the family that prays together stays together

The saying was invented by Al Scalpone, a professional commercial-writer, and was used as the slogan of the Roman Catholic Family Rosary Crusade by Father Patrick Peyton (P. Peyton, All for Her, 1967). The crusade began in 1942 and the slogan was apparently first broadcast on 6 Mar. 1947 during the radio programme Family Theater of the Air. The Crusade in Britain started in 1952, and the expression now has many (often humorous) variant forms.

1948 St. Joseph Mag. (Oregon) Apr. 3 ‘More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of’, and ‘The family that prays together stays together.’ Such religious themes are hardly what one would expect to hear propounded over the air waves of our modern radio.

1954 Parents’ Magazine Feb. 119 The family that plays together stays together.

1980 R. HILL Spy’s Wife xxi. The family that spies together, sties together. Old Cockney Russian proverb.

1996 Washington Post 15 Mar. B3 First, Mother Teresa opined on the divorce of Princess Di and Prince Charles... ‘The family that prays together stays together; and if you stay together, you will love one another with the same love with which God loves each one of us.’

2001 Times 22 Dec. 19 History has forgotten Catherine Hogarth, as her husband [Charles Dickens] eventually did. Those who cook together stay together. Maybe because they cannot decide who should get the blender.


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