Fr. Petrus’ intention was to ‘storm Heaven as soldiers storm a fort,’ with Holy Mass and Rosary processions a central part of his plan. He was also deeply concerned about souls and spent literally days at a time in the confessional. Perhaps the most impressive part of Father’s plan was to get 10% of Austrians to pledge to pray the Holy Rosary every day. After a fairly slow start, more and more people joined in, including the Prime Minister Leopold Figl and members of his Cabinet. The Rosary processions, which were held each month on the 13th, became so huge it was decided to hold an annual one in Vienna on 12th September to commemorate the city’s famous victory over the Turks in 1682. Prime Minister Leopold Figl always led the annual procession.
Protracted peace negotiations (which included 260 meetings in London between the 4 occupying nations and a representative from Austria) never made much progress. However Our Lady is a faithful mother. On 13th May 1955, the 4 occupying countries finally agreed to withdraw from Austria and the agreement was signed 2 days later. The last Communist soldier left Austria on 26th October 1955 without a single shot being fired. Austria had achieved the unthinkable. When you consider that this was during the Cold War when Communist aggression and religious persecution were at their highest, it is even more miraculous and confirms it could never have happened without the intervention from Our Lady and Our Lord. Exactly one year later, on 13th May 1956, Austria held its first independent elections.