Letters were sent to more than 200 bishops inviting them to participate. "Its power and effectiveness, with the aid of God's grace, is designed to begin in the heart of each individual believer and multiply to unity with all the faithful in a cry for God's mercy and assistance," the press release states. The event is open to any parish, apostolate or business in the country.
The Presentation of the Lord is traditionally referred to as Candlemas, which celebrates the coming of Christ into His Temple as the newborn Son of God. He is the Light of the World that conquers the darkness of evil and sin. Candlemas "signifies the 'success' and triumph of the Incarnation, has been traditionally celebrated with triumphal candlelight processions, and is the liturgical day designated for the blessing of candles.'"
The Purification of Our Lady is thought to be the oldest Marian liturgical feast in the Church, with its origin in the liturgical life of the Church in Jerusalem. The purification was the ritual cleansing prescribed for women as a result of original sin and the pain that accompanied childbirth.
Mary, however, according to the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception
, was conceived without sin, so she was spared from the pangs of childbirth.
"The Purification of the New Testament is therefore to be identified with the interior suffering of Mary, and the prayer and penance of her spiritual children," the event description reads, "which is necessary for the purification of the Church in order that Christ's Light may radiate throughout the Church, and from there into the world."
"The task of unmasking these 'thoughts,'" and thus paving the way to the Triumph of the Truth of Christ, has been entrusted to Mary," the description continues. "The Rosary, as revealed in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, is this armor of light possessing the power from God to cast off the works of darkness which now pervade the Church, the world, and especially the minds and hearts of individual Catholics."
Poland's "Rosary to the Borders
" brought more than 1 million pilgrims in October, the largest
religious gathering in Europe since the 2016 World Youth Day in Kraków.
Inspired by Poland, Italian Catholics fasted on bread and water and prayed the Rosary across the country on the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, October 13. It was called the "Rosary at the Border
," and took place at churches throughout the country.
Shortly afterward, the "Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith
" in Ireland gathered more than 30,000 faithful on the coasts at 295 registered locations in November, with untold numbers praying in their homes and around the world.
The Rosary "must now, first and foremost, be directed in intention towards the Interior of the Church," the U.S. initiative states.