Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Confraternity membership

After having applied to join the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary at the Rosary Center I have just been informed that there is a backlog owing to an overwhelming number of enrollments from foreign countries. 

So, all this time I thought I was a member – and have been praying the Rosary accordingly – I have found that I am due to be enrolled on 11th January, the Baptism of the Lord! My certificate is apparently in the post. 

But this is good. It has given me time to "practice" my Rosary, and it also means that I shall be able to avail myself of the Plenary Indulgence attached to joining by confession, communion and prayer for the Pope's intentions on the actual day of joining! 

Friday, 24 October 2008

Prayer to S. Joseph

Before October is up, I thought I'd post Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to S. Joseph – At te, beate Ioseph – which he prescribed for the month of October after the recitation of the Rosary. 

The prayer was originally given to the Church in the encyclical letter Quamquam pluries on devotion to S. Joseph (15 August, 1889). At the time, the Pope said: "To those who recite this prayer, We grant for each time an indulgence of seven years and seven Lents." 

It is worth noting that this prayer (or, indeed, any prayer in honour of S. Joseph) still carries a partial indulgence under the norms of the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum (fourth edition, 1999)

Preces in honorem S. Ioseph 

Partialis indulgentia conceditur christifideli qui S. Ioseph, Sponsum B.M.V., prece legitime adprobata pie invocaverit (e.g. Ad te, beate Ioseph). 

Ad te, beate Ioseph, in tribulatione nostra confugimus, atque, implorato Sponsae tuae sanctissimae auxilio, patrocinium quoque tuum fidenter exposcimus. Per eam, quaesumus, quae te cum immaculata Virgine Dei Genetrice coniunxit, caritatem, perque paternum, quo Puerum Iesum amplexus es, amorem, supplices deprecamur, ut ad hereditatem, quam Iesus Christus acquisivit Sanguine suo, benignus respicias, ac necessitatibus nostris tua virtute et ope succurras. Tuere, o Custos providentissime divinae Familiae, Iesu Christi sobolem electam; prohibe a nobis, amantissime Pater, omnem errorum ac corruptelarum luem; propitius nobis, sospitator noster fortissime, in hoc cum potestate tenebrarum certamine e caelo adesto; et sicut olim Puerum Iesum e summo eripuisti vitae discrimine, ita nunc Ecclesiam sanctam Dei ab hostilibus insidiis atque ab omni adversitate defende: nosque singulos perpetuo tege patrocinio, ut ad tui exemplar et ope tua suffulti, sancte vivere, pie emori, sempiternamque in caelis beatitudinem assequi possimus. Amen. 

English translation (this is from my Baronius Press 1962 Roman Missal; USCCB-authorised translation of the Enchiridion can be bought here):

To thee, O blessed Joseph, we fly in our tribulation and after imploring the help of thy holy Spouse, with confidence we ask also for thy intercession. By the affection which united thee to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by the paternal love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee to look kindly upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ acquired by His precious blood, and with thy powerful aid to help us in our needs. Protect, most careful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen people of Jesus Christ. Keep us, loving father, from all pestilence of error and corruption. From thy place in heaven be thou mercifully with us, most powerful protector, in this warfare with the powers of darkness; and, as thou didst once rescue the Child Jesus from imminent danger of death, so now defend the holy Church of God from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Guard each of us by the constant patronage, so that, sustained by the example and help, we may live a holy life, die a holy death, and obtain the everlasting happiness of heaven. Amen. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Rosary: Its Power and Its Use

I am reading an excellent book called The Rosary: Its Power and Its Use by Rev. F. John Leather, O.P., published in 1932 by Sands & Co. This book is out of print nowadays and so I thought I'd type out excerpts from it. The book is illustrated by the work of Fra Angelico, which is interesting, but there is also some wonderful information about the history of the Rosary and the Rosary Confraternity, which I intend to post here.

As a first post, this taken from pp. 37–38, on the beads of the Rosary – it starts pretty mundanely, but quickly gets much more interesting!:

"When we say the Rosary we pass the beads through our fingers, and thus automatically count the required number of Hail Mary's without distracting the mind from the prayers and meditations. These Rosary beads must consist of five, ten, or fifteen decades; and each decade should have an Our Father bead and ten Hail Mary beads; otherwise, they cannot receive the special Dominican blessing not be called a Rosary (S. Cong Indulg., 20th June, 1836). Rosaries, however, made of solid glass or crystal may be blessed (Penit. 21st Dec., 1925). The blessing by a Dominican Father, or other Priest with Dominican faculty, carries with it an Indulgence of one hundred days on each bead said as part of the Rosary (S. Cong. Indulg., 29th August, 1899) A Rosary that has lost four or five beads remains blessed (S.C.I., 10th Jan., 1839), and the missing beads may be added."

These indulgences have been abrogated since the publication of the new Enchiridion, but presumably what constitutes a Rosary still stands and also whether a Rosary loses its blessing when broken to some extent. (My crucifix has broken: is it still blessed?!)

For more information about the traditional Dominican blessing see which outlines the situation as it stands today.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Fifteen promises

The fifteen promises of Mary to Christians who recite the Rosary, given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan
  1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
  2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
  3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
  4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw 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. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
  6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
  7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
  9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
  10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
  11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
  12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
  14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Joining the Rosary Confraternity

The spirit helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings (Romans 8:26)

This month, after a period of discernment, I have applied to join the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary (an Archconfraternity), a worldwide body of people devoted to the Rosary. I thought that October, Mary's month, was an appropriate time to do this!

I have decided to start a blog devoted to gathering information about this fascinating prayer group, concentrating on its history and other information that might be difficult to access elsewhere. It follows that I also intend this blog to be a useful resource for praying the Rosary.

To start with, I am pasting below the Rosary Confraternity prayer, as found on the Confraternity website. In due course, I shall make a pdf of this prayer for downloading...

Rosary Confraternity Prayer

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Mother of us all, we come to you for help in our sorrows, trials and necessities. Sin leaves us weak and helpless but Divine Grace heals and strengthens.

We ask for the grace to love Jesus as you loved Him, to believe as you believed, to hope as you hoped; we ask to share your purity of mind and heart. Give us true sorrow for sin and make us love people as you and Jesus loved them. Obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, prudent with your prudence, patient with your patience, courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your Son.

Open our minds that as we pray the Rosary we will understand the teachings of the Gospel contained in its mysteries.

We pray especially for the members of the Rosary Confraternity whom we love. Help them wherever they may be; guide them, watch over them and make them strong in their trials and suffering. We are drawn together by a common bond of great charity for you and for each other; keep us faithful to your Son and to your Rosary till death.

Intercede for the souls in Purgatory, especially for the members of the Rosary Confraternity who have died. May they rest in peace. Finally we ask for grace of final perseverance for ourselves and for our loved ones that we may all be reunited in heaven forever. [Amen]

Saint Dominic, you who received so much Grace and Strength from the Rosary, Pray for Us.

Imprimi Potest:
Thomas P. Raftery O.P., Lect. S.Th., J.C.D.

Nihil Obstat:
+ Paul E. Waldschmidt CSC, D.D., S.T.D.

+ Cornelius M. Power, D.D., J.C.D.
Archbishop of Portland

March 30, 1979