FORMS OF POPULAR PIETY
—CCC, NOS. 1667-1679
THE ROSARY PRIEST
For a half century, from 1940 to 1990, Fr. Patrick Peyton, CSC, was “the
Rosary priest” to millions of people around the world. To Catholics and
other believers around the United States, he was the force behind
the familiar slogan,“The family that prays together stays together.”
He was born on January 9, 1909, in County Mayo, Ireland. In 1928,
Patrick and his brother Tom left home to seek work in America. They went to
Scranton, Pennsylvania. Patrick became a janitor at St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Eventually, he and Tom finished high school. Patrick then entered the
seminary at the University of Notre Dame, staffed by the Holy Cross Fathers.
Before he finished his theological studies, Patrick contracted tuberculosis.
He wrote of this as his “darkest hour.”
God made my worst and darkest hour the start of a new life full
of meaning. In the middle of the night, my right lung began to
hemorrhage. A doctor came and told me he thought I would die
that night. I had been strong, vigorous, independent. Now ambu-
lance attendants placed me on a stretcher, maneuvered me
down a narrow, winding stairway and raced me to the hospital.
I deteriorated until the doctors said, “Try prayer. Our remedies