Approximately 120 people of all ages gathered on the steps of the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield at noon on Saturday, Oct. 14 to pray the rosary and to say The Prayer to the Guardian Angel of the United States, The Angelus, The Prayer to St. Michael, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, among other prayers at the Annual Prayer in the Public Square.
Those gathered were joining 21,750 other groups who were meeting in various places to say the rosary together that day, said organizer Donna Berte. One Hail Mary was prayed for each of the 50 states and an extra Hail Mary was added to each decade for additional territories of the United States.
Prayer in the Public Square is an annual event that happens every October, which is known as the Month of the Rosary in the Catholic Church. However, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearances to the children of Fatima: Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. The Miracle of the Sun took place on Oct. 13, 1917.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki was on hand to speak to the people and thank them for their prayer and efforts. Standing just in front of the statue of President Abraham Lincoln, Bishop Paprocki reminded those gathered that they were, in a way, “at the scene of a crime” referencing Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent signing of HB40, that allows taxpayer money to pay for abortions.
Donna Moore, director of Pro-Life Activities and Special Ministries, assisted at the hour-long event, which also included the singing of Immaculate Mary, O Sanctissima and the patriotic songs America, God Bless America and America the Beautiful. Following the event a good number of the people who came to pray gathered for a photo with Bishop Paprocki before heading out for their other afternoon activities.