Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Rosary Rallies

The Humble Apostle of the Rosary

"A World at Prayer is a World at Peace"

This map highlights the countries where Father Peyton hosted Rosary Rallies.

From the First Rally in Canada to Families Across the World

Father Peyton speaking at a 1958 Rosary Rally in St. Paul, MN.

In 1948, after a providential meeting with priests in Canada, Father Peyton was invited by Bishop John T. Kidd of London, Ontario in Canada to hold a rally about family prayer. This was the first of 260 rallies worldwide led by Father Peyton. 

The Rally in Canada was a huge success where over 80,000 families, 95% of the diocese, pledged to faithfully pray the family Rosary. Father Peyton had made the first inroads in his original plan to bring the Family Rosary to 10 million families.  

Father Peyton speaking at a 1958 Rosary Rally in St. Paul, MN.

Early Crowds Impressive But Soon Millions Would Attend

North America  (1961)
San Francisco, California  - 500,000 people attended his rally

Latin America (1962 – 1964)
Columbia – one million
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 1.5 million
Sao Paulo, Brazil – 2 million 

Europe (1951-1966)
England  - 833,500
Ireland – 310,000
Spain – 2,554,000

Africa (1955)
Tanzania – 123,000
Uganda – 130,000
Kenya – 55,000
South Africa – 187,000

Asia (1955 - 1985)
Philippines – 2 million
Thailand – 1,000
Singapore -  20,000

 

The message Father Peyton wanted to share at these rallies was simple; family unity through family prayer and his popular slogans still inspire families around the world today:

"The Family That Prays Together Stays Together"

and

"A World at Prayer is a World at Peace"

A Rosary Rally was the culmination of many important events. It was a whole community approach. Father Peyton referred to this process as the Six Mountains.

 

 

Six Mountains for Our Lady

Samples of Six Mountains handbooks from various Rosary Rallies around the world.

Samples of Six Mountains handbooks from various Rosary Rallies around the world.

Securing the Blessing and Support Throughout the Archdiocese

  1. 40 Holy Hours were planned and all were welcome to offer their Holy Hour to Mary, Our Lady, for the success of the Rally.

  2. 40 Masses were offered and all were welcome to pray to Mary, Our Lady, for the success of the Rally.

  3. Homilies were given by local priests about the importance of Family Prayer and to encourage participation in the Rally.

  4. Formation of men and women/educational program - Pledge cards were distributed to and received from families promising to pray and attend the Rally.

  5. Hospital and Prison Campaign to encourage prayer. Visitations were made and people were asked to offer their pains, fears, sufferings, etc. for the success of the Rally.

  6. And finally, The Rosary Rally - Families came together to take part in prayer, worship and the praying of the Rosary. The event included a religious procession, homilies and Benediction (worshipping Christ with prayers, songs and readings before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Monstrance.)

Father Peyton, Rosary in his left hand, at the Rosary Rally in Rio De Janiero, December 16, 1962.

Father Peyton, Rosary in his left hand, at the Rosary Rally in Rio De Janiero, December 16, 1962.

An In-Depth Look: Rio de Janiero

Below we'll take a look at one Rosary Rally as an example to understand Father Peyton's whole-community approach to organizing a rally.

Father Joseph Quinn, C.S.C., looks on as Father Peyton greets the Cardinal.

Father Joseph Quinn, C.S.C., looks on as Father Peyton greets the Cardinal.

Local Support, Holy Hours, Masses and Homilies, August 1962

  • Father Peyton contacted Cardinal Dom Jaime de Barros Camara and the Cardinal gives his blessing and support.
  • Team Assembled - 4 Holy Cross priests, 2 diocescan priests, 9 secular missions. In coordination with diocese and volunteers (men and women, two by two.)
  • A meeting is held with the parish priests.
  • 40 Holy Hours, 40 Masses and Homilies are planned in parishes.

 

School children learn about the Rosary.

Formation - School Children Learn about the Rosary, September 1962

  • Presentations, including stories and films, in schools to reach 600,000 children.
  • Pledge cards are signed.

School children learn about the Rosary.

Prisoners view the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary films.

Prisoners view the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary films.

Campaigns to Encourage Prayer, November 1962

  • Hospital Campaign - 24 hospitals with over 6,000 patients were in attendance. "Very impressed by the divine drama."
  • Prison Campaign - In addition to other prisons, at the Brito Prison, 500 of the 700 prisoners attended the films.

Excitement Builds in Rio, November 1962

  • Letter read in all churches, mentioned in 15 newspapers, and announced on all 3 TV channels and 10 radio stations.
  • 474,500 pledge cards were given to the parishes to be signed by the families promising to have daily prayer in their homes.
  • Publicity Campaign begins: 962,450 publicity materials. Some sponsors included Coca-Cola, Texaco, Ron Bacardi and Gillette.

The Rally as Father Peyton would have seen it, with people as far as the eye could see, lining the streets to hear about the promises of the Family Rosary.

The Rally as Father Peyton would have seen it, with people as far as the eye could see, lining the streets to hear about the promises of the Family Rosary.

The Rosary Rally, December 16, 1962

Interesting Facts:

  • 1.5 million people attend
  • A national football match was rescheduled
  • 200 banners
  • 250 large posters
  • 91,000 small posters
  • 71,000 stickers for cars
  • 20 tons of equipment (Large projectors and film reels! No DVDs or computer equipment at that time!)
  • 1 million signed pledges to pray as a family!

The entire city of Rio de Janeiro was energized about this religious event. Fervor, contentment and peace were reflected in each and everyone's face as Father Peyton shared his popular message of love and unity—

The Family That Prays Together Stays Together.