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I Witnessed the Rosary Miracle

by Stephen Wells

Dear Father Gruner,

We are so deluged with opinions, histories, expert evaluations, modifications, amendments, deletions and additions that we mere mortals are tempted to imitate the ostrich (bury our heads in the sand) and wait for it to all go away.

Unfortunately the sands of time are fast running out and there may soon be no sand left for us to bury our heads in!

I can understand why there is opposition to your work, the Message of Fatima is dramatically opposed to popular perceptions of the present day. We live in an age of permissiveness, an era where there is no apparent penalty for non-performance of our duty — in some cases our sworn duty. From a purely lay observation, I felt at the time that the Vatican II Council made changes too sweeping, too fast and at the wrong time in history — the removal of some of the disciplines augmented the permissiveness of the age — e.g. fasting from midnight until receiving of Holy Communion the next morning did at least lend considerable weight to the solemnity of the occasion — more so than today.

Do we really pray any more fervently today in our own language than we did in Latin? At least there was no room for individual interpretations as there is now.

More to the point of your work, I am amazed at how many of our parishioners do not know why the priest says the three Hail Mary’s (specifically for the conversion of Russia) at the foot of the altar after Mass.

I will be very frank with you — if it wasn’t for my experience with the British Army in Austria at the end of the war, I may have had difficulty in accepting many of your reports. Briefly, while serving in Austria in the Army of Occupation, I observed a weekly procession (I think every Friday) reciting the Rosary while visiting the shrines around the town. This went on all over Austria.

In the face of this, the Russians, realizing that their doctrines would never take hold in such an atmosphere, withdrew — and when they packed up and left, so did we!

The Russian withdrawal was particularly remarkable when you consider the strategic importance of Austria — both Napoleon and Hitler held the view that “he who holds Vienna, holds the key to Europe.”

We need someone like you to hold up the light of objective faith! And I will try to keep on supporting you. I spent 26 years as a counselor with the Employment Service and I know how hard it is to get people to see facts and face them.

Keep up the good work.

God Bless.

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