Tag Archives: evil

In Fighting Virus of Evil, Men Wield Combat Rosary

Father Richard Heilman believes in the reality of a spiritual war, one in which the rosary is a powerful weapon. To get men to wield that weapon, however, he knew he needed one that looked like it belonged to a warrior. When he found a 1916 metal rosary manufactured by the U.S. government for the military and sometimes called the “service rosary,” he said, “this is it.”


Using it as a model, Father Heilman, a priest in the Diocese of Madison, WI, set about producing what he now calls the “Combat Rosary,” a string of beads that looks like a metal pull-chain, but with the addition of a special crucifix and two medals.

“I wanted it to be a powerful supernatural weapon, so I picked the Miraculous Medal and added the St. Benedict Medal as well and then . . . the Pardon Crucifix. It’s the only one that if you carry or kiss it, you receive an indulgence.”

Father Heilman was able to get a prototype made in a matter of weeks and then arranged to have enough rosaries produced for the Knights of Divine Mercy, a men’s apostolate he started. After that modest start in 2007, he said, “It kind of took off from there. People would see [the rosaries] and want one.”

Demand eventually grew to the point that Father Heilman approached his sister, Judy Balistreri, a benefits-administration executive, about taking over production and sales. With the help of her husband, another brother and niece, Balistreri now owns and runs Roman Catholic Gear, the online store that sells the “Combat Rosary” and other related religious articles. Most of the proceeds from sales are donated to parishes, pro-life and military organizations, and other charitable groups.

Father Heilman, who also is co-host of the U.S. Grace Force podcast, developed the “Combat Rosary” after noticing that many rosaries looked more like women’s jewelry or even children’s toys. If he was going to get men to pray the rosary and inspire them to be the providers and protectors of their families, he knew they would be more likely to pick up something that looked like it belonged to a guy engaged in battle.

“I am a strong proponent of us restoring a sense of the supernatural, that there is a battle, and there is such a thing as a devil.” Drawing from Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s 2015 apostolic exhortation, which calls on Catholic men to “step into the breach,” Father Heilman said men can protect their families from evil and call down supernatural grace and blessings from God. “We’ve known for centuries now that God has given us this amazing weapon of the rosary as a way to call upon Mary, who was said to crush the head of the serpent . . . I wanted to frame it that the rosary truly is a weapon that men are given. As Pope Pius IX said, ‘Give me an army saying the rosary and I will conquer the world.’”


Father Heilman said many men have always known it is beneficial to pray to the Blessed Mother, but to see the rosary as a weapon for warfare has resonated with many of them. “I think we all have a sense, especially in the era we’re living in now, that evil is being very aggressive so a lot of people, particularly men, are saying, ‘What can we do?’ Seeing this onslaught of evil and having that in their bones – this desire to be the providers and protectors of the family – once they understand the power of the rosary, it becomes something they feel very called to take on in their life.”

Dave Yanke, a father of nine from the Madison diocese and a Knights of Divine Mercy member, said he thinks saying the rosary on his “combat” beads has made him think about praying in a more manly way. Interestingly, he said, it was around the time he got his first “Combat Rosary” from Father Heilman that he began to take more seriously his faith as well as his role as spiritual leader of his family. “I went from going to Mass because my wife thought that was what we should do, to kind of taking that role over and leading the family to Mass, leading the rosary, leading prayers, and suggesting we do things.”

Yanke said his first impression of the “Combat Rosary” was, “Boy, this is cool.” He especially liked that the beads were metal. “My gut reaction was this is something that a man would like to carry around. It’s masculine.”

Initially, he said, he hung his “Combat Rosary” on his bed and used it at night if he awoke and couldn’t go back to sleep. But now that his family says the rosary together before Sunday Mass, he keeps it in his suit coat. “I save it for Sundays. It’s my prize rosary.”


The “Combat Rosary” also is the official rosary of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. After Father Heilman donated 150 of the rosaries to the Guard in 2016, Col. Christoph Graf, the Guard commander, held up one before a group of new recruits and told them that they were receiving “the most powerful weapon that exists on the market . . . Literally, the rosary for the fight.”

To enhance their appeal to men, the “Combat Rosary” comes with a leather pocket-sized combat pouch and a “Concealed Carry Card.” Roman Catholic Gear also sells “spiritual ammo tins” to hold the rosaries.

Balistreri said although the “Combat Rosary” was designed to inspire men to pray the rosary, women love it as well. She uses one herself and, when it comes to sales, has found that there is no typical customer. “Honestly, it’s a rosary for all spiritual warriors, regardless of age or gender.” Likewise, the rosaries have been shipped all over the world. 


As the impact of the coronavirus was felt globally, many who use the “Combat Rosary” joined in a 54-day “Three Hearts Novena for Protection and Provision,” announced by Father Heilman on his RomanCatholicMan. com website. The novena, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, began March 9 and was to conclude May 1. 

“We are praying against the coronavirus with 60,000 people right now,” Father Heilman said in March. “Most carry the ‘Combat Rosary’ and see it as an effective weapon against this evil.” The band of prayer warriors included a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who emailed Father Heilman to say he has a “Combat Rosary” and was praying the novena.


 In developing the “Combat Rosary” and other spiritual articles, Father Heilman has drawn on his priestly knowledge as well as a business and marketing background passed on to him by his grandfather and father. His grandfather was a founding executive of Oscar Mayer and his father, who also worked for the company, started his own merchandising business for chain grocery stores. Father Heilman said he and his six siblings grew up working in the company warehouse.

 “It was a way for the family to be together. I have extremely fond memories of that family business so that was a big part of this. It’s almost like reliving those days now.”

JUDY ROBERTS is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Hell – real-time risk for the obstinate

One day one of the girls of Fatima asked Our Lady: “Could a condemned soul repent? Could God take him from hell and put him in paradise?” Our Lady responded: “Oh yes, He could, but they do not wish it!”

When one persists in evil, nothing can be done. I once asked a demon, “But you, if you could go back, would you do the same thing? Don’t you see that, before, you were happy in Paradise and now you are damned to Hell?” “You don’t understand me,” he answered. “I have the strength and courage to rebel against God! Therefore, I am superior to Him!”

When a being believes that disobeying and sinning against God makes him superior to God, nothing can be done.

It is impossible for a damned soul, a soul already in Hell, to be saved. It is impossible.

All the conceivable attempts to convert him have already been offered to him by God. Saint Peter tells us, “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God wishes everyone’s conversion, and then one sees so many perverse people to whom everything is given, and everything goes well: they have health, financial success, and friends. Everything goes smoothly. In addition, God gives them opportunities to convert while they are on earth: afterward there are no more chances. What has been done has been done!

We have no idea whether a condemned soul becomes a demon in every way or remains “chained.” We have so many descriptions of Hell given by saints who have had the grace to see it. They give different descriptions but always speak of atrocious sufferings.

For example, regarding solitude, I once asked a demon: “If two people hated each other until death and found themselves together in Hell, would they continue to hate each other?”

He responded, “Don’t you understand that each soul in Hell thinks only of himself? He does not look at others. He is focused solely on his own suffering. He makes light of the suffering of all others.”


Hell is reserved for those who refuse the mercy of God up to the last instant, because God offers the possibility of conversion up to the last instant.

Excerpt taken from Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan, by Fr. Gabriele Amorth (with Elizabeth Fezzi), Sophia Institute Press, 2018. From Part I entitled “The Last Conversations,” pp. 70-72. www.sophiainstitute.com.

Late priest of the Congregation of San Paolo, FR. GABRIELE AMORTH (1925-2016) was recognized as the world’s greatest exorcist. His mission of expelling Satan through incessant dedication earned the gratitude of thousands, and esteem of the highest Church authorities. He wrote many works, and hosted a popular radio program on Radio Maria.

Is abortion always wrong?

Abortion is evil because it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human life . . .

Fr. John Trigilio

Fr. John Trigilio

Abortion is always considered evil, sinful and immoral because it is the deliberate and intentional killing of an innocent human life.

The Catechism teaches, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (#2271).

The ends can never justify the means, so no evil act should ever be done deliberately, willingly and knowingly, no matter how much good may come from it or how much evil may be prevented. If you make one exception and allow any evil to be done for whatever lofty reason, then anyone can find sufficient reason to commit almost any evil in the name of higher good or the prevention of greater evi1. If murdering one man would save a hundred, then using the same moral logic, someone could murder a million to save a billion.

Since it is not morally permissible to directly will or perform evil, abortion is never permitted — even to save the life of the mother or in response to rape or incest. Medically, there are few, if any, instances where a physician would even be in the situation where killing the unborn child would be the only and safest way to save the mother. If the mother is in danger, so is the child.

Rather than directly killing the unborn child, doctors can do what is necessary to treat the mother. If in the course of the treatment her own body causes a premature ejection of the fetus, then that is considered a natural abortion in that it was not directly intended. Once the baby is out of the womb, everything possible must be done to assist him or her. If the baby dies, it is morally acceptable because it was a natural death. The baby may not be viable outside the womb for too long, but a natural death is preferred to the violent, intentional killing of an innocent life.

This column is reprinted with permission from “The Catholicism Answer Book: The 300 Most Frequently Asked Questions” by Rev. John Trigilio Jr. and Rev. Kenneth D. Brighenti (Sourcebooks, 2007).