Tag Archives: Virgin Mary

May 27th.–Instruction XXVII. Our Lady of the Rosary.

May 27th.–Instruction 27. Our Lady of the Rosary.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

May 27th.–Instruction 27. Our Lady of the Rosary.

Thou shalt honor thy mother all the days of her life.”–Tob. iv. 3.

This is the recommendation of the holy old man Tobias to his son. These words naturally come to my lips at this time, when I wish to speak to you of one of those pious practices which is most popular and most agreeable to the Blessed Virgin. Every day we receive some marks of the love and the protection of this tender and merciful Mother; every day, therefore, we should be disposed to honor and to serve her. “Honor thy mother all the days of thy life.” Now, one of the devotions which is most dear to Catholic piety, and the most excellent prayer which the true servants of Mary can address to her, is the Rosary. The Rosary, or crown of roses, is composed of several tiny grains, on each of which a “Hail Mary” is recited. We can consider these grains as so many fresh and fragrant flowers placed in garlands at Mary’s feet, or forming a precious diadem to adorn her royal brow. The Rosary, by its very simplicity, may be styled the book par excellence in which all may read and study well those truths which are of greatest importance. The learned and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, the old and the young–in a word, there is no one who may not employ this devotion which is so agreeable to Mary.

To-day we will consider the origin, the end, and the effects of this devotion of the Rosary.

1. Origin.–It is the fair land of Catholic France that claims the honor of having first practised this devotion of the Rosary. About the middle of the thirteenth century the Albigensian heresy extended its ravages to the provinces of the South. To repress this error and arrest its progress the sovereign pontiffs employed every means in their power. The kings, menaced in their legitimate authority, had sent out their most valiant generals against these furious men who threatened civil society as well as religion. But all their efforts had failed to frustrate the designs of those perverse and bitter sectaries. St. Dominic, however, sustained by an unshaken faith in Mary, advanced to the combat against error without arms of any kind except a rosary. It is recorded that he alone converted one hundred thousand of the Albigensians. These fierce men, thanks to the devotion of the Rosary, abandoned their heresy and penitently re-entered the old Church established by our blessed Saviour. It is indeed true that the pious practice of the Rosary was known before St. Dominic, but it was he who added to the recitation of this prayer the meditation on the mysteries of the life of Our Lord and His blessed Mother. The entire Rosary consists in the recitation of fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, accompanied by the meditation of five joyful, five sorrowful, and five glorious mysteries. These mysteries recall the birth, the sufferings, and the death of Our Saviour, the assumption and coronation of the Blessed Virgin in heaven. No practice of piety is more venerable in its origin. It is a devotion inspired by God and designated by Mary herself as most agreeable to her and best calculated to procure the salvation of souls. What respect, what esteem, therefore, should the servants of Mary entertain for the devotion to the holy Rosary!

2. The end.–The end which St. Dominic proposed in the institution of the Rosary is to honor the Blessed Virgin, to make her known, loved, served, and invoked by all the faithful, without exception. Could this devoted servant of Mary find a practice better adapted to his design? The beginning of the Rosary is a profession of faith in all the truths taught by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is composed of the Lord’s prayer–the most perfect prayer which a Christian can address to God; then follows the angelical salutation, which contains in a few words the most beautiful eulogy, the most magnificent praises, which have ever been spoken of the Blessed Virgin: “Hail, full of grace!” The mysteries which are announced at the beginning of each decade recall the wonders of the incarnation and the life of our adorable Saviour, in which Mary had such an important part.

Thus the Rosary is really a summary of the Gospel. It is also a prayer most agreeable to the Blessed Virgin and within the reach and ability of all the faithful. The humble and poor shepherd who counts each grain of his beads on the lonely hill-side gives to our blessed Mother the same homage, the same honor, as the learned St. Francis de Sales, who piously recites his rosary in the quiet and recollection of his oratory. St. Louis on his throne and the poor man in his humble cottage by reciting the Rosary are united in mind and heart to celebrate the glories of Mary and to obtain her maternal favors.

3. The effects.–The marvellous results obtained by St. Dominic in the establishment of the Rosary–the conversion of heretics, the confirmation of the faithful, the countless prodigies which it has wrought–all attest the powerful and salutary results of this devotion. And, in fact, is there anything more efficacious for the sanctification of souls? It is a truth of faith that we can do nothing without God’s grace, and grace is assured us by prayer through the intercession of Mary. God’s grace and the concurrence of our free will are necessary for our salvation. Another result of the Rosary is to excite, encourage, and fortify our will by recalling the examples of Our Lord and His blessed Mother in the different mysteries on which we meditate. The joyful mysteries teach us humility, recollection, and detachment from the things of the world. The sorrowful mysteries teach us patience, resignation, and the necessity of expiation and penance. The glorious mysteries inflame our charity, animate our hope, and sustain our courage in the midst of trials, by showing us the recompense promised to our fidelity. No prayer is better calculated than the Rosary to increase our confidence in the Virgin Mother and to give expression to our love and our devotion. Does the child grow weary in saying to his mother, “I love you”? This is precisely what we say when repeating the formula of prayer in the recitation of the Rosary. Devout servants of Mary, may the holy Rosary be henceforth your book of prayer and meditation, your strong arm of defence against the enemies of your faith! By this sign you will conquer, and in return for this crown which you will present to Mary you will one day receive a diadem of glory.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of the Doctrine of Truth.

     IV. All perfections in this life are attended with some imperfections: and all our speculations with a certain obscurity.
The humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God, than the deepest search after science.
Learning is not to be blamed, nor the mere knowledge of anything, which is good in itself, and ordained by God: but a good conscience and a virtuous life is always to be preferred before it.
But because many make it more their study to know, than to live well, therefore are they often deceived, and bring forth no fruit, or very little.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch III pt IV.

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May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtues to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty

O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen. (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins and Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)

The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same. (Raccolta).

Ave Maria O Maiden O Mother.

Ave Maria! O Maiden, O Mother,
Fondly thy children are calling on thee,
Thine are the graces unclaimed by another,
Sinless and beautiful Star of the Sea!

Refrain:
Mater Amabilis, ora pro nobis!
Pray for thy children who call upon thee;
Ave Sanctissima! Ave purissima!
Sinless and beautiful Star of the Sea!

Ave Maria! The night shades are falling,
Softly our voices arise unto thee,
Earth’s lonely exiles for succor are calling,
Sinless and beautiful Star of the Sea!

Ave Maria! Thy children are kneeling,
Words of endearment are murmured to thee;
Softly thy spirit upon us is stealing
Sinless and beautiful Star of the Sea!

Ave Maria! Thou portal of Heaven,
Harbor of refuge, to thee we do flee:
Lost in the darkness, by stormy winds driven,
Shine on our pathway, fair Star of the Sea!

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