Religious chain letter.  Novena to Our Lady of Fatima.  "It is a Novena for Peace." Article suspects "Communist propaganda."  US, 1951.
  We are making a novena to Our Lady of Fatima. It is not much and requires little time. Just one Our Father each day for nine days. It is the first one started and is going around the world. It is a novena for peace.
  Make nine copies of this letter and send them to nine different persons before the fourth day after receiving this letter Do not mention the sender, _____
_____, who sent this to you. Do not let this letter die with you. The fourth day after sending this, a favor will come to you.
  If you do not wish to make this novena, send it to the Sisters of St. Francis, Canton, Mass.
                        Signed: Anne O'Malley
                        Sisters of St. Francis
                        137 Shawmont Ave.
                        Canton, Mass.

Published: Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona), March 17, 1951, p. 6. PEACE PLAN LETTER PHONY. Chain Missive Red Scheme?  NEW YORK, Mar 17. - "In Canton Mass. there is a Catholic convent run by the Sisters of St. Francis who are bewildered and shocked by the discovery they are being used in a chain letter racket with a religious twist and leading overtones of Communist propaganda. ¶ This chain letter 'peace novena', which has been circulating from New England to the deep south, calls for an unbreakable chain of prayers for peace - peace at any price and on any conditions.
Authorities who have seen the letter are convinced it was Communist inspired and is a part of the Kremlin phony peace campaign. ¶ There is some slight evidence that the first of these letters were received in New York City about the time of the organization of the civil defense department. At least those who received the letter in this city were the first to draw its attention to the government agencies investigating communistic activities. ... Here is First One. ¶ The letters differ somewhat in wording, but here is one of the first of this 'unbreakable' peace chain." [above text]
Terms Letter Forgery  "Letters sent to Anna O'Malley at the Massachusetts address for verification were returned marked 'Unknown'. The mother superior at the Canton convent says the chain letter proposal is an utter forgery; that she has tried to reach all parochial publications in her archdiocese and inform them that the convent is not the origin of the 'novena for peace' chain letter proposal. ... ¶ The most famous of all chain letter is known as the Luck of London, which has now been traveling around the world for more than 50 years."  ... "The first chain letters were in the form of bricks. Thousands of years ago Assyrians when they wished to revenge themselves on an enemy, would copy prayers in cuneiform characters onto a brick and hurl said brick at the person. ¶ If the brick hit the enemy at which it had been aimed and either killed or wounded him severely, it immediately became a valued treasure. Some of the Assyrian merchants carried a stock of such bricks. ¶ It was considered unlucky to miss hitting the human target thus breaking the 'chain' of prayer. It was indeed unlucky when the intended victim would take up the brick 'letter' and hurl it back with deadly accuracy at the original thrower."  
Entered by DWV, Aug. 13, 2014.


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