|Coastline along the Slea Head Peninsula, the westernmost part of the Dingle Peninsula, located in the barony of Corca Dhuibhne in southwest County Kerry, Ireland. Photo: Pam Brophy/[CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
On Sunday, November 26, at 9:30am (2:30pm local time in Ireland), I will be uniting my recitation of the Rosary to the faithful Catholics in Ireland participating in the Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith: a national prayer effort that will encircle Ireland with a "Human Rosary."
Drawing inspiration from Poland's Rosary at the Borders and a similar Italian effort, participants will be praying for the preservation of the faith and the protection of life at all stages, including the developing human being in the womb.
It also draws encouragement from Matthew's Gospel, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. (Matt 18:20)
Organized by a small, but faithful team of Catholics, this national prayer effort calls on all Catholics (the clergy, those in religious Orders, and the laity) to take part by selecting locations along the coast which they are prepared to travel to. It is a call that has been heard and well received throughout Ireland as much of the coastline is quickly filling up with several locations.
To form the "Human Rosary," organizers initially sought fifty-three locations for all the Hail Mary's of the Glorious Mysteries (including the three in the introductory prayers) and additional locations for the Apostles' Creed, Our Fathers, Glory Be, and the Fatima prayers. As of this blog post, there are almost 200 designated locations on the coast, and that number is growing.
The date for this event was not randomly selected, but specifically chosen to be held on the Solemnity of Christ the King, which has a special significance for Ireland: Ireland was the first nation to be consecrated to Christ the King in the 1930s. As to the importance of this solemnity, the organizers point out that, "Acknowledging Christ as King has relevance for the spiritual, social, cultural, legal, and political life of Ireland. When we honour Christ as King, we are immediately brought to His Queen, Mary and her Immaculate Heart!"
It is Mary's Immaculate Heart that all participants will be appealing to for Her intercession to restore Ireland to a Culture of Life and rid the landscape of the moral disorder that has taken root in the past few decades.
Such an appeal highlights the importance and need for prayer, which organizers for this event have prepared an impressive prayer program that includes: recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary beginning at 2:30pm (local time in Ireland), in honour of Christ the King and His Queen the Immaculate Heart of Mary; prayer to Saint Patrick, the martyrs, saints and holy souls who preserved the faith through the years; prayer to Saint Michael, the angel of Ireland, and the guardian angels of the Irish living and dead; prayer for the protection of life in Ireland; prayer for the preservation of faith in Ireland; prayer of consecration to Christ the King; prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; prayer for the blessing of Ireland; the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm; and the planting of Miraculous Medals around the coast.
The Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith is also an appeal, in particular, to the Catholic laity in Ireland, one that echoes the words of Saint Pope John Paul II's homily—during his Apostolic Journey to Ireland—on October 1, 1979, at the Greenpark Racecourse, Limerick:
Lay people today are called to a strong Christian commitment: to permeate society with the leaven of the Gospel, for Ireland is at a point of decision in her history. The Irish people have to choose today their way forward. Will it be the transformation of all strata of humanity into a new creation, or the way that many nations have gone, giving excessive importance to economic growth and material possessions while neglecting the things of the spirit? The way of substituting a new ethic of temporal enjoyment for the law of God? The way of false freedom which is only slavery to decadence? Will it be the way of subjugating the dignity of the human person to the totalitarian domination of the State? The way of violent struggle between classes? The way of extolling revolution over God?
Ireland must choose. You the present generation of Irish people must decide; your choice must be clear and your decision firm. Let the voice of your forefathers, who suffered so much to maintain their faith in Christ and thus to preserve Ireland's soul, resound today in your ears through the voice of the Pope when he repeats the words of Christ: "What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life?" (Mt 16 :26). What would it profit Ireland to go the easy way of the world and suffer the loss of her own soul? (3)
Your country seems in a sense to be living again the temptations of Christ: Ireland is being asked to prefer the "kingdoms of the world and their splendour" to the Kingdom of God (cf. Mt 4 :8). Satan, the Tempter, the Adversary of Christ, will use all his might and all his deceptions to win Ireland for the way of the world. What a victory he would gain, what a blow he would inflict on the Body of Christ in the world, if he could seduce Irish men and women away from Christ. Now is the time of testing for Ireland. This generation is once more a generation of decision. (4)Saint Pope John Paul II's homily is ever more relevant today; a relevance that is also understood by many faithful Catholics from around the world. With each passing day, the Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith is not only gaining momentum, but increased international attention and support. Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, Scotland has urged Scottish Catholics to follow in Ireland’s footsteps.
Confirmed locations as of November 14, 2017.
Joining the effort will also be faithful Catholics from England: the Missionaries of Charity in London, and at the Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houghton Saint Giles, Norfolk.
The Catholic Herald in England also has reported on this national prayer effort with an article entitled, Irish Catholics plan mass-rosary prayer along coast.
Here in Canada, LifeSiteNews has reported this event with Dorothy Cummings McLean's article, Thousands to pray rosary on Irish coasts to protect nation from abortion.
This is an especially important time for Ireland; secularism has done much to wane and remove the faith from the hearts of minds of many, providing an opportunity for those—including international globalist and billionaire George Soros through his Open Society Foundation—who seek to usher in a Culture of Death and drastically change Ireland's Christian identity and culture.
Part of what the Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith seeks to accomplish is the defeat of the Eighth Amendment repeal referendum scheduled for May or June 2018. Abortion advocates are hoping that a "successful" referendum will remove the pro-life provision in the constitution which reads, “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
The Eighth Amendment was approved by 67% of the Irish population in a referendum on September 7, 1983. It came into effect on October 7, 1983, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Next year's referendum will be an opportunity for Ireland to, once again, positively respond to St. Pope John Paul's homily of October 1, 1979, in Limerick:
And so I say to all, have an absolute and holy respect for the sacredness of human life from the first moment of its conception. Abortion, as the Vatican Council stated, is one of the "abominable crimes" (Gaudium et Spes, 51). To attack unborn life at any moment from its conception is to undermine the whole moral order which is the true guardian of the well-being of man. The defence of the absolute inviolability of unborn life is part of the defence of human rights and human dignity. May Ireland never weaken in her witness, before Europe and before the whole world, to the dignity and sacredness of all human life, from conception until death. (6)As to why all this is happening in Ireland one need only look to Ireland's history stemming from the last century up until the last few decades. It is not difficult to ascertain how the forces of darkness (the Evil One and his demons) have been waging a war to usher in a moral disorder that includes a Culture of Death:
- Contraceptive devices and birth control pills have been available for decades
- A referendum in 1992, resulted in the option for women to travel to another country (England) in order to have an abortion, as well as the availability of information regarding abortion "services" in other countries.
- In 1995, Ireland's ban on divorce was removed through another referendum.
- The referendum of 2015, ushered in "same-sex marriage."
- In 2016, the Irish government set up a "Citizens' Assembly" to "consider" the future of the Eight Amendment, which concluded in April 2017, that the Eight Amendment should be repealed. They voted overwhelmingly for abortion to be permitted on the grounds of a mental or physical threat to the life of the mother, in cases of disability, and for socio-economic reasons.
Those interested in further information about Ireland's moral decline, including a detailed report available for download, please read Voice of the Family's article, Ireland's Tragic Abandonment of Catholic Teaching.
The Eight Amendment repeal referendum is a disturbing development, but no matter what the problem, issue, or crisis may be, we as Catholics always have recourse to Divine Intervention through Our Lady of the Rosary who, throughout the history of the Catholic Church, has provided Her assistance to those who have put their trust in Her intercession.
Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith speaks volumes about the trust in Our Lady's intercession, as well as to the understanding that the battle for Ireland is primarily a spiritual battle that must be fought with spiritual weapons; that a most efficacious way to fight the good fight is through group recitation of the Rosary.
Saint Louis De Montfort stated in his book, The Secret of the Rosary, Forty-Sixth Rose: Group Recitation, that not only is group recitation of the Rosary the method of prayer that the devil fears the most, but "...[I]t is far more formidable to the devil than one said privately, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking him." (98)
Utilizing the Rosary as a spiritual weapon has long been understood by the Church from the very beginning of its origin, when it was given to St. Dominic by Our Lady in 1214—which St. Louis De Montfort details in the same book, Second Rose: Origin—as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.
I cannot help but also think of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Supremi Apostolatus Officio, on devotion to the Rosary and its efficaciousness as a remedy for the many evils of society, who wrote, "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." (2)
Written in 1883, Pope Leo XIII's encyclical not only encouraged devotion to the Rosary, but spotlighted how important it has been in the history of the Catholic Church when faced with several threats; namely, the violence of heresy, intolerable moral corruption, and aggressive Islamic attacks by the Ottoman Turks.
This encyclical is a historical lesson that has not lost its relevance for the many evils of today's world. It is in my view, a worthy addition to anyone's reading list on the Rosary that is sure to inspire Catholics in Ireland to join Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith at a time in Ireland's history that is so dependent upon the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
May this national prayer effort inspire Catholics in Ireland—and throughout the world—to be united in prayer on November 26; that this day may draw God's Divine Intervention upon the nation, uproot and remove the moral disorder from the Irish landscape, and restore Ireland to a Culture of Life.