James Foley, journalist murdered by ISIS Islamic terrorists, prayed the Rosary

I was sent a link to this at the site of Marquette University:

Phone call home
A letter from James Foley, Arts ’96, to Marquette.

Marquette University has always been a friend to me. The kind who challenges you to do more and be better and ultimately shapes who you become.

With Marquette, I went on some volunteer trips to South Dakota and Mississippi and learned I was a sheltered kid and the world had real problems. I came to know young people who wanted to give their hearts for others. Later I volunteered in a Milwaukee junior high school up the street from the university and was inspired to become an inner-city teacher. But Marquette was perhaps never a bigger friend to me than when I was imprisoned as a journalist. [Keep in mind that Foley had been kidnapped previously.]

Myself and two colleagues had been captured and were being held in a military detention center in Tripoli. Each day brought increasing worry that our moms would begin to panic. My colleague, Clare, was supposed to call her mom on her birthday, which was the day after we were captured. I had still not fully admitted to myself that my mom knew what had happened. But I kept telling Clare my mom had a strong faith. [That sure came through in the TV moments I have seen since he was killed.]

I prayed she’d know I was OK. I prayed I could communicate through some cosmic reach of the universe to her.

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.

Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.


Read the rest there.

I am reminded of the fact that the feast of Our Lady of Rosary (first known as Our Lady of Victory), 7 October, was instituted to commemorate Our Lady’s intervention at the Battle of Lepanto, during which Islamic invaders were defeated.

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.  Pray for the Foley family.  Intercede to save the potential victims of these Islamic terrorists.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Rachel K says:

    Fr Z, I a, so glad you mentioned this link between the Rosary and the defeat of an Islamic army. I mentioned it in a comment recently. May I be so bold as to suggest that we need to star praying the Rosary in our millions for deliverance from the Islamic military threat we are all now under. No doubt there needs to be “real” fighting with weapons too as there was at Lepanto. Prayer and work were needed for God’s will to be done.
    I am very sorry to read of the death of James and pray for his soul and for his family.

  2. Susan M says:

    In his very last moments , looking closely, we can see Jim Foley’s lips moving. He was praying.

  3. drohan says:

    That is inspiring. It is important for people to know that martyrdom is not something of history, but of the current day.

    It seems believing Christians are the only people it is okay to slaughter. I think way to many of our leaders are concerned with “not provoking a religious war”. Well, it’s here. And if we don’t fight with both prayer and weapons, we will be the ones headless or the weaker among us shouting “Allah u Akbar.”

    I will pray tonight for the repose of his soul.

  4. Kate says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Father – it is truly inspirational. Our prayers for Jim Foley, his family, and all the innocent people who are suffering from this persecution.

  5. JARay says:

    I too will join in praying for James.

  6. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    Praying for his soul.

    Praying for his family.

    The sooner people learn the truth of islam, and its — The English language doesn’t have an appropriate adjective to place here that completely and totally describes how totally evil he was. — founder, mohammed, the better. Before 9/11 I didn’t care about islam. After 9/11, I learned all I could about islam, going so far as to study and learn Arabic in order to read their texts in their original languages.

    It. Is. Evil.

  7. VexillaRegis says:

    I believe Mr Foley was in good hands all the time – he belonged to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish in his home town Rochester. His murderers even clothed him in the red robe of martyrdom.

    Lux perpetua luceat ei, Domine.

  8. Dutchman says:

    Wow. A punch to the gut quickly followed by the balm of the Peace of Our Lady. Thanks for posting this

  9. Mike says:

    Thank you for this. Off to Mass now to pray for this brave soul and his family, and for victory over hearts hardened in sin and ignorance. May God have mercy on us!

  10. LarryW2LJ says:

    Agree with drohan – “Well, it’s here”.

    I have devoted the time during my drive home from work every day to a Rosary as well as a recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet. The only way out of this mess is with Divine Intervention.

    Dear Blessed Mother, Queen of the Knights, and all the martyrs – pray for us!

  11. Priam1184 says:

    Islam is evil YoungLatinMassGuy, chiefly because it took away so many Catholics and Catholic lands that have never been recovered. It replaced the Church in those regions of the world, the Middle East and North Africa, where she once flourished and produced many great saints, and therefore shut the gates of heaven for hundreds of millions of souls.

    But as to her barbarous warlike behavior in this world, which is an undoubted and integral part of her history: Islam has never accomplished anything like the murder of the innocents that has occurred under the Stars and Stripes since 1973. Islam, despite all of its barbarity, never sponsored and encouraged and rabidly promoted the murder of a million children a year by their own mothers in their own wombs and then tossed them on the garbage heap.

    Maybe we should take the beam out of our own eye before we seek to pluck the mote out of another’s?

    There is another Marian feast, the most Holy Name of Mary on September 12, that commemorates Jan Sobieski’s 1683 defeat of Kara Mustafa’s Turkish army at the gates of Vienna on that same day. It would be well to seek her intercession for the conversion of this people. It would be a different world if the obvious zeal of the Arabs was transformed from finding better ways of building bombs to advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  12. slainewe says:

    “The only way out of this mess is with Divine Intervention.”

    And what moves the Lord to save us is the blood of the saints.

    This is the first hope I have had that some Catholic in the Mideast may have offered his life in an act of pure Charity for the conversion of Muslims, which is all that is needed to end their reign of terror – ONE perfect act of Charity.

    I pray the Holy Ghost worked in James’ soul during those two years of confinement, and prayed for him a perfect prayer as he died. And that Our Lady of Sorrows provides what is lacking in his mother’s acceptance of his death, so that his death (joined to the merits of Our Lord and Lady from the Cross) will move Our Lady of the Rosary to crush the heresy of Islam for all times.

    What a GIFT this family , the Church, and the world may have been given!

  13. KM Edwards says:

    Thanks, knowing that Jim Foley was Catholic is a relief. I have added his name to the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society for requiem masses to be said for his eternal repose. May he rest in peace.

    There are other Marian feasts celebrated on the post-catholic island of Malta. One of them is linked to Lepanto.

    1. On September 8, 1565, the Turkish Armada that had besieged the island and their Knights since May of that same year, gave up and conceded defeat. The island of Malta has for this reason called this day, which is the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the (Maltese) Feast of Our Lady of Victories. This “Great Siege of Malta” was waged by the Turks, with a 40,000 man armada against 592 knights and some 6000-8000 local farmer peasants – the latter with no experience in warfare. At the end of the siege, only 96 knights survived under GrandMaster Jean de la Vallette. Had Malta fallen, its natural harbours would have provided the Turkish navy, the world’s greatest naval superpower of the day, the platform needed to drive a stake through Rome and destroy the Papacy. To be noted, Luther and Anglicans were praying for a Muslim victory.
    2. Some of these 96 surviving knights, and new recruits in the years following 1565, joined Emperor Charles at Lepanto 6 years later in 1571, and enjoyed a second major defeat of Turkish forces in that short span of time.
    3. Fast forward to September 8, 1944 – The Nazis/Mussolini Fascists were forced to give up their air campaign against Malta for good. Malta, a British naval base, had helped the allies dismantle Rommel’s grip in North Africa. This was the 2nd major deliverance Malta experienced on Our Lady’s birthday.
    4. Finally, August 15, 1942, the culmination of Operation Pedestal – a miracle that became known as the “Santa Maria convoy”. Malta was starving and the Nazis had successfully sunken every single ship that attempted to supply the island. On August 15, at 9am, the USS Ohio, decks awash as the ship slowly sunk with massive damage to it from a 3 day onslaught by German Junkers made it into the Grand Harbour at Valletta, to the cheers of the Catholic crowds. The Feast of Our Lady thus saw Malta being spared from Nazi domination.

    May Our Lady have mercy on Catholic victims of Islamic terrorists and may She grant that all of us be delivered from the darkness of Islamism.

  14. Magash says:

    I have seen this statement on abortion in the United States several times in connection with the actions of ISIS. I would point out that orthodox Catholics know well the sins of the United States in the promotion of abortion. However short of violence those of us who are against this hideous practice can literally do no more. We have marched to peacefully proclaim the horror of abortion. We have worked politically to do all we can to try to prevent it. We have taught the young of the abomination of it. We have prayed, oh how we have prayed. In private. In public. Thousands…millions of Rosaries asking for the intercession of the Blessed Mother and the intervention of God to stop this crime against the innocent.
    And we are winning. Not fast enough, and not as completely as we should be, but we are winning.
    Our failure and slow progress is no reason for us to stand idle while ISIS and its Islamic brethren continue to commit atrocities. We aren’t the ones murdering the children. That some of our fellow citizens, even our fellow co-religious might be does not make us culpable. I have no beam in my eye where is particular sin is concerned.

  15. MAJ Tony says:

    Mr. Foley, RIP, was imbedded with our brigade combat team in Iraq in 2008. Never met him personally. http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/08/20/slain-journalist-embedded-indiana-national-guard/14357005/

  16. frjim4321 says:

    What a disgusting and horrifying development this atrocious murder is!

    More fallout from the 2003 invasion of Iraq when Jr.’s war radically destabilized the region.

  17. Charles E Flynn says:

    Pope Francis has called the family of James Foley:

    Pope Francis Personally Calls Family Of James Foley To Offer His Condolences by, Yasmine Hafiz, for the Huffington Post.

  18. Uxixu says:

    Ah dear Reverend Fr Jim conveniently ignores how stability was recaptured with the Surge and Sunni Awakening and the hard won fruits of victory were thrown away by this incompetent administration before clearly telegraphing their intent to just disengage and fail to get an agreement in the very necessary status of forces agreement and allowing Malaki to exclude the Sunnis which led to them going over to ISIS.

  19. Reconverted Idiot says:

    frjim, really sir, are you not in the least ashamed of yourself for using this tragedy for yet more political grandstanding?

    Come come, sir, have a little decorum.

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