On Saturday, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, thousands of Polish Catholics gathered along their country’s border to pray for peace, as well as for the future and salvation of Poland and the world.

The event, entitled “Rosary at the Borders,” was organized by a lay movement called the Solo Dios Basta Foundation (God Alone Suffices). It was supported by the Polish Bishop’s Conference and was sponsored by several state-owned companies. Approximately 90 percent of the country, beloved home of the Polish Pope St. John Paul II, identifies as Catholic.

According to the New York Times, participants gathered for prayer at 320 churches near the border of Poland as well as in 4,000 designated prayer zones.

The prayer took place on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which also commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, during which Mary, through the prayer of the rosary, is credited for a key victory against the Ottoman Empire.


It also fell a week before the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, who encouraged the world to pray the rosary for peace.

The rosary is “a powerful weapon in the fight against evil,” states the official website for the event.

Some participants also voiced concerns about the spread of Islam and the loss of Christianity and European culture.

“Let’s pray for other nations of Europe and the world to understand that we need to return to the Christian roots of European culture if we want Europe to remain Europe,” Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said in his homily on Saturday, according to the New York Times.

The event’s website noted that in almost every major Marian apparition, Mary asks that the rosary be recited.

“Mary is the Queen of Poland, she has been taking care of us for generations, in critical moments of history she has always been with us, and we are with her.  As a rescue for the world, Our Lady points to the prayer of the Rosary.”

Organizers anticipated at least 1 million participants in the majority-Catholic country, though officials have said they do not yet have the final numbers for the event.