Newsletter N.º 78 – April 2003

VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy Love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created and Thou shall renew the face of the earth!

“Only in an atmosphere of fervent prayer are we able “to receive the Holy Spirit coming upon us and thus become Christ’s witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’, like those who went forth from the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.”

In loving gratitude to God for all those who support us through prayer and alms, we shall remember each of you in our Novena for Pentecost – 8 June- and also a Triduum of Masses will be offered for your intentions in honour of the Feasts of:

Our Lady of Fatima May 13,
Sacred Heart of Jesus June 27, and Immaculate Heart of Mary June 28.

With loving gratitude and United in Prayer, Mother Prioress and Sisters

“TAKE UP THE ROSARY”

“Many prayer initiatives are taking place these days all over the world. While I endorse them wholeheartedly, I invite all to take up the Rosary to ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary: ‘One cannot recite the Rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace’…How important it is that during this Year of the Rosary we persevere in praying the Rosary to implore peace! I ask you to continue to do so especially in Marian shrines… We ask God with prayer that a reflection of eternity may penetrate our short life and our actions.With the presence of divine grace in us, a light will shine on the passing of days, misery will become glory, what seems senseless will gain meaning.”

(Pope John Paul II 9 Feb, 26 Mar 2003)

“WHAT MUST WE DO?”
A Brief Study of the Message of Fatima

Those who were convinced by the grace of Peter’s preaching on Pentecost day responded by asking: “What must we do?” (Acts 2:37). Lucia, a child of ten years, while in the presence of the Lady of the Apparitions was inspired to ask: “What do you want of me?” The Message of Fatima, echoing the Gospel itself, calls us to personal conversion and to a deeper realization in our everyday life of our Christian vocation in the Catholic Church. In honor of this Year of the Rosary we present these reflections on three themes from the Message of Fatima.

I.Faith

Pope John Paul II stated in Fatima on 13 May 1982 that: “If the Church has accepted the Message of Fatima, it is above all because that message contains a truth and a call whose basic content is the truth and the call of the Gospel itself: “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk1:15). These are the first words that the Messiah addressed to humanity.”
Sr. Lucia begins her book “Calls” From the Message of Fatima with this very theme. She says: “I address this to all those who have faith and also to all who have not the happiness of possessing this gift of God, because we are all pilgrims on our way to eternity, whether we know it or not…” Then, she recalls the very first words of the prayer the Angel taught the children: “My God I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.” and she says: “The first call which God addresses to us through his Messenger is thus a call to Faith… Faith is the basis of the entire spiritual life. It is by faith that we believe in the existence of God, in his power, his wisdom, his mercy, his work of redemption, his pardon and his fatherly love. It is by faith that we believe in God’s Church, founded by Jesus Christ, and in the doctrine the Church transmits to us and by which we shall be saved. It is the light of faith that guides our steps, leading us by the narrow way that leads to Heaven. It is by faith that we see Christ in others, loving, serving and helping them when they re in need of our assistance. And it is also our faith that assures us that God is present within us and that his eyes are always upon us….”

Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD, Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Canonization of Bl. Francisco and Jacinta wrote the following in the Preface to the book Teologia de Fatima: “…Fatima is a light which illumines and manifests the different truths, in the spectrum of the Catholic Faith. It is like the beacon of a lighthouse, which upon focusing, distinguishes various objects in the shadows and places them in view. It is in this sense that Fatima represents true enrichment towards the deepening of the Faith… Fatima advocates one of the most urgent intentions of the Church: catechesis. Faith, which comes from hearing… does not consist of documents on paper or in the books of scientists. It is transmitted by living, animated messengers and received and practiced by convinced men. It requires new impulses and inspirations continually. It is revitalized in images, comparisons and analogies. Where the riches of life in their multiple variations are lacking, Faith is easily weakened… The language of the Faith in its images, in perfect harmony with the language of Sacred Scripture and the Doctrine of the Church, is one of the most characteristic marks of the Message of Fatima. For this reason, Fatima offers an enormous enrichment to Catechesis, to Theology and to the Christian faith in general.”

Some years ago, at the International Congress of Dominican Rosary Promoters held in Toulouse (France), his Excellency Msgr. Gabriel Garrone, Archbishop of Toulouse preached about the Rosary and the Faith. He said: “…Truly it is difficult to image a more compelling and sure means of educating and reeducating in the Faith than the Rosary, when it is recited habitually. The Creed then becomes what it really is, a prayer. The Faith is there, all whole, all living and it is the true Faith, which begins in humility and is completed in praise. At a time when the Faith is threatened on all sides, in its very substance, which our age rends to its very depths, and in its soul, for humility is ever more difficult, what a treasure is the Rosary. The Rosary is the true Catechism! The Rosary also holds all the rich promise of the Faith necessary for a mission age. The Rosary is “missionary”, in surrendering the heart to Mary, it frees the simple, humble Faith, one particle of which, be it no larger than a grain, moves mountains.”

II. PRAYER AND PENANCE

Fatima is said to be a school of prayer. The Angel invited the children to pray: “Pray with me.” And later “Pray, pray very much!…Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.” He taught them very beautiful Trinitarian and Eucharistic prayers of reparation while showing them gestures to accompany their prayer, such as bowing prostrate to the ground. Our Lady then came and, above all, asked them to “Pray the Rosary everyday to obtain peace for the world.” The Blessed Virgin also renewed the Angel’s plea to offer sacrifices in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners because “God is already so much offended”. The children were allowed to see a most vivid image of hell where, as Our Lady said, “…the souls of poor sinners go”. In this same Apparition, which included the Secret of Fatima, the need for penance is made strikingly clear when the Angel, holding a flaming sword, calls out: “Penance! Penance! Penance!”

At the end of his treatise on Voluntary Mortification Today, Bishop Alberto Cosme do Amaral former Bishop of Fatima wrote: “…more than ever, penance is necessary to expiate and make reparation for the sins of the world. Through the ages humanity has always been sinful. But it recognized this fact and did penance. Today mankind doesn’t. We are drowning nowadays in an ocean of sins and are proud of our sin. Mankind rejects all ethical and moral values. Thus, man loses his interior liberty and becomes victim of the worst of all tyrannies: the tyranny, which is himself. The disciple of Christ must feel in his body and soul the weight of this mountain of sins, which crushes his contemporaries and also affects himself. He must suffer the agony of Jesus through the centuries… the Message of Fatima is the call of God to all men and women. May all Christians who are the children of God reach out for the divine message, which comes to us through the Heart of Mary.”

III. PEACE

In the words of the Angel… “Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace… Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country.”

In the words of Our Lady: “Pray the Rosary everyday, in order to obtain peace for the world and an end to the war.” (May 1917) “…Continue to pray the Rosary everyday in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and an end to the war, because only she can help you.” (July 1917)

In the words of Bl. Jacinta to Lucia: “Tell everyone that they are to ask for peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary because God has entrusted this to her.”

Sr. Lucia in her book Calls of the Message of Fatima states that: “To say ‘pilgrims of Fatima’ is the same as saying pilgrims of peace; …we are all pilgrims of peace. We all desire and long for peaceful days, to be able to live in peace. But this peace will not be achieved until we use the Law of God as the norm and guide of our steps. Now the entire Message of Fatima is a call to pay attention to this divine Law.”

Pope Paul VI made an historic visit to Fatima on the 50th Anniversary of the Apparitions 13th May 1967. He came, he said, to implore Mary’s help for two intentions: peace in the Church and peace in the world. He said: “We have come to the feet of the Queen of Peace to ask for the gift, which only God can give, of peace. Yes, peace, a gift of God, which supposes His intervention, Divine, good, merciful and mysterious. But it is not always a miraculous gift; it is a gift, which works its wonders in the hearts of men; a gift therefore which has need of free acceptance and of free collaboration. Our prayer then, after having been turned towards heaven, is turned towards the men of the world. I call upon all men to strive to be worthy of the divine gift of peace! Be true to yourselves; be good, wise, open to the common good of the world. Be magnanimous! Try to see your dignity and your interests, not as contrary to but as conforming to the dignity and the interests of others. Do not contemplate projects of destruction and of death, of revolution and of suppression; but think rather of projects of mutual strengthening and of solid collaboration. Think of the gravity and the grandeur of this hour, which can be decisive for the history of the present and of future generations, and begin to approach each other with thoughts of building a new world, yes, the world of true men, a world which can never be without the light of God on its horizons… Behold, my brothers and children, who listen to us here, behold the immense and dramatic picture which the world and its destinies presents to us. It is the picture which Our Lady opens up before us, the picture which we contemplate with frightened eyes, but ever trusting knowledge; the picture to which we ever draw near and to which we pledge ourselves, following the counsel which Our Lady gave us, that of prayer and penance and which God desires, that this picture of the world shall never again have to face wars, tragedies, and catastrophes, but the conquest of love and the victory of peace.”

“O, Star of Galilee,
Shining o’er this earth’s dark sea,
Shed thy glorious light on me,
Maria Stella Maris!”

Jerome Savonarola,OP

St. Joseph: Preacher in Silence and His Place in the Rosary

In his first lesson on St. Joseph the French Bishop Bossuet wrote:

“Among the different vocations, I notice two in the Scriptures which seem directly opposed to each other: the first is that of the Apostles, the second that of St. Joseph. Jesus was revealed to the Apostles that they might announce Him throughout the world; He was revealed to St. Joseph who was to remain silent and keep Him hidden. The apostles are lights to make the world see Jesus. Joseph is a veil to cover him; and under that mysterious veil are hidden from us the virginity of Mary and the greatness of the Saviour of souls…He Who makes the Apostles glorious with the glory of preaching, glorifies Joseph by the humility of silence.”

“Perfection consists in doing God’s will, each one according to his vocation…. After Mary, Joseph was nearest to the Author of grace, and in the silence of Bethlehem, during the exile in Egypt, and in the little home of Nazareth he received more graces than any other saint.”(1)

Pope Pius IX was known as the Pope of St. Joseph and of the Immaculata. He never left aside his beloved Rosary and proclaimed the Holy Patriarch St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church. We know the intimate relationship between the Rosary and St. Joseph. In this devotion, St. Joseph is, just as his place in Heaven, at the side of Mary.

It happened once that an acclaimed artist arrived in Rome and the Holy Father commissioned him to paint a picture, which would portray Heaven. Pope Pius IX followed the work of the artist with great care. One day, when the work was already well advanced, the artist explained to the Pontiff the theme, and the symbolism of the figures and the position of the persons on the canvas.
- And St. Joseph, where did you place him?

- He is there, said the painter, pointing to an angle of the picture, he’s here in this corner.

- No, my son, said Pius IX, he cannot stay there. I want him here at the side of Jesus and Mary. Don’t take St. Joseph from next to Jesus and Mary, because that is how they are in Heaven!

What a beautiful and touching lesson!

In our prayers, in our Rosaries, we can never separate what God has united on earth and in Heaven: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

(1) The Mother of Our Saviour and Our Interior Life by Fr. R. Garrigou-Lagrange,OP)

O Great St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer and Patron of the Universal Church, we humbly ask you to obtain fervent Vocations for holy Mother Church. We especially ask you in this Year of the Rosary to look kindly upon Monastery Pius XII – this Rosary Community – and intercede to the Lord of the harvest that He may send new labourers into this ‘Rosary garden’ for His greater glory and the salvation of souls. Amen

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ROSARY

In this Year of the Rosary, a year of extraordinary grace, what better way to show our gratitude to God and to the Blessed Mother than to teach someone to pray the Rosary. Let us lead another soul through that journey of faith, hope and love to the Father with Jesus and Mary through the Rosary. It is important to emphasize that the Rosary is a vocal prayer and more essentially a mental prayer -meditation leading to contemplation. As we pray the Hail Mary’s, we focus our attention on the events in the life of Jesus and Mary as presented in each mystery, placing ourselves in Their company during those moments of Joy, Light, Sorrow and Glory. If we become distracted, we simply ask our Sweet Mother to lead us by the hand and take our mind and heart in Hers and offer us again to Jesus.

Praying the Rosary

With Rosary in hand:

1- Make the Sign of the Cross holding the Crucifix and pray the Apostles Creed. 2 – On the first large bead pray the Our Father.

3 – On the three small beads pray three Hail Mary’s.

4 – Then pray the Glory be to theFather.

5 -Start the First Decade by meditating on the First Mystery.
On the large bead pray the Our Father. On the ten small beads pray ten Hail Mary’s. Then pray again the Glory be to the Father. Fatima prayer, O My Jesus…

6 – Pray the rest of the Five Decades, each time meditating on one of the Mysteries.
Conclude with Hail, Holy Queen.

The Rosary Mysteries

Joyful – Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, Finding in the Temple (Monday, Saturday)
Luminous – Baptism of Jesus, Wedding Feast of Cana, Proclamation and Call to Conversion, Transfiguration, Institution of the Eucharist (Thursday)
Sorrowful – Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with thorns, Carrying of the Cross, Crucifixion (Tuesday, Friday)
Glorious – Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, Assumption, Coronation (Sunday, Wednesday)

April 2003

Dear Rosarians,

In 1957 Pope Pius XII sent the following Letter on the Holy Rosary to the Dominican Master General. We reprint it here for the edification of all.

To the Most Reverend Master General, Michael Browne, O.P., concerning the Marian Rosary.
Pius P.P. XII

Beloved Son, greeting and Apostolic Benediction. We are pleased to know from the reports that you, in a spirit of greatest obedience, have sent Us that the Dominican Order, over which you worthily preside, has been striving zealously and diligently to the utmost that the Marian Rosary might more ardently be recited daily by the faithful in honor of the Virgin Mother of God, and that the pious Sodalities which take their name from it and which are given over to your sedulous and unceasing care might flourish ever more day by day. This comes as most agreeable news, seeing that in this method of prayer a quick and easy means is laid out for the whole Christian people, even the unformed and uninstructed, whereby they may nourish, enkindle and arouse their piety and religious devotion to the greatest possible degree.

For the Marian Rosary is “a marvelous garland woven from the angelic annunciation interspersed with the Lord’s Prayer and joined together with a course of meditation, a most efficacious kind of entreaty…. and most especially fruitful for the attainment of everlasting life” (Leo XIII in his letter Diuturni temporis, 5 Sept. 1898; A.L., vol. XVIII, pp. 154-155). For this reason, in addition to the most excellent prayers of which it is comprised and which are, as it were, plaited into a crown of heavenly roses, it also offers an invitation to stir up one’s faith, a help to devotion and outstanding models of virtue through the mysteries presented for contemplation. It therefore cannot fail to be most pleasing to the Virgin Mother of God and to her Only Son, who undoubtedly considers any praise, honor and glory rendered to his Mother as likewise rendered to Himself. It is also to be maintained as certain that these forms of prayer, whether recited in consecrated places or in domestic gatherings, even if recited in an altogether private manner, avail abundantly for the attainment of divine grace and the amendment of morals among Christians. It is well known that it was above all for this reason that the Roman Pontiffs, and most particularly Our Predecessor of undying memory, Leo XIII, extolled this method of prayer with the highest praises and enriched it with salutary favors. We Ourselves, in Our Encyclical Letter beginning with the words “Ingruentium malorum” (A. A. S., vol. XLIII, 1951, pp. 577 ff.), have strongly recommended the Marian Rosary to Christians of every degree, as we believed, and do believe, that the most powerful and generous Mother of God, moved by the voices of so many of her children, would obtain as gifts from God that public and private morals should be strengthened with each passing day, that the Catholic religion might engage in the service which is acceptable to God free from all unjust impediments whatsoever, and that its salutary power should extend not merely into the minds of all citizens individually, but likewise into the very veins of the commonwealth; in order that, through mutual respect of all and the order derived from just laws, they may be so governed and united that there may arise among them not rivalry but concord, not hate but love, and not a new encounter with ruin but the growth of prosperity rightly so called.

Continue, then, as you are doing, zealously, diligently and devoutly promoting the Marian Rosary and the various associations that take their name from it; this is a particular mark of your Order, and the pious service of that same Order does not stand in last place in the eyes of the exalted Mother of God, of the Church or of the Catholic religion.

We then, wishing to render fatherly thanks to you for things well done, to inspire in you a resolve to be no less eager in the future pursuit of this cause, and to extend a sign of heavenly graces and a token of Our goodwill, most happily bestow upon you, beloved son, upon each of those associations committed to your care and that of your Order, and most particularly upon those who render assistance to you in carrying this work forward, the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the eleventh day of the month of July, in the year one thousand nine hundred fifty seven, the nineteenth of Our Pontificate.

P. Pius XII

Translated from the Latin by Robert MacDonald, Archival Assistant, Providence College Dominican Province of St. Joseph(USA)




← BACK  |   ↑ TOP