The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Latin and
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sacratissimi Rosarii Beatæ Mariæ Virginis
Blessing of Rosaries
Rosary and Litany of Loreto Leaflet (MS Word)
Today is our patronal feast of Our Lady
of the Rosary, and there are a number of things for us to consider.
To begin with, there is the necessity of
praying the Rosary with regularity. It is not enough just to own a Rosary,
keeping it stored safely in a dresser drawer behind the socks. You should keep
it where you have easy access to it—perhaps in your pocket or purse, or on your
night table. That is one of the advantages of these inexpensive Rosaries we
blessed today—you can have one in all of those places. Don't forget that God
gave you ten fingers, which also work pretty well for counting out the prayers
when the beads are not available.
The Mysteries of the Rosary are of great
importance—we should meditate on them instead of just counting out Hail Marys.
The Mysteries recount the life, death, and glory of our Lord, and relate the
intimate involvement of His Blessed Mother. Understanding these things is
essential to the spiritual life that should, one day, gain us entrance into
heaven. It is much easier to live a good and holy life if we are aware of the
tremendous sacrifices Jesus and Mary made for us. Particularly in praying the
Sorrowful Mysteries do we come to realize that the difficulties in our lives,
and the pleasures we are asked to give up, are insignificant when compared to
what Jesus took upon Himself, with the cooperation of His holy Mother. The
Rosary helps us to follow what the saintly Pope Leo XIII described as “the
paths consecrated by the Blood of the Man-God, and by the tears of His Mother.”
Each one of us must decide on our own
schedule for the Rosary. While fifteen decades each day would be ideal, we must
be realistic. If you are a busy person, it might make sense to plan to pray
five decades each day with attention and devotion, rather than to rush through
fifteen with speed, distraction, and inattention. If the Rosary is new to you,
you may want to start out slowly. Even a decade a day amounts to seventy‑three
five decade Rosaries over the course of the year—that is one for each of the
years our Lady is believed to have lived on this earth!
And if you are new to the Rosary, you
may want to carry a card or leaflet with each of the mysteries written down,
along with the days on which they are customarily recited.
You would also do well to have recourse to your Bible in order to read the
passages that correspond to most of the Mysteries. You can find pictures of the
Mysteries in books and on the Internet.
I say “most” of the Mysteries are described in the Bible, as the last two come
to us through Tradition and not Scripture—the Assumption and Coronation of the
Virgin Mary. “Not everything that Jesus did is written in the Bible,” so we
should not be surprised that not everything concerning the Blessed Virgin would
be there either.
We do have an early written account of the Assumption, linked on the Parish
We should all be aware that this feast
day is a memorial to our Lady's intercession on behalf of Christian civilization
under attack by the forces of Islam. In particular, it celebrates the naval
battle at Lepanto in the Gulf of Corinth, on the first Sunday of October 1571,
that made the Mediterranean more or less safe for Christian travel and commerce,
and reduced the likelihood of being captured and being pressured to give up the
The military forces were directed by Don
Juan of Austria while a spiritual battle (the praying of the Rosary) was
marshalled by Pope Saint Pius V. It is said that the Pope became aware of the
victory at the time it took place, even though word would not arrive by ship for
many days. It should be further noted prayer to our Lady was credited for
similar protection and victories in other engagements with Moslem forces.
Constantinople in 911AD, and Vienna in 1683, and at Belgrade in 1716. These and
other feast days are marked in the Church calendar and should be familiar to all
Catholics. Things have not changed much, and we must continue to pray for the
defense of Christian civilization against its enemies foreign and domestic.
Pray, especially, for presidents and Popes who understand the Moslem threat as
did Saint Pius V. Today, we have a 1,400 year long history of dealing with
Finally, there was a reading in the
night Office of Matins that I have loved as long as I have been praying the
Divine Office. It is a prosaic description of the Blessed Virgin, left to us by
Saint Bernard the Abbot of Clairvaux. I will leave you with his beautiful
To commend His grace to us, and to
destroy human wisdom, God was pleased to take flesh of a woman who was a
virgin, and so to restore by like, to cure a contrary by a contrary, to
draw out the poisonous thorn, and most effectively to blot out the
decree of sin. Eve was a thorn; Mary is a rose. Eve was a thorn in her
wounding; Mary a rose in the sweetening of the affections of all. Eve
was a thorn fastening death upon all; Mary is a rose giving the heritage
of salvation back to all. Mary was a white rose by reason of her
virginity, a red rose by reason of her charity; white in her body, red
in her soul; white in cultivating virtue, red in treading down vice;
white in purifying affection, red in mortifying the flesh; white in
loving God, red in having compassion on her neighbor.
Please continue to pray the Rosary, or
start doing so if you have not been. Pray for your own holiness and for those
around you. Pray for the Faithful Departed. Pray for the protection of the
Catholic Church and Western Civilization against those who would tear them down.
The Battle of Lepanto, H. Letter, National Maritime