Bartolo Longo, born in Naples in 1841, drifted so far away from God and his religious upbringing that he eventually became a satanic priest.
When satanic forces were tormenting him, his family, who had never stopped praying for him, convinced him to make a good confession. He did and was helped by a priest who encouraged him to become devoted to the rosary. In 1870, he became a third order Dominican and chose to live a life of penance in reparation for all the sins he committed as a satanic priest. One day, nearing succumbing to despair for all the sins he had committed, he was inspired to remember Mary’s promise to help all those who encouraged others to pray the rosary. So began a mission to promote the rosary and to restore the ruined chapel of Pompeii. Many conversions and miraculous cures took place as people became devoted to the rosary and pledged to build a new shrine in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1980, Pope John Paul II beatified Bartolo Longo calling him “the man of the Madonna” and the “Apostle of the Rosary.”