Over 5,000 faithful gathered on Oct. 15 to publicly pray the Rosary in San Francisco’s civic plaza across from the City Hall.
“We had a wonderful witnessing of our faith,” organizer Dave Martin told EWTN News on Oct. 26. “What impressed me was who attended. Buses came from all of the surrounding dioceses.”
“Civic Center Plaza is the political center of the city,” he added, noting the significance of how most of the local parades, demonstrations and celebrations take place there.
The Family Rosary Crusade was hosted by the Bay Area chapter of the Legion of Mary—an international community of lay Catholics—as well as the Knights of Columbus, Ignatius Press and Immaculate Heart Radio.
The event was a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the record-breaking 1961 Rosary Rally at the city’s Golden Gate Park, led by Holy Cross priest Father Patrick Peyton. That event drew 550,000 people, making it one of the largest gatherings in the history of San Francisco.
“The theme then and this year was ‘The Family that Prays Together Stays Together,'” Martin said.
The rally began at noon with a Rosary procession, which was led by three bishops, priests, seminarians and five families that each led a decade. Participants also heard from a 60-member choir, accompanied by local cantor Frances Peterson, “whose beautiful soprano voice echoed Marian hymns from all the surrounding buildings,” Martin noted.
Immaculate Heart Radio broadcast the two-hour event live, which included a keynote address delivered by Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, a co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
A smaller but fervent crowd of Catholics also gathered on Oct. 15 in Denver, Colo. at the city’s Civic Center Park to seek the Blessed Mother’s intercession and pay tribute to the 1961 event.
More than 150 faithful convened at the park downtown, led by the spiritual director of the Legion of Mary Comitium in Denver, Fr. Joseph Hearty, FSSP.
Fr. Hearty told the archdiocesan paper The Denver Catholic Register that the event was organized to help foster Marian devotion, and that the idea was given to him by a parishioner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, where he is the parochial vicar.
The priest told The Register he intends to make the rosary crusade an annual event in Denver.