Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
EASTON, Mass. —
It all started when one father prayed one Rosary in one home. Today, that singular act has touched the lives of 28 million people in 17 countries — and it continues to spread!
Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, began his ministry 70 years ago with the goal of building family unity through daily prayer of the Rosary. He was inspired by his own father, who more than a century ago started praying the Rosary with his family in their poor but spiritually rich home.
That became the foundation for Father Peyton (1909-92), also known as the “Rosary Priest,” who went on to lead millions in prayer at rallies around the world and created a ministry that would use radio, movies, television, billboards and more to spread his message of support for families. His efforts to serve the faithful continue today through his cornerstone mission, Family Rosary (founded in 1942), and Family Theater Productions (founded in 1947), as well as the Father Peyton Family Institute — all serving Jesus Christ and His Church throughout the world by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family.
Father Peyton devoted his life to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and praying her Rosary. He became gravely ill as a seminarian and the doctors had no hope of recovery. So he did as his father, John, had taught him back home in Ireland. The result changed his life and the lives of millions of other people.
“Father Peyton was a seminarian, studying at the University of Notre Dame, when he was stricken with tuberculosis,” said Father John Phalen, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. “He prayed his Rosary to the Blessed Mother and made a miraculous recovery. From that moment, he knew he was to be the one to carry out her apostolate, her ministry to bring families together for Rosary prayer, just as his family had done.”
Armed with that conviction, Father Peyton went on to become one of the most influential American Catholic priests of the 20th century. He was a media pioneer, using the entertainment industry to further his mission of family Rosary prayer in honor of Mary and her son Jesus. The programs he produced featured some of Hollywood’s biggest stars — Bing Crosby, Loretta Young, Grace Kelly, James Cagney, Bob Hope and many more — while his Family Rosary Crusades were attended by millions of people around the globe.
During the course of his ministry, which would span half a century, Father Peyton would touch the lives of countless individuals with his kindness, sincerity and devotion to Mary. Over the years, he would advocate for families by preaching two powerful and memorable sayings: “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together” and “A World at Prayer is a World at Peace.”
Today, Father Peyton’s legacy lives on through Holy Cross Family Ministries, which oversees the work of Family Rosary in 17 countries, Family Theater Productions, and the Father Peyton Family Institute. These ministries continue to reach out to families by providing millions of free Rosaries, conducting Rosary rallies, creating radio and TV programs that inspire, and other activities to promote family unity through prayer.
“On the 70th anniversary of Family Rosary, we honor Father Peyton’s memory as we continue his mission to bring families together in Rosary prayer to fulfill his vision that the family that prays together stays together,” said Father John Phalen, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries, the organization originally founded by the sainthood candidate.
In addition, the Vatican is considering Father Peyton for sainthood. His life and actions are being examined for miracles and other evidence for the canonization of the Rosary Priest. In June 2011, a possible medical miracle was reviewed by a Tribunal in Albany, NY, and the findings were forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for review. A possible medical miracle was also reviewed in Kampala, Uganda, and those findings were also forwarded to Rome.
In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, Holy Cross Family Ministries encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary, to support the spiritual well-being of the family. For more information, call 800-299-7729 or visit www.FamilyRosary.org.