As the French Parliament continues to discuss the implementation of a vaccine passport that the government wants to impose next week with little hope of significant opposition, many French Catholics seem to have realized the only solution lies with the Blessed Virgin, who is “strong as an army arrayed in battle.”
The draft law on vaccine passports, which contains no indication that they will be lifted under any condition, was adopted at the end of last week by the National Assembly in the middle of the night with only about two-thirds of the deputies present. It was during the Senate discussion that a Telegram group inviting individuals to organize informal prayer meetings took off with an incredible start.
The group was created on January 7 by Louis-Pierre Laroche, a French citizen originally from the Vendée who now lives in Vienna with his family of 11 children. Himself a member of a large family, he could count on help in France and, indeed, a video he made calling for a “Rosary Crusade” was soon shared via social media. The group picked up steam on Tuesday, moving rapidly from about 500 members to more than 6,000 in less than 24 hours as more and more people in France decided to join and organize a public recitation of the Rosary in multiple locations on Wednesday evening.
At the time of writing, on Thursday evening in France, the group has 7,243 members and counting, with no less than 900 participants online.
The result was spectacular and surprising: On Wednesday evening, which is the recommended day for a weekly public rosary, more than 500 venues had been mentioned on the Telegram group called “La France prie” (France prays). As new rendezvous points poured in during the day, the group’s volunteers were hard pressed to keep up with the announced venues, at one point even warning that there would be a 2 ½-hour wait before new messages were taken into account and pinned on an interactive Google map, which is available here. At this writing, more than 780 locations have already been listed for next Wednesday next in France.
A short video taken during the prayer meetings was posted here.
People seeking to launch or join a group in France, who want to see how the initiative functions, or find photos of Wednesday evening’s prayers can go to this Telegram group, https://t.me/lafranceprie. However, this group is exclusively intended for France, and the moderators do not allow discussions. It is meant to be used strictly as an organizational tool.
The objective is to pray that the Blessed Virgin should peacefully bring about “the end of the societal crisis” at a time when so many Catholics in France fear for their future liberties and livelihoods. Many reject the abortion tainted-vaccines and fear adverse events so badly for themselves and their children. The European counting system has already listed more than 36,000 post-vaccinal deaths, and citizens are seeing their rights and liberties restrained in the name of COVID. This includes not being able to access a hospital or a nursing home in order to a accompany a child or visit an elderly person in the absence of a “sanitary pass” proving vaccination, negativity or recent recovery from COVID. With the new vaccine passport, negativity or recovery will no longer be taken into account.
On Wednesday evening, more than 500 public rosaries were prayed in front of churches or at the foot of one of the myriad wayside crosses and Marian oratories dotting the French countryside. Some events were attended by a single person, others by five or 20 or 30, including many young children, which is truly a success on such short notice. As the initiative becomes better known and people realize how easy it is to fix a time and date for this powerful public prayer or to find a group that has already been set up, attendance likely will rise sharply in the following weeks.
Our family organized a public rosary at the “Calvary” statue at the entry of our Breton village on Wednesday. As we prayed in front of the Crucifix, I realized that in older times, this would not have been at all unusual. When France was still deeply Catholic, these roadside statues would attract people walking to the nearby town and stopping to say a prayer, alone or in a group, would be the most natural thing in the world. “France prays” is surely allowing people to rediscover the natural purpose of these oratories, statues and crucifixes, which is to lift hearts to heaven throughout the ordinary days of life.
It was also a very pacifying experience. When praying to the Virgin Mother of God, who – it must be said again – is “strong as an army arrayed in battle,” outside, in sight of many people driving home from work, the puniness of her enemies becomes so very evident! Hope is on our side, a sure hope that can count on final victory.
In news from other groups, I heard of people who took their car and joined the group closest to them, although they didn’t even know how to pray the rosary, because they have come realize that only prayer can save them now. So the initiative has an apostolic dimension, too.
Louis-Pierre Laroche made all this very clear in his inspiring video that galvanized the French into going into the streets to pray publicly for the end of the current crisis.
He said (transcript and translation by LifeSite]:
Hello everyone, this is Louis-Pierre speaking to you. I’m making this little video because two days ago I sent you a link to a Telegram group, France Prays, and I’d like to say a few words about it and explain why I sent it. In fact, since the COVID crisis started, it’s been 22 months now, I’ve been in Austria, I’ve been active at the legal level, at the political level, at the media level. I have participated in a lot of demonstrations and what I have realized now, as the crisis is growing, as more and more freedom-killing laws are coming, is that in fact all this action is not enough. And for months I’ve been saying to myself during the demonstrations: it’s good to fight for freedom, it’s good to fight for all that, but as a Catholic, we have something else. And that’s where this idea came from, which was suggested to me in part by discussions I had with people and by people who suggested it to me when we met, especially in the demonstrations where I saw people who were there brandishing a rosary, or people who were there with a cross. I have clients who were jabbed two or three times who said to me: “Now there’s only heaven that can help us,” and I said to myself: people are ready for prayer.
At the same time, there were people who were totally desperate about the laws that were likely to be passed and that are still likely to be passed. They are desperate at the family level, desperate at the professional level, desperate at the health level, at all levels. And we were all starting to get a little scared, I must say.
And so, on November 29, I had this idea to initiate a Rosary crusade in Austria, and to do it in a very simple way. And why? Because as Catholics we have a weapon which is the rosary and which has proven itself in history. We know the battle of Lepanto, it was a great Rosary crusade by Pope St. Pius V with the image of Mary of the Snows; in Vienna, we remember the siege by the Turks, where we prayed from August 5, the feast of Mary of the Snows, until the victory on September 12, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, and the rosary was prayed day and night in all the churches in Vienna. And at the same time there was the military battle, of course — this should not be forgotten either. Today we also have a political struggle, which we must not forget. But we have this weapon which is there and which I think, in relation to the forces present at the moment, is the only and definitive one which can help us.
So in Austria we started on that Monday morning to do something very simple that everyone can do. You don’t need to be intellectual, you don’t need to be well organized, you don’t need to have any experience of action, you don’t need anything at all, you just need a rosary and a little bit of courage, because it’s really about getting up, going out, going into the public space, and saying the rosary around your house. Normally you go on foot. Near your house, at the first Calvary (wayside cross) you find. And you say a rosary in public. And this rosary that we say in public, we will inscribe it in public so that other people can join in. So it is very simple and everyone can do it. We can be one, two, three, four, and quickly we become 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, etc., as has been developing in Austria.
In Austria, in 2 days, while I was hoping to have 200 people, after a week, we had 35 places of prayer and already more than 500 people who prayed after 2 days. We did this on Monday, and it happened on Wednesday. Currently, we are at more than 220 places of prayer and, according to what we can count more or less, about 3,000 people who pray the rosary in public every Wednesday. 3,000 people from all areas of the Catholic Church, with parish priests, who write to me, who call me, abbots who write to me and call me, and who tell me: “Thank you, Mr. Laroche, you have freed us. Now we go out and pray.”
And then what happened was incredible: it developed so fast in Austria and so fast outside Austria, the next day it was taken up in Germany, the day after that it was taken up in Switzerland, the following week it was taken up in Italy, in the South Tyrol, in Croatia, in Slovenia, in the Czech Republic, and after 10 days it was taken up in Canada, in Australia, so it is something that has developed a lot.
Unfortunately for the moment in France nothing is happening. At least as far as I know, nothing is happening. I had contacts, I tried to launch this a little bit, but there was no reaction at all, as if in fact it wasn’t important. And that’s why I launched this to encourage you, because I’m not the one who can organize this in France, I’m not there. It is up to you, on the spot, to do things. It’s not up to me to do it, it’s up to you to organize it, it’s up to you to get up, to get out of your armchair, to go and say the rosary in public.
Why in public? At present, we find ourselves in a crisis of society, it is a societal crisis. But society is what happens in public. So we pray in public to protect this public domain. What does that mean? It means that this domain, once it is protected, once we have prayed and protected this public domain in our village, in our city, in our neighborhood, then the devil cannot attack anymore. So under this shield, we are not afraid anymore. We regain our confidence and fear changes sides. Fear changes sides: the devil takes revenge on his servants and they are the ones who are afraid.
Here I think is really something that came from this prayer: in Austria we prayed the first time on the evening of November 29, on Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning, four ministers resigned. I can tell you that they did not spend the night in peace. The day after, other ministers resigned, and since then, the laws that they assured us would be passed immediately, are still dragging on and no progress has been made. And so we continue to pray, we pray more and more, and we hope, trusting in the Blessed Virgin, that we will gain victory.
So this is what I say to you: take your rosary, move, it’s up to you. It’s up to you to get out of that armchair, it’s up to you to get out of the bubble of WhatsApp and I don’t know what, the bubble of being constantly informed about a whole lot of things, which are important but not strictly necessary, and which we know now and have understood; so we can stop all that, and now we have to move on to the real fight, get up, go out near to your house, you know where the next calvary (the nearest wayside cross) is, plan a rosary, register it and promote it.
I’ll give you one last example: I have an acquaintance not far from my house who said to me, no, I’m going to be all alone, I’m not going to know anyone, I’m going to be all alone saying the rosary. I said to him: it doesn’t matter, say the rosary anyway. Well, the first time they were 15, and now they are 30, every Wednesday, between 30 and 35. And in addition, in the surrounding villages, in the neighboring villages, there are 4 or 5 rosaries. So it’s enormous how it’s developing, and it doesn’t depend on us: the only thing we are asked to do is to get up, go out and do something.
I beg of you: get moving, for France, for the Church, for our freedom, so that we can regain confidence and finally have peace in this unending story. Thank you and see you soon.
The threat of a disguised vaccine mandate, forcing people to “choose” vaccination or to be deprived of many elementary rights, is still looming large in France. Health minister Olivier Véran has made clear he wants no limits to the government’s draft law, and it seems that the flimsy guarantees added to the bill by the Senate, that would force the authorities to lift the vaccine passport as soon as less than 10,000 people are in hospital “because of COVID” (at present, the count is at slightly more than 20,000 patients “with” COVID), will be ousted by the National Assembly that will have the upper hand after the second readings by the two chambers starting this Thursday evening at the National Assembly. Only a handful of deputies and senators are vigorously contradicting the government narrative.
Didier Raoult of Marseille, pioneer of the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin treatment for COVID in the spring of 2020, is becoming more visible in the media with his explanations regarding the infection-enhancing effect of the COVID shots during the three weeks following jabs and boosters, and the enormous number of infections precisely in those countries where vaccination rates are highest.
Olivier Véran himself was obliged to announce that he would self-isolate as of this Thursday morning, having tested positive with COVID although he has received three COVID jabs.
While this won’t change the government narrative, it’s a welcome slap in the face for those who want to force the entire French adult population to get the jab.
In further good news, both the administrative tribunal of Versailles and the administrative tribunal of Paris have suspended the obligation to wear masks outside in the French capital and its western suburbs that was reinstated on December 31, because the measure constitutes “an excessive and disproportionate infringement on personal freedom” that is not necessary at the present time.
We would do well to spread the word about this Rosary crusade, to take it up and to go out and participate in it, whether alone, in pairs or in groups, wherever we live, for our country “for the Church, for our freedom, so that we can regain confidence and finally have peace in this unending story.”