(Myriam Zilles / Pixabay)

Area faithful are invited to participate in an international rosary rally on the Solemnity of the Assumption (Aug. 15) to pray for “healing, peace and radical transformation,” said organizers.

The virtual recitation is being sponsored by the Sisters of Life, Dominican Friars, Servants of the Lord and the Virgin Matará and the seminarians of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.

All four sets of mysteries (joyful, sorrowful, luminous and glorious) will be prayed on behalf of the nation.

The online gathering will be released as a video Aug. 15 for access at any time thereafter.

Sister of Life Maeve Nativitas, who helped coordinate the rally, said participants can take both comfort and confidence in the effort.

“God promises us that if we persevere in prayer together in his name, he will answer our prayers,” she said. “The ways in which he answers we must surrender to him in trust, but that he will answer with love, we cannot doubt.”

Father Dennis Gill, director of the archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship, agreed.

“Prayer reminds us not only that the Lord is near, but also that the Lord is our divine companion, who is with us in all things,” he said. “Prayer is not always about getting an answer!”

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with racial injustice, civil unrest and economic instability, should not lead faithful to conclude that their prayers have been unheard, said Meghan Cokeley, director of the Office for the New Evangelization.

“I think the opposite is true,” she said. “The fact that these difficulties are continuing means that Jesus is doing something through them, and has a plan that he is working out and (hasn’t) finished yet.”

For that reason, said Cokeley, “our prayer is all the more important, because through (it), we can usher in the plans of God through these events and prevent the evil one from using them to gain ground.”

The Solemnity of the Assumption — which marks Mary’s entrance, body and soul, into the fullness of God’s presence — “keeps our minds and hearts on the promise of heaven,” a focus especially needed during difficult times, said Father Gill.

“We need to lift our eyes to our true home with Mary and the saints,” he said.

Typically, many rosary devotees pray and meditate on one set of mysteries per day, but “there is a special grace attached to praying all four sets of mysteries … in a day,” said Sister Maeve.

“We know this through the lived testimony of saints like St. John Paul II, St. Padre Pio, and St. John XXIII (who encouraged the praying of the then three sets of mysteries),” she said.

The four sets of mysteries form a continuous story that “allows us to pass through the entire life of Jesus Christ from beginning to end, all while holding hand of our mother, Mary, who helps us encounter these events in her Son’s life in a way that truly changes us,” said Cokeley.

The results can transform human history, she added.

“Imagine what effect it must have upon the course of the world when a Christian opens his heart to the whole life of Jesus in one day, and allows that grace to enter the world through him,” said Cokeley.

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For more information on the Aug. 15 rosary rally, visit the Sisters of Life website.

See the Mass readings for the Vigil and the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.