For centuries, the rosary has been a unique prayer, the effectiveness of which has been proven by numerous graces, miraculous divine interventions, conversions and healings. Our Lady and numerous saints and doctors of the Church strongly encouraged its recitation. However, in the 20th century, this prayer showed its power in a completely unique way.
It is worth recalling and considering how in modern times the rosary saved people who prayed on it, entire communities and nations, and often changed the course of history, saving the world from global destruction.
The Miracle on the Vistula River, the miraculous liberation of Austria from Soviet occupation in 1955, the peaceful revolution in the Philippines in 1986, the fall of communism – all these events would not have happened if it were not for the prayer of the rosary. However, two miracles that took place in places of total annihilation are completely unique.
Protects against the atomic bomb
On the morning of August 6, 1945, the first of two atomic bombs that the Americans dropped on Japan fell on Hiroshima. The bomb exploded eight blocks from the Jesuit monastery.
his event was remembered very well by the then prior of the local monastic community, Father Hubert Schiffer. He had just finished celebrating Holy Mass and was sitting down to breakfast when suddenly a huge impact shook everything.
“It was a complete surprise. Suddenly […], in the blink of an eye, an unearthly, unbearable glow appeared around me; the light was unimaginably bright, blinding, intense. I couldn’t see or think. For a brief moment, everything stood still. […]
Suddenly, a terrible explosion filled the air with a single bolt of lightning. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, threw me into the air, shook me, hit me, turned me “over and over” like a leaf in the autumn wind. Suddenly the light went out. Everything was darkness, silence, nothingness. I was conscious because I was trying to think about what happened. I felt around with my fingers in the total darkness that enveloped me. […] Then I heard my own voice. It was the most terrifying experience of all, because it showed that I was alive and convinced me that some terrible catastrophe had occurred” (quoted in: W. Łaszewski, Everything about the rosary that can do everything, pp. 288-289).
The entire Jesuit community of eight monks survived the explosion. How is this possible when all the inhabitants of Hiroshima died within half a kilometre of the epicentre?
Although two people survived, they soon died of radiation sickness. Moreover, the structure of the Jesuit church remained intact, although the surrounding buildings were completely destroyed.
Moreover, after such a large dose of radiation, all Jesuits should have died of radiation sickness within a dozen or so days, “while they enjoyed good health until the end of their long lives. It was so inexplicable to science that American scientists examined Father Schiffer over two hundred times, trying to find the answer to why he survived” (op. cit., p. 290).
They also wanted to “find a means of protecting people against the effects of a nuclear explosion. However, they found nothing except the Jesuit’s own repeated explanation: “In this house we prayed the rosary every day. In this house we lived the message of Fatima every day” (op. cit., p. 290).
A “Fireball” and the miraculous rescue of the “Japanese Immaculata”
The second atomic attack that hit Japan occurred just days after the annihilation of Hiroshima. This time the choice fell on Nagasaki. There, too, the Franciscan monastery built by Saint Maximillian Maria Kolbe inexplicably survived.
When he arrived in Japan in 1930, the bishop gave him a plot to build a monastery. However, his companions tried to persuade Father Kolbe to change the construction site. This area was very unfavourable, lying on a steep slope of the difficult-to-access Hikosan Mountain. It was a former cemetery of Christian martyrs, remote from buildings and overgrown with wild vegetation.
An alternative to it was the Urakami district, wonderfully situated by the bay, inhabited by 15,000 Christians, with the largest Christian temple in the Far East at that time – the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Despite this very favourable location, Father Kolbe did not change his mind. When he saw the place, he said, “We cannot build a monastery here; a fireball will soon fall here and destroy everything.”
So, the choice fell on the slope of Mount Hikosan. However, in hindsight, this decision turned out to be beneficial. When the atomic attack on Nagasaki occurred 14 years later, the bomb was dropped on the first object recognized by the pilot – the aforementioned cathedral.
The explosion destroyed everything within a radius of approximately 1.6 km, and numerous fires completed the destruction in further areas of the city. Meanwhile, the wooden buildings of Father Kolbe’s monastery only lost their windowpanes. . .
How did it happen that St. Maximillian predicted that the bomb would be dropped in this very place? It is worth emphasizing that the choice of this city as a target for dropping the bomb remained uncertain almost to the end, and everything was determined by weather conditions.
Nagasaki was a reserve city to another city – Kokura. And when the decision was finally made on Nagasaki, the clouds covered the city centre, as a result of which the bomb was dropped about 3 km from the planned target, in the suburbs, almost exactly in the place where the monastery of St. Maximillian was to be built 14 years earlier. The probability that the bomb would fall in this particular place was therefore very small!
How did Father Kolbe even predict the impact of the “fireball” that would destroy everything? After all, the first successful attempt to split the nucleus of an atom took place only in 1938, eight years after the prophetic statement of Saint Maximillian!
When Father Kolbe came to Japan, he brought with him a statue of the Immaculate Virgin and – as before – he never left his rosary. He recited it many times a day, always with extraordinary concentration and visible joy.
Witnesses confirmed that even when he was talking to someone, he moved rosary beads under his habit. It was the Immaculate Virgin, whom he loved so much and with whom he was united through the rosary, which gave him insight into the future. . .
When Father Maximillian went away to pray, he took the rosary in his hand and said: “I’m going to shoot Satan!”
The mighty power of one Hail Mary
The words of Saint John Paul II testify to the great and miraculous power of the Hail Mary prayed piously, even once, even once. John Mary Vianney, who said that: “One devoutly recited Hail Mary shakes all hell”!
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in turn, wrote: “The Hail Mary, when recited well, that is, attentively, with devotion and humility, is, according to the testimony of the saints, an enemy of Satan whom it forces to flee, it is a hammer that crushes him, it is the sanctification of the soul, the joy of angels, the singing of the elect, the song of the New Testament, the joy of Mary and the glory of the Holy Trinity. […]
Therefore, I beg you earnestly, […] recite the entire rosary every day, if time permits, and at the moment of death you will bless the day and hour when you believed in me” (St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary).
The effectiveness of praying the rosary was also recognised be Saint John Bosco, whom God enlightened thanks to visions appearing during his sleep. The strange dream that Father Bosco had on the eve of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1862 made him realise how effective the rosary is in the fight against Satan.
Saint John Bosco was then taken to a meadow where he saw a thick snake eight metres long. The priest wanted to escape, but Our Lady stopped him, encouraging him to fight. Together they took a rope, stretched it over the monster’s neck, hit it with it, and finally tied it around the reptile’s neck, tightening the noose.
The snake thrashed around, slammed its body against the ground, and finally its body began to tear into shreds. Then Mary rolled up the rope and then put it in a box. After opening the box again, it turned out that the string was arranged in the words: “Hail, Mary.”
Then Our Lady explained that the snake represented Satan, and the rope represented the Hail Mary prayer, or rather the rosary, which is its extension. Saint John Bosco understood that it is with the rosary that one can defeat and destroy all hellish demons.
Father Francesco Bamonte in the book Mary and Exorcisms. An exorcist’s testimony about Mary’s extraordinary power in the fight against Satan describes his conversations with demons forced to tell the truth during exorcisms. This is what one of them confessed: “If people knew that they had such weapons at their fingertips, I would be sitting alone in hell. But you do not listen to popes, saints and prophets. Nor your own heart. I overcome you thanks to your stupidity and pride. I’m not afraid of you. But I am afraid of Her rosary” (quoted in: W. Łaszewski, op. cit., p. 200).
When Saint Teresa of Ávila died after nine months of severe suffering, she dreamed of her sister and told her that now that she knew how great the merits were for piously reciting the Hail Mary, she would willingly agree to return to earth and suffer those nine months again, If only I could say one Hail Mary piously at least once. . .
Prayer – time wasted?
For many people, prayer is a waste of time. Meanwhile, Mary appeals and calls to humanity to help her overcome evil and bring peace to the world with prayer and fasting – and that these are not empty promises is proven by specific facts, in the face of which it is difficult to talk about coincidences. Our Lady of Medjugorje asks for prayer: “Pray as much as you can, but always pray more: each of you should pray even four hours a day, but I know that many people do not understand this because they think only about living from work.”
In God’s economy, time devoted to prayer is not time wasted. On the contrary, Saint Teresa of Avila wrote that the time we do not devote to prayer is time wasted.
Prayer is and should be the centre of our lives and the most important time of every day. Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori recited a Hail Mary before and after each activity and advised others to do the same. He used to say: “Successful are those deeds that are surrounded by two Hail Marys.”
When we find time to pray, God will give us the grace to find time to fulfil all our activities, if they are in accordance with God’s will.
Let’s throw away what is unnecessary, fruitless and ungodly, and we will find time for what is God’s, for prayer, for work and for rest. The Lord God in His power can make us do work in one hour that without prayer we could not do all day long!
This is confirmed, among others, by: wonderful facts from the life of Saint Faustina, who – from a human perspective – was a weak and sickly woman, and yet, sometimes, with God’s grace, she was able to quickly perform work that would normally require more time and the involvement of a larger number of sisters! The old saying goes, “When God comes first, everything else falls into place.”
During her mystical meetings with the Lord Jesus, Alicja Lenczewska heard, among others: such words: “Meeting Me is the most important moment of your day – before you start everything. Then there will be time and peace in your heart. […] Everything is the fruit of prayer. Like your prayer, like your life: the state of your soul and body and your actions […].
Everything you do with your heart, mind or hands – in order to have meaning and value – must begin with prayer and end with prayer. […] The amount you received from Me during prayer is the amount you can give – what is worth giving – to another person.”
When a person does not pray, he “detaches himself from the source of his existence – he is tossed and beaten by himself, other people, but above all, by the spiritual powers of evil. […]
You must not let go of the rosary or adoring Me in the Holy Sacrament. If you feel that Satan’s attacks are coming and you are overcome by darkness and oppression in your soul, immediately recite We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God . . ., because it is an exorcism. […] Start everything with prayer, and there will be no problems with time” (A. Lenczewska, Testimony).
Therefore, let’s strive to fill the entire time given to us on earth by prayer, in accordance with our vocation. Our Lady asks us to set a fixed point of prayer every day, but it would be best if, in unity with the Holy Spirit who lives in us and prays, listening to His voice, we sent a constant prayer of praise to God the Father regardless of the activities we perform.
The point is for prayer to permeate our entire time, our entire life, so that we glorify God with our work and deeds, regardless of our vocation and profession.
Work done with love also becomes prayer. However, it is very important that, regardless of our daily activities, we reserve a fixed time every day for praying the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, adoration, reading the Holy Scripture and the Eucharist.
The Rosary is primarily a mindful prayer in which we accompany Mary in contemplating the mysteries of her life and that of the Lord Jesus. It is a prayer of the heart consisting in remaining in internal contemplation of the Incarnate Word.
Let the example of the great saints motivate us to persistently pray the rosary every day. Saint John Paul II recited all four parts of the rosary every day and an additional fifth part for a given day.
In turn, Padre Pio said it up to 30 times a day! Two days before his death, this Capuchin saint said: “Pray the rosary, always say it as much as you can!”
Victory of the Immaculate!
Over 100 years ago in Fatima, Our Lady pointed to the rosary as a still effective tool for saving the world from destruction. In the history of the Church, as many as 39 popes, including all the successors of Saint Peter, serving in the 20th and 21st centuries, encouraged us to recite this prayer. The fate of the world hangs between man and the merciful God, who is waiting for our intercessory prayer.
One praying person can change the fate of the world. This possibility is given to us by the merciful God, who made Mary our Advocate and gave us a wonderful tool for asking for all graces – the rosary.
Saint John Paul II wrote in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae: “The Church has always recognised the special effectiveness of this prayer, entrusting the most difficult matters to its common recitation and constant practice.
At times when Christianity itself was threatened, the power of this prayer was attributed to deliverance from danger, and Our Lady of the Rosary was revered as the one who obtained deliverance. Today, I entrust the cause of peace in the world and the cause of the family to the effectiveness of this prayer.
Finally, let us remember the last prophetic words of the servant of God, Cardinal August Hlond, which he said on the eve of his death: “Victory, when it comes, will be the victory of the blessed Virgin Mary.”
In personal acts of devotion, let us entrust ourselves every day to the Mother of God and entrust our entire lives and all our affairs to Her Immaculate Heart. Let us also do this in our families, in prayer communities, in our environments and workplaces.
Let us clothe ourselves with the spirit of penance by praying the rosary every day. We will not pray for peace in the world until peace – through prayer – first appears in us.
Let us pray especially for the conversion of sinners, because this is what Our Lady asks so much. The miracle of conversion is the greatest of miracles – greater than saving an earthly life or healing from an illness – because it gives a chance for eternal life. In the grace of conversion, God Himself resurrects to new life a soul “even if it was already decomposing like a corpse” (Diary 1448).
Prayer of the rosary brings special fruits when it is recited together by entire families. Let’s also carry the rosary with us – as a clear sign of our belonging to Our Lady, and she will protect us from dangers of soul and body. We will also be less exposed to temptations, because Satan avoids all objects related to Marian devotion. So go ahead – let’s take the rosary in our hands and boldly go into the fight for human souls, saving ourselves and the world together!