A Rosary Bouquet for Our Lady on Her Birthday
By Regina O’Shaughnessy
On the night of December 9th 1974, in the Brisbane suburb of Hill End, the police knocked on he door of the home of Margaret and Bern Foley, informing them that their daughter Margaret Mary had been seriously injured in a car accident, and advised them to go to the hospital immediately.
On arriving at the hospital Margaret and Bern were informed by the Doctor, that their daughter could not possibly live till morning. The Doctor offered to provide a room for them to stay for the night, but Bern’s reaction was immediate and typical, as he said calmly: “We can’t accomplish anything staying here. Let’s go home and pray”.
On arriving home after midnight, they started to ring friends, asking them to pray the Rosary. The friends then rang other friends, asking them to pray, and so the seed was planted for the beginning of the UNIVERSAL ROSARY BOUQUET.
Prayer seemed to be having results, Margaret Mary did not die that night, even though each day the doctors predicted she could not live another 24 hours. For two and a half years she remained in a coma without gaining consciousness, Death came peacefully on August 19th 1977.
Several months before Margaret Mary’s death, the thought cam to Margaret and Bern: “We have been praying to Our Lady for two years asking her to obtain from her Son, our daughter’s cure. We have been asking for what we want. But what have we ever done for Mary? How could we repay Our Lady in some way and lead others to love and honour her?
They began to organise between their family and friends to offer a thousand Rosaries in honour of Our Lady on her birthday the 8th September each year. The response they received was overwhelming. From letters they received afterwards from all over Australia, was that not 1,000 but 100,000 special Rosaries were prayed on that day. As a result, from 1978 the Foley family continued the programme into other countries all over the world and to aim for a million Rosaries on September 8t. Within the next few years, over 60 countries joined in and millions of Rosaries were being said on her birthday FOR WORLD PEACE.
This was not done to produce statistics, but hopefully a beginning, so that people would continue to pray the Rosary and honour Our Lady on other occasions, then hopefully too, the Mother of God in her turn would lead her children to a deeper faith and love for her divine Son, Jesus.
After Margaret and Bern died, the custodianship of the Rosary Bouquet was handed over to the Pauline Fathers, at Marian Valley, which is located in the Gold Coast Hinterland of Queensland, and is The Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians.
We are now asking our readers and their friends to also pray a special Rosary to Our Blessed Mother on her Birthday for PEACE in the WORLD and the CONVERSION of SINNERS.