When Irish fishermen protected Ireland’s national sovereignty, they did not imagine faithful Catholics would rally to show their support. However, they were soon surprised by an outpouring of sympathy.
Irish Society for Christian Civilisation (ISFCC) held three Rosary Rallies from February 3-5 in Castletown-Bearhaven, Bantry, and Kinsale praying to Saint Peter to protect Irish fishermen. The volunteers and friends of ISFCC also promoted the message of Our Lady of Fatima, specifically Our Lady’s warning about Russia – it will “spread its errors.” They gave out 500 rosaries, miraculous medals and scapulars to the fishermen. The association of lay Catholics is part of the network of autonomous organisations that make up the Tradition, Family, Property (TFP) movement.
The event that prompted the rallies was the brave action of Ireland’s fishermen. When the Russian Navy announced their intention to do live fire drills in Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the West Cork fishermen took matters into their own hands, by threatening to disrupt the drills with sixty fishing trawlers. This threat succeeded in making the Russians change their plans that threatened the livelihood of the West Cork community and disregarded the sovereign rights of the nation.
The Rosary Rallies attracted the attention on the public square because of a nine-foot banner which read, “Praying the Rosary for Ireland. Please join us! St. Peter protect our fishermen! Our Lady of Fatima, preserve us from the `errors of Russia!`” The participants prayed the entire Rosary and sang Marian hymns between each decade.
Rory O’Hanlon, who led the Rosary Rallies, said that “We are here for two reasons. First to thank and encourage the fishermen here for standing up to the Russian Navy, and second to remind people of Our Lady of Fatima’s warning of the “errors of Russia,” that is, Communism.”
Damien Murphy, a volunteer of ISFCC, stated that, “The response of the locals to the rallies has been great.” He explained that the participants of the Rosary Rally in Castletown-Bearhaven were all invited to have a cup of tea in Murphy’s Restaurant after the gathering. The passers-by often stopped to join in with the Rosary Rallies or to make the sign of the cross. Many took photos and gave thumbs up in support. One lady heard the rosary from her home and joined the rally.
After the Rosary Rallies, volunteers and friends visited the bars, cafés, butchers and other shops to distribute scapulars, rosaries and miraculous medals to the fishermen who patronize these establishments. Thus, they visited the towns of Castletown-Bearhaven, Kinsale, Union Hall, Skibbereen, and Bantry.
One worker at a fishermen co-op asked for at least two dozen miraculous medals to hand out to fellow fishermen. Patrick Murphy took two dozen miraculous medals for his men, while Alan, skipper of the Syracuse, secured miraculous medals for each member of his crew. “You’re doing great work!” the skipper commented. At the Chef’s Table shop, the owner gave doughnuts to the volunteers.
One Londoner was very happy to see the Rosary Rally in Bantry. He said he had worked for a long time at Britain Needs Fatima in London.
A man from Bristol met the campaign in Skibbereen. He has followed the actions of the ISFCC online and found the work inspirational. “You’re doing the word of God, and praise the Lord for it. We need more of it. I follow you online as well. You refresh me…Thank you very much.”
Since 2010, Irish Society for Christian Civilisation has organized hundreds of Rosary Rallies in the public square. On October 14, 2017, ISFCC held two hundred Rosary Rallies across Ireland in honour of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
Organizer Rory O’Hanlon concluded, “What we are asking people to do is what Our Lady asked of us at Fatima, prayer, penance and amendment of life. At the heart of every crisis in the world, today lies a moral problem. It is especially through the rosary that God gives us the wisdom, prudence and confidence to solve our problems.”
Subscribe to our newsletter!