by Donal Anthony Foley

The World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) in England and Wales are organising an October Rosary Campaign as a follow up to the very successful Visitation of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, and Relics of Saints Jacinta and Francisco, to many dioceses and cathedrals around the country last year.

Since then, a special Centennial Rosary to match the Centennial Crown for the statue has been donated to WAF by Mr Jorge Leitao, whose jewellery firm were responsible for the original crown for the first Fatima statue.

In connection with this campaign, there will be a Fatima Rosary event at St Chad’s Cathedral on Saturday 13 October - final details will be announced soon.

October is the month of the Rosary, and of course 13 October is the anniversary day of the famous Miracle of the Sun on 13 October 1917, when at least 70,000 people who had gathered at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, at the place where Our Lady appeared to the children, saw a tremendous miracle.

So we would also like to celebrate October as the month of the Rosary by inviting parishes, groups, families and individuals in England and Wales to pray the Rosary during the coming month of October.

Pope Leo XIII (1878 -1903) wrote numerous encyclicals promoting the Rosary, and encouraged the practice of saying it every day in October.

Recent Popes, too, including Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, and in particular Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae of October 2002 – as well as Pope Francis – have also strongly promoted the Rosary as a means of deepening one’s faith and combatting social evils.

And since Our Lady requested during each of her six apparitions at Fatima that people should pray the Rosary every day for peace in the world, and said of herself on 13 October 1917, “I am the Lady of the Rosary,” we know that it is a prayer she particularly favours.

We are also encouraging the saying of the Rosary in parishes and in people’s homes, and to this end, we would like to publicise our Rosary Pledge campaign, as a way of encouraging as many people as possible to pray the Rosary daily, in imitation of what happened in Austria in the 1940s and 1950s.

You can read more about this here

We likewise want to emphasise the month of October, because 13 October is the Fatima anniversary date, and also because Our Lady linked the conversion of Russia and the promised era of peace with the saying of the Rosary and the Five First Saturdays devotion, which was fully revealed to Sr Lucia in 1925.

The success of the Rosary on the Coast initiative last April is a sign that people are interested in Marian devotion, do want to pray the Rosary, and realise its importance. The organisers estimate that some 45,000 people took part in around 400 locations, and it was supported by all the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland.

And likewise, The Dowry of Mary Pilgrimage, from 2018 to 2020, when there will be visitations to the cathedrals of England of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, is another very important initiative, which will lead up to our Bishops renewing the dedication of the country to Our Lady as her Dowry.

So WAF England and Wales wants to play its part in this Marian renewal by focusing on October as the month of the Rosary.

If a Rosary campaign is something you can start, with your parish priest’s permission, in your parish this coming October, please let us know via: [email protected]

But even if a parish-based Rosary campaign isn’t possible, there’s nothing stopping anyone organising the praying of the Rosary in their family, or with their friends or neighbours.

Further information about this, including posters and flyers, is available on the WAF website. Please click here

And please circulate information about this WAF October Rosary Campaign as widely as possible!

Donal Anthony Foley is the Secretary of WAF England and Wales

Photo: Oliver Abasolo, the acting WAF National President, holding the new Centennial Rosary, flanked by Fr Jason Jones, the WAF National Spiritual Director, to the left, and Mr Jorge Leitão to the right, in Domus Pacis hotel, Fatima.