What could be more evil than an intentional and bloodthirsty attack upon those who are weakest and most in need of the help of others? Procured abortion is precisely this: an abominable crime that cries out to Heaven for vengeance.
With the most ferocious anti-life forces in 35 years arrayed in a blatant, massive, and frontal attack against God’s will in political and national life, there was never a time more in need of prayer. Certain candidates have made clear at every opportunity that they will use every means at their disposal to remove every protection for unborn human life. One in particular swore before a Planned Parenthood gathering that his first act as chief executive would be to sign Freedom of Choice Act, a law designed to eradicate every protection in law for the unborn and to persecute any who support God’s plan for marriage and family life.
The month of October, dedicated to our Lady and her most holy rosary, provides the program of prayer for intercession through the Mother of God that the forces of life will prevail in November.
On his October 19 pilgrimage to Pompeii and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, our Holy Father assigned to all of us the task of prayer for the exorcising of evil from the seats of power in the world and from every human heart. The Pope “put the world in Mary’s hands” as reported by ZENIT News Agency. How appropriate that Bartolo Longo was a Satanic “priest” before his conversion and role as the saintly founder of the magnificent shrine church in this Roman seat of vice and sensual pleasure, destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.
“The Pope’s leading of the Supplication of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, a prayer written by Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926), was one of the high points of this 12th pastoral trip in Italy.
“ ‘We implore you to have pity today on the nations that have gone astray, on all Europe, on the whole world, that they might repent and return to your heart,’ the text of the prayer reads.
“With the words of Bartolo, the Pontiff turned to Mary, saying: ‘If you will not help us because we are ungrateful and unworthy children of your protection, we will not know to whom to turn.’
“In a gesture of filial love, the Pope then offered the Madonna a golden rose. The Holy Father traveled by helicopter . . . to Pompeii, and was welcomed by 50,000 faithful. This is the third time a Pope has visited the shrine.
“Pompeii was destroyed by the lava and ashes from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79.
“The new Pompeii arose 1,796 years later, when, in 1872, Bartolo Longo, a lawyer and lay Dominican, built a church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.
“The shrine contains an image of Mary to which hundreds of miracles and healings are attributed.
“In the homily delivered during Holy Mass today, the Pope evoked the figure of Bartolo Longo, who, like St. Paul, had persecuted the Church, ‘becoming militantly anticlerical and engaging in spiritualist and superstitious practices.’
“Longo was a Satanist priest who later repented when he encountered the ‘true face of God,’ the Holy Father said.
“ ‘Wherever God comes in this desert, flowers bloom,’ said Benedict XVI. ‘Even Blessed Bartolo Longo, with his personal conversion, bears witness to this spiritual power that transforms man from within and makes him capable of doing great things according to God’s designs.
“ ‘This city, which he refounded, is thus a historical demonstration of how God transforms the world: filling man’s heart with charity.’
“ ‘Here in Pompeii,” the Pope continued, ‘it is understood that love for God and love for neighbor are inseparable.’
“ ‘Here at Mary’s feet, families rediscover or reinforce the joy of love that keeps them united.’
“The secret of Pompeii, the Holy Father revealed, is the rosary: ‘This prayer leads us through Mary to Jesus.’
“ ‘The rosary is a contemplative prayer that is accessible to all: great and small, lay people and clerics, cultured and uncultured,’ he said. ‘The rosary is a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil, against all violence, for peace in hearts, in families, in society, and in the world’.”
Faithfully and frequently pray the rosary to invoke the Lord’s power through the intercession of His Most Holy Mother in this new “Battle of Lepanto,” that with God’s power the forces of good and of life in this world may overcome the powers of evil which threaten the family, the basic cell of society and the privileged place where new life comes into the world.
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(Fr. Cusick's column, "A Leaven in the World", is published weekly in The Wanderer Catholic newspaper. Contact Fr Cusick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo by AP.)