294 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated
One of my teachers hurried to visit me. He saw me at my
worst—discouraged, depressed, hopeless. “Mary is alive,” he
said, “She will be as good to you as you think she can be. It all
depends on you and your faith.” He activated my dormant faith.
I asked Mary with all my heart and soul to pray to her Son for my
cure. “If I survive, I will serve you and Christ for the rest of my life.”
Shortly thereafter, Patrick asked the doctors to examine him again.
They took X-rays and made tests. Amazingly, they found no trace of dis-
ease in his lungs. In reporting his healing, he wrote, “I am not describing
a miracle. I’m giving witness to the power of Mary’s intercession and the
quiet unsensational way she works. When I heard the good news I said,
‘Mary, I hope I will never disgrace you.’”
He went on to be ordained a priest in 1941. He wondered how he
could pay back his spiritual debts to Christ, Mary, and the prayers of his
family. Seven months later, during a retreat, God gave him the answer:
The Family Rosary Crusade. During his illness, he had learned three les-
sons: solidarity with people and dependence upon others, appreciation
of the gift of Christ’s Mother, and total dependence upon God.
For the next fifty years, he traveled the globe as an apostle of prayer
and family solidarity. From pulpits, in classrooms, in the media, in rallies,
and in house-to-house visitations, he helped people to come to know the
Virgin Mary and the spiritual power of the Rosary, which opened hearts to
Jesus Christ and his unifying love. He often enlisted bishops and Catholic
media stars to help the cause.
Fr. Peyton died on June 3, 1992. He is buried on the grounds of the
Congregation of Holy Cross in Easton, Massachusetts. Since his death,
Holy Cross Family Ministries, a ministry founded by Fr. Peyton and spon-
sored by the Congregation of Holy Cross, has built the Father Patrick
Peyton Center, a place of pilgrimage and the international headquarters
for the continuation of Fr. Peyton’s ministry.
At the end of his life, Fr. Peyton mused about his past and his ministry:
“In the summer-times of my childhood, the Ox Mountains in Ireland were a
blanket of purple flowers. From the other direction, I heard the moaning of
the gigantic waves of the Atlantic coming to their death on the shores. No