October 19 - Our Miraculous Lady of the Abbey of Vezzolano (Italy, 1226)

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Converted by the Family Rosary

Louis Francis Budenz, one of the principal leaders of communism in the United States, was born in a very fervent Catholic home in Indiana. At 20 years of age, he left home, because he had fallen in love with a divorced woman. Later, the social question moved him to passion. He became a powerful orator of the proletarian claims and strategist of the struggles of the working class. He was arrested and imprisoned more than twenty times. From 1935 to 1945, he wrote for the Daily Worker, the big New York communist party newspaper. He was also an active member of the National Committee of the Communist Party. One day in a New York bar in 1936, he found himself face to face with Bishop Fulton Sheen. He started a heated debate with the priest, when suddenly Sheen retorted, "And now let's talk a little about the Blessed Virgin!" This long "Marian" hour gave Louis Francis a moment of the inner peace that reminded him briefly of his First Communion, but the true return of the "prodigal son" was going to take nine years of badgering by the Virgin of the Rosary. "How many times," he later acknowledged, "as I was writing one of my newspaper articles, I was surprised to find my hand in the pocket of my jacket touching the beads of my Rosary!" Actually, the words of the priest had established the contact of a mysterious telepathy with the State of Indiana and New York. In the dear home of his youth, every evening, for over thirty years his family had prayed the Rosary on their knees and repeated so many times "pray for us sinners." Since his conversion, the journalist wrote a book called "This is My Story," to tell the world about his life under the star of Mary. The book is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

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