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The global Rosary is the founding project of the new Holy League of Nations, an international alliance of faithful Catholics striving to transform their cultures through prayer and fasting.
"We are uniting in Spiritual Warfare," the group explains. "We are uniting to stand with The Woman, Clothed with the Sun (Revelation 12:1)."
The Holy League of Nations is an outgrowth of the United States' national Rosary rally, Rosary Coast to Coast. Since its announcement in April, what was once America's national prayer rally has been transformed into an international Rosary event.
On Oct. 7, as American faithful converge on hundreds of sites from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the 49th Parallel to the Rio Grande, they will be joined in prayer by Catholics in Poland, Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, France, Denmark, Romania, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India and beyond. Each country will specify its own particular intentions and needs, while bound together through the Rosary and united under the mantle of Our Lady.
Recently, Church Militant spoke with Bree Dail, international coordinator for the Holy League of Nations, about the history and implications of the initiative
"The roots of the movement spring from Poland," she explained.
Dail recounted that on Oct. 15, 2016, more than 100,000 Catholics converged on the Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa at Jasna Góra to pray in reparation for the sins of their country. Led by Abp. Stanisław Gądecki, head of the Polish bishops' conference, the "Great Atonement" was marked by Mass, eucharistic adoration, confession and prayers of reparation for abortion, addictions and societal divisions.
One month later, the country's bishops gathered at the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow where, in the presence of Polish President Andrzej Duda, they formally recognized Jesus Christ as King of Poland. In their act of enthronement, leaders of Church and state prayed:
Christ our King, we confidently entrust to your mercy all of Poland. ... In the name of brotherly love, we entrust to you all the world's nations. ... Let your Holy Spirit descend and renew the face of the Earth. ... In the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we place our decisions and commitments. We entrust all to the maternal care of the Queen of Poland and to the intercession of the patron saints of our fatherland. Christ, reign over us! Reign over our fatherland, and reign in every nation — for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of humanity. Make our homeland and the entire world into your kingdom: a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
The act of enthronement was repeated in every Polish parish the following day.
"Shortly after that," Dail told Church Militant, "the 'Rosary at the Borders' initiative ignited."
On Oct. 7, 2017, more than one million Catholics journeyed to Poland's borders to encircle their country with the Rosary. In fields, on hillsides and along the northern coast — some 4,000 sites in all — Polish faithful begged Our Lady's intercession for their nation.
"From there," Dail said, "the movement spread to Ireland." On Nov. 26 — the Feast of Christ the King — 30,000 Irish Catholics joined together for the "Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith," where they prayed "for the unborn and for the revitalization of the Church in Ireland."
"Right after that," Dail continued, "the British Isles got on board."
Led by Bp. John Keenan of Paisley, Scotland; Antonia Moffat of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England; and online media group Sancta Familia Media, among others, the United Kingdom's "Rosary on the Coast" drew tens of thousands to British shores on April 29.
"Australia was next," Dail said. On Sunday, May 13 — the 101st anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima — tens of thousands of Australian Catholics united for Oz Rosary #53 ("Oz" being a slang term for "Australia" and "#53" reflecting the original goal of securing 53 sites of prayer — one for every Hail Mary in the Rosary).
"And then," Dail added, "the United States caught fire."
Inspired by the cascade of national Rosary campaigns, Dail contacted Fr. Richard Heilman, president of Wisconsin-based apostolate the Holy League, to gauge whether a similar effort could be launched in America.
"When I approached Fr. Heilman about Rosary Coast to Coast," she explained, "I wanted to get after-action reports from countries that had already done this. So I reached out to the British Isles and to Ireland, and they were happy to assist."
She connected with Bp. Keenan and Moffat. During her meeting with the bishop, the idea for the Holy League of Nations was born.
In her discussion with Bp. Keenan, Dail explained that she was struck by the national Rosary phenomenon touching off in various parts of the world.
"This is like the beginning of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart," she told Bp. Keenan, who did not disagree. "This is like the re-formation of the Holy League," she said, recalling Pope St. Pius V's alliance of nations which, through the intercession of Our Lady, saved Christendom from being overrun by Muslim armies at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
"The idea of the new Holy League was really founded with that conversation with Bp. Keenan," Dail recalled. "From there, Fr. Heilman spoke with him as well, and they had the same discussion."
Father Heilman, she noted, recognized the hand of God at work in the spontaneous unifying of Catholics in prayer: "This unity is the 'counter,' he said. What's happening with the division in the Church — this is the counter. It's Our Lady."
From there, under the auspices of the new Holy League of Nations, Dail and Fr. Heilman began engaging with Rosary coordinators from various countries. With that, America's "Rosary Coast to Coast" went global.
Church Militant asked Dail about the spiritual significance of the phenomenon. "This whole movement — if you think about it — it's gargantuan!" she exclaimed. "It's impossible. And yet, it's happening. Doors are being opened. People are cooperating in ways you would not expect."
Dail described the movement as inspired by the Holy Spirit and driven forward by Our Lady. She also connected it to a prophecy given to St. Faustina Kowalska, the 20th-century Polish nun and "Apostle of Divine Mercy."
In her diary, St. Faustina recorded that one day as she was praying for her country, Jesus spoke to her, saying: "I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming."
"Many people tend to look at this as a reference to St. Pope John Paul II, and possibly it is," Dail said. "But there may also be many layers to the prophecy." She suggested that the national Rosary phenomenon is part of the Divine "spark" Christ promised would come from Poland.
Dail also links the global Rosary movement to the messages of certain Church-approved Marian apparitions, describing it as a divine response to the crisis in the Church and the accelerating collapse of morality worldwide.
"We're looking at Fatima; we're looking at Akita; we're looking at La Salette; we're looking at Tre Fontaine," she reflected. "We're seeing all that playing out: bishops against bishops, cardinals against cardinals, doctrine being attacked, marriage being attacked, Our eucharistic Lord being profaned. All these things were prophesied by Our Lady, and they are now coming true."
But in spite of the growing crises in the Church and across the world, Dail sees cause for great hope:
We must fight the darkness, and that's what we're calling people to do through the 54-day Rosary novena and the Holy League of Nations Rosary on Oct. 7. At the same time, it should give us comfort. It should give us encouragement, because Our Lady foretold these things. But she also promised us that all this will culminate in the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart! The beginning of the happy restoration — the full restoration of the Church! She promised it. That's what's coming, at the other end of all this turmoil and darkness. And so that's what we're praying for on Oct. 7: the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, when she crushes the head of Satan.
"Be encouraged!" she continued. "I know many are being dragged down by the rot we're seeing in the Church, but we have to fight it. In justice and in truth, we have to expose the sin."
"But at the same time, we have to understand that through this, Our Lady is answering," Dail said. "The unveiling of all the filth — this is part of her plan, and we should be encouraged by that."
"This is us — little, faithful Catholics — fighting against powers and principalities," she added, stressing that participation in the Rosary campaign is an act of spiritual warfare.
Dail is urging Catholics everywhere to get involved, to take up their Rosaries and join the 54-Day Rosary Novena for Our Nations on Aug. 15, and to come together on Oct. 7 for the worldwide Rosary event.
Dail also had a special message for Catholics in nations that have not yet joined the Holy League of Nations effort: "I want to encourage countries that are not yet formed. For those who feel a tug of the heartstring regarding their country, but feel that they're too small to lead or engage — I want to encourage Catholics in those countries to say 'Fiat!' because Our Lady will do the heavy lifting."
"Abandon yourselves to divine providence on this," she said. "Put yourselves into Our Lady's very capable hands and say yes to her! We want to see every country that's home to a Catholic church engage in this. Every country is being called — all for the Immaculata!"
Catholics in the United States can register their groups or join existing ones by logging onto the Rosary Coast to Coast website; Catholics elsewhere can register their countries or join a group in registered countries through the Holy League of Nations website.