It was for the protection of her children that Mary, the Mother of God, gave the world her Rosary, that priceless jewel of her most tender love.
She told St. Dominic, “Preach my Rosary and there will be much fruit.” For centuries the Rosary has proven to be a great and marvelous power against evil and a true solace in times of stress. Many popes have exhorted the faithful to take up their beads and pray the Rosary.
Pope St. Pius V said that the spread of the Rosary would dispel the darkness of heresy and the light of the Catholic Faith would shine forth in all its splendor.
Pope Gregory XIII assured us that the Rosary was instituted to implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to appease the anger of God.
Pope Pius IX said, “Have courage, my dear children! I exhort you to fight against the persecution of the Church and against anarchy, not with the sword, but with the Rosary, with prayer and good example.” He regarded the rosary as a conquering weapon.
Pope Leo XIII placed great confidence in the favors obtained through devotion to the Rosary. In his encyclical, Supremi Apostolatus Officio, he said, ” . . . it has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God.”
Pope Pius X said, “Of all prayers the Rosary is the most beautiful and the richest in graces; of all it is the one which is most pleasing to Mary, the Virgin Most Holy. Therefore love the Rosary and recite it everyday with devotion.”
In 1917 the Virgin Mother of God showed the modern world her power and favor with God with the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. In the months leading up to the miracle, Our Lady repeatedly urged Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, to pray the Rosary. They learned from her the grave importance of the Rosary. She told them that God wanted the world to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart: “If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”
Our Lady warned that there would be grave consequences if her requests were not granted: “Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church, many will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”
She told the children that if what she asked was not done, the world would suffer. . . “The war is going to end; but if people do not stop offending God, another and worse war will break out in the reign of Pius XI.” Her warning went unheeded. The Second World War began in 1938 with the invasion of Austria during the reign of Pius XI, just as she had predicted.
Despite the horrors which then rained upon the world, those who sought to fulfill Our Lady’s requests were covered spiritually and even physically with the mantle of her protection. In days of darkness and sorrow miracles bloomed and the power and excellence of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary was made known.
At 8:15 in the morning on Monday August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The people of Hiroshima and the world would never be the same. The intense heat and radiation spread immediately and engulfed all those in its path. Over 80,000 people were killed instantly.
Thousands more would die later from radiation poisoning. Men, women and children endured incomprehensible suffering. The temperature at the center of the blast was said to be as hot as the surface of the sun. The heat evaporated metal, melted glass, and ignited clothing miles away. Eight square miles were reduced to ash in resulting fires. Those whose flesh had not melted away, faced horrible suffering in a variety of symptoms as the radiation destroyed the cells in their bodies.
Hiroshima was obliterated in seconds, but beneath the mushroom cloud, in the midst of horror, a miracle would rise from the ashes of destruction and bear witness to the power of the Rosary and the truth of the Promises of Our Lady of Fatima. Just blocks from the epicenter, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was in ruins. However, the rectory next door, which housed eight Jesuit priests, was still standing. Four of the priests were in the rectory when the bomb dropped. They were showered with glass and debris. Four other priests were in the surrounding vicinity but, they too, survived the initial blast.
After their rescue, army doctors explained to them that their bodies would begin a fatal deterioration due to radiation exposure. The doctors were all astounded when, after examining all eight of the priests, there were no findings of elevated radiation. They exhibited absolutely no ill-effects from the bomb! Over two hundred scientists were said to have examined them and none of them could offer any explanation for their survival. The priests had not only survived the blast, they lived for decades in relatively good health.
Fr. Hubert Schiffer, who had just returned to the rectory after saying Mass that morning, supplied the answer on television years later. He said the reason they had survived the nuclear holocaust was because, “In that house the rosary was prayed every day. In that house, we were living the message of Fatima.” Secular scientists were all in agreement that the priests should have died but, they could not agree on the reason for their miraculous survival. They walked by sight and not by faith.
On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the U.S. dropped another one nearly 200 miles away, on Nagasaki.
That city had been the center of Japanese Catholicism ever since St.
Francis Xavier established its first mission church in 1549. For hundreds of years thereafter, Nagasaki streets ran red with the blood of her martyrs.
At 11:02 A.M. on that fateful morning in 1945, there were so many Catholics in line for confession, that two priests were hearing them inside the Urakami Cathedral. All were killed, and the largest church in the Orient was demolished. Of the more than 100,000 people who died in Nagasaki, nearly 10,000 of them were Catholic. One might wonder why they were not protected as the priests in Hiroshima. If we walk with the faith of those many Catholic Japanese, we learn that they were protected.
Dr. Takashi Nagai, lived in Nagasaki with his wife, Midori, and their two children. Midori was a descendent of the early Catholic martyrs and a devout Catholic. That morning Dr. Nagai had been at the hospital where he worked. After the bomb was detonated he spent an agonizing two days, helping the wounded before he could search for and find his wife, (the children were not in Nagasaki that morning).
His home was a pile of ash and in those ashes he found the charred remains of his beloved wife. He knelt and tenderly began to gather what was left of her. In the bones of her right hand, the chain and cross of her rosary had melted. Rather than spewing forth anger, Dr. Nagai bowed his head in prayer, “My God, I thank you for permitting her to die while she prayed.
Mary, Mother of sorrows, thank you for having been with her at the hour of her death. . . Jesus, You carried the heavy cross until You were crucified upon it. Now, You come to shed the light of peace on the mystery of suffering and death, Midori’s and mine. . .” Dr. Nagai later said that while his wife’s remains were resting in his arms, her voice seemed to
murmur: “forgive, forgive.”
Dr. Nagai found strength in meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. He later wrote: “Men and women of the world, never again plan war! . . . From this atomic waste the people of Nagasaki confront the world and cry out: No more war! Let us follow the commandment of love and work together. The people of Nagasaki prostrate themselves before God and pray: Grant that Nagasaki may be the last atomic wilderness in the history of the world.”
In the miracle of survival that was granted to the priests of Hiroshima and in the miracle of the faith that gave strength to Dr. Nagai in Nagasaki we witness the firm reliance and confidence granted to souls dedicated to the Rosary. In these miracles the Promises of Our Lady of Fatima are truly confirmed . . .
“. . . The weapon which our Father gave
Each hand shall fearless wield:
Who bear our Lady’s Rosary
Need neither sword nor shield”
With dauntless faith the ranks they face Of error and of sin, And, armed with those blest beads alone, The victory they will win. . .”*
*A.T. Drane, 1885. St. Dominic’s Hymn Book, London: Bums & Oates. pg. 45.
The above article is by Cathy Beil – Author of the Catholic novel “The Samurai And The Tea”; available from www.angeluspress.org.
Visit our Store at http://olrl.org/mm5/merchant.mvc for the following items related to the Rosary:
– Rosaries: black or white (http://olrl.org/sacramental/rosary.shtml) $1.75
– 15 Promises for those who Pray the Rosary card – English
or Spanish (http://olrl.org/pray/15promises_s.shtml) 3 cents ea.
– How to Pray the Rosary color brochure – English
(http://olrl.org/pray/howprayRosary1.shtml) 15 cents ea.
or Spanish (http://olrl.org/pray/howPrayRosary_s.shtml) 4 cents ea.
– How to Say the Rosary leaflet (http://olrl.org/mm5/merchant.mvc) 4 cents ea.
– “Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis de Montfort
– Our Lady Fatima brochure (http://olrl.org/prophecy/fatima.shtml) 7 cents ea.
– The Rosary, Brown Scapular and The Sabbatine Privilege brochure
(http://olrl.org/pray/rosary.shtml) 7 cents ea.
– The Importance of the Family Rosary — The Power of the Rosary
(http://olrl.org/misc/fmrosary.shtml) 5 cents ea.
Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
“Pray and work for souls”
To subscribe to this list visit
For good Catholic books, articles and religious goods visit www.olrl.org.