You may think it takes a special family, a special home to “make” a saint. You’d be right. It takes a holy family. As soon as that is said, most of us think, “oh, that’s not my family.” However, you’d be wrong. All families are holy families. All families can create the home environment that Patrick Peyton grew up in: a home with a devotion to prayer, family rosary prayer. Sounds too simple. It is. Father Leo Polselli CSC writes about the early life of Patrick Peyton.
Patrick Peyton was born on January 9, 1909, in Caracastle, County Mayo, Ireland to John and Mary Peyton, the sixth of nine children. The family tried to make a meager living on their small farm. Every night the family gathered together to pray the Rosary by the light of the turf fire. Patrick and his family experienced love and unity and supported each other through very difficult times. At one time in their lives, Patrick’s father, John, was injured; he was not able to work, requiring all the children to work to support the family. With the love they had for each other, it was unquestionable that they would support one other and do whatever was necessary for the family. They were very poor, financially, but that did not deter their spirit in the least.
While his father was injured, Patrick left home to work at a neighboring farm and learned not all families are alike. While working at the neighbor’s farm, he boarded with the family and noticed they did not pray the family Rosary together in the evening. He knew deep in his heart the value of that time together with his family and wanted to share that knowledge with them. He hesitated, but eventually found the courage to discuss it with the father of the family – courage through the grace of God. That was the beginning of what would become his worldwide mission to spread devotion to the family Rosary to families everywhere.
Patrick Peyton, who attributed his miraculous cure from tuberculosis as a seminarian to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, went on to become a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross and founded Family Rosary in 1942. He conducted Rosary rallies around the world before more than 28 million people. He founded Family Theater Productions in Hollywood and reached people with a 22-year radio program on Mutual Broadcasting network and with more than 70 films and television programs he produced. His ministry continues today under Holy Cross Family Ministries with prayer events around the world and with more than 900 television and radio programs in more then 4 languages.
While all this may seem impossible to an “average” person or to the “average’ family, it isn’t. Through Our Lady’s intercession amazing things can happen. Through daily devotion to prayer, particular family Rosary prayer, we all can achieve amazing things just as Patrick Peyton did. We can create peace, unity and strength amongst our family. All families can achieve Father Peyton’s vision that the family that prays together stays together.