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(LifeSiteNews) – “Let’s do the Rosary together. And stay prayed up. You gotta stay prayed up.” Mark Wahlberg posted that message on Instagram a few days ago.

Though the phrasing made me chuckle a bit, the sentiment is spot on. Wahlberg, who plays Fr. Stu in the movie of the same name, is also now leading the Rosary on the Hallow app. He created that Instagram video to encourage people to pray.


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Like so many of us, he understands that our country, our society, and our families need prayers every day.

Wahlberg is one of the few in Hollywood who is not afraid to stand up for his faith. While others are worrying about what they wear, or who’s dating or slapping whom, Walhberg is advocating for prayer, for Mass attendance, and for a dedication to the Rosary.

It’s a perfect message, especially as we draw nearer the end of April and begin May—a month devoted to our Blessed Mother.

It’s said that the Rosary is one of the greatest spiritual weapons we could possibly have. Many people — especially non-Catholics — don’t understand that. They haven’t seen the beauty of the Rosary, heard of the miracles, or read about Fatima where Our Lady urged us to pray the Rosary.

I find it both refreshing and inspiring that a star like Wahlberg would encourage people to pray the Rosary. We desperately need people who aren’t afraid to stand up and encourage prayer. We need their examples, and then we need to become that example for others, especially our families.

Seeing Wahlberg’s video reminded me of Fr. Patrick Peyton and his plea for families to say the Rosary together. Fr. Patrick was a graduate of Notre Dame and a friend and classmate of my late-great-uncle and fellow CSC priest Robert Lochner. My Uncle Bob helped him launch his radio program that would eventually have as one of its mottos “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together.”

It all began with Fr. Peyton’s desire to see 10 million families pray the Rosary. He knew that the best way to get his message out was through television and radio, and he was able to persuade a television producer to give him airtime.

So on May 13, 1945, according to the site dedicated to this “Rosary Priest,” “families all over the country heard a program like no other, featuring Archbishop Spellman of New York, President Harry Truman, Bing Crosby and the parents and sister of the Sullivan family of Iowa leading the Rosary. Five brothers from that family had lost their lives when their ship went down in the war. Father Peyton finished the program with an impassioned plea for families to pray the Rosary together for peace.”

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What an amazing show that must have been! Following that, Fr. Peyton had a radio show that ran for 22 years.

But why May 13 as the start date? That was the day in 1917 that Mary first appeared to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima. She would appear five more times.

Thus, as we approach May and that special feast day, I encourage you to pray the Rosary. Pray for peace. Pray for strength. Pray for a return to a culture of life. Pray with the Marian Blue Wave for tiny preborn babies.

Our country needs prayers now more than ever, and as we read the news and see evidence of the insidious nature of the culture of death with restrictions on prayer, the increased embracing of assisted suicide, and of screams for abortion “rights,” we realize that a country so far removed from morals and from God will surely perish. We need God. We need prayer.

So heed the words of Fr. Patrick Peyton. Heed the words of Mark Wahlberg. Pray the Rosary, involve your family. Do not be embarrassed to pray in front of others.

Do not be embarrassed to advocate prayer. Teach your spouse, your children, and any other family members not only how to pray the Rosary but how to love praying the Rosary, for it is indeed true that the family who prays together stays together.

Susan Ciancio is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has worked as a writer and editor for nearly 19 years; 13 of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently, she is the editor of American Life League’s Celebrate Life Magazine—the nation’s premier Catholic pro-life magazine. She is also the executive editor of ALL’s Culture of Life Studies Program—a pre-K-12 Catholic pro-life education organization.


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