"Rosary to the Borders"
- An Invitation to the Laity
by the Rt Revd Dom Alistair Bate OSBA (csr)
The purpose of the event was threefold: Firstly, to pray for peace. Secondly, to pray that Europe might yet again be saved from islamisation and thirdly to mark the 100th anniversary of the appartitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
Poland is truly a bright lamp shining in a darkened heathen and secular Europe and it is my hope and prayer that good Catholics everywhere - both inside and outside the Roman Church will learn from Poland and follow her pious example.
“Rosary to the Borders” is a great example of lay involvemnet in evangelisation, and evangelisation is of course the primary need of the world today. Poland may be fortunate in having a healthy church with plenty of vocations, but elsewhere in Europe the clergy are mostly aged and often luke-warm in their faith, as well as their patriotism. So even greater, therefore, is the need for enthusiastic lay apostles.
Obviously we need priests to make Our Lord’s presence visible on the altar, but both clergy and laity can participate equallly in evangelisation with Mary, which need not be at all complicated - family rosary, rosary and other devotions in public places, informal talks with friends and strangers, and above all the distribution of both rosaries and brown scapulars for as St Dominic prophesied, “one day through the rosary and the scapular Our Lady will save the world”. These are the most important weapons in the armoury of the zealous children of Mary and that day foretold long ago by St Dominic is now upon us. The secularisation of Europe, the cradle of Christianity, is almost complete, but the whole of global Christendom needs strengthening and renewal, particularly in the developed world. We need empowered apostles - clerics, lay and religious - to make Our Lady known and loved everywhere, to teach and distribute the rosary, invest converts with the scapular and lead them to the altar.