Whenever Catholics are confronted with war, one of the primary weapons to be drawn is the Rosary, imploring heavenly aid for a swift return to peace.
Many saints, such as St. Padre Pio, recall the power of the Rosary for peace.
History is also full of examples of Catholics uniting together to pray the Rosary for Peace. The Handbook of the National Catholic War Council in 1918 points out a few examples.
The religious side of the war should be brought home constantly … [and Catholic meetings] should be made as far as possible to center around the great ideal of prayer for the [soldiers] who are at the front and especially for peace. The sodalities should be made to understand the preeminent place the devotion of the Mother of God has had in the great crises of the past. They need only be told of that crisis which came in the third quarter of the sixteenth century when civilization met a great enemy in the Turk and how at the battle of Lepanto it was the prayers of Catholic Europe to the Blessed Mother which brought the world victory from its foes. They need only be told of the place the Rosary has held all through the centuries in winning victory after victory for the Catholic nations of the past.
St. John Paul II also specifically highlighted this aspect of the Rosary in his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
A number of historical circumstances also make a revival of the Rosary quite timely. First of all, the need to implore from Godthe gift of peace. The Rosary has many times been proposed by my predecessors and myself as a prayer for peace. At the start of a millennium which began with the terrifying attacks of 11 September 2001, a millennium which witnesses every day innumerous parts of the world fresh scenes of bloodshed and violence, to rediscover the Rosary means to immerse oneself in contemplation of the mystery of Christ who “is our peace”, since he made “the two of us one, and broke down the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14). Consequently, one cannot recite the Rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace, especially in the land of Jesus, still so sorely afflicted and so close to the heart of every Christian.
In times of war and violence, the Church urges everyone to increase their prayer, specifically praying the Rosary for peace in the world.