Author: Richard

Immaculate Conception

Monday Dec. 9 is the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This year it is not a holy day of obligation since it will be celebrated on Dec. 9 instead of Dec. 8.  St. John’s will have two Masses, one at 8 a.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. 

This solemnity honors that the Blessed Virgin Mary was from the first moment of conception was free from original sin.  This is a dogma of our faith.  It was defined dogmatically by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. You can find out more here

Readings for the day are on the US bishop’s site here

A Bishop in Nigeria, Boko Haram, and a Sword

The following excerpt comes from 10 Wonders of the Rosary, the forthcoming book by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. It will be available  at shopmercy.org or by calling 800-462-7426.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 young girls from a school in Nigeria, Africa. Boko Haram is the notorious radical Muslim group that violently slaughters non-Muslims by such means as decapitation or burning people alive.

In December 2014, Jesus appeared to a Catholic bishop in Nigeria and instructed him that the rosary was the weapon that would overcome Boko Haram. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of the diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, claims that one evening, while he was praying his rosary, Jesus appeared to him holding a sword. During the vision, Jesus extended the sword toward the bishop. When the bishop went to take the sword from Jesus, it miraculously transformed into a rosary! Once the bishop had the rosary-sword in his hands, Jesus looked at him and said three times, “Boko Haram is gone! Boko Haram is gone! Boko Haram is gone!”

After the bishop of Maiduguri had his vision, he began to promote the rosary in his diocese in Nigeria. In many of his interviews, he repeats his vision and informs his listeners of his interpretation of the vision in the following words: “As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary. I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.” On October 13, 2016, dozens of kidnapped girls were suddenly released by Boko Haram from captivity. In May 2017, another 83 girls were released. Then, on July 3, 2017, 700 members of Boko Haram surrendered their weapons and turned themselves in to Nigerian authorities.

How the Rosary Drove Communism Out of Brazil

March 19 is the anniversary of a time when Catholic women of Brazil picked up their most powerful weapon—the rosary—and drove communism from their country.  

In 1964, the oppressive President Joao Goulart had appointed many communists to positions of leadership. Humble, faithful women understood the power of the Blessed Mother’s intercession and formed rosary groups. They showed up at political rallies and drown out speakers by loudly praying the rosary. 

The event which took place on March 13 in the city of Belo Horizonte during a communist rally was written about in Father Donald Calloway’s book, 10 Wonders of the Rosary. President Goulart had orchestrated a rally there, calling for a communist revolution in Brazil. The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal de Barros Camara, went on national radio pleading with people to live the Fatima message in order to overcome the communist threat.  

“President Goulart was so enraged by the archbishop’s message that he insulted the people of Brazil in a public speech and ridiculed the rosary, saying that it was the communist ideas that would reform and save Brazil, not the rosaries of simple women,” Father Calloway explained.

Those were fighting words that fired up the prayer warriors. They showed up to the rally in Belo Horizonte which was led by the president’s brother-in-law and expected to be the biggest one yet,  

Father Calloway wrote: “As it was taking place, more than 20,000 women marched into the streets with rosaries in their hands to engage in spiritual battle! The marched right into the midst of the communist rally and prayed the rosary so loudly that they shut it down.”

Six days later, on March 19, more than 600,000 people marched through the streets of Sao Paolo praying the rosary. It was called the “March of the Family with God toward Freedom.” Even non-Catholics joined in. 

Within two weeks on April 1, a military coup deposed President Goulart who then fled the country. In thanksgiving for the victory, the people of Brazil organized another march in gratitude to Our Lady and her rosary. It was held the very next day, April 2, through the streets of Rio de Janeiro and called the “March of Thanksgiving to God.” Over one million people participated.  

There’s a reason that the Blessed Mother told us in many of her apparitions to pray the rosary daily. It is the prayers of the life of Christ through Mary—just as he chose to come to us through his Incarnation. The rosary is a spiritual weapon of mass destruction, leaving sin in its wake and laying the ground for miracles, conversions, and victories over evil, attained by Jesus through the intercession of his mother. 

Article taken from Catholic News & Inspiration