This story of the rosary is notable as priests who were 8 blocks from Ground Zero of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, survived. Not only did they survive, they also did not experience negative radiation effects.
The story is told below in detail. It is quoted from this source.
Rosary Miracle – Safe in the Midst of Hiroshima Nuclear Blast !!
Dr. Stephen A. Rinehart & Dr. Richard F. Hubbell
Please distribute freely – but only in its entirety only – Thanks!!
God can and does miraculously protect those consecrated to Him – especially through the Rosary – even in the midst of a powerful nuclear detonation. Every effort at meticulous and verifiable accuracy – with as many direct sources as possible being quoted and URL’s being provided – in the preparation of this article – which originally came about as a series of emails between the two authors.
Rosary Miracle at Hiroshima – August 6th, 1945
There was a home eight blocks (about 1 kilometer) from where the A-Bomb went off in Hiroshima Japan. This home had a church attached to it which was completely destroyed, but the home survived, and so did the eight German Jesuit missionaries who prayed the rosary in that house faithfully every day. These men were missionaries to the Japanese people, they were non-military, but because Germany and Japan were allies during WWII they were permitted to live and minister within Japan during the war. Not only did they all survive with (at most) relatively minor injuries, but they all lived well past that awful day with no radiation sickness, no loss of hearing, or any other visible long term defects or maladies. Naturally, they were interviewed numerous times (Fr. Schiffer, a survivor, said over 200 times) by scientists and health care people about their remarkable experience and they say “we believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the rosary daily in that home.” Of course the secular scientists are speechless and incredulous at this explanation – and they are sure there is some “real” explanation – but at the same time over 55 years later the scientists are still absolutely bamboozled when it comes to finding a plausible scenario to explain the missionary’s unique escape from the hellish power of that bomb.
FR. SCHIFFER OF HIROSHIMA
by Fr. Paul Ruge, O.F.M.I.
At 2:45 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber took off from the island of Tinian to drop the first atomic bomb on Japan. At 8:15 a.m. the bomb exploded eight city blocks from the Jesuit Church of Our Lady’s Assumption in Hiroshima. Half a million people were annihilated. However, the church and four Jesuit fathers stationed there survived: Fathers Hugo Lassalle, Kleinsorge, Cieslik and Schiffer. (RH note – all other accounts state clearly that there were eight Jesuits stationed in this home not four – and it is well known that all eight survived – the author of this present article apparently only had the names of four of them, for instance Fr. Arrupe is left out of the list – and at this writing, I have not been able to find the names of the other three Jesuits. end of note.) According to the experts they “ought to be dead,” being within a one-mile radius of the explosion. Nine days later on August 15, Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, U.S. forces were ordered to cease fire.
This is the incredible story of the late Fr. Hubert Schiffer, as retold by Fr. Paul Ruge.  I met Fr. Schiffer in the late 70s at the Tri-City Airport in Saginaw, Michigan, as he was going to give a talk for the Blue Army Novena/Triduum. As I chauffeured him around he told me stories of his life, especially of the atomic explosion at Hiroshima. On the morning of August 6, 1945, he had just finished Mass, went into the rectory and sat down at the breakfast table, and had just sliced a grapefruit, and had just put his spoon into the grapefruit when there was a bright flash of light. His first thought was that it was an explosion in the harbor (this was a major port where the Japanese refueled their submarines.)
Then, in the words of Fr. Schiffer: “Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air with one bursting thunderstroke. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me ’round and ’round like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind.” The next thing he remembered, he opened his eyes and he was laying on the ground. He looked around and there was NOTHING in any direction: the railroad station and buildings in all directions were leveled to the ground.
The only physical harm to himself was that he could feel a few pieces of glass in the back of his neck. As far as he could tell, there was nothing else physically wrong with himself. Many thousands were killed or maimed by the explosion. After the conquest of the Americans, their army doctors and scientists explained to him that his body would begin to deteriorate because of the radiation. Many of the Japanese people had blisters and sores from the radiation. To the doctors amazement, Fr. Schiffer’s body contained no radiation or ill-effects from the bomb. Fr. Schiffer attributes this to devotion to the Blessed Mother, and his daily Fatima Rosary. He feels that he received a protective shield from the Blessed Mother which protected him from all radiation and ill-effects. (This coincides with the bombing of Nagasaki where St. Maximilian Kolbe had established a Franciscan Friary which was also unharmed because of special protection from the Blessed Mother, as the Brothers too prayed the daily Rosary and also had no effects from the bomb.)
Links (all links were working in Jan 2009):
You Tube video on the incident:
Accounts from survivors:
From Dr. Stephen Rinehart (info on the US decision to drop the bomb & military issues):
What follows is Dr. Stephen Rinehart’s commentary – presented in two parts since we corresponded on the subject of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast over a few days. You may wonder why I contacted Stephen in the first place. Within the U.S. Department of Defense (where we both work – albeit at different locations and for different services), Stephen is widely recognized as international expert in this field. So in order to give you some insight into his professional background – in addition to his commentary – he has kindly provided us a brief resume – which I have attached to the conclusion of his commentary. I originally contacted Stephen to see if he would please give us a description (from physics) of the conditions that exisited at the Jesuit’s home, estimated to be one kilometer from the estimated 15-20 kiloton atomic blast at Hiroshima.
Stephen is also a wonderful Catholic, and is very devoted to Our Lady and the Holy Rosary.
….his comments follow…
Richard, I will check but quick calculation says at 1 kilometer the bulk temperature was in excess of 20,000 to 30,000 degrees F (transients in microseconds greater than 100,000F perhaps as high as 1,000,000 F within 1 kilometer – depends on construction details and you are inside the fireball) and the blast wave would have hit at sonic velocity with pressures on building (at one kiolmeter) greater than 600 psi. and buildings were demolished over a mile from epicenter. The “fireball diameter” is probably on the order of two to four kilometers (depends on certain definitions). No way any human could have survived nor should anything have left been standing at one kilometer. Yet, at about ten to fifteen kilometers I saw the brick walls standing from an elementary school (some phasing due to bomb’s pineapple construction) and I think there were a few badly burned survivors at ten to fifteen kilometers (all – except the Jesuits – died within fifteen years of some form of cancer). Also, I think they were Jesuits that were near epicenter and a panorama view from epicenter at Shima Hospital did show some kind of two story house totally intact (at least from what I could make out and it look to me the windows were in place!?). Also there was a church with walls still standing but roof gone a few hundred yards away!? DOD never commented officially on this and I suspect it was classified and never discussed in open literature. I think it is possible the Jesuits were asked not to say anything either at the time.
The Hiroshima atomic bomb was an airblast burst (i.e., detonated at altitude between 600 yds. to 1000 yds.) as opposed to an atomic ground burst (i.e., designed to crater a certain area – possibly against deeply buried targets). Two of these types of weapons were built and the other was dropped on Nagasaki. The third weapon was larger and intended for a ground blast [Tokyo Harbor?] but was never used on Japan and no target ever identified. The bombing order was against cities not specific military targets. The cities selected were Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and Nagasaki.
In reviewing the damage patterns and blast characteristics of the Hiroshima blast, it appears this weapon was detonated at a height of 0.6 to 1.0 kilometers [Highest probable fireball diameter is about 1.4 kilometers]. This weapon was detonated at this height to produce the maximum damage area from the fireball (maximum sustained fire/airblast damage from the propagating temperatures and airblast pressures in the shock wave front). However, the epicenter was not the area with the greatest damage since the weapon was designed to “spread the fireball effects” over a wide area. The strongest building [steel reinforced frame] was the Hiroshima Bank building which was gutted inside by fire 250 meters from hypocenter of bomb but its walls remained standing but the window frames were blown away.
The overriding conclusion from my review of the weapon effects at Hiroshima is that this weapon was intentionally designed and deployed to kill or maim as many humans as possible in residential housing (or unprotected outside) over the widest possible area for the weapon’s size (while minimizing radiation effects from contaminated debris being thrown up into atmosphere). Since much of the Hiroshima industrial capacity was also located in unreinforced brick structures this type of airblast would also destroy any unreinforced masonry or brick buildings. One of the most flammable items on a person is their hair and clothing.
Much of the clothing at this time was cotton (or blended cotton) which would be considered highly flammable. I suddenly came to the realization that the intent of propagating a fireball at this height was to be able to set fire to a person’s clothing (and all types of fabrics) at relatively long distances from the blast’s epicenter. The airblast would be felt for miles (blowing out windows and damaging most all structures by cracking the walls) and terrorize the remaining population. Hence, the description by those who survived of seeing burned bodies everywhere (or charred skeletons) and skin that was shredded into strips is consistent with the bombing order to hit a populated city in the center without specific regard to military objectives [See Remarks – located four paragraphs below].
It appears the Jesuits (at one kilometer from the geometric epicenter) had greater than 90% probability of being outside the atomic bomb’s “plasma” since it was an airburst but they were on the “hairy edge”. Depending on the actual height of detonation, the Jesuits must have had the edge of the fireball literally outside their window. Assuming they were just outside of the plasma, their residence should still have been utterly destroyed (temp > 2000 F and airblast pressures > 100 psi). In contrast, unreinforced masonry or brick walls (representative of commercial construction) are destroyed at 3 psi, which will also cause ear damage and burst windows. At ten psi, a human will experience severe lung and heart damage, burst eardrums and at 20 psi your limbs can be blown off. Your head will be blown off by 40 psi and no residential or unreinforced commercial construction would be left standing. At 80 psi even reinforced concrete is heavily damaged and no human would be alive because your skull would be crushed All the cotton clothes would be on fire at 350 F (probably at 275F) and your lungs would be inoperative within a minute breathing air (even for a few seconds) at these temperatures.
Conclusion: There are no physical laws to explain why the Jesuits were untouched in the Hiroshima airblast. There is no other actual or test data where a structure such as this was not totally destroyed at this standoff distance by an atomic weapon. All who were at this range from the epicenter should have received enough radiation to be dead within at most a matter of minutes if nothing else happened to them. There is no known way to design a uranium-235 atomic bomb, which could leave such a large discrete area intact while destroying everything around it immediately outside the fireball (by shaping the plasma).
From a scientific viewpoint, what happened to those Jesuits at Hiroshima still defies all human logic from the laws of physics as understood today (or at any time in the future). It must be concluded that some other (external) force was present whose power and/or capability to transform energy and matter as it relates to humans is beyond current comprehension. >From the standpoint of the current universal “string” theory in physics (relating atomic scale effects to macroscopic world)
it suggests that the physical “strings” (i.e., bodies) of the Jesuits and the “energy strings” representing the house’s physical matter) were either transformed at the moment of the blast into an opposing energy field (to cancel the weapon effects and then transformed back on a time scale totally imperceptible to humans) or an enormous external force field was present which precisely cancelled the weapon’s effects over the totally irregular geometry of the residential house including protecting the occupants. Either way it is a plausibility argument for the existence of a Creator who left his “calling card” at Hiroshima.
Remarks: In 1921, a group of German optics and mechanical designers were sent from Bausch (in Germany) to Tokyo, Japan to design the optics from periscopes, bomb sites, binoculars, microscopes, precision machining [aircraft engines] as well as a new generation of advanced fighters and heavy bombers [Kate]. That’s right, the concept of the Japanese “Zero” and twin-engine bombers was secretly on the drawing boards in the late 1920s by German designers. Coincidentally, in 1921 German Jesuits showed up in Japan! In addition, Herbert Smith [famous aircraft designer for Sopwith] was asked by Mitsubishi to come to Japan in 1921 to design the world’s first carrier fighter. It was called the Type 10 and was tested at a facility near Hiroshima. The German families (and most of the German designers) did not know the real agenda of their Governments at the time. In the late 1920s, the concept for large aircraft carriers [to accommodate the Zero] were also being drawn and work was initiated on Japan’s atomic bomb. In 1923, a massive earthquake stuck Tokyo causing widespread destruction. I believe this earthquake set the Japanese war effort back two full years in recovering and much of this design effort was relocated to Hiroshima, Honshu and Nagasaki. Hiroshima had much heavy shipbuilding/aircraft manufacturing and was a key site in development of Japan’s aircraft carriers as well as engine/weapons development. In addition, there was a large University for mechanical engineering. (The speculation being that a full-scale WWII was planned by Japan and Germany and should have started in 1939). As a possible consequence of this 1923 earthquake, Japan was not yet ready to enter WWII in 1939 (in a worldwide coordinated attack because it lacked trained aircraft carrier pilots and the Zero’s production was just starting) when Hitler attacked Poland [Hitler decided not to wait but to sign a peace treaty with Russia, England and the US to keep them off guard until Japan could finish its aircraft carriers and train carrier pilots]. This however permitted the Allies valuable time in preparing for WWII (especially in the US). By late 1940, naval intelligence had identified Pearl Harbor as the point of a Japanese “sneak attack” by the Japanese carriers. In September, 1941 all dependents of the carriers Lexington and Yorktown had been recalled to San Diego and these carriers were outfitted for war in San Diego (summer 1941) and left in September for Pearl Harbor. Rumor has it the fighter pilots aboard the Lexington and Yorktown had been told in a “classified” briefing this country was going to war with Japan soon. The Lexington and Yorktown were ordered out of Pearl Harbor on Thanksgiving Day in November 1941 and were three hundred miles from Pearl Harbor (out of reach of Japanese fleet) on Dec 07, 1941. The War Dept has never declassified that briefing.
As previously noted, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were probably not “random” targets for the drop of the atomic bomb to just demonstrate the bomb as has been stated all these years. These cities may have contained key [relocated] elements of the German design teams for both Japan’s atomic bomb effort including critical industrial capacity for making an atomic bomb as well as possibly working on very advanced radar and electronics for submarines and building naval surface combatants [carriers]. To protect key Japanese personnel [in later stages of war effort], the Japanese used hospitals to house both military and engineering personnel and relocated the patients to other small “clinics” [to spread them out]. The military personnel and engineers probably wore white uniforms to make it look good. Maybe it was no accident, the Shima Hospital was at the epicenter of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. There are many unanswered questions to this day as to why did German Jesuits come in Japan in 1921, along with so many other German designers!?
I never thought about it until now but there are a number of striking “coincidences” in 1921. It is not improbable that they [the German Jesuits] may have furnished key information on Japan’s war-making activities back to the Vatican [for years] and ultimately to US involving Hiroshima and other cities where a critical part of Japan’s industry was located in this timeframe. The German Jesuits could easily have interfaced with the families of the German designers and were technically astute. The Jesuits have long been actively involved in other country’s politics all over the world and teaching fundamental sciences, mathematics and philosophy at a University gives them access to a country’s brightest minds for the future!?….and who else would come and go virtually unnoticed?
….that brings us to the end of Dr. Rinehart’s fascinating comments.
Dr. Stephen A. Rinehart’s professional resume follows….
DR. STEPHEN A. RINEHART
Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1969 M.S., Engineering Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1966 B.S., Engineering Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1964 Awards: ASTM (National) Robert J Painter Award (1968) in Mechanical Engineering for Graduate Students
TITLE: Principal Staff Member, Engineering (TRW)
Corporate Affiliations: TRW Systems Integration Group, 1992-Present UNISYS Defense Systems, 1987-1992 NKF Engineering, Inc., 1981-1987 Prior to 1981, Dr Rinehart worked with Boeing Vertol Div., Xerox Corp. and Lockheed Missiles/Marine Systems and has served as a consultant to numerous DoD contractors and Agencies since 1965 including NASA, Office of Naval Research, Defense Nuclear Agency, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Coast Guard, SPAWAR and the Air Force’s Space and Missile Command. At Georgia Tech, he was the first graduate student to receive a NASA fellowship in support of Saturn-Apollo Program.
Years of Related Professional Experience: 34+ in support of DoD Programs
Dr. Rinehart was the Corporate Technical Director and Vice-President for NKF Engineering, Washington DC in the 1980s. He was responsible for the administrative, marketing, and technical operations for 40 scientists/engineers as well as two field offices (Annapolis/Philadelphia) and a remote shock test facility (Dynamic Testing Inc.) supporting NAVSEA located in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has supported conventional and nuclear weapons development for Naval and Air Force combat weapon systems for over twenty-seven years. This includes programs involving aircraft carriers, destroyers, missiles, mine countermeasures, VSTOL and fighter aircraft and attack submarines.
Prior to joining TRW, Dr. Rinehart served as the Program Manager for the Acoustics, Shock, Vibration, and Magnetic Silencing for the Navy’s Mine Countermeasures ship (MCM-1) including directing all the explosive testing and acoustic analysis and classified radiated noise signature testing at PBI Shipbuilders. Also served as the Program Manager for the prototype design/upgrade for the Navy’s SEAL Team’s SDV Vehicle as well as the Navy’s Mine Hunter Class (MHC) and addressed special munitions (shaped-charges, mine neutralization, CADS) requirements. As project engineer for DTNSRDC directed the shock design of the propulsor and stern section for the Navy SSN-21 submarine as well as developing torpedo countermeasures. Currently, Dr. Rinehart is supporting the Air Force’s Airborne Laser Program and AEF (Air Expeditionary Force) passive force protection against air blast and fragmentation. He also recently served as an advisor to the Joint USAF/Israeli Civil Defense project for passive protection of unprotected structures against terrorist attacks.
Interesting correspondence received…… the absolute historical accuracy of all the following comments can not be guaranteed but all comments were submitted by list readers with the best and highest of intentions – and as such they are interesting and they are greatly appreciated.
1. They were Jesuits.
2. One of them was the future Father General, Arrupe. (Arrupe’s vocation came as a result of seeing first hand, as a medical student, at Lourdes a true, MIRACULOUS healing…)
Basque-born Fr. Arrupe joined the Society of Jesus in 1927. Because of the order of expulsion by the Republican government of Spain at the time, all Jesuits were sent into exile. Accordingly he pursued his philosophical and theological studies in Belgium and the Netherlands. Ordained a priest in 1936 and sent off for doctoral studies in medical ethics in the United States, he was unexpectedly sent as a missionary to Japan in 1939.
He was appointed Jesuit superior and the master of novices in Japan in 1942. He was living in suburban Hiroshima when the atomic bomb fell in August of 1945. He described that event as “a permanent experience outside of history, engraved on my memory.” He utilized his medical skills in the service of the wounded and the dying, transforming the novitiate into a make-shift hospital for over 200 greviously scarred human remnants. He eventually was appointed the provincial superior of the Jesuits in the Japanese province.
At the 31st General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in 1965 he was elected to be the order’s 28th Superior General. He served in that position from 1965 to 1981.
I’ve seen interviews of survivors on TV and photos of the untouched house
amid rubble. The story is indeed true.
I also heard a story regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor. A local woman at
a Rotary luncheon told one of our instructors: She was a newly wed and
complained to her husband that he was never around to take her to mass on
Sunday mornings. He took leave and accompanied his wife to church.
She questioned all the planes flying overhead and he explained that there
must be a dignitary visiting Pearl Harbor.
Once they were seated in church, the priest announced that Pearl Harbor was
under attack and all military personnel should report to their duty
The young man rushed to his ship, only to find it sunk with all his
shipmates on board. Going to mass saved his life.
Story to told to LT Frank Flanagan now out of the Navy and practicing law in
From Rita (who could not locate the source.)
“During the Second World War an atomic bomb was dropped on two Japanese cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
An extraordinary thing happened at Hiroshima. A small community of Jesuit Fathers lived in a church house near the parish church, situated only eight blocks from the center of the bomb blast.
This notwithstanding, when Hiroshima was destroyed by the atomic bomb, all eight members of the small Jesuit community escaped unscathed, while every other person who was within a radius of roughly one and a half kilometers from the center of the explosion died. The church house where the Jesuits lived was still standing, while the nearby church was completely destroyed.
Father Hubert Shiffer was one of these. He was 30 when the atomic bomb exploded at Hiroshima and lived another 33 years in good health. He recounted his experiences at Hiroshima during the Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia (USA) in 1976. At that time, all eight members of the Jesuit community were still alive.
Father Shiffer was examined and questioned by more than 200 scientists who were unable to explain how he and his companions had survived in the midst of thousands of dead. He attributed it to the protection of the Madonna. He declared: ‘I was in the middle of the atomic explosion and I am still here alive and well. I was not struck down by its destruction.’ Furthermore, Father Shiffer maintained that for several years hundreds of experts and investigators continued to study and investigate the scientific reasons as to why the church house was not affected. He explained that in that house there was just one thing that was different: in that house the Holy Rosary was recited together every day.”
I remember that story — in fact, I heard it again from some fellow in the Philippines a few years ago, who was kind enough to send a photocopy of an article from his local paper about the event (written in English).
As I recall it, the story had only a few minor changes. One of the priests was peppered with broken glass at the blast, but his injuries were relatively minor. (I think one of them was elderly and has already passed on.) The structure was intact but had some damage. They started to care for the injured as best they could after the blast. They did attribute their safety to praying the rosary. A truly amazing event!
Sorry, my computer crashed in Nov/Dec. I had heard the story several times, however. They were Jesuits not Dominicans. St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit, was the first missionary to Japan – others of his order followed him. I know we don’t picture Jesuits praying the rosary as much as Dominicans because Our Lady first gave the Rosary to St. Dominic.
The house was not at ground zero – but everything around that house was smashed flat and burnt to a cinder. If my memory serves me correctly – the community was Jesuit. The part about the Rosary being said is also true (they also have daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament).
Also of related interest, a Franciscan Friary was built in Nagasaki by St. Maximillian Kolbe, and was built behind the crest of a hill – the Lord told him to build it there, and the hill sheltered it from the blast. Maybe the Immaculate Conception Friars (Fr. Kolbe’s order) can help you out at:
Rosary Miracles during the Hiroshima A-Bomb blast:
The Church Fathers Speak on the Rosary
St Dominic “After the Divine Office and the Holy Mass, no homage is as agreeable to Jesus and His Divine Mother as the fervent prayer of the Holy Rosary, since the work of salvation began with the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary) the Salvation of each one of us in particular is attached to this prayer.”
St Louis De Montfort ” The Holy Rosary is not just a conglomeration of our Fathers and Hail Marys, But on the contrary it is a Divine Summary of the Mysteries of the Life, Passion, Death, and Glory of Jesus and Mary.”
Gregory XVI 1831 ” We are confident this prayer, so conducive to giving honor to the Blessed Virgin in all places and at all times, will not only continue to spread more and more everywhere because of its simplicity, but also because made more powerful by so close a union among those who pray, it will be most favorably accepted by God. ”
Pope Puis IX 1849 “Among the devotion aproved by the Church none have been so Favored by so many miracles as the Holy Rosary.”
St Bernard “The Hail Mary puts the devil to flight and causes Hell to Tremble with terror.”
Pope St. Pius X 1903 ” There is nothing more excellent, it seems to us, than that numerous voices are uninterruptingly and from namy parts of the world simultaneously lifting supplications to the Blessed Virgin Mary as they meditate on the Christian mysteries, so that the blessings of her maternal goodness may not cease to descend upon the Church.”
Pope Puis XII “there is no surer means of calling down God’s blessing upon the family . .
. than the daily recitation of the Rosary”.
St Francis de Sales ( Doctor of Church)
“The best method of prayer is the Holy Rosary if you Say it well.”
Pope Leo XIII ” A powerful means of rendering our courage will undoubtedly be found in the Holy Rosary”.
St Teresa of Avila “Doctor of the Church”
“I would Gladly suffer . . . Just to have the chance to pray even one Hail Mary in order to gain more merits before our lord.”
Pope Benedict “People who pray the Rosary are appealing to the Mother of Mercy and so merciful is She, that She’s inclined to aid spontaneously, those who suffer. She is absolutely incapable of refusing help to those who invoke Her. The Rosary prayed daily is the most fitting formula for praying and meditating.”
St John Neuman 1860 “The Holy Rosary is to me the most beautiful of all devotions, as it contains all in itself.”
Pope St Puis V “The Holy Rosary was given to the Faithful in order that they might have spiritual peace and consolation more easily.”
Bishop Hugh boyle “No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary – either he will give up sin or he will give up the Rosary.”
Pope Paul XXIII “. . . Therefore we are sure that Our Children and all their brethren throughout the world will turn the Rosary into a school for learning true perfection, as, with a deep spirit of recollection, they contemplate the teachings that shine forth from the life of Christ and of Mary Most Holy.”
Pope John Paul II “It is my favorite prayer.”
Facts of the Rosary In 1945 when the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a small community of eight Jesuit Fathers, only eight blocks from ground zero remained unharmed (the people and the building itself)
while everyone else in a radius of 1.5 Km from the centre was killed. Father Huber Schiffer one of the eight priests told the Eucharistic Congress of Philadelphia in 1976, when all eight members were alive and well, that 200 scientists had carried out investigations for several years in search of scientific explanation. He told them that there was only one thing that made their house different than the others: They recited the Holy Rosary Prayer every day by living the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
Alexandre, a girl of noble station who had been converted and enrolled by St. Dominic in the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. After her death she appeared to him and said that she had been condemned to seven hundred years in purgatory because of her own sins and those she made others commit by worldly ways. So she implored him to ease her pains by his prayers and to ask the confraterinty members to pray for the same end. St Domonic did as she asked. Two weeks later she appeared to him, more radiant than the sun, having been quickly delivered from purgatory through the prayers that the Confraternity members had said for her. She also told him that the Holy souls in purgatory had given her a message to beg him to go on preaching the Holy Rosary and to beg their relatives to offer their rosaries for them, and that they would reward them abundantly when they came into their Glory.
One day in 1460 Blessed Alan de la Roche was saying Mass. Our Lord, who wished to spur him on to preach the Rosary, spoke to him from the Sacred Host ” How can you crucify me again so Soon?” Jesus said. What did you say, Lord? asked blessed Alan, horrified. ” You crucified me once before by your sins” answered Jesus, “and I would willingly be crucified again rather than have my Father offended by the sins you used to commit. You are crucifying me again now because you have all the learning and understanding that you need to preach my Mother’s Rosary and you are not doing so. If you only did this you could teach many souls the right path and lead them away from sin – but you are not doing it and so you, yourself, are guilty of the sins that they commit.”
This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach the Rosary unceasingly. Our Lady too, spoke to him one day to inspire him to preach the Holy Rosary more and more: “You were a great sinner in your youth,” she said, “but I obtained the grace of your conversion from my Son. Had such a thing been possible I would have liked to have gone through all kinds of suffering to save you because converted sinners are a glory to me. And I would have done this also to make you worthy of preaching my Rosary far and wide.” Saint Dominic appeared to Blessed Alan as well and told him of the great results of his ministry: he had preached the Holy Rosary unceasingly, his sermons had borne great fruit and many people had been converted during his missions. He said to Blessed Alan:
“See the wonderful results I have had through preaching the Holy Rosary! You and all those who love Our Lady ought to do the same so that, by means of this holy practice of the Rosary, you may draw all people to the real science of the virtues.” Briefly, then, this is the history of how Saint Dominic established the Holy Rosary and of how Blessed Alan de la Roche restored it.
During his Pontificate (1566- 1572) Pope Puis V found Europe to be in a destating State as it had been shaken by the reformation, by corruption, and by the threat of turkish invasion. Seeing that things were only geting worse, he continued to say daily his Rosary, . Finally at the last minute Pius was able to call the countries of Europe to unite and pray the Holy Rosary and succeeded in orgainzing an army . He had a Rosary given to each and every soldier, thus on September the 30th 1571 against all odds, the much smaller European fleet (about 5000 Men)
went into battle against the might of the turkish fleet (about 30,000 Men), and on the October 7th the battle of Lepanto, off Greece was Won, (by the Divine assistance of Our Lady).
The history of 1815 actually begins before that with the Ursuline Order of Sisters.
They established a school and were short of teachers. Having come from France, they looked to France for more help. However, Pope Pius VII was, at the time, a prisoner of Napoleon.
Mother St. Michel know it was unlikely that the Pope would receive and authorize her request for help.
The letter did get through and the Mother did follow through with her promise. A statue was commissioned and placed in the convent chapel in 1810.
In 1815, was the Battle of New Orleans. American troops (6,000) under General Andrew Jackson faced off against British troops (15,000).
On the eve of the battle, New Orleans residents joined the Ursuline sisters at their convent. They prayed through the night. They prayed the rosary. The next morning, Mass was offered. The Prioress vowed to have a Mass of Thanksgiving annually if the Americans should win.
During the moment of communion at the Mass, a courier ran into the chapel and said the British had been defeated. They had been confused by a fog. An annual Mass of Thanksgiving has been held ever since.