August Rosary Crusade a powerful outpouring of prayer

Rocio Madera

In August, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila launched a Rosary Crusade to ask for Mary’s intercession and God’s protection during these uncertain times. He personally asked all Catholics to join him in praying the Rosary for 30 days. 

“The last several months of the coronavirus epidemic, the civil unrest that has broken out in different parts of the archdiocese and our nation, and the challenges the Church is facing have made the need for Mary’s intercession abundantly clear. Mary is our Mother and desires only our good like the Father,” said Archbishop Aquila. 

The 30 days of praying the Rosary began on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15, and ended on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15. 

It didn’t take long for the community to respond. From day one, the Archdiocese of Denver shared different prayer intentions on its social media platforms that were immediately shared by the faithful who began to pray the Rosary pleading for the intercession of Mary. 

The Archbishop highlighted the importance of praying the Rosary and turning to Mary in times of hardship, remembering how throughout history, Mary has answered our prayers and she, herself, has asked us to pray the Rosary for world peace, as it happened in the apparitions at Fatima. 

“We know, too, from history that Mary has answered prayers brought to her through the Rosary and that she has personally asked people to pray it for the most serious needs, especially for the conversion of souls,” Archbishop Aquila recalled.  

While some people chose to pray the Rosary individually, some parishes created prayer groups to pray the Rosary daily via Zoom or other digital platforms.  

“It has been a great opportunity for our parishioners to pray together as we are spread over great distances here in the mountains. Thanks again and God bless all you do!” said Denise Cook, participant of a prayer group. 

The Rosary Crusade not only brought communities together, but also helped many get closer to God by making this prayer part of a daily routine and having an intimate moment with Him. 

“I pray at least one decade of the Rosary every day but during the Rosary Crusade I prayed all five decades every day, said another local parishioner, Jason Roberts. “There were times of not really wanting to but did it anyway and times where I was almost in tears when praying the Rosary and really focusing on the Mysteries. A few times I prayed the Rosary during Adoration at our parish and that was when Jesus spoke to me very directly. Still praying the Rosary every day!” 

Without a doubt, the Rosary is a very powerful prayer that not only brings us closer to our mother in heaven, but it can also bring us the peace and harmony that many of us seek for. During these times of crisis, it is crucial that we continue to ask for the intercession of Mary by praying the Rosary with devotion and confidence that she will respond to our prayers. 

During the Rosary Crusade, the Archbishop asked the faithful to pray for these intentions: 

  • For a growth in faith, hope and charity in the heart and soul of every human being, and most especially in our own that we may seek only the will of the Father 
  • For a recognition of the dignity of life from the moment of conception until natural death and that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God 
  • A quick end to the coronavirus pandemic 
  • For all who are suffering from COVID-19, for their caregivers, and for those who have died from the virus 
  • In reparation for the sins of abortion, euthanasia, and racism 
  • In reparation for the sins and failings of our spiritual leaders and for our personal sins 
  • For healing and justice for all those who have been discriminated against because of their race 
  • For the conversion of the world and the salvation of souls 
  • For all those who are persecuted throughout the world for the Faith 
  • For the conversion of those who carry out acts of desecration against our churches, statues and religious symbols 
  • In reparation for these acts of desecration, especially against Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament 
  • For our civic leaders and those who keep us safe to experience a deeper conversion, to govern justly, and to seek the common good 
  • That we may learn how to love and forgive from the example of Jesus 
  • For all marriages and families, neighborhoods, churches and cities to be strengthened 
  • For an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life 

We invite you to continue praying the Rosary and asking for these intentions! 

COMING UP: For Love of Country: A Catholic Patriotism

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Our country has been through a lot this last year, as we all know. As many people have reacted against the founding and history of the United States, I have found myself drawn towards greater patriotism. By this, I simply mean a deeper appreciation of what I’ve been given by my country and also a growing realization of the duty I have to work for the common good, here and now. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of this duty under the fourth commandment that enjoins honor not only to parents but also to anyone in authority.   

It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community (2239). 

Catholics, and all people of good will, are called to a love and service of country in order to work for the common good.  

Eric Metaxas argues that the future of our country depends precisely upon the active role of Christians in his book, If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty (Penguin, 2017). He describes something called the Golden Triangle, an idea he borrowed from Os Guinness, but which ultimately comes from the Founding Fathers. “The Golden Triangle of Freedom is, when reduced to its most basic form, that freedom requires virtue; virtue requires faith; and faith requires freedom. The three go round and round, supporting one another ad infinitum. If any one of the three legs of the triangle is removed, the whole structure ceases to exist” (54). John Adams, for example, related very clearly, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (quoted on 61). Metaxas comments, looking to specific examples around the world, “if you take God and faith and morality out of the equation, everything inevitably falls apart. It cannot be otherwise” (48). It cannot be otherwise. That may sound extreme, but we have many examples from Communist and Fascist countries and now even from movements within our country that aggressive secularism parallels a collapse of real freedom.  

The Constitution established an ordered liberty that requires responsibility and a determined effort of preservation. Hence the title of the book, taken from Benjamin Franklin, a republic “if you can keep it.” We are called to actively preserve our country: entering into a deeper understanding of the “idea” of America that undergirds the Republic as well as showing a loving determination to overcome challenges and threats to its continuance. This is not to whitewash the past, as we all know the injustices of our history. Metaxas argues that we can be grateful for the good and unique blessings of our heritage while also working to overcome failures. “To truly love America, one must somehow see both sides simultaneously” (226). Furthermore, by loving our country we are willing her good, drawing our own selves into the work for her good and helping her to be true to herself. “So that in loving America we are embodying her original intentions — we are indeed being America at her best — and in doing so we are calling her to her best, to be focused on doing all she can to fulfill the great promise which God has called her in bringing her into existence and shepherding her through trials and tribulations all these and centuries — and now” (235).  

As Catholics, we have a lot to offer our country by drawing from our rich intellectual and spiritual heritage. Michael Krom, a philosopher at St. Vincent College, provides us with a great resource in his new book, Justice and Charity: An Introduction to Aquinas’s Moral, Economic, and Political Thought (Baker, 2020). In an age of confusion, Catholics can bring greater clarity in our national discourse on the nature of human life, virtue, and politics. “We live in a time of ideological conflicts, in which the citizens of the nations of the modern world seem incapable of agreeing upon even the most basic of moral, economic, or political principles. Civil discourse has been replaced with violent protest, and reasoned dialogue with character assassination” (2). As Catholics, we should be able to look above all of this, literally: “While the Church does not force us to reject political citizenship, she demands that we direct it to the heavenly, and we can do that by heeding her call to engage the world rather than conform to it. I wrote this book out of the conviction that those who want to heed the Church’s call to engage our culture need to look to the past” (ibid.).  

Dr. Krom shows us that St. Thomas Aquinas has much to teach us about living the good life, in pursuit of a genuine freedom and happiness, and that this should inform a Catholic approach to economics and politics. It is hard to work for virtue if you don’t know what virtue really is, and difficult to act justly toward others if you don’t understand the nature of duty. Aquinas can help us to judge the direction of our country, as “a government cannot be called ‘good’ unless it promotes just moral and economic relationships between its citizens” (121). This is precisely the purpose of government — to promote right order and peace. We can’t just dispense with politics because, “the fact that humans find their fulfillment in political community means that situating their own good with the good of the community as a whole is central to happiness” (125). We are not isolated individuals and can’t attain a good and complete life on our own.  

Our ultimate good, however, is God, not the political life. Everything — all of our choices, including economic and political ones — must be directed to our ultimate goal. There are not “two ends to human existence, the earthly and the heavenly … [T]here is only one end, the beatific vision” (162). In this way the Church informs our citizenship. Krom explains “how inadequate this human law is as a teacher in the virtues, for it is limited in scope to the prevention of those vices from which even the wicked can refrain, and thus leaves those who seek after perfect virtue to their own devices … [H]uman law is in need of a higher law to truly bring about a just community” (155). Unfortunately, we’re seeing that our society is no longer even trying to prevent serious vice. Catholics and all believers have an important role to play, because “the lack of religion in the citizenry leads it down the path of totalitarianism. It Is absolutely critical that a people maintain a strong commitment to a transcendent measure of the common good in order to protect the true flourishing of its members” (171). Krom’s important work on justice and charity can teach us how a Catholic can exercise a proper patriotism, a true love of country.