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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Raymond Burke is asking people to join in the effort to have over 1 million Catholics pray the Rosary in a spiritual crusade to storm Heaven for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.
Operation Storm Heaven is an endeavor of Catholic Action for Faith and Family (CAFF), a San Diego-based organization founded by Thomas McKenna — a layman who has worked closely with Cdl. Burke for over 20 years. Both Cdl. Burke and Abp. Cordileone of the archdiocese of San Francisco are spiritual advisers for CAFF.
Catholics around the world are being asked on the first of every month to offer five decades of the Rosary to "dispel confusion" that is so prominent in the Church today. The intentions also include:
Bring Hope to souls and minds throughout America and the world
Make reparation for the sins and offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Provide spiritual support in the struggle against the temptations of discouragement
To protect our families and our faith
To stop the advance of evil in our society
To flood souls with grace and light and truth
The Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared to Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto at Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917. She directed them, "Say the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and an end to the war." After Lucia, the oldest, asked if they would go to Heaven someday, Our Lady said "yes" but added that Francisco "will first have many Rosaries to say."
Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to them six times as Our Lady of the Rosary, each time telling them to pray the Rosary to end World War I which was raging at the time. Many in the Catholic Church, including Pope St. John Paul II have restated the importance of the daily recitation of the Rosary.
McKenna told Church Militant that Operation Storm Heaven's purpose is to encourage people to "besiege Heaven with prayer" in order to "dispel confusion" and "spread the Light of Truth throughout America and the world" by asking "Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the angels and saints" in "a united voice" to "hear our prayers and to come to our aid."
Cardinal Burke comments that praying the Rosary is "a response to the great challenges of our time," describing it as a response of "deep Christian faith" and prayer.
"You will find that it'll be a great help to your own perseverance and Christian witness in these difficult times," he says. "And at the same time, it will bring great blessings to your home and your family and in that way also bring a great blessing to our world."
He notes that the Rosary is "one of the most powerful forms of prayer" and "one of the most powerful ways by which Our Lady draws us to her Only Begotten Son Who alone is our salvation."