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Speaking Out: Give prayer a chance

By  Angelica Vecchiato, Youth Speak News
  • May 5, 2021

The recent launch of the Vatican’s global rosary “marathon” during May, targeted at praying for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, comes as Canadians experience despair brought on by a third lockdown spanning the nation.

With discouragement soaring through the roof, one may entertain dubious thoughts on the efficacy of prayer and of this novel initiative. The skeptics question internally, “I mean, I’ve been praying through the whole pandemic and the situation remains the same. Why would praying now even make a difference?”

The words and promises of Our Lady of Fatima counter cynical misgivings about praying during a crisis. In 1917, she heralded messages to the three shepherd children in a time of extreme global turbulence. The First World War was raging across Europe, and the world was on the tip of being devastated by the Spanish Flu.

Despite the harrowing forecast for the world, Mother Mary sought to console her earthly children with this simple assurance: “Continue to pray the rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.”

Through the persistence of the Portuguese shepherd children, who prayed with dedication and offered sacrifices as penance, the Miracle of the Sun was precipitated, converting many and leading some to believe it brought a sooner than expected end to the war.

The miracles of the rosary are not limited to the early part of the 20th century. In 1945, the atom bomb unleashed upon Hiroshima killed thousands, and thousands more suffered from the devastation of radiation. Some Jesuits living in a parish house only eight blocks from ground zero were completely spared from the damaging repercussions. Countless scientific  studies were unable explain the healthy condition of these missionary priests, who avowed simply that the daily praying of the rosary explained their good fortune.

Thus, for those doubting Thomases out there, do not get discouraged and do not question the grand miracle of your faith. Your prayers have power — a power to change the world. The prayers of the rosary, albeit perhaps simple, give rise to tremendous global efforts designated to ending physical and emotional suffering as well as promoting peace worldwide. We have learned from the Fatima children the prayers of youth have a special impact. In fact, it is for this reason that Pope Francis’ first rosary to launch the prayer marathon was led by children and teenagers from Rome.

The way I see it, we are being called to higher and nobler purposes. With our youthful ambition and energy, why not dedicate ourselves through praying the rosary to improving the state of the world? What if your prayers are the only ones needed to make a difference?

I implore young Catholics to take this initiative to heart. With youth united and praying, God only knows what awesome deeds could be accomplished worldwide.

(Vecchiato, 16, is a Grade 11 student at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.) 

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