Parishioners gather to pray the Rosary together

Published 7:54 pm Sunday, October 15, 2017

By Gabrielle Terrett

For the Vicksburg Post

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The 100th Anniversary of the Rosary Crusade was acknowledged at St. Mary Catholic Church Saturday. The ceremony was held outside by request of the churches members.

In attendance were parishioners from each of Vicksburg’s three Catholic churches — Saint Michael, Saint Mary and Saint Joseph Catholic.

The event began with everyone in a circle surrounding the speaker and transitioned into all present praying the rosary.

The event is a reminder for individuals to pledge a daily rosary and ask for forgiveness from God for the sins of the country and of the world. It is also a time for those who believe to remember the upcoming Fatima Centennial, which celebrates 100 years since the Miracle of the Sun occurred in Fatima, Portugal, following the appearance of Mary to three Portuguese children.

“We do the Rosary because we believe in Mary, the mother of God, who introduced the Rosary centuries ago, that she saw three kids and talked to the kids and that she actually appeared to them three times and that’s what Fatima is all about,” said Virginia Brown, a two -year member of St. Mary Catholic Church. “So they were in Fatima and she introduced the Rosary to them.”

Each member had a different view on the ceremony; however, all came together when it came to describing what the service represented and how the Fatima Centennial affects the world today.

“The world is in grave danger, war is a huge sign that God is not happy with us. The Fatima Centennial demonstrates how the world is in danger and faces the wrath of God, as the world is not doing God’s bidding,” said Philomena Salasko. “One thing that Mary asked was that people pray to the rosary once a day and turn away from evil and turn to good.”

The story of Fatima is one that has been engrained into the Catholic religion that most Catholics know.

“We all grew up with the story of Fatima and it has kind of blossomed with us. Some of us learned it from our parents and others from nuns. Nuns were very big on Fatima in my day,” said Yulonde Watson a member of St. Mary. “It is just wonderful that our parishioner had us to start spreading awareness of the upcoming centennial and to see that they contacted everybody to come and lead larger numbers than are here in the Crusade.”

Among the three churches present, St. Mary was chosen to host the program because of the church’s correlation with the occasion. St. Mary is the only Catholic Church in Vicksburg that is devoted to the Mother of God, Mary.

“There are three churches here, St. Michael, St. Paul and St. Mary, I feel as though we (St. Mary) kind of have a proprietary place in this because St. Mary’s is the only church here in Vicksburg dedicated to her and we were determined to have the Public Square Rosary Crusade here,” said Watson.

The ceremony is held once a year, according to Watson, and is a great way to bring the church together.