Seventy-five years ago yesterday, 36-year-old Father Patrick Peyton arrived in New York City to rehearse for a radio program to be aired the next day on 300 Mutual Network affiliate radio stations. As Father Peyton and his assistant, Father Woods, inspected the stage, Father Woods said, “It looks rather bare.”
The two went down to Barclay Street to Benziger’s religious-goods store where they saw in the window exactly what they were looking for -- a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Providence, perfect as the centerpiece for the stage.
The next day was Mother’s Day and also Fatima day. Along with these two beautiful celebrations, World War II in Europe had just ended five days earlier.
The program was a smash hit across America. It launched Father Peyton onto the national and international stage. He became known as the Rosary priest for his inspiring work in Hollywood with the stars and even more amazing, for his massive Rosary rallies around the world.
In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic ripped through the globe like wildfire killing approximately 50 million people. Among them were the child saints, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who witnessed Mary six times in Fatima in 1917. After the visions of heaven, both young people were eager to get to heaven. They are good reminders that the Risen Lord and our Lady are waiting for us in the fullness of life after this life.
Trust in Our Blessed Mother and her great invitation to pray the Rosary and pray for an end to this pandemic.
Blessed Mother, End this pandemic Through the power and grace Of your Son And the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Father Peyton's statue of Our Lady of Providence has a permanent home in the Museum of Family Prayer at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA.
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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.