Balloon Rosary: Spontaneous acts of joy across the United States involving the yellow LIFE balloons

Chicago's Rosary in the Sky

By —— Bio and Archives--August 15, 2011

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imageThe courage of 20 elementary-school aged girls and their counselors participating in a summer camp endeavor at a Chicago Catholic Parish last Friday did not go without notice.

In launching their yellow balloon, 75-foot handmade rosary skyward from Chicago’s Michigan Avenue bridge claiming the Magnificent Mile for Mary, they had to carry their rosary, cross-first, through downtown Chicago’s peak traffic.

The little girls met with the same dignity the jeers along with the cheers of pedestrians and motorists watching their progress.

For the school girls, there were lessons to be learned in the response of onlookers like the homeless people who gave high fives, street preachers who burst into the singing of Gospel songs, and in the semi-truck drivers who shook the streets sounding their truck horns in approval.

“I was completely ecstatic the whole time.  I loved seeing how many people on a random street corner were thrilled.  It is a lot more than we tend to think,” said one participant. (Sanctamissa.org, Aug. 14, 2011).


“A passerby tweeted, “A balloon rosary in the air.  My faith confirmed:)”, while another surprised Chicagoan wrote, “What the ...giant balloon rosary, with cross just floated heavenward from the Michigan Avenue bridge.”

Was it the innocence of elementary-school aged children that made the 6-foot gold cross sparkle in the sunlight as it ever so slowly ascended between the Tribune tower and the Wrigley building? 

To the delight of the girls and witnesses who spotted it, the 75-foot rosary of helium-filled yellow balloons bearing the word LIFE then floated down Michigan Avenue over the Hancock Tower and past North Ave Beach.  Cameras and cellphones flew into action as people responded to the unexpected sight.

Trustingly the girls had first prayed the rosary in front of the Washington Blvd. Family Planning Associates, with all the fervour of school children, for an end to abortion.

Believers knew that the floating rosary happened just in time for the August 15 Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.

Brother Joshua Caswell described the rosary over Chicago as “the latest of a series of spontaneous acts of joy across the United States involving the yellow LIFE balloons.”

“Sightings of LIFE balloons at prayer vigils, country fairs and flash mobs leave many wondering if the trend will impact this year’s March for Life in Washington, DC.”


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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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