On the feast day of the Miracle of the Sun (Oct. 13), St. Bernadette, St. Lucie, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Joseph and Holy Family parishes joined together to publicly pray the rosary on Port St. Lucie Boulevard.
The Miracle of the Sun, which occurred on Oct. 13, 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, was a phenomenon witnessed by more than 70,000 people, who reported that the sun appeared to be spinning and changing colors in the sky that day.
Maria Egerton, leader of the rosary rally, said, “The message of Fatima from Our Lady is to change our lives and to turn back to God. I always pray for an end to abortion.”
At the rosary rally, participants received literature from the parish pastors that explained the importance of praying the rosary in public. The pamphlets emphasized that public prayer is a powerful act of witness to the faith in bringing about conversions and encouraging former Catholics to return to the Church.
Many at the rally noted that the rosary draws the faithful closer to the saving power of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as was promised by the Blessed Mother at Fatima.
Ormie Browne, who has been leading public rosaries for almost 20 years, said, “The Blessed Mother told us at Fatima that we need to pray the rosary for peace. We need her intercession now more than ever for families, for the world, for conversions and for a change in hearts back to God.”
Many families participated in public prayer at the rally, including the Ramirez family, parishioners of Holy Family Catholic Church in Port St. Lucie. “I want my daughter to pray the rosary so that she grows up with a deep faith to keep her on the right path,” said Mariella Ramirez. “Mary has always been in my life in a similar way. Prayer is what we need—our children need prayer.”
Teresa Dunn, a parishioner of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Port St. Lucie, said, “I have been praying the rosary at the rally for three years now. The rosary is powerful and it’s our answer for peace.”
“There is so much violence in the world,” said Cheryl Zambarrano, a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Port St. Lucie. “Violence comes from the heart, and we need a change in heart. We need to pray the rosary for guidance to lead us on to the right path.”
Mila O’Connor, a parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stuart, quoted the Venerable Father Patrick Peyton, whom Pope Francis monikered “the rosary priest” in the 2017 veneration recognizing Fr. Peyton’s heroic virtues towards the sanctity of life. “‘The family that prays together, stays together,’” quoted O’Connor.
Similarly, Bobbi Hiliyard referenced Father Peyton’s charism in regard to devotional prayer through the rosary. “Father Peyton's quotes are even more appropriate now than they were years ago. ‘A world at prayer is a world at peace’—when people spend enough time in prayer, they see things in a different light. It makes them more tolerant of others.”
For more information on rosary-centered events throughout the Diocese of Palm Beach, visit the events page at diocesepb.org. To learn more about the rosary and its application in prayer, visit usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/index.cfm.
By Aleen Stanton, Florida Catholic correspondent
Port St. Lucie