Spiritual warfare. We are all “in it.” It can be perceived in our families, our Church, our countries, our world. Division, anger, immorality and a complete disregard of the dignity of the human person. These things are so fully on display, it can easily cause one to despair — that is, unless one is equipped for the battle.
Padre Pio once told one of his spiritual daughters, “There are so many (demons surrounding us) that if they were capable of assuming a form as tiny as a grain of sand, they would block out the sun. Be attentive — for when the enemy is silent, it means he is preparing another plan.’” The last few years, however, the enemy has been so clamorous, one must wonder whether we’re seeing the fulfillment of Christ’s words in Mark 4:22, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be made manifest.”
On the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, Oct. 7, 2017, the world witnessed an extraordinary event. Before millions of Polish citizens started lining their borders, clutching their rosaries and praying in unity, very few people outside the country knew of the warfare raging within. The imagery conveyed a message — this was Poland’s “Lepanto moment” — with many in the secular media concluding that it was an act of defiance against the caravans of Muslim refugees overwhelming Europe. Like Lepanto, however, this was a very small element to the greater, and more glorious, battle for the soul of the country.
A year before this “Rosary on the Borders,” on Oct. 15, 2016, thousands of people from all over Poland participated in an act of public reparation and renunciation of the sins of the nation — known as the day of “Great Penance” — at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Archbishop Stanisław Gadecki, the Archbishop of Poznan and chairman of the Polish Episcopate Conference, presided at Holy Mass. Fr. Piotr Glas was given the commission of declaring public prayers of exorcism, in union with the priests in attendance, for the nation.
This very real spiritual warfare was necessary, as one of the organizers later revealed to me (as I had begun working with the international coordinators of what is now known as the Holy League of Nations). Poland was one of the first countries in the world to legalize abortion, starting in 1932. This organizer’s grandfather had been one of the top abortion providers in the country, even assisting in the abortion of some of his own children.
This organizer would later write, “Look to the families of those who provide abortions — they almost always are infested with the spirit of death — suicides, diseases, tragic accidents. Mine was.” He would testify, at this national day of penance, that he was raised in this family of abortion practitioners, as a rabid atheist. After some extraordinarily painful events, to include the death of his young brother and a stroke that left his grandfather bedridden and paralyzed, his entire family was converted. His grandfather, even, refused pain medication — stating that he was willing to suffer for the sake of God. It was this man who helped lead the way to Poland’s “Rosary on the Borders.”
One month after the day of “Great Penance,” on Nov. 16, 2016, the Polish bishops — along with the president, Andrzej Duda — officially enthroned Jesus as King of Poland. One year later, millions of Poles traveled to the boundaries of their country forming an impenetrable spiritual perimeter by their “Aves.”
A similar Marian Mission — a “clarion call” — was taking shape in the United States in 2016, although few of us recognized it then. Our minds were fully preoccupied. This was an election year, and the polls rang clear their predictions of landslide victories for one of the most pro-abortion politicians ever to run for the presidential office. The outgoing administration had been little better, and the nation endured increased polarization as a result — to the point, at times, of frenzied and incoherent hatred.
Fr. Richard Heilman knew, then, that a miracle would have to take place for the United States to have a chance at “returning to God.” Aug. 15, 2016 marked the day Fr. Heilman, with a group of his social media followers, began praying the Miraculous 54-Day Rosary Novena “For Our Nation.” This Novena would end two days before the presidential election — on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
In February 2018, I experienced an event in my life that resulted in a great deal of spiritual suffering — to the point that I begged Our Lady for a distraction. Like any military veteran, I asked her in the best way I knew how to “give me an honorable mission.” It was only a few days later that I read of the Rosary events being planned for that April, in the U.K. — and that Ireland was to follow, along with Australia. It was then that I “felt” Our Lady tap me on the shoulder, so to speak, saying, “This is going to happen in the U.S., would you like to be a part of it?” I responded, “yes, but you must do the ‘heavy lifting.’” The entire idea was a bit overwhelming.
Shortly after, I reached out to Antonia Moffit of the U.K., and then was inspired to reach out to my friend, Fr. Richard Heilman, not recalling the Rosary initiatives he had already been leading. From there, the team that had developed for Novena for Our Nation began to collaborate on this massive undertaking. We were, however, amazed at how “easy” it was — things fell into place. Within a week before Easter, we had the first of our videos for Rosary Coast to Coast and a website up and ready to be launched — a miracle in and of itself — and from there, the mission spread like wildfire. What we didn’t expect was to have over 1200 sites from all 50 States in the U.S., along with 50+ countries join in a worldwide force known now as the new Holy League of Nations.
In 2019, we have witnessed the spiritual battle intensify. As Fr. Heilman wrote to me, “God has lit up the battlefield to expose the enemy. Possibly never before in history have we witnessed so much evil revealed as we have since 2016, inside and outside the Church. Yes! God’s Battlefield Illumination is meant to get us out of our ‘bunkers’ and into the fight. Strengthened under the outpouring of grace flowing through Our Blessed Mother, we are now poised to impose an overwhelming level of ‘shock and awe’ against Satan and his minions by way of the Most Holy Eucharist.”
This year, we have been led by the Immaculata to the second pillar of our “spiritual bulwark,” a safe harbor in the storms we see raging around us — Jesus, truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist. Our website, rosarycoasttocoast.com, has further information on what this will entail, along with resources and support. Unlike last year, the network formed by these events has prepared organizers on how to coordinate — and we now know what great work Our Lady does when souls are willing to echo Her “fiat”!
Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, Scotland — who has been the leading voice out of the U.K. for these Rosary initiatives, wrote to encourage us in this new “Pillar”:
I am glad your Rosary Coast to Coast, taking place on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, is also adding to the pillar of devotion to Our Lady the second pillar of adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It reminds me of the prophetic dream of Saint John Bosco, where he saw the Church as a ship buffeted by a terrifying sea storm and, at the same time, besieged by a myriad of boats attacking it on all sides. In the end a Pope emerged to steer the ship to a safe harbor protected by two pillars, one bearing Our Lady and the other Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Please God your initiative on October 2019 presages the beginning of the fulfilment of this vision. May God bless all your good work.
Rosary Coast to Coast will take place on Sunday, Oct. 13 — the 102nd anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Our international partners in the Holy League of Nations are joining the U.S. in organizing their Rosary and Eucharistic rallies on that day. Oct. 13, 2019 will be a powerful worldwide day of public prayer and Eucharistic Adoration. May we — who have witnessed the graces in this work of Our Lady — exclaim as St. Maximilian Kolbe did, “All for the Immaculata!”
Bree A. Dail is the International Coordinator for Rosary Coast to Coast and the Holy League of Nations.