As a culture, we are enamored with superheroes. The “Marvel cinematic universe,” an umbrella term for a series of superhero movies, TV shows, comics, games, and other related media has been an unprecedented success; just the movies alone have brought in over $22 billion in the years since the first one was released in 2008. While the magnitude of this franchise, and the sheer amount of money it has earned is unprecedented, what lies at the root of the storytelling of the franchise is not. Everyone, it seems, loves a good superhero story. The heroes of today might be Captain America and Iron Man; a generation or two they were Superman and Batman (and perhaps even James Bond). In generations before that, our “superheroes” went by other names: Aragorn & Gandalf, Luke Skywalker, or Mr. Spock. Going even further back, you could point to characters who were “antecedents” to the modern superhero archetype in figures like Robin Hood, Tarzan, various heroic cowboys played by John Wayne, or even some of the mythological heroes of old like Achilles, Odysseus, and Gilgamesh.
What is common link through all of these stories? There is some great battle of good versus evil, and our superhero bravely fights against evil and, through some power beyond what “normal people” would have, is able to overcome the forces of evil and save the world. And for normal people like us, there is something captivating about watching these amazing superheroes tap into their mysterious superpowers to save the day.
But the reality is… we already have at our fingertips the power to save the world. Blessed Pope Pius IX once said, “Give me an army praying the rosary and I will conquer the world.” And there is a famous quote, often attributed to St. Dominic, that says of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “One day, through the rosary and the scapular, she will save the world.” When our Blessed Mother appeared to the children in her apparition at Fatima, she told them to pray the rosary daily for peace in the world.
It is because of promises like these, and because of the extraordinary spiritual fruitfulness of praying the rosary, that once again the archdiocese is sponsoring a “rosary congress.” And once again this year, our own St. Joseph Church is honored to be one of the sites where this will take place. Beginning with the 5:00 PM Mass on October 6, we will have 24 straight hours of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with a rosary being prayed every hour. Information on how to sign up to commit to an hour of prayer during this event can be found elsewhere in this week’s bulletin. I encourage every single parishioner, every family, to sign up for a one hour “shift” during this wonderful 24 hours of grace. Come as a family. Come with a few good friends. Spend an hour in prayer before the real presence of our Eucharistic Lord, and entrust yourself and your loved ones to Our Lady, who always leads us to a deeper relationship with her Son. I promise you will receive many beautiful graces in your life as a result.
And who knows. Perhaps you might also save the world.
Fr. John Paul