Friday, January 28, 2011

Twenty-First Rose: The Fifteen Mysteries

Excerpt from the Book "Secret of the Rosary"

Twenty-First Rose: The Fifteen Mysteries

A MYSTERY is a sacred thing which is difficult to understand. The works of Our Lord Jesus Christ are all sacred and Divine because He is God and man at one and the same time. The works of the Most Blessed Virgin are very holy because she is the most perfect and the most pure of God's creatures. The works of Our Lord and of His Blessed Mother can be rightly called mysteries because they are so full of wonders and all kinds of perfections and deep and sublime truths which the Holy Spirit reveals to the humble and simple souls who honor these mysteries.

The works of Jesus and Mary can also be called wonderful flowers; but their perfume and beauty can only be appreciated by those who study them carefully----and who open them and drink in their scent by diligent and sincere meditation.

Saint Dominic has divided up the lives of Our Lord and Our Lady into fifteen mysteries which stand for their virtues and their most important actions. These are the fifteen tableaux ; or pictures whose every detail must rule and inspire our lives. They are fifteen flaming torches to guide our steps throughout this earthly life.

They are fifteen shining mirrors which help us to know Jesus and Mary and to know ourselves as well. They will also help light the fire of their love in our hearts.

They are fifteen fiery furnaces which can consume us completely in their heavenly flames.

Our Lady taught Saint Dominic this excellent method of praying and ordered him to preach it far and wide so as to reawaken the fervor of Christians and to revive in their hearts a love for Our Blessed Lord.

She also taught it to Blessed Alan de la Roche and said to him in a vision: "When people say one hundred and fifty Angelic Salutations this prayer is very helpful to them and is a very pleasing tribute to me. But they will do better still and will please me even more if they say these salutations while meditating on the life, death and passion of Jesus Christ----for this meditation is the soul of this prayer."

For, in reality, the Rosary said without meditating on the sacred mysteries of our salvation would be almost like a body without a soul: excellent matter but without the form which is meditation----this latter being that which sets it apart from all other devotions.

The first part of the Rosary contains five mysteries: the first is the Annunciation of the Archangel Saint Gabriel to Our Lady; the second, the Visitation of Our Lady to her cousin Saint Elizabeth; the third, the Nativity of Jesus Christ; the fourth, the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple and the Purification of Our Lady; and the fifth, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple among the doctors.

These are called the JOYFUL MYSTERIES because of the joy which they gave to the whole universe. Our Lady and the Angels were overwhelmed with joy the moment when the Son of God was incarnate. Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist were filled with joy by the visit of Jesus and Mary. Heaven and earth rejoiced at the birth of Our Savior. Holy Simeon felt great consolation and was filled with joy when he took the Holy Child in his arms. The doctors were lost in admiration and wonderment at the answers which Jesus gave----and how could anyone describe the joy of Mary and Joseph when they found the Child Jesus after He had been lost for three days?

The second part of the Rosary is also composed of five mysteries which are called the SORROWFUL MYSTERIES because they show us Our Lord weighed down with sadness, covered with wounds, laden with insults, sufferings and torments. The first of these mysteries is Jesus' Prayer and Agony in the Garden of Olives; the second, His Scourging; the third, His Crowning with Thorns; the fourth, Jesus carrying His Cross; and the fifth, His Crucifixion and Death on Mount Calvary.

The third part of the Rosary contains five other mysteries which are called the GLORIOUS MYSTERIES because when we say them we meditate on Jesus and Mary in their triumph and glory. The first is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ; the second, His Ascension into Heaven; the third, the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles; the fourth, Our Lady's glorious Assumption into Heaven; and the fifth, her Crowning in Heaven.

These are the fifteen fragrant flowers of the Mystical Rose Tree; devout souls fly to them like wise bees, so as to gather their nectar and make the honey of a solid devotion.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Great Promise of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.


The following is an explanation of the conditions contained in Our Lady's request regarding the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays of the Month.
  1. Confess and receive Holy Communion
    On February 15, 1926 the Child Jesus alone came to visit Sr. Lucia and asked if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was being propagated. Sr. Lucia spoke of a difficulty some people have in confessing on the first Saturday, and asked if they might be allowed eight days in order to fulfill Our Lady's requests. Jesus answered: "Yes, even more time still, as long as they receive Me in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
  2. Recite the Rosary
    Five decades of the Rosary may be recited at any time or place; yet, since one will be attending Mass in order to receive Holy Communion, a very desirable time and place would be before or after Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Meditation on the mysteries according to one's capacity is an essential condition for praying the Rosary. Yet, involuntary distractions do not rob the Rosary of fruit if one is doing the best he can.
  3. "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary."
    The question is often asked: Does the meditation while reciting the Rosary fulfill this condition, or is there required an additional fifteen minutes of meditation? That an additional 15 minutes of meditation is required was recently confirmed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima. It is clear too from a statement by the first Bishop of Fatima.
    The last entry in the chronology of Fatima, published in the official Calendar of the Sanctuary for the year of 1940, and signed by Dom Jose Correia da Silva, the first Bishop of Fatima, gave a summary of Our Lady's requests concerning the Five First Saturdays. From that official statement in the Calendar of the Sanctuary, we read the Bishop's enumeration of the various items that pertain to the devotion of the five Saturdays:
      It consists in going to Confession, receiving Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary and meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. The Confession may be made during the eight days preceding or following the first Saturday of each month, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. Should one forget to form the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it may be formed at the next Confession, occasion to go to confession being taken at the first opportunity.
    The meditation embraces one or more mysteries; it may even include all, taken together or separately, according to individual attraction or devotion; but it is preferable to meditate on one mystery each month.
    Speaking of the requirement of "keeping me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary," the Bishop's comment that "it is preferable to meditate on one mystery each month" could apply only to an extra fifteen minutes, for each decade of the Rosary must have its own particular meditation. This is clear from the definition of the Rosary given in the official document of the Church on indulgences, the ENCHIRIDION OF INDULGENCES published by Pope Paul VI in 1968. It describes the Rosary as follows:
    "The Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of HAIL MARYS with an OUR FATHER before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption." (n. 48)
    * * * * * * * * * *
    Like the Rosary, this meditation may be made any time or place during the first Saturday. Yet again, like the Rosary, a very fitting time and place would be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament before or after Mass. The question has been asked: "Would an extra Rosary, which would require about fifteen minutes, fulfill this request? It would seem, if fruitfully meditated, that it would. Or again, the time could be spent reading meditatively on one of the fifteen mysteries, which is a form of mental prayer that involves reading with frequent pauses to reflect on the matter read.
  4. With the intention of making reparation.
    All of the conditions mentioned above - in numbers 1 to 3 - should be fulfilled with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the occasion of the visit of the Child Jesus to Sr. Lucia (Feb. 16, 1926), she asked: "My Jesus, what about those who forget to make the intention?" Jesus answered: "They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to Confession."
    The above are the minimum requirements for fulfilling the conditions of Our Lady's promise to obtain for us "at the hour of death the graces necessary for salvation." Yet, these Communions of reparation, as has been pointed out, are only a portion of the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These few pages are meant to help bring about a frame of mind and heart that will make us aware of the need of reparation all through the month, and not just on the first Saturday.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Twentieth Rose: The Hail Mary-----Explanation

Excerpt from the book secret of the Rosary

Twentieth Rose: The Hail Mary-----Explanation

ARE YOU in the miserable state of sin? Then call on the divine [1] Mary and say to her: Ave, which means "I salute thee with the most profound respect, thou who art without sin" and she will deliver you from the evil of your sins.

Are you groping in the darkness of ignorance and error? Go to Mary and say to her:Hail Mary; which means "Hail thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice"----and she will give you some of her light.

Have you strayed from the path leading to Heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means "Star of the Sea, the North Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life," and she will guide you to the harbor of eternal salvation.

Are you in sorrow? Turn to Mary, for her name means also "Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with sharp pain in this world but which is now turned into a Sea of the Purest Joy in Heaven" and she will turn your sorrow to joy and your afflictions into consolation.

Have you lost the state of grace? Praise and honor the numberless graces with which God has filled the Blessed Virgin and say to her: Thou art full of grace and filled with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and she will give you some of these graces.

Are you all alone, having lost God's protection? Pray to Mary, and say: "The Lord is with thee----and this union is far nobler and more intimate than that which He has with Saints and the just----because thou art one with Him. He is thy Son and His Flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to Him and by your mutual love----for thou art His Mother." And then say to her: "The Three Persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity," and she will place you once more under the protection and care of Almighty God.

Have you become an outcast and have you been accursed by God? Then say to Our Lady: "Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations, by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God's maledictions into blessings for us," and she will bless you.

Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the Living Bread Which came down from Heaven, and say to her: Blessed be the Fruit of thy womb Whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss of thy virginity, Whom thou didst carry without discomfort and to Whom thou didst give birth without pain. Blessed be Jesus Who has redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, Who has healed the world of its sickness, Who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to a life of grace and Who has saved men from damnation." Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.

Then, at the end of your prayer, pray thus with Holy Mother Church:

"Holy Mary 
Holy in body and in soul
Holy because of thy incomparable
And eternal devotion
To the service of God----
Holy in thy great rank
Of Mother of God
Who has endowed thee
With eminent holiness,
 A worthy attribute
Of this great dignity.
Mother of God----
And our Mother----
Our Advocate and Mediatrix
Thou who art the Treasurer of God's graces
And who dost dispense them
As thou seest fit----
Oh, we beg of thee
Obtain for us
The forgiveness of our sins----
And grant that we may be reconciled
With God's infinite Majesty.
Pray for us, sinners----
Thou who art always filled with compassion
For those in need----
Thou who wilt never despise sinners
Or turn them away----
For but for them
Thou woulds't never have been
Mother of the Redeemer,
Pray for us
During this short life
So fraught with sorrow and uncertainty.
 Pray for us now,
Now----because we can be sure of nothing
 Except the present moment.
Pray for us now
That we are being attacked night and day
By powerful and ruthless enemies . . .
Pray for us now
And at the hour of our death,
So terrible and full of danger,
When our strength is waning
And our spirits are sinking
And our souls and bodies
Are worn out with fear and pain
Pray for us then
At the hour of our death
When the devil is working
With might and main
To ensnare us and cast us into perdition.
Pray for us
At the turning point
When the die will be cast once and for all
And our lot for ever and ever
Will be Heaven----
Or Hell.
Come to the help of thy poor children,
Gentle Mother of pity:
And, oh, Advocate and Refuge of Sinners,
Protect us
At the hour of our death
And drive far from us
Our bitter enemies,
The devils our accusers,
Those with frightful presence
Fills us with dread.
Light our path
Through the valley of the shadow of death.
Please, Mother
Lead us
To thy Son's
Judgment Seat
And do not forsake us there.
Intercede for us
And ask thy Son to forgive us
And let us into the ranks of the blessed
Thy elect
In the realm of everlasting glory.
Amen. So be it."

No one could help admiring the beauty of the Holy Rosary which is made up of two heavenly things: the Lord's Prayer and the Angelic Salutation. How could there possibly be any prayers more pleasing to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers? We should always have them in our hearts and on our lips to honor the Most Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ our Savior, and His Most Holy Mother.

In addition, at the end of each decade it is very good to add a Gloria Patri . . . that is to say: "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." 

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Fifteen Promises of the Blessed Virgin to Christians Who Faithfully Pray The Rosary


  1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
  2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive some special grace.
  3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.
  4. The rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
  6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
  7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
  9. I will deliver promptly from purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
  10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in heaven.
  11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
  12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
  14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nineteenth Rose: Happy Exchange

Excerpt from the Book "Secret of the Rosary"

Nineteenth Rose: Happy Exchange

IT IS WRITTEN: "Give and it shall be given unto you." [1] To take Blessed Alan's illustration of this: "Supposing each day I give you one hundred and fifty diamonds, even if you were my enemy, would you not forgive me? Would you not treat me as a friend and give me all the graces that you were able to give? If you want to gain the riches of grace and of glory, salute the Blessed Virgin, honor your good Mother." "He that honoreth his mother (the Blessed Virgin) is as one that layeth up a treasure." [2] So every day do give her at least fifty Hail Marys----for each one is worth fifteen precious stones and they please Our Lady far more than all the riches of this world put together.

And you can expect such great things from her generosity! She is our Mother and our friend. She is the empress of the universe and loves us more than all the mothers and queens of the world have ever loved anyone human being. This is really so, for the charity of the Blessed Virgin far surpasses the natural love of all mankind and even of all the Angels, as Saint Augustine says.

One day Saint Gertrude had a vision of Our Lord counting gold coins. She summoned the courage to ask Him what He was doing. He answered: "I am counting the Hail Marys that you have said; this is the money with which you can pay your way to Heaven."

The holy and learned Jesuit, Father Suarez, was so deeply aware of the value of the Angelic Salutation that he said that he would gladly give all his learning for the price of one Hail Mary that had been said properly.

Blessed Alan de la Roche said: "Let everyone who loves you, oh most holy Mary, listen to this and drink it in:

Whenever I say
Hail Mary
The court of Heaven rejoices
 And the earth
Is lost in wonderment.
And I despise the world
And my heart is brim-full
Of the love of God
When I say Hail Mary;
All my fears
Wilt and die
And my passions are quelled
If I say
Hail Mary;
Devotion grows
Within me
And sorrow for sin
When I say
Hail Mary.
Hope is made strong
In my breast
And the dew of consolation
Falls on my soul
More and more----
Because I say
Hail Mary.
And my spirit
And sorrow fades away
When I say
Hail Mary . . .

For the sweetness of this blessed salutation is so great that there are no words to explain it adequately, and even when its wonders have been sung, we still find it so full of mystery and so profound that its depths can never be plumbed. It has but few words but is exceeding rich in mystery; it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold. We should often meditate upon it in our hearts and have it ever upon our lips so as to say it devoutly again and again."

Blessed Alan says that a nun who had always had great devotion to the Holy Rosary appeared after death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her: "If I were allowed to go back into my body, to have the chance of saying just one single Hail Mary----even if I said it quickly and without great fervor----I would gladly go through the sufferings that I had during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer." (Blessed Alan de la Roche, De Dignitate Psalterii, Chapter LXIX) This is all the more compelling because she had been bedridden and had suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died.

Michel de Lisle, Bishop of Salubre, who was a disciple and co-worker of Blessed Alan's in the re-establishment of the Holy Rosary said that the Angelic Salutation is the remedy for all ills that we suffer as long as we say it devoutly in honor of Our Lady.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Baptism of Jesus

The Sunday Gospel [January 9, 2011]

Matthew 3:13-17

The Baptism of Jesus

13Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” 15Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. 17And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”


“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.” ~ verse 17

Today let us recall our own baptism. Do you know the Apostle's Creed by heart? Let us reflect on our baptismal vows.

Through our baptism we are joined with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit just like Jesus was. We are now adopted sons and daughters of God, through Christ, and we stand as one before the Holy Trinity with all the angels and saints in heaven. The gospel today gives us dramatic proof of the Holy Trinity.

Eigthteenth Rose: The Hail Mary-----Blessings

Excerpt from the Book "Secret of the Rosary"

Eigthteenth Rose: The Hail Mary-----Blessings

THIS HEAVENLY SALUTATION draws down upon us the blessings of Jesus and Mary in abundance, for it is an infallible truth that Jesus and Mary reward in a marvelous way those who glorify them. They repay us a hundred fold for the praises that we give them. "I love them that love Me . . . that I may enrich them that love Me and fill their treasures." [1] Jesus and Mary have always said: "We love those who love Us; we enrich them and fill their treasuries to overflowing." "He who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings." [2]

Now, if we say the Hail Mary properly, is not this a way to love, bless and glorify Jesus and Mary?

In each Hail Mary we bless both Jesus and Mary: "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

By each Hail Mary we give Our Lady the same honor that God gave her when He sent the Archangel Gabriel to greet her for Him. How could anyone possibly think that Jesus and Mary, who often do good to those that curse them, could ever curse those that bless and honor them by the Hail Mary?

Both Saint Bernard and Saint Bonaventure say that the Queen of Heaven is certainly no less grateful and conscientious than gracious and well-mannered people of this world. Just as she excels in all other perfections, she surpasses us all in the virtue of gratitude; so she would never let us honor her with love and respect without repaying us one hundred fold. Saint Bonaventure says that Mary will greet us with grace if we greet her with the Hail Mary.

Who could possibly understand the graces and blessings which the greeting and tender regard of Our Lady effect in us? From the very first instant that Saint Elizabeth heard the greeting that the Mother of God gave her, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and the child in her womb leaped for joy. If we make ourselves worthy of the greeting and blessings of Our Lady we shall certainly be filled with graces and a flood of spiritual consolations will come down into our souls.