July 16

July 16, 2020

On July 16, 1251, Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to St. Simon Stock and gave him the brown scapular, a symbol of protection and a sign of trust in God. On July 16, 1858, in the final apparition at Lourdes, Mary appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb, code-named Trinity was detonated at White Sands Missile Site in New Mexico.

On August 6 and 9, 1945, the second and third atomic weapons were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, killing half a million people. 

Every year since 1990, a small group of people have gathered just outside the original Trinity Test Site in the desert of New Mexico. From sunset on the 15th of July through sunset on the 16th, they keep vigil in prayer in repentance for the bombing and in petition for protection from all of the effects of our nuclear development and deployment. 

Just before dawn on the 16th, at 5:25 A.M., silence, song, and tears mark the exact time of detonation. 

Refusing to believe that faith and love are powerless over hate, our vigil continues into the day as the sun bakes the desert. Hour after hour people kneel or sit in the presence of God, as we each understand God, for the 24 hours. Rosaries are said by those who pray rosaries, but every prayer of every attendee is welcomed.

Just before sunset, a final service is offered: the nonviolent prayer of the nonviolent Jesus. Trinity is not merely a code name; it is a sacred word of a Father who embraces all, of a Son who loves all and of a Spirit who is the breath of life for all. We abide in union with each other. It is who we are. It is why we are in a desert of destruction praying.                                                                                                       

 –Excerpted from an essay by Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND

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