This past week I realized one of my lifetime dreams to visit the famous shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. During the visit, I was surprised to hear the former Rector of the Shrine tell me that he personally knew Father Peyton and was deeply impressed by Father Peyton’s commitment to help families pray around the world.
Father Peyton visited the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe often to spread the message that, the family that prays together stays together.
At the shrine, I concelebrated mass with Monsignor Diego Monroy Ponce, (Rector de la Basilica de Guadalupe, 2000-2010). He shared how deeply he was moved by Father Peyton’s person and testimony. Much to my surprise, when I met the Archbishop of Monterrey, he too shared a similar experience of the impact Father Peyton had on him.
At the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, mass is celebrated almost every hour and the huge Basilica is usually packed to capacity with pilgrims. It was such an inspiring experience for me to see the love the pilgrims have for Jesus and His mother, Mary. I can’t tell you how blessed I was by this visit to the land where the Virgin Mother appeared to humble Saint Juan Diego and entrusted to him the miraculous sign of her love on his tilma (cloak). I will never forget this graced time of prayer in the presence of God and His Holy Mother and her devoted children in Guadalupe.
Jesus always begins his day in prayer alone with His Father. People often go looking for Him, and when they find Him, they are delighted because He continues to share the Fathers love and mercy as He does with Simon's mother-in-law and so many others who are healed by his loving touch. Whenever Jesus heals or performs a miracle, He does it to bring people to God.
Father Peyton was a humble servant of God. He called himself “Mary’s donkey.” He touched people in the thousands by his humble, confident trust in Mary to lead them directly to her Son. How did he do that? By begging them to spend 15 minutes a day as a family praying the Rosary. He said, “The most powerful prayer said by the members of life’s most powerful social unit, the family, becomes an irresistible plea to God and His Mother Mary.” (Patrick Peyton, The Story of the Family Rosary, 5-6).
Friends, are you ready for this? Today, you and I and our families, by God’s grace, have this golden opportunity to do what Mary did in Guadalupe and what Father Peyton did in his day: to lift up all families, to experience the love, the joy, the peace, the unity that are just waiting for us in family prayer.
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About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.