonged to the Russians... But ten days later, Moscow granted Austria its independence, without any apparent reason. The last Russian soldier will leave Austrian soil the following October. Our Lady of the Rosary had won, as the authorities acknowledged at the thanksgiving festival organized on the Square of the Heroes in Vienna.

The Most Blessed Virgin Mary has taught it in Fatima, as Sister Lucy has told us: "There is no problem, however difficult it may be, whether temporal or spiritual, personal or familial, national or international, that cannot be solved by the prayer of the Rosary."

Today, it is not one country that is invaded, but the Church. At this time when the battle is engaged, so that souls will not fall into a terrible servitude, and whereas the ancient adversary seems to be victorious, we must take the cross to answer the request of Our Lady at Fatima.

Humanly speaking, all is lost. The hour of God will finally come, but it will not happen until his children answer with faith to His wishes and turn themselves, rosary in hand, towards the Queen of Heaven, terrible for Her enemies as an army arrayed for battle. Will the hour of God be delayed because of our negligence? It must not be so. The joy and the honor to triumph by the Rosary will be ours, if we become its crusaders and apostles.

O Most Blessed Virgin, reign by your Rosary over our intelligences and our hearts, so that, putting our hope only in You, we may soon sing a hymn of thanksgiving!

Hope is daughter of the Rosary — and victory too.

In Christo sacerdote et Maria,

Fr. Yves le Roux