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Encourage - Family Reflection Video

Encourage - Family Reflection Video

Return to the Church  |  Holy lives of inspiration

In today’s reading from Corinthians, Saint Paul mentions ‘encouragement’ 10 times. Yesterday, I found myself to be quite encouraged by an eye-witness account of a Patrick Peyton Rosary Rally in the Philippines. This account was from decades ago, and is still very powerful today. Let me share a part of that witness with you…

Excerpt from an eye-witness account on Father Peyton's Rosary Rallies, by Monsignor Florencio Illana:

Every time I see reports of thousands of people who attend the Rosary rallies, I say to myself, ‘Impossible, unbelievable.’ Such numbers could never be attracted from one province. I have seen great political rallies for presidents. They pay the fare for the people. They give them free food, but the crowd never exceeds 10,000.

In Father Peyton’s rally the people pay for transportation, for their own food and take care of themselves. Our people are poor. I thought that many would prefer to buy some rice for their children rather than spend the money on a fare just to see a rally, just to hear a priest. In this rally, however, as if conjured up by magic power, they seemed to believe wholly in the words of our Lord; “Seek first the Kingdom of God… the rest will be given to you. (Mt 6: 33). To them the rally means Kingdom of God, means salvation of their souls. They swarmed the rally grounds as no other crowd. Whom o they come to hear in these rallies? A high Church dignitary? Like Cardinal Santos or Cardinal Spellman? Or a famous orator who could give a taste of fame, Bishop Sheen, Cicero? Certainly not! The principal orator in these rallies is a simple priest with no ring on his finger and no trimmings on his cassock. He is a simple speaker, his tone is mild. On hearing him one easily concludes that in his sermons and speeches, his model is neither Fulton Sheen, or Winston Churchill, but the Lady with the soft voice, with loving sincerity and deep humility when she says: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” (Lk 1:28) There is really something in these rallies which one cannot explain unless he lifts his eyes upward and seeks explanation in the charm, power, and love of Him who passed his life doing good through miracles and love.

Father Peyton keeps the crowd spellbound! As he speaks one feels that he lives in a supernatural sphere. He has no human oratory, but he has a divine persuasion. He lacks a winged imagination, but he has divine phrases as he dishes out irresistible eloquence, that breaks down human resistance to his appeal. Truly, he is a man of God!

Before the rally it had rained for many days. On this Saturday of the rally the weather was uncertain. But now, with many thousands praying for good weather, the rain stopped and that afternoon we had the best weather in many months. Father Peyton, through the Blessed Virgin, or better, the Blessed Virgin, through Father Peyton, did the impossible, the unbelievable. A crowd estimated at 140,000 attended. Some in the windows of distant homes, some on the roofs of cars, others in the grandstand, but the majority were on the ground near the stage where Father Peyton spoke. They must have thought that the nearer they were to a beneficent fire, the warmer they would feel. He was a heavenly fire that came down to enkindle the hearts of men for God. (Lk 12: 49) Father Peyton, during the rally, was a fountain that brought to the people the biblical water springing up into everlasting life.

After the ceremony that lasted only one hour and 45 minutes, people retraced the road homeward with hearts soaked in genuine happiness for having heard an ordinary priest, with plain language but irresistible eloquence, with simple garment, but charming personality. He was made an instrument of the Blessed Virgin to propagate devotion to the Holy Rosary. Like me, they are glad they witnessed Father Peyton’s rally.


– Msgr. Florencio Illana, Diocese of Sonsogon

  • Father Willy's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.) 
  • To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 am EST, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)

About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.