In remembrance of the courageous and faithful journalist James Foley, who was captured in 2012 and violently killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in August 2014, Catholic colleges and universities are invited to pray the James Foley Rosary for Peace. On October 18, what would have been Foley’s 42nd birthday, his alma mater Marquette University will be hosting the prayer event. Catholics and non-Catholics alike are invited to pray in his honor and for world peace.
Marquette chose to use the Rosary as the focus of this day of prayer because of the large role it played in James’ life, especially during his first captivity Libya in 2011. In a letter to the university he wrote:
I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused…. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.
James was killed by beheading by ISIL in Syria on August 19, 2014, after a second period of captivity of over 600 days. His family has since continually sought ways to transform their tragic loss into a source of life for us all.
Marquette has emphasized that this event should also include prayer opportunities for non-Catholic students, faculty, and staff who would also like to offer their voices for a just and peaceful world. The event webpage offers a prayer guide for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, with an emphasis on using the text, Praying the Rosary with Pope Francis.
To register your school, parish or organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the school, parish or organization name, a point of contact, and a phone number. For more information, visit the event page on Marquette’s website.
We hope you will join us in solidarity by praying for James Foley, his family and friends, and a more just and peaceful world.