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Tag Archives: Holy Rosary

THE CALL TO HOLINESS IS NOT FOUND UP IN THE CLOUDS OR IN OUR DREAMS

[From the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Bishop Mark Davies]

“…The bishop also emphasised the importance of the personal call to holiness and listed practical ways of responding. He said: ‘Conversation is a definite step towards becoming a saint. Exhausted after a hard day’s work but willing to sit down with your children and listen patiently to them, this too can be a step towards holiness.

Making time for prayer each day even when we are tired: this is a sure step towards holiness. Being ready for Mass on Sunday, and at times making a good Confession,’ which ‘cleans us up’ Pope Francis says, these are vital steps towards holiness. He adds that thinking of Our Lady, the Pope says, ‘so good, so beautiful’ and taking up the rosary to pray, this is yet another step towards holiness.

Meeting someone in need, making time and being willing to help are real steps towards becoming the saint we are called to be.

In other words the call to holiness is not found up in the clouds or in our dreams. The call to become a saint is right in front of us every day!’

He concluded: ‘May Mary, who in Pope Francis’s words is ‘so good, so beautiful,’ help us recognise how in these apparently small things of each day is the path to our holiness, to our complete and everlasting happiness.'”

– This is an excerpt of the article “Bishop Davies gives faithful his tips for a holy life” by Madeleine Teahan, published in The Catholic Herald newspaper issue November 28 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

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SHORT PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA

SHORT PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA TO OBTAIN LOVE FOR THE ROSARY

O most holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the most holy Rosary, you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message. We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent love for the recitation of the Rosary. By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

 
 

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“BROTHER, IF YOU CARRY OUT YOUR DUTIES CARELESSLY, IT MEANS YOU DO NOT SAY THE ROSARY ANY MORE OR YOU SAY IT HURRIEDLY”

THE POWER, VALUE AND HOLINESS OF THE ROSARY

(A Revelation of our Blessed Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche)

“Through the Rosary, hardened sinners of both sexes became converted and started to lead a holy life, bemoaning their past sins with genuine tears of contrition. Even children performed unbelievable penances; devotion to my Son and to me spread so thoroughly that it almost seemed as though angels were living on earth.

IT ALMOST SEEMED AS THOUGH ANGELS WERE LIVING ON EARTH

The Faith was gaining, and many Catholics longed to shed their blood for it and fight against the heretics. Thus, through the sermons of my very dear Dominic and through the power of the Rosary, the heretics’ lands were all brought under the Church. People used to give munificent alms; hospitals and churches were built. People led moral and law-abiding lives and worked wonders for the glory of God. Holiness and unworldliness flourished; the clergy were exemplary, princes were just, people lived at peace with each other and justice and equity reigned in the guilds and in the homes.

HOLINESS AND UNWORLDLINESS FLOURISHED

Here is an even more impressive thing: workmen did not take up their tools until they had said my Psalter [the Holy Rosary] and they never went to sleep at night without having prayed through me on their knees. If they happened to remember that they had not paid this tribute they would get up – even in the middle of the night – and then would salute me with great respect and remorse.

SIGNS AND WONDERS

The Rosary became so widespread and so well-known that people who were devoted to it were always considered by others as obviously being Confraternity members. If a man lived openly in sin, or blasphemed, it was quite the usual thing to say: ‘This man cannot possibly be a brother of Saint Dominic.” I must not fail to mention the signs and wonders that I have wrought in different lands through the Holy Rosary: I have stopped pestilences and put an end to horrible wars as well as bloody crimes and through my Rosary people have found courage to flee temptation. When you say your Rosary the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary. (Blessed Alan)

THE ANGELS REJOICE, THE BLESSED TRINITY DELIGHTS IN IT

Having been strongly urged to do so by Saint Dominic, all the brothers and sisters of his honoured my Son and me unceasingly and in an indescribably beautiful way by saying the Holy Rosary. Every day each one of them said at least one complete Rosary. If anybody failed to say it he felt that his day was entirely spoiled. The Brothers of Saint Dominic had so great a love for this holy devotion that it made them do everything better and they used to hurry to church or to the choir to sing the office.

If one of them was seen to carry out his duties carelessly the others would say with assurance: ‘Oh, Brother! Either you are not saying Mary’s Psalter any more or else you are saying it badly.'”
– St Louis de Montfort

 
 

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MANKIND’S SALVATION HISTORY THROUGH THE HOLY ROSARY: THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES “PRESENTATION” AND “FINDING THE LOST CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE”

THE BOYHOOD OF JESUS CHRIST

“In accordance with Jewish law the Child born of Mary was circumcised on the eighth day after His birth. In this way He became legally a member of the Chosen People of God. Though He was, as the prophet Zacharias says, ‘the angel of the covenant,’ nevertheless He submits to the Law of Moses. By undergoing the rite of circumcision He binds Himself to God and to a communion with the Chosen People of God.

THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE

It was also in obedience to the Law of Moses that Mary herself went to the Temple to offer two turtle doves or two young pigeons for her own legal purification. On the same occasion Mary and Joseph consecrated the Boy Jesus to god as the Mosaic Law prescribed.

SIMEON IN THE TEMPLE

As Mary and Joseph entered the Temple precincts with the Child Jesus they were met by an aged man called Simeon. It had been revealed to him that he should not die until he had seen the Christ of the Lord. When he saw the Child Jesus in Mary’s arms he was filled with the Spirit of God and he took the Child into his own arms and said:

THE ‘NUNC DIMITTIS’

‘Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word, in peace; because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for thy people Israel’ (Luke 2:29-32).

‘THY SOUL A SWORD SHALL PIERCE’

The aged Simeon is filled with the spirit of prophecy and he sees that the Child will bring God’s blessings not only to the Chosen People of Israel but also to the other nations of the world. But he foresees not only glorious things. He foresees also pain and tragedy. Turning to Mary he says: ‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed’ (Luke 2:34-35).

ANNA IN THE TEMPLE

At the same time a holy widow named Anna approached the Child. Moved also by the Spirit of God, she recognised Him as the Saviour of the world. To all who were interested in redemption she cried out that this Child was the long-awaited Deliverer.

MYSTERIOUS

From the very beginning then the Child Jesus appears as a mysterious figure. He will be a glory to His own race, to Israel. He will bring the light of divine truth to the Gentiles. He will bring redemption and deliverance to the world. But He will also be contradicted by many, and so He will cause many to rise in redemption while others, contradicting Him, fall.

THE THREE MAGI

Some time after the dedication in the Temple occurs the incident of the Magi. We do not know for certain who the Magi were. The early Christians believed them to be priests of the Persian religion. Some have thought that they came from Arabia. Others hold that they were kings from the East. It seems probable that they were at least men who were aware of the Messianic expectations of the Jews. They knew that the Jews were expecting the advent of some great king.

KING HEROD BECOMES VERY SUSPICIOS

Having observed in the sky a new star (perhaps a comet), they associated this new star with the coming of the expected king to Israel. Following the star, they arrived in Jerusalem and inquired the whereabouts of the new-born king. The news of their quest reached the ears of Herod the Great. Herod was always suspicious of plots to seize his throne and, no doubt, saw in these inquiries the result of some plot to dethrone him. He sent for the Magi. On learning the nature of their mission he sent for the chief priests and the Scribes and asked them where the expected Messias was to be born.

BETHLEHEM, ROYAL DAVID’S CITY

The priests and the Scribes, who were well versed in the Sacred Books of Israel, remembered the prophecy of Micheas [Micah] and told the king: ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written through the prophet, ‘And thou, Bethlehem, of the land of Juda, art by no means least among the princes of Juda; for from thee shall come forth a leader who shall rule my people Israel” (Matthew 2:5-6, cf. Micah 5:2).

Herod told the Magi where the Child might be found. He also asked them to bring word to him when they had found the Child so that he also might go to worship Him.

WARNINGS

GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH

The Magi went to Bethlehem and found the star standing over the place where the Child was. They worshipped the Child, giving Him presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh. While they slept later, they were warned by God not to return to Herod.

THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT

After their departure Joseph was also warned in a dream to take the Child and to flee into Egypt because Herod intended to kill the Child. Heeding the warning, Joseph, Mary and the Child fled into Egypt.

THE HOLY INNOCENTS

Herod, when the Magi did not return, was very angry. He sent his soldiers to Bethlehem with order to kill all male children two years old or younger they might find there. In this way he hoped to destroy any possible threat to his own rule.

THE HOLY FAMILY RETURNS FROM EXILE

After Herod’s death in 4 B.C. an angel told Joseph in a dream that there was no longer any danger to the Child and they might return in safety to their own land. Joseph, thus counselled by the angel, returned with Mary and Jesus to their homeland and to Nazareth. In this way God Himself created a parallel between the history of Jesus the Saviour and the history of the Chosen People. As God had called them out of the land of Egypt, so He also calls His Son out of Egypt. St Matthew noticed this resemblance long ago and wrote that in this way there was ‘fulfilled what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son’ ‘ (Matthew 2:15; cf. Hosea 11:1).

THE HIDDEN LIFE

It was at Nazareth that Jesus spent the most of His life. Very few details of the early life of Jesus are known to us. St Luke tells us that at Nazareth the Child grew and became strong. He was full of wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.

JESUS AGED TWELVE GOES MISSING

It is also St Luke who tells of one significant incident in the early years of Jesus. When Jesus was twelve years of age He went up to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph to celebrate the feast of Passover. When Joseph and Mary were returning to Nazareth they discovered that Jesus was not with the caravan. They went back to Jerusalem to seek Him.

THE FINDING OF THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

On the third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers of the Law. As St Luke tells us, Jesus was listening to the doctors of the Law and asking them questions, and in His turn answering the questions put to Him. The bystanders were astounded at His answers.

It is permissible to see here a manifestation of the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus. It is not necessary, and it might even be degrading to Jesus, to imagine that He was deliberately displaying His knowledge to the discomfiture of the learned doctors of the Law gathered in the Temple. It is enough to note that at the age of twelve Jesus appears sufficiently versed in the Law of Moses to speak intelligently and impressively to those who were expert in their interpretation of the Law.

‘MY FATHER’S BUSINESS’

What is more important is the fact that on this occasion Jesus shows that He is aware of the fact that He is to perform a great work for God, His Father. When Mary says to Him, ‘Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold, thy father and I have been seeking thee and sorrowing,’ Jesus answers: ‘How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:48-49).

A PUZZLING ANSWER

This answer must have seemed strange to the rabbis with whom Jesus had been conversing. It was not understood, as St Luke tells us, by Mary and Joseph. If it were only the answer of a very clever boy who enjoyed the experience of conversing on equal terms with the venerated exponents of the Law of Moses, then it would bear an air of unfilial smartness. But St Luke – even Jesus Himself – seems to be saying something more than this. He speaks of the affairs of God as ‘my Father’s business.’ This seems to intimate that Jesus is aware of the fact that He is, in a special way, the Son of God.

HOMELY AND SIMPLE IMAGES

Yet, despite His consciousness of His special relation to God the Father, St Luke tells us that after this incident Jesus returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth and was subject to them. At Nazareth Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men.

It is proper to suppose that at Nazareth Jesus showed the same interest in learning the Law of Moses as He had shown in the Temple at Jerusalem. Moreover it is most probable that He learned the craft of carpentering, which was the trade followed by Joseph, His foster father. Like the other people of the locality He probably spoke Aramaic, the language of the region, and possibly Greek and Hebrew. Nazareth was situated in a region of farm labourers and vine dressers. Later on we find Him associated with fishermen in Galilee. From all these sources He later drew the homely and simple images which He used with such telling effect in His parables.

Thus, for some thirty years Jesus lived in a small village waiting for the moment appointed by God His Father for the beginning of the work of redemption.”
– Martin J. Healy, 1959

 

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MANKIND’S SALVATION HISTORY THROUGH THE HOLY ROSARY: THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES “ANNOUNCIATION” AND “VISITATION”

MATERIALLY A ‘GOLDEN AGE’

“To the people of the ancient Roman empire it may have seemed as if the establishment of the empire would bring to mankind a golden age in the history of man. From Parthia in the East to Britain in the West the power of Roman arms and the shrewdness of Roman diplomacy had brought that order in tranquillity which is peace. And with peace had come prosperity and culture.

EMPERORS WERE WORSHIPPED AS GODS

In accordance with the belief of the times the blessings of peace were attributed to the ruler, to the emperor of Rome. People were accustomed to consider the ruler as in some way descended from or related to the gods. In virtue of this close relationship to the gods the ruler was the source of all the prosperity of his people.

In such a climate of belief it was natural enough that both the people and the rulers themselves should regard a ruler as himself a god. The Ptolemies of Egypt held themselves as the direct descendants of the gods. Antiochus IV, of the Seleucid dynasty in Syria and Palestine, had called himself Epiphanes, that is, ‘God manifested.’ The Roman emperors, from Augustus Caesar on, were worshipped as gods.

THEY BELIEVED THAT THE GODS WERE SMILING ON THEM

The vast extent of the Roman Empire, its enormous wealth, the clear rationality of its Hellenistic culture, the stabilising influence of Roman law, all these, combined with the popular belief in the divinity of the emperors, must have nourished in the minds of men the thought that the gods were smiling on mankind, the idea that God, or the gods, was with men, bringing in an era of beneficient peace.

OF DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE

In a sense the people of the Roman Empire were right, and in a sense they were wrong. Peace was being ushered into the world of men, but it was not simply the political and economic peace which they were consciously experiencing. God was with men, but the emperor was not the God in question. God was smiling upon men, but His smile was much more significant than they imagined.

THE ONE AND TRUE GOD WAS COMING THROUGH THE UNIVERSALLY DESPISED JEWS

Rome and its emperor and the peace and prosperity they brought were only secondary elements in the great drama of human history. Strangely enough, the peace of God and God Himself were coming to all men, not in Rome or in the person of the emperor, not through the most peaceful nor the most powerful elements of the empire, but through and in the Jews, the most turbulent and the most universally despised group within the empire.

THE PRINCE OF PEACE ARRIVES UNEXPECTEDLY

That the blessings of true peace would come to the world through the Jews was not, of course, an idea unfamiliar to the Jews themselves. Their faith in Jahweh had led them to. Expect it to come to pass. But to the Gentile world of the empire it would have seemed absurd. Yet this was God’s design, and it came to pass in the time of the Roman Empire. Moreover, it came to pass in a way that was surprising and unexpected both to Jews and to Gentiles alike. So surprising and so unexpected was it that the most startling reversal of roles in history took place; the Jews who had awaited it refused it, and the Gentiles who had not expected it ultimately accepted it.

A MOST STARTLING REVERSAL OF ROLES

It is this coming of God’s peace to all men which we must now examine in its historical circumstances. Its coming was in this wise.

A PIECE OF ‘UNBELIEVABLE’ NEWS

In the days of Herod the Great, King of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zachary. He was married to Elizabeth, also a descendant of Aaron. They were old and childless. One day while he was burning incense to Jahweh in the Temple at Jerusalem, an angel of God appeared to him and said: ‘Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard: and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son. And thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness: and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord and shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias: that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people’ (Luke 1:13-17).

JOHN THE BAPTIST’S FATHER DID NOT BELIEVE THE ANGEL

Because of the advanced age of himself and his wife, Zachary was loath to believe this. For his lack of faith the angel Gabriel struck him dumb until the birth of the child.

MEANWHILE, IN THE COUNTRYSIDE…

[THE FIRST JOYFUL MYSTERY: THE ANNUNCIATION]

Meanwhile, in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy the angel Gabriel again appeared, this time to a virgin named Mary who was espoused to Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, of the House of David. ‘Hail, full of grace,’ he said to her, ‘the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women… Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end’ (Luke 1:28-33).

A SIGNIFICANT QUESTION

Mary replied to Gabriel: ‘How shall this be done, because I know not man?’ (Luke 1:34). Now, since Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a descendant of King David, and so could in the natural course of events have expected to bear children who would be descendants of David, this question might seem very naïve. But we must remember that we are here concerned with a divine communication to a person apparently highly favoured by God, a virgin ‘full of grace,’ a virgin who is destined to be the mother of the ‘Son of the Most High.’ It would be naïve to suspect her of such childish naivete.

PIOUS VOWS OF VIRGINITY WERE NOT UNCOMMON AT THE TIME

It seems more likely, as theologians tell us, that Mary had made a vow of virginity and wished, if it were not against the will of God, to keep the vow. Hence her question really meant, ‘How shall this be done, since I have vowed not to know man?’

It is true that Mary was betrothed to Joseph and intended to marry him. We must, therefore, suppose that Joseph (perhaps in common with the ideas of the Essenes, a Jewish sect of that time) was of the same mind as Mary in this matter of virginity and intended to practise virginity with her in the married state.

GOD HAD NO INTENTION OF ASKING HER TO GIVE UP HER VOW

In his reply to Mary the angel Gabriel revealed to her that God had no intention of asking her to give up her vow of virginity. Instead God would bring her to conceive without the agency of any man: ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). Her child, then, is to have no father but God.

A DIVINE SIGN

Though Mary had asked for no divine sign that this mysterious conception and birth-giving might come to pass, nevertheless the angel gives her a sign: ‘And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God’ (Luke 1:36-37).

MARY’S ‘FIAT’

At that moment there took place the most momentous free decision ever made by any human being. Mary, the virgin of Nazareth, consented to be the mother of the ‘Son of the Most High.’ ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord,’ she said, ‘be it done to me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38).

EVERY JEWISH PERSON KNEW THE PROPHECIES ABOUT THE AWAITED MESSIAH

Whether or not Mary knew the complete identity of the Child Who became flesh in her womb at that moment, this much at least she must have realised, that He was the Messias, the Anointed One of Israel. Had not the angel told her to call her son Jesus, that is, Jahweh is a saviour? Had not the angel called him the ‘Son of the Most High’ and the ‘Son of God’? Had Gabriel not said that Jesus would inherit the throne of David His father? Had he not said that the reign of Jesus on the throne of David would be eternal? Who could this Jesus be but the Promised One of Israel? Might not Mary have thought at that moment of the words of Isaias [Isaiah]: “For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace. He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom: to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this’? (Isaias 9:6-7).

‘BLESSED ART THOU THAT HAST BELIEVED’

[THE SECOND JOYFUL MYSTERY: THE VISITATION]

The impression that something extraordinary, something marvellous is happening is strengthened by what follows after this mysterious interchange between God and the Virgin of Nazareth. Mary, moved no doubt by a concern for her aged cousin Elizabeth who, according to the words of Gabriel, was already six months with child, went with haste to the town of Juda in which her cousin lived. When she entered the house of Elizabeth, her cousin, filled with the spirit of God, cried out: ‘Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord’ (Luke 1:42-44).

JOHN THE BAPTIST FELT JESUS CHRIST’S PRESENCE

Under the inspiration of God Elizabeth realised both that Mary was with child and that the child was, in some way, her Lord. Moreover, Elizabeth’s own child in the darkness and silence of her own womb felt himself in the presence of One Who would bring joy to the world, and so he stirred in exultation because of this wondrous presence.

THE MAGNIFICAT IS SPOKEN FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER

Mary, in her turn, was filled with the spirit of God and she spoke that wonderful acknowledgement of God’s design which the world has since known as the ‘Magnificat.’

THE MAGNIFICAT

‘My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his hand-maid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation to generations, to them that fear him. He hath showed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy. And he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham and his seed forever’ (Luke 1:46-55).

In this paean of praise to God Mary manifests her understanding of the wonderful things which God is preparing for mankind. She knows that through her, God is in some way fulfilling the promises He made to Abraham and his seed forever. She knows, too, that God’s blessings come only to those who fear Him. She realises that God is so mighty that He will accomplish His designs through her own self, through the humility of her own child, in the face of the mighty ones of this human world.”
– Martin J. Healy S.T.D., 1959

 

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LEARN TO PRAY THE ROSARY

The devotion of the holy Rosary is a summary of Christian faith in language and prayers inspired by the Bible. While praying the prayers in the order outlined below (which quickly becomes ‘second nature’), we meditate on Bible passages and events (mysteries). The Rosary is therefore, among many other things, a Gospel you can ‘read’ everywhere, without having to carry books, and on travels or whilst you walk or have to wait somewhere, as well as in the dark or if you are unable to see or read well. Wherever the Rosary is prayed, it brings countless blessings on the place, and on everyone else around as well as on the people in Communion with the Church worldwide living on earth now and those who lived on earth in the past who have passed on and for the future.

HOW TO SAY THE ROSARY

You use Rosary beads, if you haven’t got any yet, one can count on one’s ten fingers. The following might seem complicated, but once you want to pray the Rosary for the glory of God and for your own sanctification you will get heavenly assistance to learn the sequence and all the prayers within a relatively short time.

• The sign of the cross is made with the crucifix (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”)
• Holding the crucifix, recite the Apostles’ Creed
• On the 1st bead, say 1 Our Father.
• On the next 3 beads, say one Hail Mary each (for faith, hope and charity)
• On the next bead say 1 Glory be.
• Before you reach the first decade (i.e. a set of a large Our Father bead plus 10 small Hail Mary beads) say the Fatima prayer.
• Now announce the first mystery and visualise it while you pray 1 Our Father on the large bead and 10 times the Hail Mary, one Hail Mary for each bead. You might start with visualising an image depicting the mystery, and with more practice the scripture passages will accompany it in your mind, and the icons will come ‘to life’, revealing truths regarding those Bible readings hitherto unknown to you to your heart, mind and soul, which will profoundly deepen your relationship with God and how you live the Gospel inwardly which only God and you know, and outwardly in dealing with situations and fellow people. Mother Mary helps us with that by her company, prayers and love, because she does want no credit for herself, but her one and only constant concern is that people love her Son Jesus.
• After the 10 Hail Mary pray 1 Glory be and 1 Fatima prayer.
• Proceed with the next mystery in the same order.
• After praying 5 mysteries, say the Hail Holy Queen.

THE PRAYERS OF THE ROSARY

• THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

• THE OUR FATHER (THE LORD’S PRAYER)

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

• THE HAIL MARY

Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at at the hour of our death. Amen.

• THE GLORY BE

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

• THE FATIMA PRAYER

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

• THE HAIL, HOLY QUEEN

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

THE MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

• THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES
(Said on Mondays and Saturdays, and Sundays from Advent until Lent.)

1. THE ANNUNCIATION
(Lk 1:26-38; Isa 7:10-15) Mary, you received with deep humility the news of the Angel Gabriel that you were to be the Mother of God’s Son; obtain for me a similar HUMILITY.

2. THE VISITATION
(Lk 1:39-56) Mary, you showed true charity in visiting Elizabeth and remaining with her for three months before the birth of John the Baptist; obtain for me the grace to LOVE MY NEIGHBOUR.

3. THE BIRTH OF JESUS
(Lk 2:1-14; Mt 2:1-12; Gal 4:1-7) Jesus, You accepted poverty when You were placed in the manger although You were our God; grant that I may have the SPIRIT OF POVERTY (detachment from worldly goods).

4. THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE
(Lk 2:22-40) Mary, you obeyed the law of God in presenting the Child Jesus in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of OBEDIENCE.

5. THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE
(Lk 2:42-52) Mary, you were sad at the loss of Jesus and joyous on finding Him surrounded by teachers in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of PIETY.

• THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES
(Said on Thursdays except during Lent)

1. CHRIST’S BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN
(Mt 3:13-17; Isa 42:1-2, 4-5) Jesus, at Your Baptism the Father called You His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit came upon You to invest You with Your mission; help me to KEEP MY BAPTISMAL PROMISES.

2. CHRIST’S SELF-MANIFESTATION AT CANA
(Jn 2:1-11) Mary, the first among believers in Christ, upon your intercession your Son changed water into wine and brought the disciples to faith; help me to DO WHATEVER JESUS SAYS.

3. CHRIST’S PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM
(Mk 1:14-15; Mt 5:1-12) Jesus, You preached the Kingdom of God with its call to forgiveness, inaugurating the ministry of mercy; help me to SEEK FORGIVENESS FOR MY SINS.

4. THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
(Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36) Jesus, the glory of the Godhead shone forth from Your face as the Father commanded the Apostles to be transfigured by the Spirit; help me to BE A NEW PERSON IN YOU.

5. CHRIST’S INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST (LAST SUPPER)
(Mt 26:26-30; 1 Cor 11:23-25) Jesus, at the Last Supper, You offered Your Body and Blood as food under the signs of bread and wine and testified Your love for humanity; help me to attain ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AT MASS.

• THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
(Said on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)

1. THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
(Mt 26:36-40) Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, You suffered a bitter agony because of our sins; grant me TRUE CONTRITION (being really sorry for my sins for love of You, and being earnestly resolved not to commit those sins again).

2. THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
(Mt 27:26) Jesus, You endured a cruel scourging and Your flesh was torn by heavy blows; help me to have the virtue of PURITY.

3. THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
(Mt 27:27-31) Jesus, You patiently endured the pain from the crown of sharp thorns that was forced upon Your head; grant me the strength to have MORAL COURAGE.

4. THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
(Mt 27:32) Jesus, You willingly carried Your Cross for love of Your Father and all people; grant me the virtue of PATIENCE.

5. THE CRUCIFIXION
(Mt 27:33-35; Jn 19:31-37) Jesus, for love of me You endured three hours of torture on the Cross and gave up Your Spirit; grant me the grace of FINAL PERSEVERANCE (being faithful to You during life and at the hour of physical death.)

• THE FIVE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
(Said on Wednesdays except during Lent, and on Sundays from Easter until Advent)

1. THE RESURRECTION
(Mk 16:1-7; Jn 20:19-31) Jesus, You rose from the dead in triumph and remained for forty days with Your disciples, instructing and encouraging them; increase my FAITH.

2. THE ASCENSION
(Mk 16:14-20; Acts 1:1-11) Jesus, in the presence of Mary and the disciples You ascended to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand; increase in me the virtue of HOPE.

3. THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Jn 14:23-31; Acts 2:w-11) Jesus, as You promised, You sent the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the disciples under the form of tongues of fire; increase my LOVE FOR GOD AND HIS CHURCH.

4. THE ASSUMPTION
(Lk 1:41-50; Ps 45; Gen 3:15) Mary, by the power of God you were assumed into heaven and united with your Divine Son; help me to have TRUE DEVOTION to you.

5. THE CROWNING OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
(Rev 12:1; Jud 13:18-20; 15:9-10) Mary, you were crowned Queen of heaven by your Divine Son to the great joy of all the Saints; obtain for me ETERNAL HAPPINESS.

• PRAYER AFTER THE ROSARY

O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life: grant, we beseech You, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.

 
 

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REFLECTIONS ON THE FIRST LUMINOUS MYSTERY: THE BAPTISM OF JESUS IN THE JORDAN

OUR SHARING IN THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

“We are baptised in the mystery of Christ’s life and death. Baptism, then, not only cleanses us of sins but also configures us to Christ, makes us one with him. He does not stand apart from us but really shares his life with us. If so, we too must go forth to stand by all who are burdened. No longer a prey to despair, because Christ is at our side, we are free to support and encourage others. Consoled and strengthened by the presence of Christ we can help others to realise that he stands by their side too. It is a gentle presence and for that reason can go unnoticed.

It is for us who know that he is there to bring his presence to the notice of those who have not yet realised that he is there with them. Very often they are so distracted and distraught by the difficulties of life and by their own sinfulness that they find it hard to fix their attention elsewhere. At such times a moment’s respite provided by someone who is patient and understanding and sympathetic may give them the relief they need to see beyond their sufferings and their burdens. And this indeed would be ‘to open the eyes of the blind’, to help them see a presence as yet unseen. It would also be ‘to free captives from prison’, to show them that with the Lord by their side they can break free from the chains which keep their spirit in bondage. And it would surely be a light and a ray of hope for ‘those who live in darkness.’

JESUS PRESENT TO US THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES

It is true that Jesus during the years of his ministry did very often act with power to drive out evil spirits, to cure the sick and the afflicted and even to raise the dead to life. Saint Peter reminds us of that when he tells us – ‘how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.’ And it is true that Jesus has given this power and indeed all that was his to the Church, to the community of his followers.

But it is not the image, the portrait of himself which he wishes to impress on us at the beginning of his ministry. There, at his baptism, his presence is quiet and gentle and unassuming and almost unnoticed. And this is the way he will be present to us for the greater part of our lives. And it is the way in which we should normally be present to one another and to all of God’s people.

We have every reason to rejoice at the Baptism of the Lord. There, at the beginning of his public ministry, as he stands quietly with the crowd on the banks of the Jordan, we have the firm conviction that the Lord has come at last to take his place at our side. In our struggle to find our way through life we can never be alone again. He will be with us until sin and suffering are finally overcome and ‘true justice is established on earth.’ And, taking courage from this conviction, we can each play our part in hastening the day when justice and peace will flourish among the nations on earth.

If our own baptism is the means by which we begin to share the life of Christ, then his baptism is the sign that he wishes to and indeed does share our life. Both are occasions for rejoicing for they bring new life and new hope. The Lord has shown himself to be truly with us. Together with him, as his sisters and brothers, we can now stand confidently before his Father as sons and daughters.”
– This article by Malachy O Dwyer OP entitled “The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan” was published in “Saint Martin Magazine” issue December 2004. For subscriptions please visit http://www.stmartin.ie (external link).

 
 

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