Have you ever heard the phrase, “The family that prays together stays together”? That phrase was coined by Father Patrick Peyton, a priest with a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, who made it his mission to inspire people around the world to pray the Rosary. His life was filled with many incredible, often-unexpected events, and the new documentary, PRAY: The Story of Patrick Peyton, tells the story of his inspiring life.
Fr. David Guffey, CSC, national director of Family Theater Productions and executive producer of PRAY, stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ to share about Father Peyton, and how his legacy is still affecting families around the world.
“PRAY is more than a movie, it’s a prayer movement,” Fr. Guffey said. “We want to encourage families to watch this remarkable movie that focuses on the transformative power of prayer.”
Fr. Guffey shared with listeners the story of Fr. Peyton’s early life, and how he attributed his somewhat miraculous healing from tuberculosis to Our Lady and the power of the Rosary.
“He wanted to give his life to her,” Fr. Guffey explained. “Not just a life of devotion, but his whole ministerial life. By this time it’s 1941, and looks around to see what the world needs and how he can repay and bring the message of the Blessed Mother to the world. And he believed that the family was the core for everything. It was the core to his life, who he was as a man, his values, his faith.”
Fr. Peyton’s family prayed the Rosary every single night when he was growing up, and recognizing the power of that he started the National Family Rosary Crusade to encourage families to pray the Rosary together.
“It’s going strong, he’s doing a lot of talks, but he wants to go bigger,” said Fr. Guffey. “And he realized that the way to go bigger was with mass media.”
“He starts to do local radio, and then he gets a chance to do one radio show in New York, to try to convince them that he can do it. But they tell him he has to have a big star. He asked who the biggest star was and they said Bing Crosby. Somehow Fr. Peyton gets Bing Crosby’s home phone number in Beverly Hills and calls him on Good Friday in 1945. He asked him to be on the radio show, and Bing Crosby says yes.”
The show with Fr. Peyton and Bing Crosby aired on May 13th, the anniversary of the appearance at Fatima, and was a wild success. It turned into a national show with many Hollywood stars, musicians, and celebrities. Seeing how much interest there was in the show, Fr. Peyton began hosting Rosary Rallies around the world, where immense crowds would gather to pray the Rosary together.
Fr. Guffey told listeners, “In his life, appeared to over 28 million people in person. I don’t think he was in Antarctica, but he was on every other continent, in every other place in the world.”
“He had this huge impact. The rallying points were “The family that prays together stays together” and “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” He really believed that true peace came by connection with the Lord, and that came through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.”
Listen to the full conversation with Fr. David Guffey, CSC below, and find out more about the movie PRAY: The Story of Patrick Peyton, out in theaters today!