Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton (1909-1992), a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, is best remembered today for his slogan, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together”, as well as his fifty year public ministry that promoted devotion to the family Rosary. During that time Father Peyton’s 40 outdoor Rosary rallies throughout the world drew over 28 million people, including 500,000 in San Francisco alone in 1961 and 2 million in the Philippines in 1985. Through these rallies, and through his multi-year television ministry “The Family Theatre”, Fr. Peyton deservedly earned the title “The Rosary Priest” among his admirers.
Today, as elected officials, judicial activists, academic elites and cultural progressives continue their unrelenting assault against the family, we do well to recall Fr. Peyton’s slogan. While radical secularists seek to redefine the family, divorcing it from its very meaning and purpose, strong Catholic families must come together in prayer. Make no mistake about it: this is a supernatural battle that requires a supernatural response from the Church Militant. Now more than ever faithful Catholics need to rediscover the family rosary.
Fr. Peyton’s devotion to the Rosary began early in his childhood. As noted at his official site:
“Each night the Peyton family knelt in the main room of the home and prayed the FAMILY ROSARY, as led by his father. Patrick was the sixth child, out of nine in the large Peyton family. He developed a close relationship with his pastor and often served early morning Mass in Attymass…”
From those humble beginnings Fr. Peyton would eventually share his love for the Rosary with millions. For decades Heaven was stormed with the prayers of millions of families because they heeded Father’s words. What if we were to see football stadiums once again filled with devout Catholics, bold Catholics, assembling and giving prayerful witness to the beauty of the family and the power of the Rosary?
In recent weeks I have reintroduced this practice of praying a nightly Rosary to my family. I have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly my kids have accepted this change to their after dinner routine, no doubt because of Our Lady’s intercession.
Now more than ever we need the Family Rosary. In a culture which actively seeks to redefine the family at every opportunity, sometimes the only response we really have is to drop to our knees and pray. And yet, is there a more powerful weapon we wield in defense of the family than our rosaries?
In the end, Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton said it best: “The family that prays together stays together.”
Brian Williams is a convert who entered the Catholic Church in 2006. He is a graduate of Long Beach State University with a BA in History. Brian blogs on life, liturgy and the pursuit of holiness at liturgyguy.com. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and five children.
Well said, Brian. Helping families to say the Rosary is precisely why I created the Sacred Art Series Rosary Flip Book. See http://www.SacredArtSeries.com.
Having good images to look at really helps–for both the kids and the adults. It’s certainly helped my own young children to be more attentive; it’s also helped them to learn the mysteries of the Rosary, which is a great way to learn the important events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.
Completely agree with you Will. That Rosary is the perfect devotion for a family and your flip book is a beautiful aid for deepening our prayer life. Keep up the good work with the Sacred Art Series!
I started the family rosary 5 or 6 years ago with my mother. I had felt our Lady saying to me when I was praying, “pray the rosary with your mother ” I said yes. After about 2 years after we started to pray it, my older brother came in our house when my mother and me were half way through praying our rosary one night (he had been away from the church for about 30 years by that time,” he sat and listened for the rest of the rosary that night and when it was finished he said “that was amazing,it took me back to when we were kids praying the family rosary” the next night he came in to listen to the whole rosary,the third night he asked for a set of rosary beads. After 18 months his non catholic wife started to come to our family rosary 3 or 4 nights a week ,then my sister and her husband started to come 2 or 3 nights a week to our growing family rosary. My brother is not only back at mass but he is a Eucharistic minister and loves taking Jesus to the sick including to our house bound mother. His wife was welcomed into the catholic church after her conversion two years ago. We have now made a Tuesday night our main family rosary night with the 5 of us always there, we now have nieces and nephews and aunts who sometimes come for our Tuesday rosary. We get regular phone calls asking to put people on our ever growing intentions list. All our Lady needed was that first yes from me to pray the rosary with my mother, we didn’t know the plan but Our Lady sure did.. Please answer Our Blessed Mothers Call. Pray the family rosary. Miracles really do happen. God Bless. Jw, scotland