On October 12, the St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Indian Creek will host the Rosary Crusade at 12 p.m. The crusade will be led by Veronica O’Connor, of Indian Creek, at the young age of 100. This year marks 102 years of the Our Lady of Fatima, of Portugal.
O’Connor will lead the congregation in prayer for the conversion of the United States. Every denomination is invited to join in on what is known as the Public Square Rosary Rally. The event is sponsored by America Needs Fatima, and will be one of 25,000 rallies that will take the place all across the United States on this day. They will be offering reparation for the sins and offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to fervently pray for the conversion of the United States. All rallies are scheduled to start at the same time in which is near the time the miracle of the sun took place in Fatima in 1917. “The goal is to honor Our Lady and Our Lord within the same time frame,” stated Francis Slobodnik, Rosary Rally Coordinator.
In, October of 2007, America Needs Fatima launched 2,100 Public Square Rosary Rallies that were held in public squares, busy intersections, city parks, in front of town halls and local abortion clinics across America. This was in honor of the ninetieth anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
This year it is an estimated one million Catholics will attend and pray for the conversion of America. It is projected a total of 25,000 separate rallies will take place at the same time. The Rosary Crusade has been held every year for the last 20 years and it now 10 times bigger then the first.
America Needs Fatima is a campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a Catholic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its stated goal is to “win the heart and soul of America for Mary by spreading Our Lady of Fatima message and promoting devotion to her Immaculate Heart.”
America Needs Fatima(ANF) was founded in February 1985. C. Preston Noell III was its first Executive Director until 1996, when leadership of the organization passed to Robert E. Ritchie, who remains Executive Director today. America Needs Fatima claims an active membership of 193,000. The headquarters are in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
ANF is The American TFP’s special campaign to spread the Fatima message in the United States. The goal of America Needs Fatima is to win the heart and soul of America for Mary by spreading Our Lady’s Fatima message and promoting devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
ANF sees the essence of Our Lady’s message is to open our eyes to the gravity of today’s moral corruption, to explain it in light of God’s plans, and to outline how to prevent the chastisement. Our Lady is thus teaching us about our epoch and our future.
ANF is involved in advocacy and education on a range of issues, including abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and socialism. It applies the message of Our Lady of Fatima to what it sees as the “moral crisis” in society. It has protested films, plays, and art exhibits it considers blasphemous or otherwise offensive to Catholicism. Protests consist of sending protest cards, phone calls, or e-mail protests as well as street demonstrations outside the theater or museum.
The Miracle of the Sun was an event that occurred on October 13, 1917, attended by a large crowd who had gathered near Fatima, Portugal in response to a prophecy made by three shepherd children that the Virgin Mary, referred to as Our Lady of Fatima, would appear and perform miracles on that date. Newspapers published testimony from reporters and other people who claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity, such as the sun appearing to dance or zig-zag in the sky, careen towards the earth, or emit multicolored light and radiant colors. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.
There has been much analysis of the event from critical sociological and scientific perspectives. According to critics, the eyewitness testimony was actually a collection of inconsistent and contradictory accounts. Proposed alternate explanations include witnesses being deceived by their senses due to prolonged staring at the sun and then seeing something unusual as they had expected.