The world was in a state of fear and confusion. Russia was trying to make headway in converting as many countries as possible to Communism under their rule. Impoverished nations with corrupt governments in turmoil were easy targets. Cuba had just fallen to the Soviets in 1960, and Brazil was another planned conquest. The president of Brazil, Joao Goulart, was pushing for a Communist form of government. He began to install known Communists into high governmental positions while at the same time dispatching representatives to convince the citizens that Communism was good for the country.
With Catholicism still strong in the country, Cardinal de Barros Camara told people through a weekly radio address that by following the directives of Our Lady of Fatima regarding prayer and penance, Brazil could overthrow the Communist threat. In a speech, President Goulart mocked the rosary, saying that governmental control, not reciting the prayers of the rosary, would save the economy from collapse. During this time, he was lining his pockets with dollars given to Brazil in foreign aid from the U.S. and other countries.
A Brazilian woman named Dona Amelia Bastos was very concerned about this imminent danger. Her husband belonged to a group of men called the Anti-Reds who were opposed to Communism in Brazil. One night Dona Amelia listened as the Anti-Reds discussed the threat facing their beloved country. She decided that she too could do something about it. Of her decision, she said, “I suddenly decided that politics had become too important to be left entirely to the men. Moreover, who has more at stake in what’s happening to our country than we women?”
She immediately formed a group called Campaign of Women for Democracy (CAMDE) and started to recruit as many people as possible to pray the rosary in large groups to thwart the plan for Communist takeover. In a town called Belo Horizonte a group of 20,000 women reciting the rosary aloud broke up a pro-Communist rally. The success of this peaceful protest fed the impetus for the Catholic women to do more.
With the help of heaven and the strong influence of Archbishop Cardinal de Barros Camara, Dona Amelia recruited an amazing 600,000 women who marched in Sao Paulo to pray the rosary for peace. They called their protest, “March of the Family with God Toward Freedom.” under the declaration, “Mother of God, preserve us from the fate and suffering of the martyred women of Cuba, Poland, Hungary, and other enslaved nations.” Leone Brizola, a Communist high government offical, left in a rage when his planned speech was thwarted by the rattling of 3000 rosaries and the murmuring of the prayers in the assembly hall. Not one life was lost in this most amazing peaceful anti-Communist protest, which is described by many witnesses as, “One of the most moving demonstrations in Brazilian History.” Many more rosary rallies were held in major cities in spite of threats of military action against the crusading women.
Under this mounting pressure, on April 1, 1964 President Goulart fled the country along with many members of the government.
Pray the rosary to protect our country from falling to corruption!