Throughout history many miracles have occurred; great conversions, healing and escaping death, and the thwarting of wars and other evils. There are so many testimonies out there! Some of us may even have our own stories as well. And many of these inexplicable miracles were obtained by the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother through the recitation of the Holy Rosary.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “the power of the rosary is beyond description.” And St. Padre Pio said, “the rosary is the weapon.”
Here are some of the most well-known demonstrations of the power of the Holy Rosary in history!
Hiroshima, 1945: The Rosary Protects Jesuit Priests from the Atom Bomb
World War II, August 6, 1945. Approximately 140,000 people were killed or injured when an atomic bomb was dropped on the town of Hiroshima, Japan. Eight blocks from where the bomb went off, there was a home that had a church attached to it. The church was completely destroyed, but the house survived along with the eight German Jesuit missionaries who prayed the rosary there faithfully daily. The men were missionaries to the Japanese people, and non-military. But because Germany and Japan were allies during the war they were permitted to live and minister within Japan at the time.
The survivors only suffered minor injuries, but what’s more is that they all lived well past that horrific day with no radiation sickness, no hearing loss, or any other type of long term defect or ailment. Amazed by this, scientists and specialists interviewed and examined the men numerous times. According to one of the survivors, Fr. Schiffer, they were examined over 200 times. Sharing their extraordinary experience they’ve said, “we believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the rosary daily in that home.”
Austria, 1955: The Rosary Sets the Austrian People Free
After WWII, Catholic Austria was put under the totalitarian rule of communist Russia for three years. Fr. Petrus, a Franciscan priest, one day remembered the story of how Christians in the sixteenth century defeated the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto through the Rosary, despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered. Fr. Petrus launched a rosary crusade, and 70,000 people pledged to pray the rosary daily to free Austria from Russian rule. Although Austria was considered valuable to the Soviets due to its strategic location and rich resources, on May 13, 1955, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, the atheistic Russian regime, in a completely unprecedented move, signed an agreement to leave Austria. Not a single person was killed, or one shot fired. Today, historians and military experts still cannot explain how or why the Russians pulled out of Austria.
1571: The Victory at the Battle of Lepanto
I’ve recounted at length the entire story of this miraculous victory in a previous post, which you can view HERE. I did, however, come across something really interesting in relation to this great battle. The crucifix pictured above came from the ship of Don Juan of Austria. During battle, the Turks shot a cannon at his ship, and the Corpus amazingly moved to the right, avoiding the shot. It has stayed that way ever since. Today, the crucifix is venerated at the Cathedral San Eulalia in Barcelona, Spain.
Also, another interesting fact, during battle Admiral Andrea Doria carried a small image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This image is today venerated in the Church of San Stefano in Aveto, Italy.
1986: The Defeat of Dictatorship in the Philippines
The people of the Philippines were living in poverty and starving while President Marcos and his wife Imelda lived in the lap of luxury. Even today people still joke about Imelda’s 3000 pairs of shoes, 15 mink coats, 1000 purses, and 508 fancy gowns.
The citizens wanted a new president; Benigno Aquino, nicknamed Ninoy. He was brutally assassinated in front of his wife and family while stepping off a plane to run for office in Manila. After her husband’s murder, Corazon “Cory” Aquino became active in politics, protesting against the Marcos regime. The people fervently urged Cory to run for President, and when they presented her with one million signatures for her to do so, she accepted the people’s wishes.
Marcos called a snap election on February 7, 1986, which became a violent, fraud-filled spectacle. Declared the winner by his corrupt government, President Marcos took control of the media and ordered the military to silence any protests.
Cardinal Sin of the Archdiocese of Manila called for a peaceful protest, and the Catholic people came out in droves. Surrounded by military tanks and armed soldiers, the people prayed the rosary, and sang religious and protest songs. Masses and prayer vigils took place in the churches.
The protest continued for nearly a week when unexpectedly the soldiers backed stepped away from their tanks, lowered their weapons, and joined the crowd. Marcos fled the country on February 26, 1986, and the entire nation took to the streets to celebrate. Prayers of thanksgiving and holy masses were held in gratitude to God. As new President, Cory Aquino made sweeping changes and the Philippines became a free and democratic country. To this day people are in awe that the evil, corrupt regime of Marcos was completely overturned through peaceful means.
Late 1800’s: Former Satanist, Bartolo Longo, Converts & Restores Faith in Pompeii
Born in 1841, Bartolo Longo came from a devout Catholic family, and decided to study law when he grew up. Naples was experiencing a great spiritual crisis at the time; paganism and satanism, and all sorts of occult practices were abounding. Caught up by such influences, Bartolo became a satanic priest, much to the disappointment of his family who tried dearly to convert him.
As satanism began to torment him, his family convinced Bartolo to make a good confession. Alberto Radente, a saintly Dominican priest, helped lead him back to the true faith and encouraged his devotion to the Holy Rosary. Bartolo had a miraculous conversion, and in 1870 became a third order Dominican and chose to live a life in penance for all the terrible sins he had committed against the church.
One day, he nearly succumbed to the sin of despair, feeling that God would never forgive his sins. At that moment, he received divine inspiration and remembered the Blessed Mother’s promise that she would assist in all their necessities those who propagate her rosary.
Bartolo quickly set out to restore the battered chapel at Pompeii, and promote the rosary to anyone who’d listen. Pamphlets about the rosary were distributed to help the people learn to pray this powerful devotion. He tried to find an image of Our Lady of the Rosary worthy of hanging in the chapel, but was only offered a worm-eaten painting with an image that he felt was coarse and not worthy of veneration. However, he accepted it from the convent in which it was stored.
As Bartolo continued his work of propagating the rosary, the chapel’s membership grew tremendously, and many miracles began to be associated with Our Lady of Pompeii. Cures and spiritual conversions occurred due to the devotions through this new shrine. The people pledged their support to have a large church built that would properly honor Our Lady of the Rosary.
In 1894, Bartolo and his wife gave the church over to the care of the Vatican. The original image found in the convent was restored for the last time in 1965, and Pope Paul VI crowned the heads of Jesus and Mary with diadems given by the people of Pompeii. On October 26, 1980, Bartolo Longo was beatified by John Paul II who called him ‘the man of the Madonna’ and the ‘Apostle of the Rosary’.
1978: The Rosary Stops a Serial Killer
3:00 AM, January 15, 1978. Ted Bundy entered the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University, murdering two girls before searching for more victims. When he entered a third girl’s room with a bat as his weapon, he spotted a rosary clutched in her hand. Bundy suddenly dropped the bat, and fled.
Afterwards, the girl told the authorities that before she left for college she promised her grandmother to pray the rosary every night for protection, even if she fell asleep during it. This is what she’d been doing that night, still holding the rosary when Bundy entered her room with intentions to kill. Later Bundy confessed to over thirty murders.
Fr. Joseph M. Esper writes in his book With Mary to Jesus, “Ironically, when Ted Bundy was on death row, awaiting execution for his crimes, he asked Monsignor Kerr to serve as a spiritual counselor, and the priest took the opportunity to ask about that terrible night. Bundy explained that when he entered the girl’s room, he had fully intended on murdering her; some mysterious power was preventing him.”
Fr. Esper adds, “And not only does it (the rosary) aid our own spiritual growth — it also undermines the kingdom of Satan” The famous Vatican exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth testified, “One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism, ‘Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.”
The Rosary Priest, Fr. Patrick Peyton
Fr. Patrick Peyton was born on January 9,1909 in County Mayo, Ireland. He was the sixth among a family of nine children. At age 19 he and his brother, Tom, emigrated to the United States. He wanted to become a priest, but his family in Ireland could not financially afford the required education.
He moved in with his sister Nellie and obtained a job working as a janitor at St. Stanislaus Cathedral in Pennsylvania. With the help of Monsignor Paul Kelley, Patrick was able to pursue his schooling to become a priest. He entered the seminary at the Congregation of Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Indiana in 1932.
In October, 1938, he began coughing blood and doctors discovered he had advanced stages of Tuberculosis, which in those days were incurable. His sister Nellie encouraged him to ask our Holy Mother for help. Patrick consecrated himself completely to Mary and devoted himself to praying the Rosary. The doctors discovered that the patches on his lungs had disappeared with no scientific explanation. With this miraculous cure through the Rosary of our Holy Mother, Fr. Peyton vowed to Mary that he would promote the rosary all his life. On June 15, 1941, Fr. Patrick Peyton was ordained a priest.
Fr. Peyton was one of the first evangelizers to use the electronic media to spread the word of God, in particular, that families pray the rosary together. Fr. Peyton coined the phrase, “The family that prays together, stays together.” Fr. Patrick Peyton died peacefully on June 3, 1992 holding a rosary in his hands. The cause for his sainthood began on June 1, 2001.
The Rosary Saves a King from Eternal Fire
From St. Louis de Montfort’s Secret of the Rosary:
Our Lady blesses not only those who preach her Rosary, but she highly rewards all those who get others to say it by their example.
Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all his servants to honor the Blessed Virgin by saying the Rosary. So he used to hang a large rosary on his belt and always wore it, but unfortunately never said it himself. Nevertheless his wearing it encouraged his courtiers to say the Rosary very devoutly.
One day the King fell seriously ill and when he was given up for dead he found himself, in a vision, before the judgment seat of Our Lord. Many devils were there accusing him of all the sins he had committed and Our Lord as Sovereign Judge was just about to condemn him to hell when Our Lady appeared to intercede for him. She called for a pair of scales and had his sins placed in one of the balances whereas she put the rosary that he had always worn on the other scale, together with all the Rosaries that had been said because of his example. It was found that the Rosaries weighed more than his sins.
Looking at him with great kindness Our Lady said: “As a reward for this little honor that you paid me in wearing my Rosary, I have obtained a great grace for you from my Son. Your life will be spared for a few more years. See that you spend these years wisely, and do penance.”
When the King regained consciousness he cried out: “Blessed be the Rosary of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, by which I have been delivered from eternal damnation!”
After he had recovered his health he spent the rest of his life in spreading devotion to the Holy Rosary and said it faithfully every day.
People who love the Blessed Virgin out to follow the example of King Alphonsus and that of the saints whom I have mentioned so that they too may win other souls for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. They will then receive great graces on earth and eternal life later on. “They that explain me shall have life everlasting life.”  Ecclus. 24:31
1962-1964: Brazil is Saved from Communism
The world was in a state of fear and confusion. Russia was trying to make headway in converting as many countries as possible to Communism under their rule. Impoverished nations with corrupt governments in turmoil were easy targets. Cuba had just fallen to the Soviets in 1960, and Brazil was another planned conquest. The president of Brazil, Joao Goulart, was pushing for a Communist form of government. He began to install known Communists into high governmental positions while at the same time dispatching representatives to convince the citizens that Communism was good for the country.
With Catholicism still thriving in the country, Cardinal de Barros Camara told people through a weekly radio address that by following the directives of Our Lady of Fatima regarding prayer and penance, Brazil could overthrow the Communist threat. In a speech, President Goulart mocked the rosary, saying that governmental control, not reciting the prayers of the rosary, would save the economy from collapse. During this time, he was filling his pockets with dollars given to Brazil in foreign aid from the U.S. and other countries.
A Brazilian woman named Dona Amelia Bastos was very concerned about this imminent danger. Her husband belonged to a group of men called the Anti-Reds who were opposed to Communism in Brazil. One night, Dona Amelia listened as the Anti-Reds discussed the threat facing their beloved country. She decided she, too, could do something about it. Of her decision, she said, “I suddenly decided that politics had become too important to be left entirely to the men. Moreover, who has more at stake in what’s happening to our country than we women?”
She immediately formed a group called Campaign of Women for Democracy (CAMDE) and started to recruit as many people as possible to pray the rosary in large groups to thwart the plan for Communist takeover. In a town called Belo Horizonte, a group of 20,000 women reciting the rosary aloud broke up a pro-Communist rally. The success of this peaceful protest fed the impetus for the Catholic women to do more.
With the help of Heaven and the strong influence of Archbishop Cardinal de Barros Camara, Dona Amelia recruited an amazing 600,000 women who marched in Sao Paulo to pray the rosary for peace. They called their protest, “March of the Family with God Toward Freedom.” under the declaration, “Mother of God, preserve us from the fate and suffering of the martyred women of Cuba, Poland, Hungary, and other enslaved nations.” Leone Brizola, a Communist high government official, left in a rage when his planned speech was foiled by the rattling of 3000 rosaries and the murmuring of the prayers in the assembly hall. Not one life was lost in this most amazing peaceful anti-Communist protest, which is described by many witnesses as, “One of the most moving demonstrations in Brazilian History.” Many more rosary rallies were held in major cities in spite of threats of military action against the crusading women.
Under this mounting pressure, on April 1, 1964 President Goulart fled the country along with many members of the government.