Forty-five people from the St. Louis Bertrand parish in Foreston and St. Mary’s parish in Milaca stood alongside Highway 23 in Foreston on Saturday, Oct. 14 for about 50 minutes of prayer.

With Rosaries in hand, the group of Catholics was praying for our country, asking God to save America through the Rosary of His Most Holy Mother, Mary.

For 13 years, a group from St. Louis Catholic Church has celebrated National Rosary Month by standing along Highway 23 in prayer and song.

This year, the Rosary rally held special meaning, said Jeanette Rahm, who organized the first rally back in 2004.

“It’s the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima,” Rahm explained.

Our Lady of Fátima is a Catholic title for Jesus’ mother Mary. Our Lady of Fátima originated in Portugal and is based on the famed Marian apparitions reported in 1917 by three shepherd children at the Cova da Iria, in Fátima, Portugal. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

According to Wikipedia, in the spring and summer of 1916, nine-year-old Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were herding sheep at the Cova da Iria near their home village of Aljustrel in the parish of Fátima, Portugal. They later said they were visited three times by an apparition of an angel. They said the angel, who identified himself as the “Angel of Peace” and “Angel of Portugal”, taught them prayers, to make sacrifices, and to spend time in adoration of the Lord.

Beginning in the spring of 1917, the children reported apparitions of an angel, and starting in May 1917, apparitions of the Virgin Mary, who the children described as “the lady more brilliant than the sun”. The children reported a prophecy that prayer would lead to an end to the great war, and that on Oct. 13 that year that the Lady would reveal her identity and perform a miracle “so that all may believe.”

The three children claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary in a total of six apparitions between May 13 and Oct. 13 1917. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions.

Jeanette Rahm organized the first Rosary rally 15 years ago.

“I saw a story about Our Lady of Fátima in the St. Cloud Visitor (a Catholic faith newspaper) and felt I had to get something started,” Rahm said.

Janette Rahm organized the event for 10 years. Rahm’s daughter, Debbie Thompson has organized the event the past three years.

One of the people at the Oct. 14 rally was Steve Kintgen of St. Mary’s parish in Milaca. Kintgen carried a large sign that featured a beautiful picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Spanish title for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Kitgen said the picture originally belonged to his brother.

As the group prayed or broke into song, passersby on Highway 23 occasionally honked their vehicle horns in support of their mission.

“It’s really nice,” Jeanette Rahm said.

The weather played a role in the nice turnout at the Rosary rally on Oct. 14.

“It’s a nice turnout. It’s nice they keep coming,” Rahm said.

At this time in our nation’s history, the United States needs prayer more than ever, she said.


Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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