Margaret Fosmoe | January 7, 2018
More than 20,000 people crowded into Notre Dame Stadium on a Sunday afternoon in October 1950 to pray the Rosary with the Rev. Patrick Peyton, a Holy Cross priest who drew a rock star-like following.
"We do not ask for family prayer to put a burden on men and women, but to bring happiness and peace to them," Peyton told the large audience, the South Bend Tribune reported the next day.
The priest urged those in attendance to say the Rosary each day in their homes with their families, telling them family prayer is the best way to strengthen home life.
Peyton, an Irish-born priest who graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1937, for decades staged large prayer rallies and relied on mass communications tools to spread the word of faith. He dedicated his life and ministry to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.
He was known for using the phrases: "The family that prays together stays together" and "A world at prayer is a world at peace.”
Over the course of his long career, Peyton founded the Family Rosary Crusade and came to be known as the "Rosary Priest."