Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where does the Rosary come from?

As the month of the Rosary comes to a close, here's a glimpse on the history of the Hail Mary and the Holy Rosary.

1213 AD. Our Lady appears to St. Dominic and giving him the Holy Rosary, instructs him on how to pray it.

We celebrate October as the month of Holy Rosary since the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary falls on October 7th. There is a triumphant, historic event behind this feast.

In the 16th Century, when the mighty Ottoman Muslims marched into Europe to capture the Christian countries into the empire, Pope Pius V exhorted all Christians to beg the intercession of the Blessed Virgin through praying the Rosary.

Through Mary’s intervention, on October 7, 1571 Christian forces defeated the naval power of the Ottoman Turks in a great sea battle at Lepanto. In thanksgiving to this great Marian intervention in the history of Christianity, in 1573 Pope Gregory XIII declared that day of victory as The Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Where does the prayer Hail Mary come from?

“Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you” 
Words of God the Father announced by Angel Gabriel to Mary.
From Luke 1: 28

“Blessed are you among women and
blessed is the fruit of your womb”
Greeting of her cousin Elizabeth as Mary visits her.
From Luke 1: 42

“Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners”
Slogan from the triumphant demonstration in the streets by the people of Ephesus upon the proclamation of the Dogma of the “Mother of God” at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.
“Now and at the hour of our death”
Petition added by the great French saint & Marian apostle,
St. Louis de Montfort in the 17th century, to aid us
in the time of death, when we cannot pray cohesively.

Today, the Rosary remains the "Queen of indulgenced devotions," i.e. the Catholic devotion to which Our Lady and the Church has attached the most divine promises. The devout praying of Hail Mary in the Rosary obtains the grace of Jesus to be born anew in us.

St. Louis de Montfort lists four things of importance in growing in prayer through the Rosary:

1. To have a good director who will counsel holy practices, especially that of the Most Holy Rosary;
2. To say the Rosary attentively and devoutly;
3. How kind and merciful the Blessed Mother is to those who are sorry for the past and are firmly resolved to do it better;
4. And finally, how generous she is in rewarding us in life, death and eternity, for the little services that we render her faithfully.

“The Rosary is a biblical prayer… It has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it I have entrusted any number of concerns: in it I have always found comfort."- Pope John Paul II

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A powerful reminder of the most important things in life.

OUTSIDE - What it evoked in the world...

- One of the first things the miners’ relatives did at the pithead, while it still looked as though they must be all dead, was to set up a statue of St Lawrence, patron saint of miners. The Chilean president, Sebastian Piñera, named the rescue mission Operation San Lorenzo, in honour of St. Lawrence.

- Employers asked forgiveness to the miners for the mishap.

- Each miner recived a rosay blessed by Pope Benedict XVI, who said he is constantly praying for them. In thanksgiving the miners sent him a chilean flag signed by each of them from thier rocky purgatory.

- Catholic youth from Uruguay sent a statue of Our Lady to the 33 saying “We pray for your liberation and we ask the Virgin Mary to intercede before her Son and to give you courage and hope to get through these difficult times.”

INSIDE - The heart of this unfloding "sermon"

- Esteban Rojas aged 44 - a maintenance mechanic told Jessica Ganiez with whom he's been living-in for 25 years and have three children - When I get out, I want to marry you in the Church.

- Nasa doctors' survival advise - no alcohol, no cigarettes underground.

- A crucifix had already been sent down, but the men requested that statues of Mary and the saints be sent down as they turned a section of the chamber they are in into a shrine where they can pray.

- The oldest of the trapped men - Mario Gómez, aged 63 who has survived a previous a mining accident years ago that severed his fingers and mutilated his hands, took upon himelf to be a father to the 33 and took charge of thier spiritual needs, leading them in prayer.

- When it was annouced to them that their imminent rescue was to be one by one, a heated argument arose underground as to who should be rescued first. When the health minister questioned them, it turned out that each one insisted another be the first to be rescued.

- The first words of Mario Sepulveda to journalists after his rescue was: "I was with God, and I was with the devil, But God won, I held onto God's hand, the best hand, and at no point in time... did I doubt that God wouldn't get me out of there."

What a profound lesson in Chariry and the power of the Risen Christ and as The Guardian put it, that beacon of hope, (from) the shrine set up in a corner of that unspeakable underground hell. "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (Matthew 11: 25).

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