Newsletter N.º 76 – June 2002

“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.”
“Pray thus,” said the Angel to the three Little Shepherds, “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
This prayer of the Angel is a simple yet profound act of Adoration, Faith, Hope and Love. At the same time it is an act of Reparation and when we pray thus, we too can be assured that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary will be attentive to our supplications.
A Triduum of Masses and prayers will be offered to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for your intentions as we assure you of our continued prayer and spiritual concern for all your needs.

Mother Prioress and Community

POPE AGAIN APPEALS FOR DAILY ROSARY

In our last Friends of Fatima we recorded the repeated appeals of Pope John Paul II for the daily Rosary after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. As the month of May approached he once again asked everyone to pray the Rosary daily for an end to conflicts and violence from which the entire human family suffers grievously.
The Holy Father said: “Dear Brothers and sisters, let us live intensely these days dedicated to the heavenly Mother of the Lord. Let us pray the Rosary, if possible every day, either by our self or in community. The Rosary is a simple prayer, but profound and very effective, even to ask favours for families, communities and the world.
In view of the international situation, where so many needs and problems have come to the surface and, in particular, in view of the unending dramatic situation in the Holy Land, we must turn with confidence to the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin. We may be sure that she can sustain the efforts of one who seeks peace with sincerity and determination. No one more than she, the Queen of Peace, constantly watches over the laborious journey of humanity. “may an uninterrupted and common prayer be raised to heaven from every part of the world so that finally initiatives for easing tension and for dialogue may be affirmed in the land of Christ and in every other place of the globe, experiencing violence and suffering.” (Regina Caeli 28 April 2002)

MARY, PATRONESS OF THE DOMINICAN ORDER

(Homily Preached by Fr. Anthony McMullan, OP, 8 May 2002 at Monastery Pius XII, Fatima)

Last year around this time Newry (N. Ireland) was preparing for the visit of the Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux and I was asked by the Carmelite Nuns to give a talk on St. Therese and Our Lady. Part of this talk was to introduce the whole Carmelite tradition with regard to Mary being its Patroness.
But not only do the Carmelites have Mary as their Patroness. Many Orders, including our own, have Mary as their Patroness, and rightly so. All these Orders promote devotion to Mary as their Patroness in one form or another. And I suppose the diversity of all of this gives us all insight into what the Mother of God means to us in the many titles that she has been given. For example, for Augustinians, Mary is the Mother of Good Counsel; for the Franciscans, the Immaculate Conception and so many others.
Today we celebrate as Dominicans the Patronage of Our Lady. Our Lady in the tradition of our Order has always played a very special part. Our holy Father St. Dominic always turned to her in times of difficulty. Her prayer – the Salve Regina – was always close to his heart and always uttered with his lips when disillusionment and everything that goes along with it made him want to give up.
From Dominic’s devotion and those early Dominicans who followed him came the great prayer of the Rosary. The Rosary was Mary’s special gift to us. And what is the Rosary that Mary asked Dominic to preach but the meditation on the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus our Saviour. In a sense Mary is a true Dominican contemplative. She received the Word into her Heart. She pondered the Word and she unleashed It to the world. She takes us by the hand and leads us to contemplate the very things that are so special and close to her Heart and these she points out to us that they may be imprinted on our hearts always, giving us inspiration and the graces necessary in order to preach the Word of the Gospel – in season and out of season – in good times and in bad. The Rosary is the Gospel in miniature and the truth that Dominic searched for and that we search for always remains – always stands – a truth that can never be compromised firstly, among ourselves and secondly, among those you minister to here at the parlour grille, or in our churches or wherever Dominicans can be found.
I feel sad sometimes that the great devotion to Mary that our Order had has somewhat faded. Perhaps in these times it can be renewed. We all have to be reminded of the great tradition that Mary herself has given us through her patronage. The Rosary is as important today as it always has been. People have to be taught to pray the Rosary and I have no doubt that once the beads are taken in the hand that Mary takes us by the hand, like she did to Dominic, and your Founder Fr. Damien Marie and little Jacinta and Francisco here in Fatima. And in this way Mary leads us through the saving mysteries of our Redemption.
I am sure that you all are familiar with the image of Our Lady with all the Dominicans under her mantle. It is a good image – but how much better if all the Dominicans could have their Rosary in their hands. Perhaps if there are some artists among you – we could renew the image. Perhaps it is from here in Fatima, which has been graced by the presence of Mary, that we Dominicans could spread the message of God’s love and Mary’s love for us in the gift of the Rosary and her Patronage.

POPE JOHN PAUL II MEETS WITH DOMINICANS

On Friday, 15 February 2002, the Holy Father in a very fraternal meeting received our Master General Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa, OP along with the members of the General Council. We quote here part of the official text of the Pope’s words.
“…The Dominican Order of which you are the ranking representatives, has a specific task in the immense undertaking of the new evangelization that the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 vigorously launched. This is a common ecclesial enterprise to which all the members of the People of God, and particularly religious families, are called to contribute.
As I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, “The men and woman of our day often perhaps unconsciously ask believers not only to “speak” of Christ, but in a certain sense to “show” Him to them (no.16). Doesn’t this request coincide with the project of life that St. Dominic expressed so effectively: “contemplata aliis tradere” (to hand on to others what contemplation has taught)? Only those who have had an experience of God can speak of Him convincingly to others. At the school of St. Dominic and of all the Dominican saints you are called to be teachers of truth and holiness.
Dear friends, may this be the basic thrust of your General Council in providing courageous instructions for the life and apostolate of the Dominican Friars throughout the world. I follow you whole-heartedly, wishing every good thing for your communities spread on every continent. I call down upon you the motherly help of Our Lady of the Rosary and the protection of the saints and blesseds of your Order.
As I assure you of my remembrance in prayer, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, to your confreres and to all who belong to the Dominican spiritual family.”

Bl. BARTHOLOMEW OF THE MARTYRS

On 4 November 2001, Pope John Paul II beatified the Dominican Archbishop of Braga. This was an occasion of great joy for the Dominicans of Portugal and the entire Order. Bartolomeu Fernandes was born in Lisbon on 3 May 1514. The words of the martyrs refer to the Church where he was baptized. He entered the Dominican Order in November 1528 at the age of fourteen. In 1558 Queen Catherine of Portugal nominated him as successor to the Archbishop of Braga. He reluctantly accepted this honour in obedience to his Prior Provincial, the celebrated writer Venerable Louis of Granada, who had himself been nominated by the Queen, but who had urged her to put forward his confrere instead.
On the occasion of his beatification in Rome, the Holy Father spoke of Bl. Bartholomew in the following words:
“Blessed Bartholomew of the Martyrs, Archbishop of Braga, with great vigilance and apostolic zeal, gave himself to safeguarding and renewing the Church in her living stones, without looking down upon provisional structures that are the inert stones. He paid special attention to the living stones, who had little or nothing to live on. He took from his own pocket to give to them. To those who criticized him for cutting such a poor figure with the little that remained, he replied: “You will not see me ever so foolish as to spend with the leisure class what I can spend to keep many poor alive”. Since religious ignorance was the greatest form of poverty, the Archbishop did everything possible to remedy it, beginning with the moral reform and cultural formation of the clergy “because it is evident that if your zeal corresponded to your office… the flock of Christ would not stray so far away from the road to heaven”. By his wisdom, his example and his apostolic zeal, he moved and made burn with zeal the souls of the Fathers of the Council of Trent so that they would proceed to the necessary reform of the Church, which he was inspired to bring about with persevering and undaunted courage” (L’Osservatore Romano 7 Nov. 2001).
As he lay dying, our holy Father St. Dominic had urged his brethren, among other things, “to guard poverty…” Bl. Bartholomew never ceased to make of poverty his greatest treasure.

CHILDREN OF FATIMA: EUCHARISTIC ADORERS

In January 2002, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima began a School of Eucharistic Adoration for the children of Fatima. In various locations throughout the local Parish the children meet in a designated chapel at scheduled times for Adoration, prayer and meditation. Their catechist and or one of the priests of the Parish or chapels of adoration accompany them. In imitation of the little Shepherds, Bl. Francisco and Jacinta these children readily respond to the invitation to “stay a little while near the Hidden Jesus”. The experience has proven very spiritual and joy-filled. Some of the children expressed their joy and interior experience in the following words:

“I liked it very much because the prayer was beautiful and I felt very good being near Jesus.” Teddy, Grade 4
“I like it very much. I went to see the Hidden Jesus. We sang lots of songs to Jesus and it was very beautiful.” Ana Luisa, Grade 4
“I liked very much praying to Jesus. I liked being with Him in my heart and I want to tell him that I am a good friend of His.” Rafael, Grade 3
The theme for reflection was “We Adore God Who Speaks to Us”. The children learned that God is pleased to hear them speak to him and He also likes to speak to them in their hearts. They are learning the importance of silence, which helps them to hear God speaking to them in the intimacy of their hearts.
We pray for the children and continue to commend them to the intercession of the Blessed Little Shepherds of Fatima!

WORLD YOUTH DAY 2002

From 23 – 28th July 2002 the 17th World Youth Day will be held in Toronto, Canada. The theme chosen by the Holy Father is “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world…” Speaking of this theme in May to a large group of young people in Italy the Pope said: “…In saying ‘you are salt of the earth’, the Redeemer entrusted a twofold mission to his disciples: to give life a savour by showing its meaning as revealed through him and to make accessible to all the food that comes from on high ‘Young people’ be the salt of the earth that gives beauty and savour. Show with concrete gestures and convincing words that life and living together the love that Jesus came to reveal and give us is worthwhile. Is it not the love of Christ, the Victor over evil and death, who transformed us? Do all you can so that this experience can reach the greatest number of young people. Be the salt that enables the food of Heaven to be distributed to all, so that even the least reflective and those who have wandered far off, through your enthusiasm, passion, humble and persevering dedication, may feel called to believe in God and to love him in their neighbour.
“You are the light of the world” (Mt 5,14). This is Jesus’ other message to His disciples. The characteristic of light is to dispel darkness, warm what it touches, and enhance its contours. It does this with the greatest speed. Therefore, for Christians and especially young Christians, being the light of the world means spreading everywhere the light that comes from on high. It means fighting the darkness, both that due to evil and sin and that caused by ignorance and prejudice. Young people… be rays of Christ’s light. He is the “light of the world” (Jn8,12). Radiate this light everywhere, especially where Jesus is not known and loved, or even where He is rejected. With your lives, make people understand that the light which comes from on high does not destroy the human being: on the contrary, it exalts him, just like the sun, whose brilliance throws into bold relief shapes and colours. God is not man’s rival but his true friend, his most faithful ally. You must promote this message with the speed of light! Don’t lose any time: your youth is too precious to waste even the smallest part. God needs you and calls each one of you by name.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Star of the Sea” guide you; she directs towards the safe haven those who sail on the great ocean of life, by shining like a bright star even in the darkest hours”

So courage. Courage and hope. Praised be Jesus Christ…
(Address to Youth of the Island of Ischia, Italy 5 May 2002)

Please remember the young people in your Rosary as they prepare to meet in Toronto from every corner of the world. May the Holy Spirit be with them in all His Love, Truth and Joy!

LITANY OF FRANCISCO AND JACINTA

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us

God the Father, Creator of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of mankind, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Perfection of those who are chosen, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us.

Francisco and Jacinta, children blessed by God, pray for us.
Children so dear to the Heart of Our Lady, pray for us.
Children so loved by all of us, pray for us.

Little Shepherds, in admiration of the glories of creation…
Little Shepherds, gazing in wonder at the starry sky…
Little Shepherds, fondling your furry white lambs…
Little Shepherds, with your clear innocent gaze…
Little Shepherds, with your angelic smile…
Little Shepherds, with your pure soul…

Hearts enchanted by beauty, pray for us.
Hearts yearning for truth…
Hearts overflowing with love…
Amazing wonders of prayer…
Wells brimming over with sacrifices…
Children totally committed and ready for martyrdom…

Francisco, seeker of peace and contemplation, pray for us.
You who would console God…
You who died smiling…

Jacinta, faithful helpmate of the Holy Father, pray for us.
You, the apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…
You, the friend of sinners…

You two, who enjoyed the company of angels, pray for us.
Confidantes of our Lady…
Living witnesses of her Message…
You who loved God so deeply…
Watchers beside the Hidden Jesus…
Adorers of the Most Blessed Trinity…
Stars of light for all human beings…
Burning Bushes of the Most High…
Flames of love for all eternity…

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, forgive us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray: O God who granted to our two little Shepherds the grace to become little burning bushes on fire with love for the Holy Father and for sinners, and burning with love for Our Lady and the “hidden” Jesus, grant that we, too, may be other Franciscos and other Jacintas, so that we, too, may burn with the same love and, with them, all meet together again in Heaven around Our Lady in adoration of the Blessed Trinity. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Translated from the book: Prieres et textes de J F de Louvencourt, Editions Benedictines, 2001 and reprinted from the Bulletin Seers of Fatima April-June 2002)

June 2002

Dear Rosarians,

In this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary we greet you and thank you for your fidelity to your Holy Rosary Hour of Guard.

When we pray the Rosary every day and even as often as possible, we obey the Master Who speaks to us through the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, “Pray the Rosary everyday…” Our Lord said to St. Peter, “cast your nets out into the deep”- duc in altum – and this is what all Rosarians do with the “mystic net” of the Holy Rosary. We continue to cast the “mystic net” of Ave’s for the salvation of souls and for peace in the world, even when the results may seem poor or slow in coming. As St. Luke tells us, on that day, in their humble obedience the disciples caught 153 fish! The net was so heavy they could hardly haul it ashore. And how interesting, that when we pray the entire Rosary of 15 decades in our Rosary Hour of Guard, including the three Ave’s for Faith, Hope and Charity, we pray exactly 153 Ave’s!

Some years ago before the collapse of Communism, Cardinal Meisner of Germany met with a group of Catholics who had not been allowed to assist at Holy Mass since 1943. They asked: “What must we believe and pass on to our children in order to reach our eternal goal?” Pressing a Rosary into their hands, the Cardinal told them: “…The Rosary is a summary of our entire Faith” On the end of the Rosary hangs the Cross. St. Thomas Aquinas said: “The Cross is the book that we can never come to the end of studying. “On the Cross we pray the Creed. This is our Rule of Faith. Then come the first three Ave’s with the three theological Virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity. This is our Rule of life. Finally, in a threaded sequence, in a sort of Braille, there follows the entire New Testament, decipherable only by the praying hands of the believer. The Rosary contains all that I need to believe and live by. Thereupon a man in the group, deeply moved, held up his Rosary and said: “So here I hold the entire Faith of the Church in my hand.”

In the words of Fr. W. Van Straaten, “Pray the Rosary with the faith of children and devout grandmothers. Pray as our ancestors once prayed. Like Moses on Mt. Sinai and Jonah in the belly of the whale. Like the youths in the fiery furnace and like Job when he was put to the test by Satan. Their prayers were heard! Pray with unshakable trust and with a heart that embraces the whole world in love. And the Lord will turn His face towards us and His Mercy will know no bounds.”

United with each of you in the Love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Your devoted Perpetual Rosary Sisters

QUOTES OF NOTE

“…It is when prayer is becoming, in reality, more and more necessary that souls must offer themselves to God and the Blessed Virgin to pray constantly…”

(Rev Fr. Damien Marie Saintourens, OP, Founder of the Perpetual Rosary Nuns)




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