“Prayer is more powerful than the atom bomb.” — Fr. Hubert Schiffer, Hiroshima survivor

“Prayer is more powerful than the atom bomb.”— Fr. Hubert Schiffer, Hiroshima survivor


This year the month of August marks the 73th anniversary
of the atom bomb dropping on the Japanese city of
Hiroshima, initiating the end of World War II.
You may have heard the miraculous story of
Fr. Hubert Schiffer and three of his fellow Jesuit
missionary priests who survived the atomic blast
by faithfully praying the rosary.

The bomb exploded just 8 blocks from the
Jesuit Church of Our Lady’s Assumption in Hiroshima.
“Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air
with one bursting thunder stroke.
An invisible force lifted me from the chair,
hurled me through the air,
shook me, battered me, whirled me
’round and ’round like a leaf in a gust
of autumn wind.”
— Fr. Hubert Schiffer
The four priests lived in a rectory within
the radius of complete atomic destruction.
After the shock of the blast they looked around
and saw NOTHING;
for miles in every direction, thousands of people were dead
and every building was destroyed…
Except for the four priests and their rectory.
Although wounded, they survived, and afterwards
suffered no radiation sickness.
“It took only a second: a flash—
fearfully frightening—and Hiroshima,
home of half a million people,
was wiped off the earth.
What was left was only darkness, blood, burns,
moans, fire and spreading terror.”
Asked why they believe they were spared,
when so many others died either from the explosion
or from the subsequent radiation,
Father Schiffer spoke for himself and his companions:
“We believe that we survived because
we were living the message of Fatima.
We lived and prayed the rosary
daily in that home.”
With all the fighting and tension that is happening
all over the world today,
Are we living the message of Fatima?
Are we praying for peace?
Can we make a difference by praying
the Rosary every day?
Can we save lives through this powerful devotion?
The answer to all these questions should be, YES!
At Hiroshima we can see Mary’s
protective hand at work. And she continues
to beg us to pray for her intercession.
Not only are we called to pray,
but also to spread this beautiful and saving
devotion to those around us.
Hand someone a rosary and ask them to join you
in prayer for Mary’s protection during these
dark and evil times.

“What we need today is a
Crusade of Prayer, the spirit of prayer
everywhere, a renewal of our deepest
trust and confidence in God’s providence.
Our Blessed Mother promised that when
we heeded her plea for prayer and
Christian action, the world would have peace.
We may feel that our humble efforts
cannot have such a tremendous
effect upon the world, but let us think for a
moment about the power of a river,
sweeping everything before it. That river is
made up of tiny drops of water, and because
numberless tiny drops of rain
have fallen into it, the river has become a
force that carries heavy ships and changes
deserts into fruitful farms and gardens.
So, too, will the Perpetual Rosary Crusade
—the recitation of the rosary for peace
by countless persons all over the world
become an immense and irresistible
spiritual force for peace.
In this universe
there is nothing else that forms a common
ground for the peoples of the world
except the love of God, charity,
and the spirit of prayer.
Our Blessed Mother’s
rosary is a bond which unites the
heart strings of the world.”
— Fr. Hubert Schiffer, 1953

A similar miracle happened also in Nagasaki, the Catholic city of Japan, where 70% of Japanese Catholics lived. In this city, there was the Franciscan convent “Mugenzai no Sono” (Garden of the Immaculate), founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe. With the explosion of the atomic bomb, this convent also remained unharmed as happened in Hiroshima with the Jesuit house. In the heart of all those friars we could see the image of the Immaculate Conception. Everywhere and everywhere they carried the image of her and everywhere they sang the song of Fatima.