Rosary Story

Damian Thompson, who I usually think is too acerbic for his own good, has this moving story about a saintly priest, Mgr. William Kerr.

Here’s the bit I liked, about how praying the rosary stopped the terrible serial killer Ted Bundy.

Kerr got the call from the police in the middle of the night to rush out to the sorority house. When he arrived he was told that all but one of the girls in the house were dead or near death, killed by a serial killer who was later to be known to the world as Ted Bundy. After giving those last rites to the dying college girl, then-Fr Kerr was asked by the police on the scene to talk to the girl who survived unscathed. They wanted to know how she survived the brutal attacks, because Bundy had stopped right inside the door to her room, dropped his weapon, and left without touching her. But the girl would talk to no one but a priest.

When Fr Kerr approached the near-catatonic girl, she told him that her mother had made her promise before going off to college for the first time that she would pray the Rosary every night before bed for protection; even if she fell asleep praying the Rosary, which she had that night so that when Bundy came into her room with murder on his mind, the beads were still clutched in her hands.

Later, Bundy would tell Monsignor that when he entered the girl’s room, he just couldn’t go on, he dropped his weapon, and he fled. Such is the power of our Mother’s protective mantle.

All Are Welcome....To What Exactly?
What's Your Happiness Level?
Women Priests and Witches
The Rise of Militant Catholic Men
  • Oremus


  • Niall

    Please don’t take this as snark, but couldn’t the divine power could have stepped in a little sooner, maybe about 30 victims sooner?If God or Our Lady get the credit for stopping Bundy – or saving people in plane crashes – then it seems like they better step up and carry the can when they don’t save people.I don’t want to comes across as sneering, that’s not what I’m about, but I really struggle with how and why God intervenes – or doesn’t – in the world.

  • Susan L

    It seems that this girl was asking for protection. The others didn’t see the need (understandably).I know this is not enough of an explanation. Perhaps Father Longenecker can explain better.Another quick thought: God the Father didn’t stop those who killed his son. That’s a pretty big deal. That was his son who died a grisly, horrible, painful death. The picture is much too big for us to see. Also, God looks at death differently than we do. I’m sorry. I really wish I had more to offer.

  • laurazim

    Astonishing….except not. I’ve heard stories like this before–like the one my sister told of a friend who walked home from work, downtown in a large city, past dark alleys and spooky nooks. All the while, she held her Rosary in her hand, and when finished praying it, continued with the Saint Michael prayer. She passed two sinister characters who literally looked right past her. The two went on to victimize another pedestrian that night, claiming they singled her out because she walked alone…though the friend of my sister seemed to have two large men walking alongside her…..I call to mind the words of Padre Pio: “Bring me my weapon! Bring me my Rosary!”

  • shadowlands

    Niall said;”but couldn’t the divine power have stepped in a little sooner?” Our Lady herself, when giving the Prayer of protection to a Bernadine nun,(I only posted this prayer on my blog the other day!)was asked by the nun,a similar question to yours, to which Our Lady responded;”Prayer is one of the conditions required by God Himself for obtaining favors”.If you ask Jesus,He will open this area up to you,but be prepared to be taken seriously when you ask.Wonderful post Father L.It affirmed my faith.Thank you.

  • opey124

    As far as to why some, and not others, I have always understood it, what seems like protection or not, to be God’s will. In the end, our prayers help us in all ways, regardless if it ends in death or not.So, in asking for God’s protection, good thing, we also need to realize and accept sometimes death is involved, but all for the greater glory of God.

  • Jenny

    I agree with “Oremus”: WOW!Thanks, Father.Reminds me of Fr. John Corapi always admonishing us to take our rosary into battle.

  • Mephibosheth

    Thanks for this, Father. I had not caught Matthew’s post. I was about 10 yards from Monsignor when he suffered his stroke.'s been an extraordinary couple of weeks since. His funeral was yesterday.Many native Tallahasseans will tell you that the Chi Omega murders were the end of a more innocent age for the city and university.Monsignor Kerr touched so many lives–famous, infamous, and unknown–and treated them all with the same dignity. I know that even as we pray for him, he is interceding for us now.

  • Coffee Catholic

    WOW! I’ve been trying to figure out why and how the Rosary is powerful.

  • MamaMidwife

    Wow.shadowlands, I had never heard that before, about the nun hearing from Our Lady. How awesome is that?!

  • Alyson

    Such a powerful witness! This to me, points to the very real existance of Spiritual Warfare. God will always win this battle. If you are appropriately armed you will win the battle in one way or the other! Nice post Fr.