Monday, October 08, 2007

Benedict XVI: the rosary for peace

"This is something that Mary has also offered in various apparitions," the Pope explained today to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the midday Angelus.

"I am thinking especially of her appearance at Fatima which took place 90 years ago," the Holy Father said from the window of his study. "To the three little shepherds, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, presenting herself as 'the Madonna of the Rosary,' she insistently recommended praying the rosary every day to bring an end to the war."

"We also desire to welcome the Virgin’s maternal request, committing ourselves to saying the rosary with faith for peace in our families, in countries, and in the whole world," he added.

On this day that the Church celebrates Our Lady of the Rosary, the World Day of the Rosary also takes place. That initiative began 11 years ago in Mexico, uniting millions of people on five continents to pray the rosary in public places.

The Pope explained, "[T]he rosary is a means given by the Virgin for contemplating Jesus and, meditating on his life, for loving and following him always more faithfully."


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this posting. One of my friends tells me that she does not feel comfortable with the Lourdes apparitions as Our Lady appeared holding a Rosary which was not invented until much later. I know we are at liberty to accept or reject even those apparitions recognised by the Church. All I could think of saying to her was that Our Lady is 'out of time'.

Has anyone ever made a similar comment to you, father, regarding Our Lady and the Rosary? And if so I should be pleased to know what your reply was. I hasten to add that it had never worried me at all - it always seemed so natural. This feastday will always be particularly poignant for me as I am now a widow and it was the day we chose for our wedding day...

Fr Ray Blake said...

No,I haven't, but i suppose the whole point of an apparition or vision is that it is contemporary. God making himself present today.

Anonymous said...

Pelerin, could you tell me; when your friend said that Our Lady appeared with a Rosary that wasn't invented until much later, to what was she referring? I can't think of anything to which your friend could be referring, except the six decade Rosary. The Fabisch statue of Our Lady currently standing in the grotto is depicted with a six decade Rosary. If this is the problem that she has, then I have a couple of pictures of St. Bernadette holding what looks like a six decade Rosary, so the custom must have been contemporary with her; and there is an old photo of such a Rosary hanging over the Soubirous family home in the 'Cachot'. I was under the impression that the sixth decade was added by various regions as an act of thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

What my friend found difficult to understand was that she knows the rosary dates from the time of St Dominic centuries after the life of Our Lady. So in her view how could she have been seen in Lourdes praying the Rosary?
I have never had any difficulty with this.
To make matters more complicated my friend is also curious to know why Our Lady has always appeared on her own ie without the Child Jesus in various apparitions. To her this seems un-natural.

Anonymous said...

Pelerin - firstly, we are not 'at liberty' to reject anything the Church teaches as true. And the Catholic Faith is NOT about 'comfort' or woolly feelings!

Secondly - how old is the Rosary? Well, let's see. The Apostolic Creed original version dates from around the beginning of the 2nd Century, updated to its present form around the 4th Century. The Our Father was taught to the Apostles by Jesus Christ himself, so that goes back two millenia! The Archangel Gabriel greeted Our Blessed Lady with the words of the Hail Mary at the Annunciation - so that's just a tad older than the Our Father. The Gloria originated in the 4th Century - present version circa 7th Century and finally the Hail Holy Queen comes to us from the tail end of the 11th Century.

How old is the Rosary indeed. As old as Christendom itself! It just needed Our Blessed Mother to put us straight. The greatest and most powerful prayer in the Universe. Mum's know best.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am sure my friend is well aware that the prayers recited are as you describe. However, for her the difficulty lies in accepting the apparitions of Our Lady physically holding a Rosary - an article which was 'invented?' during the time of St Dominic.
As for using the word 'comfortable' this was the nearest I could get in English - her words were 'Cela me gene' as we had the conversation in French.
As for believing, or not believing in the apparitions at Lourdes - I understand that it is indeed possible for a devout Catholic not to accept them but if I am wrong then no doubt Fr Ray will correct me.

Anonymous said...

Pelerin: tradition tells us that it was Our Lady Herself that gave St. Dominic the Rosary; also, Our Lady was not completely cut off from us on earth when She was assumed into heaven; far from it: it is part of Her Divinely appointed Office that She should know exactly what is transpiring on earth so as to be better able to assist us in all our afflictions and needs; She is, after all, our Mother.

Technically, Our Lady didn't say the Rosary at Lourdes. The beads slipped through Her fingers as St. Bernadette prayed, She only joined in with the Gloria Patri.

Your friend may find it helpful to think of Our Lady as God's Ambassador. He sends Her to correct and warn us, much like He sent His prophets to the Jews. Also, to send Her is an act of Mercy on God's part ~ if you read the approved messages of Our Lady God is much offended and well within His rights to condemn and punish us, but Our Lady is sent to bring us warning and also the necessary remedies. And whist Our Lady has appeared without the Child Jesus, this isn't always the case. One of the apparitions at Fatima was with the Child Jesus: and by visiting Her children on earth, She isn’t separated from Her Son; She always enjoys the Beatific Vision. It’s important to remember that Our Lady is Mother not only to Christ our Brother but to us also: if She didn’t visit us, Her other Children, to help us, wouldn’t that would be more unnatural than appearing without the Child Jesus? She cannot possibly abandon us: “Mother, behold Thy Son”.

I hope this will be some help to you in assisting your friend. Perhaps you could direct your friend to a devotional book which treats of devotion to Our Lady, like the Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus. You seem to be a good friend Pelerin; God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I know I've gone on too much already but I have just this to say. The Rosary is a great gift from Heaven. It has been proven, time and time again, to please God; so, obviously, Our Lady is going to tell us this and continually recommend that we pray it, after all, She wants the best for us. The Saints, and the Church herself teach that the Rosary is *THE* weapon against the powers of hell. There is nothing more powerful on earth, after the Mass, and a sure fire way of obtaining the grace and mercy of God. So, if this is truly the case, and the Rosary is all powerful with God, the question your friend needs to ask herself is why *wouldn't* Our Lady appear with the Rosary!

Anonymous said...

"As for believing, or not believing in the apparitions at Lourdes - I understand that it is indeed possible for a devout Catholic not to accept them but if I am wrong then no doubt Fr Ray will correct me."

Belief in paticular apparitions is not "de fide", they are Private Revelation, but when the Church highlights them with a feast extended to the whole Church, it is a pretty sure indication that we are supposed to take the message of the seer seriously, at least in general terms.
I think however it is important understand that Apparitions or Visions seem to be subjective, internal, the Church always expects the visionary to grow in holiness.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...