Tag: Our Lady Fatima

The Rosary: Where it Came From and its Importance

The Rosary: Where it Came From and its Importance

The Rosary has been a significant sacramental that has blessed the faith of Catholics for centuries.

It is a timeless aid to contemplation that marks the wonderful rhythm of human life on a beaded rope that can serve as a lifeline to individual salvation.

But what makes the Rosary an help to salvation is the fact of its deep and powerful connection to the Bible and the Divine mysteries that are tied to Jesus’ redemptive stay on earth.

As author Father Oscar Lukefahr has written, “the mysteries of the rosary convert the Bible into prayer.” The Rosary then binds Catholics to the historical life of Christ and foreshadows their eternal destiny and union with Christ in heaven.

Catholics must not forget that while a devotion to the Blessed Mother is a vital part of the Rosary’s historical and spiritual relevance, it is basically a Christ-centered prayer in which Catholics pray to the Son through His Mother.  In the words of the Hail Mary, it is Christ, as Luke reported, who is the ultimate object both of the announcement and of the greeting of the Mother of John the Baptist: Blessed is the fruit of your womb.

The Rosary blends easily with the Christian way of life.

In her essay, “The Rosary: A Prayer for All Seasons Gloria Hutchinson compares the Rosary to “an Olympic champion emerging from early retirement.” She writes that the Rosary has regained its lofty position as “an ever-reliable prayer for all seasons” since Pope John Paul II proclaimed 2002 the Year of the Rosary.  Hutchinson reminds Catholics that the Rosary has continually been a peoples’ prayer.

The sweet chain of prayer

The form of the Rosary remained necessarily not transformed until 2002 when John Paul II instituted five new mysteries.

He called them the Luminous Mysteries because they portray Jesus’ public ministry, including His baptism, Cana, the Sermon on the Mount, the Transfiguration and the Last Supper in a new light. Since His public ministry is an important link between His early years and His passion and death on the Cross, these new mysteries reveal the true meaning of His earthly presence, while filling in the public gap between his joyful youth and the sadness and pain related with Calvary. The Pope also added the Luminous Mysteries to enkindle a renewed interest in the Rosary as a true gateway into the Incarnation.

With the addition of the Luminous Mysteries the Rosary’s intimate connection with the Gospels is even more clear.

It completed what Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926) called “the sweet chain linking us to God.” It is Christ’s years of his public ministry that most display the Incarnation as a “mystery of light.” As John’s Gospel says “while I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The mystery of light that best shows the relevance of the Luminous Mysteries is the Transfiguration.

The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the surprised apostles to listen to him and to get ready to experience with Him the agonies of Good Friday, so that they may be able to enjoy their own Easter with Him in heaven.
Mary and the Rosary

Even Mary’s relationship to the Rosary has not been without conflict. Since the Hail Mary is the dominant prayer of the Rosary, her critics contend that Mary and her Rosary are a distraction from Jesus Christ, the true focal point of Christianity. Religious scholars have long noted that this is a canard that has no bearing on the Rosary’s true history.

The Council of Ephesus in 431 settled her title in the Hail Mary, the “Mother of God” in light of the Arian heresy that denied Christ’s divinity. Arians called Mary only the Mother of Christ because they believed Jesus to be just a man and so His mother could not be the Mother of God.

On another note, to correct what some theologians thought was an unbalanced devotion to Mary, the post-Vatican II Church has toned down its devotional routines honoring Mary in order to refocus on her Son.

Mary’s Fatima apparitions are the event that has most dramatized the power and majesty of the Rosary.

On October 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima told three Portuguese shepherd children, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.

I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to beseech pardon for their sins…. People must say the Rosary.” Mary impressed upon the children how necessary it was to pray the Rosary daily for world peace.She warned them that Russia would spread its errors throughout the world.

A secret weapon

In fact the Rosary has been a constant source of devotion throughout the history of the Church. Garry Wills’ book, The Rosary highlights that for countless Catholics who matured before the Second Vatican Council the Rosary was a daily routine. He cites the story of the late William F. Buckley who developed the habit of saying the rosary as a small boy.

In his published diary, Overdrive, Buckley revealed that he had learned to count on his fingers the decades of the Rosary when one wasn’t available. It was to him “alifelong routine gained in childhood.”

I Bet You Don’t Know The Three Fatima Secrets – Read Here

I Bet You Don’t Know The Three Fatima Secrets – Read Here

On 13 May 1917, ten year old Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were herding sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima in Portugal.

Lúcia described seeing a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.”

Further appearances were reported to have taken place on the thirteenth day of the month in June, July, September and October. In these, the woman exhorted the children to do penance and Acts of Reparation, and to make sacrifices to save sinners.

The children subsequently wore tight cords around their waists to cause themselves pain, performed self-flagellation using stinging nettles, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance. According to Lúcia’s account, in the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fátima.

Three Secrets of Fátima

 

First Fatima Secret

The first secret was a vision of hell, which Lúcia describes in her Third Memoir, as follows:

“Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear.

The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”

 

Second Fatima Secret

The second secret included Mary’s instructions on how to save souls from hell and convert the world to the Christian faith, also revealed by Lúcia in her Third Memoir:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

 

Third Fatima Secret

The third secret, a vision of the death of the Pope and other religious figures, was transcribed by the Bishop of Leiria and reads:

“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’ And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”

Exhumed in 1935 and again in 1951, Jacinta’s face was found incorrupt. Francisco’s body, however, had decomposed.