Deeply moved by Fr. Peyton's message in the film PRAY, Sarah Damm reflects on our world's need for renewal in prayer.
At the beginning of August, I began the Five First Saturdays devotion. I noticed that exactly five months remained in 2020, so it would (hopefully) be an easy devotion to keep track of … and complete.
During Confession on that first Saturday in August, Father asked me if I prayed a daily Rosary. I had to honestly answer, “no.” He encouraged me to begin praying the Rosary every day, because prayer is the path to clarity, and Our Blessed Mother is the best person to have by our side.
I began my daily Rosary habit out of obedience to my confessor. But the desire was already in my heart. Within a matter of weeks, I received several gentle nudges from Our Lady to pray the Rosary every day. One of those nudges came in the form of a movie called PRAY: The Story of Patrick Peyton.
This summer, I had the opportunity to watch an advanced screening of PRAY, and I was deeply moved by the profound impact Fr. Patrick Peyton had on the world.
About the Film
PRAY documents the life of an Irish immigrant, whose life was marked with poverty and lack of education. Despite hardships, however, Peyton had incredible faith, enthusiastic optimism, and big dreams of becoming wealthy in America.
A janitorial position at the local cathedral sparked a vocational call to the priesthood. It was not an easy path, however, and even included a life-threatening illness. That was when Peyton began to pray fervently and confidently to Mary. After Peyton fully recovered and was ordained to the priesthood, he dedicated his life to spreading a message of prayer to the world. Specifically, he implored families to pray the Rosary together.
Fr. Peyton spread his message via radio with the help of major Hollywood celebrities, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Jimmy Stewart. He also attracted millions of people to his Rosary rallies all across the country … and the world.
Produced by Family Theater Productions, PRAY not only follows Fr. Peyton’s life; it also interviews people who have been personally impacted by his motto: “The family that prays together stays together.”
What the World Needs Now
I was deeply moved by Fr. Peyton’s enthusiastic message about prayer. I was inspired by the millions of people who attended his rallies and committed to praying the Rosary every day. I could tell that Father’s mission of prayer transformed hearts, lives, and entire families, all across the world. He was tireless in his efforts, and the results were incredible.
As I watched PRAY and simultaneously began my own Rosary devotion, I was even more convinced that what the world truly needs right now — amid pandemic, civil unrest, political division, and cancel culture — is a renewal in prayer. How very different our lives, our families, our schools, our communities, our country, and our Church would be if we took Father’s message of prayer to heart! We would certainly be more unified, and we would once again place ourselves under the protective patronage of Our Lady of the Americas ... Our Lady of the Rosary. As Fr. Peyton said, "A world at prayer is a world at peace.”
Pledge to Pray
“PRAY is more than a movie, it’s a prayer movement,” said Fr. David Guffey, C.S.C., national director of Family Theater Productions and executive producer of PRAY. “We want to encourage families to watch this remarkable movie that focuses on the transformative power of prayer. Fr. Patrick Peyton inspired millions with his message of family prayer. Our goal in the film’s accompanying Pray Together Now movement is 10 million globally pledging to pray daily with those they love.”
Copyright 2020 Sarah Damm
Images courtesy of PRAY/Family Theater Productions, all rights reserved.