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Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7, 1571

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was established in 1571 by St. Pius V to
commemorate the naval battle of Lepanto. The victory of the Christian fleets over the Turks was
attributed to the Virgin Mary, whose help was invoked through praying the Rosary. According to
a venerable tradition, this beautiful prayer was revealed to St. Dominic by the Blessed Mother.
The 150 Hail Marys correspond to the number of Psalms that the illiterate people of that time
could not understand. The first part of the Hail Mary is taken from the Gospel of Luke, the
second was added by the tradition of the Church.

The 15 mysteries, divided into joyful, sorrowful and glorious, reflect the principal events
of the life of Jesus and Mary. Paul VI said that a Rosary without meditation on these mysteries
is like a dead person without life. The litanies, taken from the Sanctuary of Loreto in Italy, were
added to the Rosary in 1592. The response we repeat after every decade O my Jesus, forgive
us our sins was dictated by the Virgin Mary to the three visionaries of Fatima in 1917. Those
who consider monotonous to repeat so many times the same prayer should be reminded that
lovers are never tired to repeat the same few words over and over again. The Holy Rosary is a
matter of love.

The Fifteen Promises of the Virgin Mary to Those Who Recite the Rosary

1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of Rosary shall receive signal graces.

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the
Rosary.

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, decrease sin, defeat
heresies.

4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant Mercy of
God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift
them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of the Sacred
Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His Justice, he
shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the Grace of God and
become worthy of eternal life.

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the
Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the
Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in
the merits of the Saints in Paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for
intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my Only Son, Jesus
Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

SERVANT OF GOD, FATHER PATRICK PEYTON, CSC and the beginnings of the FAMILY
ROSARY CRUSADE

Father Patrick Peyton of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, founded the Family Rosary
Crusade (FRC) in 1942. Two years before his ordination, Fr. Peyton became ill with tuberculosis
which was incurable at that time. He was confined to the infirmary where one of his former
teachers visited hima dn rekindled in him his faith, saying Mary is alive. She will be as good to
you as you think she can be. It all depends on you and your faith. This was his turning point,
and he fervently prayed to Mary for intercession that Jesus Christ, her Son, might cure his
illness. His prayers were heard and expressed these words to Mother Mary, Mary, I hope I will
not disgrace you. And so on, on June 15, 1941, Fr. Peyton was ordained priest together with
his brother at Sacred Heart Church on the campus of Notre Dame.

Father Peyton then asked God and Mother Mary how he could repay them, and seven
months after his ordination, his prayers were answeredthe Family Rosary Crusade.
Frightened at first, he said to God, I cannot do it, but You can Lord, and I ask You to do it. And
Fr. Peyton learned that without God, I can do nothing. God answered him in a way he never
dreamed, Use the mass media. With God inspiring artists of stage, screen, radio, and
television, Fr. Peyton brought to families of all faiths, the Rosary. He had made known to them
that the family that prays together stays together and that a world at prayer is a world at
peace.

On May 13, 1945Mothers Day, Fatima Day and a Day of Thanksgiving for victory in
Europethe Family Rosary Crusade was launched over the Mutual Broadcasting System
(MBS). After Cardinal Spellman had spoken, the Sulliman family of Iowa, whose five sons had
gone to their deaths together on a battleship that sank in the Pacific, led the praying of the
Rosary. Bing Crosby also participated in the launching. What Mr. Crosby did, other actors and
actresses would dosharing their time and talent to magnify the Rosary and to dramatize its
mysteries on film, radio and television.

In 1947, the Diocese of London in Ontario pioneered the diocesan crusades. From the
media, pulpits, classrooms, giant rallies and house-to-house visitations, families, came to know
Mary and the saving power of the Rosary. At the rallies, the outpouring of people was a
measure of their hunger for the message. The multitudes reached hundreds of thousands. Here
in the Philippines, in Manila, a million people came together to pray the Rosary. It happened
again and again in many parts of the world: in Bogota, Bombay, Madrid, New York, etc.

Unprecedented were the endorsements and encouragements given to the crusades by


several Popes and the Second Vatican Council. In 1987, Pope John Paul II said, May the
Rosary once more become the accustomed prayer ofthe Christian family. In his Apostolic
Letter written on October 16, 2002, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope john Paul II said that the
Rosary is a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. The
Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Chirst-centered prayer. It can be said to
be a compendium of the Gospel.

SELECTIONS FROM THE APOSTOLIC LETTER ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE OF JOHN


PAUL II

OCTOBER 16, 2002

Introduction
The Rosary of the Virgin Mary is a prayer loved by countless saints and encouraged by the
Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer
of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. The Rosary, though clearly
Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. It can be said to be a compendium of the
gospel.

The Popes and the Rosary


I myself have often encouraged the frequent recitation of the Rosary. From my youthful years
this prayer has held an important place in my spiritual life. The Rosary has accompanied me in
moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous
prayer!

October 2002-October 2003: The Year of the Rosary


I desire that during the course of this year the Rosary should be especially emphasized and
promoted in various Christian communities. I therefore proclaim the year from October 2002 to
October 2003 the Year of the Rosary.

A Path of Contemplation
The most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it
represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the
contemplation of the Christian mystery which is a genuine training in holiness. What is needed
is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer. Our Christian communities should
become genuine schools of prayer. The Rosary is a meditative prayer, corresponding in some
way to the prayer of the heart or Jesus prayer.
Prayer for Peace and for the Family
The Rosary is a prayer for peace. To rediscover the Rosary means to immerse oneself in
contemplation of the mystery of Christ who is our peace, since he made the two of us one,
and broke down the dividing wall of hostility (Eph. 2:14). Consequently, one cannot recite the
Rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace.

A similar need for commitment and prayer arises in relation to another critical contemporary
issue: the family, the primary cell of society, increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on
both the ideological and practical planes. The revival of the Rosary in Christian families will be
an effective aid to countering the devastating effects of this crisis typical of our age.

The Mysteries of Light


For the Rosary to become more fully a compendium of the Gospel, it is fitting to add, following
reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries) and before
focusing on the sufferings of His Passion (the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of His
Resurrection (the glorious mysteries), a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in
His public ministry (the mysteries of light or luminous mysteries).

This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayers
traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosarys
place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of
joy and of light, of suffering and of glory.

Listening to the Word of God


In order to supply a Biblical foundation to our meditation, it is helpful to follow the
pronouncement of the mystery with the proclamation of a related biblical passage.

After the announcement of the mystery and the proclamation of the Word, it is fitting to pause
and focus ones attention for a suitable period of time on the mystery concerned, before moving
into vocal prayer.

The Our Father


After listening to the Word and focusing on the mystery, it is natural for the mind to be lifted up
towards the Father. In each of His mysteries, Jesus always leads us to the Father.

The Ten Hail Marys


The first part of the Hail Mary is drawn from the words spoken to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and
by Saint Elizabeth. The center of gravity in the Hail Mary, the hinge as it were which joins its two
parts, is the Name of Jesus. In the second half of the prayer we call Mary Theotkos, Mother of
God, as we entrust to her maternal intercession our lives and the hour of our death.

The Gloria
The Trinitarian doxology is the goal of all Christian contemplation. For Christ is the way that
leads us to the Father in the Spirit. It is important that the Gloria, the high point of contemplation,
be given due prominence in the Rosary. In public recitation, it could be sung, as a way of giving
proper emphasis to the essentially Trinitarian structure of all Christian prayer.

The Rosary Beads


The first thing to note is the way the beads converge upon the Crucifix, which both opens and
closes the unfolding sequence of prayer. The life and prayer of believers is centered upon
Christ. The beads are like a chain which links us to God. A chain, yes, but a sweet chain; for
sweet indeed is the bond to God who is also our Father.

The Opening and Closing


The Rosary begins with the recitation of the Creed, as if to make the profession of faith the
basis of the contemplative journey about to be undertaken.

The Rosary is ended with a prayer for the intentions of the Pope, as if to expand the vision of
the one praying to embrace all the needs of the Church.

The splendid prayers of the Salve Regina and the Litany of Loreto are the crowning moment of
the inner journey of the Rosary.

Distribution over Time


The Rosary can be recited in full everyday, and there are those who most laudably do so. In this
way it fills with prayer the days of may a contemplative, or keeps company with the sick and the
elderly who have abundant time at their disposal.

Otherwise, this is the pattern for the weekly distribution. Monday and Saturday are dedicated to
the joyful mysteries; Tuesday and Friday to the sorrowful mysteries; Wednesday and Sunday
to the glorious mysteries; and Thursday to the luminous mysteries.

Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary


O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to
the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck,
we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in our hour of death: yours our final kiss as
life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary
of Pompei, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Affilicted. May
you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven.

THE BLOCK ROSARY

The First Block Rosary

It began in February 25, 1945, when Our Lady came to visit Mary Hall, a suburban wife
in Detroit. She appeared to her as Our Lady of Sorrows and asked her twice to pray the Rosary
with her neighbors. Mary Hall kept telling Our lady she couldnt do it. Im no good. Im
unworthy, she said.

Our Lady appeared to her a third time, asking her, What are you waiting for? Suddenly
Mary Hall hastened across the street, as though she was being pushed. Two of her friends were
there and she asked them to join her in praying the Rosary. They did, and those three people
joined in the first Block Rosary.

Mary Hall went to the parish priest with her story, and permission was granted for her to
begin the devotion. Block Rosary groups were formed in neighborhoods, hospitals and
sanitariums. In those first years, Block Rosary groups were formed on all continents. Our Lady
said to Mary Hall, you will take them the first week, another the next. House by house, street-
by-street.

Whenever these groups will gather, I will give them protection. I shall bless their homes.
I will be in their midst. I shall watch over their homes.

Block Rosary Its Promise of Protection

Block Rosarys quiet voice within a neighborhood is powerfully apostolic. It is a


neighborhood astir for God. It seeks to bring into a neighborhood the basic building blocks of
society; a love of our fellowmen, based on the life of Christ, as found in the mysteries of the
Rosary.

Block Rosary seeks to achieve a unity of mind and soul in the oneness of Christ, which
will eventually bring to fulfillment the promise of Our Lady of Fatima, that in the end, her
Immaculate heart will triumph, Russia will be converted, and an era of peace will be given to the
world.

Into the hands of all Catholics, God, through His Holy Mother Mary, has given the means
by which we can actively take part in spreading the word of God, through the Block Rosary. This
comes through the accounts of numerous souls who either returned to a practice of their Faith,
or who entered the Church because their fellow neighbor took time to live and to practice his
Faith.

Where two or three are gathered for My sake, there I am in the midst of them (Matthew
18:20). If we bring our neighbors together in the common interest of saying the Rosary, we can
be assured that Christ will be in our midst, and that He will make His presence felt by all in the
community by drawing all things to Himself.

Block Rosary members pray that all will be one and for the return of straying sheep to
one fold. Not only do they pray for these intentions, but through their lives, they seek to guide
the wandering back to the harbor of light and truth, that is the Catholic Church.

Block Rosary has proved to be a living apostolate for the return of the wanderer. Further,
it has enriched the lives of all those who take a sincere part in it, by bringing them ever closer to
Jesus through Mary. The evidence of this is repeated over and over in parishes which
undertake to link neighborhood to neighborhood through the bond of the Holy Rosary, through
the Block Rosary devotion.

In parishes where there has been a sincere effort to establish Block Rosary, there has
been an increase at church devotions, at daily Mass, and a most fruitful increase of devotion to
the Blessed Sacrament, through the reception of Holy Communion. This increase of devotion is
to to be wondered at, but is to be expected. Many of the great saints of the Church have taught
that one of the sure methods to increase in grace and to come closer to Jesus Christ, is to have
a true devotion to the Mother of God. If this is true for an individual soul, how much more
benefit will a parish receive which totally turns to Jesus through Mary?

In addition to being an effective means of stimulating parish devotion, group recitation


has many benefits for individual souls, and is highly recommended by Saint Louis Marie de
Montfort. In his book, The Secret of the Rosary he lists these benefits:

1. Normally, our minds are far more alert during public prayer, than when we pray alone
2. When we pray in common, the prayer of each one belongs to all. We make one great
prayer together, so that if one person is not praying well, someone else in the same
gathering who prays better may make up for his deficiency. In this way, those who are
strong uphold the weak. Those who are fervent inspire the lukewarm.
3. One who says his Rosary alone only gains the merit of that one Rosary. But if he says it
together with others, he gains the merit of each Rosary. This is the law of public prayer.
4. Pope Urban VIII who was very pleased to see how devotion to the Holy Rosary had
spread in the city of Rome, and how it was being said in two groups or choirs, attached
100 days extra indulgence whenever the Rosary was said in two groups. This was set
out in his brief, Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam, written in the year 1626.
5. Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer, to appease the anger of God, and
to call down His mercy. Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has always
advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering.
6. If the faithful recite five decades of the Rosary in company with others, whether in public
or private, they may gain an indulgence of ten years, once a day. A plenary indulgence
on the last Sunday of the month, with the addition of confession and Communion and a
visit to the church, of they perform such recitation at least three times in any of the
preceeding weeks.

Finally, St. Louis Marie de Montfort states, When people say the Rosary together, it is
far more formidable to the devil, than one said privately, because in this public prayer, it is
an army that is attacking. It is very easy to break a single shack, but if you join it to others to
make a bundle, it cannot be broken. In union, there is strength. Block Rosaryone night a
week. This is a small price to pay for the assured protection of the Mother of God on our
homes and our street.

Did Our Lady foresee that the neighborhoods would be in trouble as we see today? Will
these Block Rosary homes be marked homes, the way those Biblical homes were marked
with the blood of the lamb during the Feast of the Passover? Will these homes be marked
for protection, too, as was the rectory where three priests were praying the Rosary at the
moment the atom bomb fell on Hiroshima? Where everything in sight was devastated, even
the church next door , the rectory was untouched. The priests spent many years telling
people all over the world the story of The Rosary of Hiroshima.