Father Patrick Peyton became world famous for promoting the Rosary and was known for his strong Irish accent

Pope Francis has recognized the “heroic virtue” of Ireland’s “Rosary Priest,” Father Patrick Peyton, putting him firmly on the road to sainthood. Beatification is the next step and then sainthood.

Peyton is the founder of the "Family Rosary Crusade.” Peyton staged massive Rosary rallies in key cities of the world and extensively utilized mass communication, helped by celebrities in Hollywood at that time, promoting his ministry of binding families through prayer under the Family Rosary.

Peyton was a popular and charismatic figure in Latin America and the Philippines, where he promoted the Rosary and was known for his strong Irish accent.

Peyton popularized the phrases "The family that prays together stays together" and "A world at prayer is a world at peace."

Father Peyton shaking hands with the crowds at a rosary rally in Manila, in 1953.

Father Peyton shaking hands with the crowds at a rosary rally in Manila, in 1953.

Patrick Peyton, who is now called “Venerable,” was from Carracastle, County Mayo, and was born Jan. 9, 1909.

In 1928 he came to the United States, entering through Ellis Island with an older brother. He joined his sisters who were living in Pennsylvania.

Peyton worked as a janitor for a time at St. Stanislaus Cathedral then decided to pursue the priesthood.

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In 1938, while still a seminarian, he became very ill with tuberculosis.  He firmly believed he survived by the intercession of the Blessed Mother and the power of the Holy Rosary.

After that illness he decided to dedicate his life to the rosary. He believed it was a miracle when doctors told him the illness in his lungs had disappeared.

The famous photo of Father Peyton saying the rosary.

The famous photo of Father Peyton saying the rosary.

In 1941 he was ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

His radio show, begun in Albany, New York, was a massive hit and soon went national. Bing Crosby, Jimmy Stewart and Loretta Young were among the stars he cultivated, President Truman even took part in a show. He founded the “Family Rosary Crusade.”

In addition to working in the U.S., he also led missions in Latin America and in the Philippines. Crowds of over 100,000 often attended his rallies.

His Latin America rallies were controversial with claims that the CIA organized the events at a time when left-wing ideology was taking hold in many South American countries. Peyton had become familiar to them through his main financial supporter, the millionaire businessman Peter Grace, whose family had extensive business dealing in Latin America.

Peyton died June 3, 1992 in San Pedro, California, and is buried on the grounds of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Boston’s Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley started the sainthood process in 2001.

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Father Patrick Peyton, still from a televised interview.YouTube