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VIENNA (ChurchMilitant.com) - A young Austrian convert is rallying fellow Catholics to launch public Rosary processions.
"Pachamama slayer" Alexander Tschugguel, a former Lutheran, made the call after recently organizing a series of successful Rosary processions in the streets of Vienna.
Tschugguel, founder of Catholic apostolate the St. Boniface Institute, told Church Militant that he especially asks "all the Catholic men to start acting!"
Catholic men "should organize these processions," he said. "It is their vocation to stand in the first row of battle."
"The Rosary is one of the most powerful weapons against the devil. We know that our Lady crushes the head of the serpent, and if you ask her to do that five decades long, as she wanted us to do, the Devil has no chance," the 27-year-old Catholic leader said.
Tschugguel explained that the first procession was the "Rosary for Austria" which took place in 2019, "before the pandemic." The intention was simply "to ask for the help of God and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin."
After the celebration of a High Mass, followed by a procession with a marching band through the inner city of Vienna, "the full splendor of the Rosary was revealed," Tschugguel said. "We prayed for the Church, the state, the unborn, for families, for the dead and for many other things."
In this post-pandemic year, he said, "Everything changed suddenly."
"Limited by the so-called corona regulations, we were not able to organize a large, festive High Mass in a church, but only a small — but no less festive — Holy Mass in a private chapel in Vienna," he said.
"We could not walk through the main thoroughfares of Vienna with police protection and brass band, as we had done [in 2019]," he said, "so we processed on the sidewalks, occasionally singing songs in praise of the Virgin Mary, a cappella and from memory."
"At the end of the procession, there was no adoration and no eucharistic blessing, but a courageous priest who joined the procession did give us a blessing, right in the middle of Vienna's St. Stephen's Square."
On June 3 the St. Boniface Institute founder and other faithful again processed through the streets of Vienna reciting the Rosary. "We particularly asked God to send us many holy priests, to grant the grace of conversion to our politicians and to end the injustice of abortion, which has unfortunately been exacerbated by this crisis, once and for all."
In all, he has organized three processions within the last six weeks with around 100 people participating in each. Observers on the streets have reacted in various ways —"most stopped and stared at us, a few made fun of us and some made the Sign of the Cross," he said.
Now he is hoping that "many people will start similar processions in their cities, and people start to realize again that it is highly important to pray together in public," adding, "All the great divine interventions were an answer to the faithful's prayer."
When asked about the success of the Rosary processions, he gave this testimonial: "We asked Our Lady in all three processions to end the 'ban' of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue [and] kneeling so that this terrible violation of His Body stops. After the third procession, the bishops in Austria suddenly allowed it again — even though nobody expected them to do so."
"This is clearly a sign of Our Lady's intercession," he said, adding,
Especially in today's times, where statues of the great enemy are erected and statues of great Saints or even statues of our Lady are being tossed down, we as Catholics have the vocation to defend our faith in public and to fight for the good! Without this mighty prayer our chances are very small. God gave us our free will so if we want something from Him, we have to ask him. By Mary's intercession we will succeed, and God will help.
To plan a Rosary procession, Tschugguel offers these guidelines:
Before the start of each decade of the Rosary, he suggests the following intentions be announced aloud, for all participants to hear:
Tschugguel is known for removing the Pachamama pagan images from Santa Maria in Transpontina in Rome and then tossing them into the Tiber river in late 2019. He said, "I only had one reason to do it — to defend the glory of God."
He was motivated to do so, he said, after observing a group of people worshipping the two wooden statues representing Pachamama, the Mother Earth goddess of the Amazon, during a ceremony in the Vatican Gardens in October 2019.
He said he did not want to offend anyone. Instead, he wanted the Amazonian people "to have the truth of Christ" and not "mock Christian religion."
Tschugguel is also a COVID-19 survivor, having wrestled with the disease for weeks. In an act of redemptive suffering, he offered his suffering for Pope Francis.