There is yet another example of Portugal being especially blessed with the protection of Our Lady, this time because the laity united in petition to Her through the weapon of the Rosary.
On April 25, 1974 the Communists came to power in Portugal. The same night, in Fatima a small group of devotees of Our Lady spent the night in prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
They sought Divine Guidance for deliverance from the great evil that had befallen their country. They concluded the following morning that like Austria, which was freed from Communism in 1955 by a Rosary Campaign – in which millions of Rosaries were prayed for that country – Portugal should turn to Our Lady’s Rosary for aid.
The Bishop of Fatima listened to their suggestion that a Rosary campaign be launched for the nation from Fatima. The bishop sent them to the Fatima Shrine Rector, Father Guerra, who told them that he did not want to launch the campaign from Fatima. Therefore, the apostles of the National Rosary Crusade in Portugal went north to the most Catholic part of Portugal, near Braga, to the nearby city of Guimares, where King Denis set up the first capital of Portugal. There, on April 28, 1974, they launched the crusade.
They discreetly set about asking their neighbors, one by one, to join the crusade to free their country. They feared to speak or publish too openly their request that individuals pledge to say at least five decades of the Rosary a day for their country, now held by the Communists.
It was in November of 1975, almost eighteen months after the Rosary Crusade had started, that the Communists were removed from power.