A good thousand believers took part in this year's rosary procession in Einsiedeln on October 8th.
For centuries it was customary to carry out a solemn rosary procession on the occasion of the rosary festival to commemorate the victory of Lepanto in Einsiedeln. This tradition was lost after the Second Vatican Council but was taken up again by the Militiae Immaculatae and is now shared by three organizations. This year's procession took place on October 8th and is growing from year to year.
Despite the sometimes-heavy rain, a good thousand believers came to Einsiedeln, including many young people and families, to hold the rosary festival to the glory of God and with the request for a Christian future for the country - but this year also for the world consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to thank 80 years ago.
On October 31, 1942, in the middle of the Second World War, the 25th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Fatima was solemnly concluded and Pope Pius XII. consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to which she herself had called in Fatima, during a radio address. The turning point in the war coincided with the Battle of El Alamein. A prominent and - from a Catholic point of view - unbiased eyewitness, the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, wrote: "One can almost say that we did not record a single victory before El Alamein and afterwards not a single defeat."
The procession was spiritually led by Msgr. Vitus Huonder, Bishop Emeritus of Chur, and two priests. Bishop Vitus Huonder declared at the end of the procession at the Frauenbrunnen on the monastery square that "the consecration is an act of the special and solemn dedication of the faith and thereby becomes a source of a special blessing". In the case of consecration to the Blessed Mother, this is a deep act of faith in the Blessed Mother's participation in the work of salvation of her son Jesus and, connected with it, in God's goodness and mercy. After his speech, those present knelt and led by the bishop, prayed together the prayer of consecration written by Pope Pius XII.
The Militia Immaculatae, is a Catholic movement founded in 1917 by Saint Father Maximilian Kolbe. It promotes devotion to Our Lady, particularly through the distribution of the Miraculous Medal and the Rosary. Father Maximilian Kolbe is known to many because 80 years ago he voluntarily gave his life in the hunger bunker in the Auschwitz concentration camp for the father of family who was a fellow prisoner. The Militia Immaculatae of the traditional observance has several thousand members in German-speaking countries and over 100,000 members worldwide.
This year, the organizing committee was expanded by two Catholic movements: The Fatima World Apostolate of Switzerland, which was founded in 1952 to spread the message of Fatima, and the prayer initiative Switzerland Prays, which arose in the wake of the Corona crisis and meets every Wednesday evening at 140 Places in Switzerland and prayed the Rosary.
Tradition in Einsiedeln
The Feast of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7th to commemorate the victory achieved by praying the Rosary in the greatest galley battle in history, on October 7th, 1571 in the Strait of Lepanto (Greece). There the outnumbered Christians triumphed against the Ottoman fleet and ended Turkish dominance in the Mediterranean.