"For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" -Matthew 18:20
These word from Jesus Christ, Himself, urge us to pray together!
One of the largest Group Rosaries ever prayed was at Fatima in
October 1917, where, in answer to the prayers of the Faithful as Our Lady had requested, the Miracle of the Sun took place and many conversions and miracles took place!
Besides the extreme hardships of World War I, there had been, in Portugal, a very keen religious persecution in the form of anti-clericalism which pervaded the country after the establishment of the Portuguese First Republic in 1910.
"Catholic churches and schools were seized by the government, and the wearing of clerics in public, the ringing of church bells, and the celebrating of popular religious festivals were banned. Between 1911-1916, nearly 2,000 priests, monks and nuns were killed by anti-Christian groups." ( From Catholic New Agency: "everything-you-need-to-know-about-fatima-part-1")
As well, it must be remembered that during the month of August, the Children of Fatima were deceived by the local mayor, Arthur Santo, who was also an Apostate Catholic and Mason. He conned the children to accept a ride from him to the shrine for the visitation of Our Lady on August 13th. Instead of taking them to the Cova de Iria as promised, however, this evil man kidnapped them and inflicted upon them some of the worst mental torture possible for a 6,7 and 9 yr old by threatening them with death via boiling oil immersion to get them to confess to a conspiracy of lies concerning the Apparitions at Fatima!
As these children were told previously by the Blessed Virgin Mary in the month of July that they would have much to suffer and that in fact, Francisco and Jacinta would soon be taken to Heaven, these children had no doubt this is what Our Lady was asking of them to suffer i.e. to receive the palm of martyrdom that August 13th!
Instead of despairing in prison with the adult prisoners as the mayor gleefully hoped, this little band of prayer warriors rallied the prisoners together for a group rosary kneeling right there in the dank prison cell with the courage of soldiers in battle! They bore these sufferings for the conversion of sinners as Mary had asked and they were willing to become martyrs if need be!!!
We must remember this fearlessness and gallantry for God and Our Lady that these Children of Fatima exhibited, when we are being faced with quarantines, curfews, lock-downs, and mask mandates!
Previous to this kidnapping, on July 13, 1917, Our Lady Fatima told the children:
“Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.”
She had repeatedly asked the children together to pray the rosary for the end of the War during the six months of her visitations. Despite the atmosphere of anti-clericalism and the oppressive acts of the agents of Freemasonry, every month on the 13th, the crowds grew until it is believed 70,000 people were present for the October visitation in which Mary performed the Miracle of the Sun!
The Catholic Faithful back then still knew and believed that praying together in groups was a powerful weapon against the sworn enemies of the Church and they had the reassurances of the Church’s pontiffs and Church History to prove it! And as a result, they were rewarded with the greatest public miracle in the history of the World!
The popes, in bygone eras, have encouraged this exhortation of public group prayer especially by persuading the people to have recourse to Our Lady through the rosary in groups and publicly!
Saint Louis de Montfort, in his book, The Secret of the Rosary, states:
In his bull on the Rosary, Pope Gregory XIII says very clearly that we must believe (on pious faith) that the public prayers and processions of members of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary were largely responsible for the great victory over the Turkish navy at Lepanto which Almighty God granted to Christians on the first Sunday of October 1571....
Pope Pius IX encouraged Catholics:"Give me one million families praying the Rosary and the world is saved."
He also said, "If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, in your country, assemble every evening to recite the Rosary."
Pope St. Pius X said, "Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world."
Clearly, these Pontiffs were not just encouraging the people; they were imploring the people to pray the Rosary together in groups.
Even Saints have promoted this! St. Louis Marie de Montfort, in his The Secret of the Rosary said...
"When people say the Rosary together it is far more formidable to the devil than one said privately, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking. It is very easy to break a single stick, but if you join it to others to make a bundle, it cannot be broken. In union, there is strength."
(In the picture above one can see the “Miracle of the Doves” that had occurred as a result of the outpouring of devotion and love that the Portuguese Catholic Faithful showed Our Lady in 1946 with prayers and processions- - once again, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s physical expression of grace showered to the faithful as a result of public prayer and devotion!)
St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s list of group Rosary benefits in his chapter, FORTY-SIXTH ROSE: GROUP RECITATION ...
FORTY-SIXTH ROSE: GROUP RECITATION
THERE ARE SEVERAL ways of saying the Holy Rosary, but that which gives Almighty God the greatest glory, does the most for our souls and which the devil fears more than any other, is that of saying or chanting the Rosary publicly in two groups.
Almighty God is very pleased to have people gathered together in prayer; the angels and the blessed unite to praise Him unceasingly. The just on earth in several communities join in communal prayer night and day. Our Blessed Lord expressly recommended common prayer to His Apostles and disciples and promised that whenever two or three were gathered together in His name He would be there in the midst of them. (Cf. Matt. 18:20)
What a wonderful thing to have Jesus Christ in our midst! And the only thing we have to do to get Him to come is to say the Rosary in a group.  This is why the early Christians often gathered together to pray in spite of all the Roman Emperor's persecutions and the fact that assemblies were forbidden. They preferred to risk the danger of death rather than to miss their gatherings, at which Our Lord was present.
This way of praying is of the greatest benefit to our souls because:
1. Normally our minds are far more alert during public prayer than they are when we pray alone.
2. When we pray in common, the prayer of each one belongs to us all and these make but one great prayer together, so that if one person is not praying well, someone else in the same gathering who prays better may make up for his deficiency. In this way those who are strong uphold the weak, those who are fervent inspire the lukewarm, the rich enrich the poor, the bad are counted as good. How can a measure of cockle be sold? This can be done very easily by mixing it up with four or five barrels of good wheat.
3. Somebody who says his Rosary alone only gains the merit of one Rosary, but if he says it together with thirty other people he gains the merit of thirty Rosaries. This is the law of public prayer. How profitable, how advantageous this is!
4. Urban VIII, who was very pleased to see how devotion to the Holy Rosary had spread in Rome and how it was being said in two groups or choirs, particularly at the convent of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, attached one hundred days' extra indulgence, toties quoties, whenever the Rosary was said in two choirs. This was set out in his brief "Ad perpetuam rei memoriam," written in the year 1626. So every time you say the Rosary in two groups you gain one hundred days' extra indulgence.
S. Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down His Mercy and Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering.
In his bull on the Rosary, Pope Gregory XIII says very clearly that we must believe (on pious faith) that the public prayers and processions of members of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary were largely responsible for the great victory over the Turkish navy at Lepanto which Almighty God granted to Christians on the first Sunday of October, 1571.
Parish recitation of the rosary before or after Mass in front of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of tabernacle is extremely efficacious in drawing down graces upon the Faithful.
In Part 2 of this article, the History of the Block Rosary will be addressed…. It is our hopeful intention to inspire all people to at least pray the Rosary with their families daily, even better to form groups in their neighborhoods or in their parishes which is known as Block Rosaries…to be continued…
(This lovely painting of "Our Lady of the Rosary" surrounded by Mother Mariana, Mother Taboada and other Conceptionist Sisters can be found in the Upper Choir of the Monastery in Quito, Ecuador)
“The Rosary has been instituted by St. Dominic to appease the anger of God and to implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Here is a beautiful talk given by Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea - Listen before removed: