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Our Lady of the Rosary

Miraculous evangelization of Wallis Island

The faith was slowly being established on Wallis (Polynesia). After long and hard work, Reverend Father Bataillon had only been able to convince a small part of the population to be instructed. The great number of the inhabitants, instead of surrendering, were irritated to see their brothers abandon the pagan gods. Already the most exalted ones shouted for revenge, fomented everywhere the revolt and put weapons in the hands of all. News of the danger soon spread; fear gripped the catechumens, who, unable to defend themselves by force, came to ask for help and protection from the minister of God, for whose cause they were exposed to death. Father Bataillon placed his trust in the One who sent him; he prayed to Mary, who covered the Society of the Mission with her salutary auspices: the assurance he drew from his faith did not delay in making a happy impression on his weak flock, and in calming the first transports of fear.

To better establish them under the protection of the celestial Queen of Oceania, he hurriedly made a white banner from a piece of cloth he found at hand, to which he attached her sweet image. When he has raised this sign of rallying and this pledge of certain hope on their heads, the apostle cries out, seized with prophetic enthusiasm: “Have confidence, my children, no harm will come to you: we will go through the island, and conquer it for Jesus Christ.”

At the same time he raises his hand to bless them; all bow down, and rise up reassured and comforted. The Reverend Father establishes order in their ranks, and assigns them the most opportune positions, according to their age and their strength; he recommends them to recite without interruption the rosary, the prayer which invokes, with multiplied cries, the powerful Mary for the present hour, the hour of danger and need; And while these voices of children, women, warriors and old men make the ardent concert of their supplications rise towards Her throne, the missionary, armed with his rosary and his cross, advances alone on the side of the enemy, and, raising his cross towards heaven, he adjures the spirit of darkness to yield this earth to Jesus Christ.

At this sight of a single unarmed man, the astonished idolaters stop advancing. In vain, the most exalted excited the multitude, no one dared to confront the priest whom God crowned with terror.

The next day, the same fear and the same obstinacy. The faithful tribes spend their time reciting the rosary. Finally, after three days and three nights of alarm, the discouraged enemy gives up. But the missionary wanted to win the whole region to Jesus Christ.

Full of confidence in Mary, he took two bold and fervent men from the small flock and went with them to a village of idolaters. After three hours of discussion, the good priest won over the chief and thus gradually subdued all the surrounding villages. But suddenly those who were still idolaters took up arms again; one of the most dreaded chiefs went forward to recognize the state of those he wanted to seize, when he was suddenly struck with grace, and, moved with repentance, he submitted to the missionary and led the others by his example. This is how the conversion of Wallis took place.

Who will not admire the virtue of the rosary in stopping the enemies of Jesus? Oh, how strong is the prayer made in common on the Heart of Mary! When the devil attacks us, let us hold the rosary in our hands, let us recite Hail Marys in union with all the souls in the whole universe who pay the same homage to the divine Mother every day. Let us trust in the very touch of the rosary, which has so often overcome the powers of darkness.

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