Dearly Beloved,

Who can look at our world today and deny our need for God’s help?  Who can see the fragmented families, the civil strife, the threat of nuclear holocaust, and not understand that there can be no adequate answer without God?  How can we not turn to God?  How can we not talk to Him?

Such questions have become foremost in our minds.  As Bishops of the Philippines, we have joined together to consider these and other most urgent questions.  We have come to consider these and other most urgent questions.  We have come to the conclusion that without neglecting all the human effort asked of us by God for the transformation of our personal lives and society — now more than ever is the time to call upon God in a special way to bring all of our families together in a great reawakening to prayer.  This year commemorating the 2000th anniversary of the birth of our Blessed Mother is the fitting time to ask Jesus through His Mother Mary to save our families, our country and our world.

This conviction is immeasurably strengthened and enhanced by the statements of Vatican II and the Synod 1980 on the Family.  One of the recommendations of the Council Fathers to help solve the problem of family disintegration is — to restore Family Prayer.  The Synod on the Family added a more explicit recommendation that is reflected in the Synodal document of our Holy Father:

We now desire, as a continuation of the thought of our predecessors,  to  recommend  strongly  the  recitation  of the Family Rosary … the rosary should  be  considered  as  one of the best and  most  efficacious  prayers  in  common  that the Christian family is invited to  recite…  (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, no. 61.)

These endorsements by the Second Vatican Council, by Pope Paul VI’s Marialis Cultus , and by the Synod on the Family, give us the impetus, the courage and the obligation to do all in our power to restore the Family Rosary and to strengthen and maintain it, as it has been for centuries the time-honored prayer of our Philippine families.   During the Marian Year we commit ourselves to a full-scale Family Rosary Crusade.

We have invited Father Patrick Peyton, well known to you and to the world as the rosary priest, to be with us as we undertake this gigantic task.

We shall spare no effort in prayer, work and sacrifice to realize our goal.  And what do we ask of you–that you listen, that you pray and that, like Mary, you ponder all these things in your hearts.  Then your response will make all the difference.  The success of this Family Rosary Crusade is in your hands!

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:

(Sgd.)+ANTONIO Ll. MABUTAS, D.D.
Archbishop of Davao
CBCP President

August 6, 1985

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