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Turn to the Rosary

Header - In your time of need, turn to the Rosary for help

 

More than ever, Catholics need to grab on to the Rosary and to pray with all our might.  Because we are faced with situations in our private lives and in the Church that are very serious and confusing.

Let us take comfort in the fact that, for centuries, Catholics have turned to the Rosary to overcome problems big and small.

It has won battles, fought off heresies and wrought countless miracles. A multitude of saints and popes have endorsed it. Pope Pius IX declares, "Among all the devotions approved by the Church,  none has been so favored by so many miracles as the Rosary devotion." 

 

The Rosary’s efficacy proven in history

We need only to recall how Pope Pius V convoked the Christian world to pray the Rosary to ask God for victory in the crusade against the Ottoman Turks which culminated in a famous sea battle at Lepanto in 1571. And when the Turkish fleet were repulsed and vanquished, the elated pontiff established the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary on October 7 in thanksgiving to the Mother of God.

There is also the story of eight German Jesuits who lived just a kilometer away from ground zero when the A-bomb exploded in Hiroshima, Japan in August 1945. They attributed their miraculous survival to observing the message of Fatima by praying the Rosary daily.[1]

And how can one explain the sudden pullout of the Russians from Austria in 1948? A striking quandary to military experts and historians, but not to men of faith who know that 70,000 Austrians under the leadership of Father Petrus Pavlicek prayed daily rosaries to drive the militant forces of atheistic Marxism from their country.[2]

 

Never out of fashion

Nihil sub sole novum.( Ecclesiastes 1:10.) There is nothing new under the sun as the famous line goes. What more can be added to the glories of the Rosary?

This most revered of Catholic devotions never goes out of vogue. As one website reveals, personal testimonies show the power and relevance of the Rosary in our days. From something trivial as passing a driving test to escaping a horrendous vehicular accident unscathed, people keep having recourse to the Rosary.

 

Baghdad horror

A survivor’s gripping account gives yet again another convincing testimony of the power of the Rosary. A 25 year-old female student who lost her brother and her mother in the terrorists attack in the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad on October 31, 2010 relates[3],


“Next to my brother, there was also a woman who was bleeding profusely.  She asked the terrorist: ‘Kill me, please, do not let me suffer any more.’ He answered her: "No, suffer; that way you will experience hell on earth and after your death."  And he repeated: "You are infidels, Allah ou akbar!"   And I, then, prayed the rosary, with my head bent down towards the floor.  A terrorist came and asked me: "What are you praying?  What do you venerate?  Do you venerate Christ?"  And then, some grenades exploded and we truly had the impression that the church was going to collapse on us.  I myself absolutely did not think that I would survive.  I prayed as if I was about to die.  It is Our Mother who saved us.”

 

Needed more than ever in our times

Amid that horrific bedlam and terrible carnage, the student courageously hung on to her rosary and prayed even as the Islamic terrorist accosted her. By the grace of God, she was spared from death.
That was chaos on a smaller scale. On a grander scale we find ourselves amid the turmoil and moral corruption of our times, mankind continues to flaunt the sins of abortion, homosexuality, pornography, drug abuse and many more grave offenses against God with wanton abandon.
Our Lady gave her maternal warnings at Fatima. And like a true mother, she also gave the solution. She asked for the daily recitation of the Rosary and requested the establishment of the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart as well as the Five First Saturday devotion. Sadly her maternal warnings remain largely unheeded.

 

Message of Hope

Our Lady also assured us that “In the end, my immaculate Heart will triumph.” But at a time when all seems lost humanly speaking, when events turn for the worst, we must not give in to the temptation that her promises are empty. We must confide in her and reject that temptation with all our hearts and minds.
We do have a powerful weapon in the Rosary. Let us cling to it and ask our heavenly Mother to intercede for us and intervene for the greater glory of God. Historical antecedents show how the Rosary gave victory to those who prayed it assiduously with faith. Let us expect no less during our tumultuous times. Let us pray the Rosary daily and look forward to a glorious Catholic Civilization in the Reign of Mary as St. Louis Grignion de Montfort prophesied.

 

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." Pope Pius IX

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Notes:

[1] Donal Anthony Foley, “The Priests Who Survived The Atomic Bomb,” https://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/2010/08/05/the-priests-who-survived-the-atomic-bomb/ [back to text]

[2] Charles E. Schaffer, “Expelled By The Rosary,”  https://americaneedsfatima.org/The-Holy-Rosary/expelled-by-the-rosary.html [back to text]

[3]Iraq: A survivor of the attack in Baghdad tells her story, DICI – Documentation Information Catholiques Internationales, https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/iraq-survivor-attack-baghdad-tells-her-story-22146 [back to text]


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 24, 2020

The devotions we practice in honor of the glorious Virgin Ma...

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November 24

 

The devotions we practice in honor of the glorious Virgin Mary,
however trifling they may be,
are very pleasing to Her Divine Son, and
He rewards them with eternal glory.

St. Teresa of Avila


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam

Vietnamese Christians were ordered to trample on a crucifix...

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St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam

Born in 1795 in the Tonkinese town of Bac-Nihh in North Vietnam, Tran An Dung was the son of pagan parents. In search of work for themselves in 1807, his parents moved to the ancient citadel of Hanoi. Here their twelve-year-old son was taken care of by a catechist and for three years was instructed in the Catholic faith. Baptized in Vinh-Tri, he received the Christian name Andrew (Anrê) in baptism and went on to learn both Chinese and Latin and himself became a catechist. He was selected for further studies in theology and was ordained to the priesthood on March 15, 1823.

An exemplary pastor, Andrew was ardent and indefatigable in his preaching, often fasted, and drew many to the Faith by his simple and moral life. As a testament of the love which his congregation had for him, in 1835, when he was imprisoned during the persecution of the Annamite emperor Minh-Mang, his freedom was purchased exclusively by donations from his parishioners.

The Vietnamese Christians suffered unspeakably during this time. Beginning in 1832 Minh-Mang expelled all foreign missionaries and commanded all Vietnamese Christians to demonstrate their renunciation of the Catholic Faith by trampling on a crucifix. Churches were destroyed; religious instruction was forbidden. Christians were branded on the face with the words ta dao (false religion) and Christian families and villages were obliterated. Many endured extreme privations and hardship; many more were put to death for their fidelity to the Faith.

To avoid further persecution by the authorities, Andrew Dung changed his name to Lac and relocated to a different region. While visiting a fellow priest, in order to confess himself, Dung-Lac was arrested with Father Peter Thi on November 10, 1839. In exchange for a monetary ransom paid to their captors, the two priests were liberated, but their freedom was short-lived. Re-arrested not long afterwards, they were taken to Hanoi and severely tortured. They were beheaded shortly before Christmas Day on December 21, 1839.

The priests, Andrew Dung-Lac and Peter Thi, were beatified on May 27, 1900 by Pope Leo XIII and formed part of a group of Vietnamese martyrs beatified together on that day. Another group, Dominicans all, was beatified on May 20, 1906 and a third on May 2, 1909 both by Pope St. Pius X. A fourth group, which included two Spanish bishops, was beatified on April 29, 1951 by Pope Pius XII. All 117 martyrs were canonized in Rome on June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

These 117 martyrs met their deaths during several persecutions of Christians that swept through the Vietnamese peninsula between the years 1625 and 1886. Approximately 130,000 gave their lives for the Catholic Faith and further beatifications may be expected from amongst their glorious ranks. Among the 117 that have been canonized were 96 Vietnamese and 21 foreign missionaries. Of the Vietnamese group 37 were priests and 59 were lay people, among whom were catechists and tertiaries. One of them was a woman, mother of six children. Of the missionaries 11 were Spaniards: 6 bishops and 5 priests, all Dominicans; and 10 were French: 2 bishops and 8 priests from the Société des Missions Etrangères in Paris.

The tortures these martyrs endured were among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The means included cutting off limbs joint by joint, ripping living bodies with red hot tongs, and the use of drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Among the 117 Martyrs of Vietnam, 76 were beheaded, 21 were suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison as a result of torture.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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