The Rosary: Hope for Man and the World

For centuries, the Rosary has been a special prayer, whose effectiveness has been attested to by many graces, miraculous divine interventions, reformations and healings. Our Lady, many saints and doctors of the Church, actively encouraged the faithful to recite it. However, in the 20th century, the Rosary showed its power in an absolutely exceptional way.

In 2017, we celebrated the centennial of the Fatima apparitions, in which the Virgin Mary appealed to mankind for reformation and to take up penance and prayer – especially the Rosary. It is worth reminding ourselves and considering yet again how the Rosary has saved people in unbelievable ways, entire communities and nations reciting it, and on many occasions it has changed the course of history by saving the world from total annihilation. The Miracle on the Vistula, the miraculous liberation of Austria from the Soviet occupation in 1955, a peaceful revolution in the Philippines in 1986, the fall of communism in certain countries – all these events would not have occurred, had not it been for the rosary. However, two miracles are absolutely exceptional: they happened when everything should have been annihilated.

It protects against a nuclear bomb

In the morning of August 6, 1945, the first of the two atom bombs that Americans dropped over Japan exploded above Hiroshima, just eight blocks away from the monastery of the Jesuit Fathers. This event was well-remembered by the then prior of the monastic community, Fr. Hubert Schiffer. He had just finished celebrating Mass and was about to have his breakfast when suddenly everything was shaken by a mighty explosion. “It came as an absolute surprise. Suddenly…, in the blink of an eye, there appeared around me a supernatural unbearable blaze; an unimaginably bright, dazzling, intensive light. I could not see or think. For a short while, everything stood motionless… Suddenly, the air was filled by a terrible explosion with a single lightning. An invisible force lifted me from my chair, cast me in the air, shook and knocked me around like a leaf in a fall wind. Suddenly the light went out. Everything was dark, silent and empty. I was conscious, because I tried to think about what had happened. I groped around in the total darkness engulfing me… It was then that I heard my own voice. This was the most terrifying experience of all as it proved that I was alive and convinced me that some terrible disaster had taken place.” The entire Jesuit community of eight men survived the explosion. How was this possible if within the radius of half a kilometer from the epicenter of where the atomic bomb fell, killing all residents of Hiroshima? Admittedly, two persons survived but soon afterwards died of the radiation sickness. What is more, the structure of the Jesuit church remained intact while surrounding buildings were totally demolished. Moreover, having received such a high dose of radiation, all the Jesuits should have died of the radiation sickness within two or three weeks. “Meanwhile, until the end of their long lives, they enjoyed good health. It was so inexplicable for science that American scientists examined Fr. Schiffer over two hundred times in an attempt to find out why he survived.” They also wanted to “find a means of protecting people against the effects of a nuclear explosion. They did not find anything except an explanation repeated by the Jesuit: ‘In this house, we prayed the rosary every day. In this house, we relived the Fatima message every day’” (Quotes from W. Łaszewski, Wszystko o różańcu, który może wszystko [Everything about the Rosary that can do everything])

“Pray as long as you can, but always pray more: each of you should pray as many as four hours a day” (Our Lady in Medjugorje)

“A ball of fire” and the miraculous salvation of “the Japanese Niepokalanów”

The second nuclear attack that Japan sustained occurred only a few days after the annihilation of Hiroshima. This time, Nagasaki was targeted. There, too, a Franciscan monastery, built by St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, survived in an inexplicable manner. When in 1930, Fr. Kolbe arrived in Japan, he was given a plot of land by the bishop to build a monastery. His companions, however, tried to persuade Fr. Kolbe to change the location, because the plot was inconvenient as it lay on the steep slope of inaccessible Mount Hikosan and occupied an ancient outlying cemetery of Christian martyrs overgrown by wild vegetation. An alternative site was located in the Urakami district, on the shore of a bay, inhabited by 15,000 Christians and boasting the largest Christian temple of the then Far East – the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. In spite of this very favorable location, Fr. Kolbe did not change his mind. When he visited the site, he said: “We cannot build a monastery here; soon a ball of fire will drop here and destroy everything.” Thus, the slope of Mount Hikosan was chosen. The choice, in hindsight, proved to be beneficial. When 14 years later, Nagasaki suffered a nuclear attack, the bomb was dropped on the first building identified by the bomber pilot: the Cathedral. The explosion destroyed everything within the radius of 1.6 km, while city districts situated further away from the epicenter were laid waste by multiple fires. Meanwhile, the buildings of Fr. Kolbe’s monastery, being in part timbered structures, had only their windows broken…

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