MADISON, Wis. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Wisconsin priest is urging the faithful to begin a nation-wide assault on the powers of evil starting Thursday, Aug. 15.
Father Richard Heilman is inviting Catholics across the country to pray together to call upon God through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary to heal the United States and her people and to bring them to holiness.
I can't sit idly by and do nothing. Let's grow an army of supernatural warriors!!https://t.co/jKPE6Drm0U— Fr. Richard Heilman (@FatherHeilman) August 6, 2019
"Novena for Our Nation" begins on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and ends on Oct. 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
"Powerful, diabolical forces are stopping at nothing to throw everything they have at whatever is good, holy and Godly in our society," Fr. Heilman, the priest who started the novena, said. "They are doing everything possible to tear down the moral fabric of our society, seeking the ruin of our souls and the souls of our loved ones."
Father Heilman urges everyone to become part of the prayer warrior army by signing onto the United States Grace Force, what he calls the "new branch of the U.S. Armed Forces."
"Praying the Rosary with others creates a more powerful shield against the evil forces," Fr. Heilman asserts, quoting St. Louis de Montfort (1673–1716), a French priest who had an intense devotion to Mary:
When people say the Rosary together, it is far more formidable to the devil than one said privately. Because in this public prayer, it is an army that is attacking him. He can often overcome the prayer of an individual, but if this prayer is joined to other Christians, the devil has much more trouble in getting the best of it.
The prayer warrior priest told Church Militant that he got the idea for the novena "back in 2015" when he saw a need "to grow a huge army of supernatural warriors to push back and reclaim surrendered ground."
Like so many others, I was witnessing the expansion of evil. It was that we all had been witnessing brutal murders by Islamic terrorists, many shown on social media ... we were all in shock when the Supreme Court decision came in that enshrined same-sex marriage into law.
I didn't have it in me ... to just sit there and take this aggressive campaign by the devil and his minions.
Father Heilman explained how his love for Mary was born:
I witnessed the love for Our Lady in Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and I began to take that relationship more seriously. This was also around the time I lost my own mother at the young age of 63. I could not take for granted the tenderness of a mother, and the amazing role Our Blessed Mother plays as our advocate. I fell head over heels in love with Our Lady.
He explained that as his relationship with the Blessed Mother grew, he found the Rosary was "the primary way of keeping that relationship solid."
"Most especially, I began to grasp, even more deeply, God's plan for placing Our Lady front and center in the supernatural war against the forces of evil," he continued. "I began to more fully understand the Rosary as a powerful supernatural weapon against Satan."
"We have witnessed a multitude of miracles (private and public) since this '50,000 strong' United States Grace Force began praying together in 2016," Fr. Heilman wrote. "I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe God answers [our prayers with] miracles."
"I'm enthusiastically awaiting what God will bring to this fourth year of spiritual warfare with the United States Grace Force," he added.
The novena itself began with a "little miracle."
"When I first received the inspiration for entering into spiritual warfare ... by way of the miraculous 54-day Rosary novena, I wanted to conclude on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. So, I wondered what date, counting back 54 days, it would begin. I was amazed, and took it as the providence of God, that it landed exactly on the Feast of the Assumption."
Speaking to his hope for this year's novena — and his belief in the power of the Rosary — Fr. Heilman shot off a salvo of rhetorical questions to Church Militant:
What if we were to grow a huge military of spiritual warriors? What if this military was comprised of some of the strongest Catholics in the United States ... those who actually believe in the supernatural power of God?
What if this mighty military force was made up of those who believed in the power of prayer, who believe in the power of the Rosary, who believe in the power of sacramentals and devotions?
What if this mighty force believed that it is only by the power of God, and our strength in the power of God, that our Church and our world will be victorious over the tactics of the devil?