Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Enduring Legacy of Now-‘Venerable’ Father Patrick Peyton (Part 1)

Jan 13-14  2018:  2nd  Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last month, Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtue of ‘The Rosary Priest.’ 

Joseph Pronechen:    JAN. 4, 2018 
The priest who coined the phrase “The family that prays together stays together” is one step closer to sainthood. On Dec. 18, Pope Francis declared Father Patrick Peyton of the Congregation of Holy Cross a “Venerable,” meaning the Holy Father deemed the Marian-devoted priest lived a life of heroic virtue.
The news came 25 years after the death of Father Peyton, known worldwide as “The Rosary Priest.”
“Even though we knew it was coming, it was still a wonderful, surprising feeling of the reality of grace at work in this whole process,” said Holy Cross Father Willy Raymond, the president of Holy Cross Family Ministries ( “We’ve been waiting for 25 years for this, and certainly the last 20, since the cause opened.”
The congregation’s Holy Cross Father David Marcham, who has worked on the cause as vice postulator, is inspired by the people he’s met who have asked for Father Peyton’s intercession or who have written to say their prayers were answered through his intercession. “Some of those people have been in contact with us and expressing their great joy,” he said. He finds it “really uplifting to be able to share this great news with so many.”
This latest step has the added benefit of bolstering Father Peyton’s mission (, which includes Family Theater Productions, based in Hollywood, Family Rosary,, Father Peyton Family Institutes, and active offices in 16 countries, including the Philippines, India and East Africa.
Father Raymond said he “sees this as a providential opportunity to introduce Father Peyton to a whole new generation of young people.”
Father Peyton’s mission began when he was stricken with tuberculosis as a seminarian.
“He prayed his Rosary to the Blessed Mother and made a miraculous recovery,” recalled Father Raymond. “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.”
A year after his ordination in 1941 he founded Family    Rosary and then added radio. By 1947, he founded Family Theater Productions, which produced 900 radio and TV programs featuring hundreds of major actors.
In 1948, he began worldwide “Rosary Crusades,” leading 40 enormous rallies. These events drew 28 million people, including 2 million in Manila and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Rosary-Fatima Connection:

Father Raymond sees “a link between the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima and the importance of her message for the 20th and   into the 21st century and Father Peyton’s link to the family [prayer and Rosary].”
It was May 13, 1928, the anniversary of the apparition at Fatima, that Patrick Peyton and his brother Tom left Ireland for the United States. One of nine Peyton children, Patrick brought with him the rich faith he learned from his parents, including praying the Rosary together each evening.
Father Marcham also sees the providential connection.
“The 100th anniversary of Fatima directed a very strong spotlight on praying the Rosary and its efficacy,” he said. “That ties in with Father Peyton’s message for families to come together, pray the Rosary together and experience the fruits that come from that.”
The vice postulator understands that “both are a call to   action with the promise of fruitfulness.”  
(to be continued)...