Archbishop to Catholics: Pray the rosary through July 4

| May 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Members of the Knights of Columbus color guard carry a statue of Mary to the Cathedral of St. Paul May 3. The statue led a procession of hundreds of Catholics from the Minnesota State Capitol to the Cathedral. Maria Wiering / The Catholic Spirit

Members of the Knights of Columbus color guard carry a statue of Mary to the Cathedral of St. Paul May 3. The statue led a procession of hundreds of Catholics from the Minnesota State Capitol to the Cathedral. Maria Wiering / The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop John Nienstedt called on Catholics to pray the rosary daily through July 4 for the success of efforts to support and protect religious freedom in the United States.

“A rosary crusade is needed now as it has been needed in the past,” he said.

He made the request May 3 in a homily in the Cathedral of St. Paul following the annual May rosary procession.

The July 4 date coincides with the end of the U.S. bishops’ 4th annual Fortnight for Freedom, two weeks dedicated to prayer, service and advocacy for religious freedom in the U.S. that begins June 21.

Archbishop Nienstedt also said that Mary is “desperately” needed “during these days of struggle and difficulty” and encouraged people to pray the rosary for her intercession.

“Every age faces its own challenges, but this present era in which we live, both locally and nationally, is one that seems to be particularly grave,” he said, listing moral relativism, systemic economic injustices, widespread radical individualism, greater numbers of poor and marginalized people, abortion, and Catholics abandoning the faith.

“In the face of our own challenges, great and small, our Blessed Mother still says to us, ‘Do whatever he tells you,’” Archbishop Nienstedt said, referring to the wedding feast of Cana. “Christ calls us to loving fidelity in our daily duties, the taking up of small and great crosses with faith and hope, and the constant willingness to forgive and serve those of whom he has placed our lives.”

He added: “Like the rosary, in which the same words are repeated over and over again, our one and only lives are to be something extraordinary through the repetition of the ordinary animated by divine charity, that life of God given to us in baptism and strengthened through the walking of the Christian pilgrimage with zeal and fervor.”

In Catholic tradition, May is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Hundreds of Catholics processed behind a statue of Mary from the Minnesota State Capitol down John Ireland Boulevard to the Cathedral May 3 for the 68th annual rosary procession, which culminated with the crowning of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and a liturgy with Marian hymns and eucharistic adoration.

The rosary procession was sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Worship and the Family Rosary Processions Association.

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