A group of Catholic men gathered to pray the rosary in Manchester city centre in a strong public demonstration of faith.
Inspired by similar rallies in Ireland and the USA, about 40 men turned up. After gathering at Piccadilly train station at midday, the men processed to Piccadilly Gardens, led by a large silver cross. They kneeled outside McDonald’s and recited the rosary.
The rosary was led by Sean Booth, speaking on a microphone. The purpose of the rally was to ‘pray for the conversion of England, for reparation of sins and for people to open their hearts and come to her Son, Jesus.’ Some cheers could be heard as the rosary was said, and several people stopped to enquire about the purpose of the rally. Organiser Simon Leigh told the Universe that he was ‘over the moon’ with the response.
“We invited a hundred or so men via WhatsApp and got around 40, so we’re over the moon with that.” Mr Leigh noted the impact of the event, with men praying on their knees. “For people walking past, you could see they were interested to see men on their knees. For the men in the group, I hope they take away the power of men coming together and praying, for fellowship, giving courage to witness,” he said.
Some of the men gathered held statues. A video of the prayer on YouTube was shared shortly after the event, with several commending the event as a ‘beautiful and powerful witness.’
Similar rosary rallies have recently taken place in Ireland and the USA, which inspired Mr Leigh to organise the Manchester event. He said that there are plans to organise future rallies in Liverpool, London and Newcastle. The Newcastle event will take place on 5th March. Looking forward to this event, Newcastle organiser Paul Hammond from the Men of St Joseph group in Gateshead told the Universe that he believes the timing of the rally is perfect.
“We have long wanted to witness to the Lord Jesus in the streets, but first felt called to focus on our own transformation and building a strong fraternity,” he said. “The men in Ireland have inspired us with their public rosary rallies, and we feel the time is now right for us to do the same, honouring Our Lady as well as Our Lord.” Mr Hammond explained that the event will begin at midday, Saturday 5th March, on Northumbria Street, Newcastle.
By Andy Drozdziak
Pictures: Andy Drozdziak and Simon Leigh