Thousands of Catholics march for unity during a Unite Wisconsin Rosary Rally Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption, in Madison. (Photo by Joe Ptak)

Kevin Wondrash
Catholic Herald Staff

MADISON — On a typical August Saturday in Madison, the Capitol Square would be filled with the sights and sounds of the farmer’s market or other summer celebrations.

On Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, the square was filled with prayer and devotion.

Patriotic Rosary Rally

An anticipated 3,000 people took part in the Unite Wisconsin Patriotic Rosary Rally.

The rally began at Holy Redeemer Church in downtown Madison, nearly half a mile away from the Capitol building.

Organizers of the event said, “We are all living in perilous times facing epidemics and threats to our freedoms. Our cities are disintegrating into anarchy with riots and mob violence damaging property and taking the lives of innocent people. More than ever, we are being called to pray together.”

Pray together they did, from exposing the Blessed Sacrament under a canopy outside the church, to marching toward the State Capitol, and praying on the Capitol steps and nearby.

At noon, the procession left the church and proceeded to State Street and made its way toward the Capitol.

Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison led the procession, holding a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.

Following him was Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, along with other priests and deacons of the Diocese of Madison, servers and Knights of Columbus.

Before marching themselves, many attendees knelt in the church parking lot as the Blessed Sacrament passed by.

Families from all over came to the rally — some wearing face masks, some not. Attendees were encouraged to practice social distancing when possible.

Many carried signs reading “ONE NATION UNDER GOD.”

A ‘Holy Spirit’ event

Promotion for the event emphasized the event was not political, but instead a “Holy Spirit event.”

A statue of Mary was also carried in the procession and seen as the procession turned onto State Street, and toward the Capitol.
Girls dressed in white and with flower petals decorated the path for Jesus and Mary.

Attendees were also holding up images of the Divine Mercy Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

As the procession reached the Capitol steps, priests led a patriotic rosary while some knelt in prayer and others stood.

The Blessed Sacrament was then placed on a small table on the steps for some moments of adoration, followed by benediction led by Archbishop Listecki.

Many attendees prayed on the lawn of the Capitol near the Blessed Sacrament.

The Patriotic Rosary Rally was sponsored by many organizations, including Men of Christ, Women of Christ Pro-Life Wisconsin, Relevant Radio and the Evangelical Catholic.