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Our Lady the Rosa Mystical

 O my dear Mother, could I but love thee as thou lovest me!  I will not, however, cease to do all that I can to honor and love thee. My most sweet Lady, do thou obtain for me grace to be faithful to thee.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Glories of Mary

The ultimate end of all our devotions and desires is Jesus Christ. Knowing our weakness, and desire to share with us the beautiful object of His own unique filial affections, Our Lord has presented to us the simple yet grand, image of the Maddona and Child the only icon of salvation available to a weary world. It is Divine Love, then, pure and simple, that has Mary not what She is, but what She is to us:

“Is Mary the Rose then? Mary the tree?
But the blossom there, who can it be?
Who can Her rose be? It could be one:
Christ Jesus, Our LordHer God and Her Son.
In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Shew me Thy son, Mother, Mother of mine.
Does it smell sweet too in the holy place?
Sweet unto God. and the sweetness is grace:
O breath of its bathes great Heaven above,
In grace that is charity, grace that is love.
To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory divine
Draw me by charity, Mother of mine.”

(Fr. Gerald Manley Hopkins, Rosa Mystica)

      QUOTES 

Quotes of Our Lady, Popes, and Saints

Pope Pius XI                                                                                                          If there were one million families praying the Rosary every day, the entire world would be saved.”

Pope Pius XII

There is no surer means of calling down God’s blessings upon the family . . . than the daily recitation of the Rosary.~

Pope Pius IX

If I had an army to say the Rosary, I could conquer the world.”

St. Pope Pius XV

The prayer of the Rosary is perfect, because of the praises it offers, the lessons it teaches, the graces it obtains, and the victories.

Pope Saint Pius X

The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches the Heart of the Mother of God  and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.

Pope Leo XIII

The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.

Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia

Continue to pray the Rosary every day.

Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.
Saint Louis de Montfort

You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary
Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche If you persevere in reciting the Rosary, this will be a most probable sign of your eternal salvation.
Blessed Alan de la Roche

The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.

Saint Francis de Sales

When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.
Saint Louis de Montfort

The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessing.
Blessed Alan de la Roche

One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.
Saint Dominic

If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, you will receive a never-fading crown of glory (1 St. Peter 5:4).
Saint Louis de Montfort

The Rosary is THE weapon.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

You must know that when you hail Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many on the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!

Saint Bernardine of Siena

Recite your Rosary with faith, with humility, with confidence, and with perseverance.
Saint Louis de Montfort

Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day become a formal heretic or be led astray by the devil.
Saint Louis de Montfort

  • Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if and mark well what I say if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.                                   Saint Louis de Montfort
    The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.
    Sister Lucia dos Santos, Fatima seer

    When you say your Rosary, the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary.
    Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee! No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more.
Our Lady to Saint Mechtilde

To Avoid Distraction

There are many helps to avoid distraction while saying the Rosary. If we say the Rosary before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament our prayers are most likely to be more recollected and greatly efficacious. St. Dominic spent whole nights praying before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Could we not visit him for 15 minutes to say our Rosary? If we pray the Rosary before a crucifix and statue of Our Lady this helps to keep our minds on the prayers and mysteries we are meditating on. There are many books, which offer short thoughts on each Mystery to help us gain insight into each one. This idea comes from the method used by St. Dominic. Before each set of 10 Hail Mary, he would first preach a short sermon on the Mystery for that decade and then have all gathered pray the 10 Hail Mary. Some of these books offer beautiful pictures to help us even further.

Cardinal Newman

Mary is the Rosa Mystica,” by Cardinal Newman, regarding:

The Annunciation

How did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God’s spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God. Scripture makes use of the figure of a garden, when it would speak of heaven and its blessed inhabitants. A garden is a spot of ground set apart for trees and plants, all good, all various, for things that are sweet to the taste or fragrant in scent, or beautiful to look upon, or useful for nourishment; and accordingly in its spiritual sense it means the home of blessed spirits and holy souls dwelling there together, souls with both the flowers and the fruits upon them, which by the careful husbandry of God they have come to bear, flowers and fruits of grace, flowers more beautiful and more fragrant than those of any garden, fruits more delicious and exquisite than can be matured by earthly husband man.

All that God has made speaks of its Maker; the mountains speak of His eternity; the sun of His immensity, and the winds of His Almightiness. In like manner flowers and fruits speak of His sanctity, His love, and His providence; and such as are flowers and fruits, such must be the place where they are found. That is to say, since they are found in a garden, therefore a garden has also excellences which speak of God, because it is their home. For instance, it would be out of place if we found beautiful flowers on the mountain-crag, or rich fruit in the sandy desert. As then by flowers and fruits are meant, in a mystical sense, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, so by a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose, stillness, peace, refreshment, and delight.

Thus our first parents were placed in “a garden of pleasure” shaded by trees, “fair to behold and pleasant to eat of,” with the Tree of Life in the midst, and a river to water the ground. Thus our Lord, speaking from the cross to the penitent robber, calls the blessed place, the heaven to which He was taking him, “paradise,” or a garden of pleasure. Therefore St. John, in the Apocalypse, speaks of heaven, the palace of God, as a garden or paradise, in which was the Tree of Life giving forth its fruits every month.

Such was the garden in which the Mystical Rose, the Immaculate Mary, was sheltered and nursed to be the Mother of the All Holy God, from her birth to her espousals to St. Joseph, a term of thirteen years. For three years of it she was in the arms of her holy mother, St. Anne, and then for ten years she lived in the temple of God. In those blessed gardens, as they may be called, she lived by herself, continually visited by the dew of God’s grace, and growing up a more and more heavenly flower, till at the end of that period she was meet for the inhabitation in her of the Most Holy. This was the outcome of the Immaculate Conception. Excepting her, the fairest rose in the paradise of God has had upon it blight, and has had the risk of canker-worm and locust. All but Mary; she from the first was perfect in her sweetness and her beautifulness, and at length when the angel Gabriel had to come to her, he found her “full of grace,” which had, from her good use of it, accumulated in her from the first moment of her being.

Why Catholics Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary

By Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 8, 1994

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

Among the various characteristics which prove the Catholic Church to be the one, true Church of Christ (the fours marks of the Church  one, holy, catholic, apostolic), there is also a particular characteristic which is manifestly based on Holy Scripture and which is unique to Catholicism  the honor and devotion of the Catholic Church to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. There is not a single month in the year without several feasts in her honor. Consider the months of August and September, for example, in which there are seven feasts on the ecclesiastical calendar dedicated to her.

This honor and devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, is one of the many things rejected by Protestants. Protestants claim that the Catholic Church devotion to Mary is not based on Sacred Scripture, that it is an offense to Christ, that no one should pray to Mary because there is only one Mediator with the Father, that Mary did not always remain a virgin, etc. How important it is for Catholics to know Sacred Scripture and to respond to these attacks on the Mother of Jesus Christ, especially in these times, when there has been such a surge of non-Catholic sects who zealously proselytize their heretical teachings.

Let us begin our defense of the Catholic Church and its devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by the consideration of the similarities between the Fall of Man and the Redemption of Man.

In the Book of Genesis, we read how our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into original sin. Satan, in the form of a serpent, first tempted Eve. When Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, she then offered it to Adam, who also partook. Adam, as Head of the Human Race, brought about the Fall of Mankind; it was, however, through the cooperation of Eve.

When Adam and Eve had fallen, Almighty God not only punished them and their progeny for this original sin, but He also promised to send a Redeemer.

And the Lord God said to the serpent . . . I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel(Genesis 3:13-15).

Who is the woman in the text of Holy Scripture of whom Almighty God set enmities against Satan? Who is her seed? What is meant by the words and she shall crush thy head?

In the Old Testament, Adam brought about the Fall of Mankind with the cooperation of Eve. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, brought about our Redemption with the cooperation of the Virgin Mary. Eve, our first parent, was tempted by a fallen angel to disobey the command of God, and she subsequently led Adam into sin. In the New Testament, another angel, the Angel Gabriel, announced the will of God to the Virgin Mary and she, unlike Eve, humbly submitted.

In the Gospel of St. Luke, we read:

The Angel Gabriel was sent to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David; and the Virgin name was Mary. (Luke 1:27).

How did the Angel Gabriel then address her? The Gospel of St. Luke continues: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women!

Fear not, Mary, for thou has found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name, Jesus . . . The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Who can deny the dignity of the Virgin Mary  chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ? The Angel Gabriel, who was sent by God Himself, honored and praised her.

Furthermore, when the Virgin Mary visited her cousin, St. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?

Once again, honor and praise is rendered to the Virgin Mary by St. Elizabeth, who was filled with the Holy Ghost

Then during this same visitation, the Virgin Mary responded to her cousins praise of her by the prayer so full of humility and of praise to God:

My soul doth magnify the Lord . . . because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done great things to me.

As Catholics, members of the one, true Church of Christ, we honor the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. We call her the Mother of God, because she indeed is the Mother of the one Divine Person, Jesus Christ, Who has both the nature of God and the nature of Man. By this title of Mother of God, we simply refer to the Virgin Mary as St. Elizabeth did when filled with the Holy Ghost she cried out . . . Whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?

Catholics do not, as Protestants falsely believe, worship the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor her who was so intimately connected with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Yes, there is only one Mediator with the Father Jesus Christ. Only the God-Man Jesus Christ could have redeemed mankind. Nevertheless, we pray to Mary that she may intercede for us with her Divine Son. How often we request the assistance of prayers from our fellow men  how much more powerful are the prayers and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary! In the Old Testament, we read how Moses prayed with arms outstretched and interceded with God to procure the victory of the Israelites over their enemies in a crucial battle. As long as he prayed, they were victorious. When he ceased his prayers, the Israelites began to lose. Because of this, it was necessary for two men to hold up Moses arms in prayer until the battle was won. Also, we read in the Old Testament how Josue prayed to God to have the day prolonged in order to win another crucial battle. If Moses and Josue could have such intercession before God, how much more powerful are the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

The Gospel of St. John relates two significant accounts which relate to Mary  the wedding feast of Cana and the Crucifixion. Of the first account we read:

There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine. And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what is it to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His Mother said to the waiters, Whatsoever He shall say to you, do yea.     (John 2:1-5).

Jesus Christ then proceeded to work His first public miracle at His Mother request. Everything related in the Gospels is inspired by God, and there is a reason for it. Does not this narrative of the wedding feast manifest the intercessory power of Mary with Jesus Christ, her Divine Son?

In the second account, also take from the Gospel of St. John, we read:

There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother . . . When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His Mother: Woman, behold thy son . . . (John 19:25-27).

Just as Eve cooperated with Adam in the Fall of mankind, the Blessed Virgin Mary cooperated with Jesus Christ in our redemption. She stood by the Cross of Jesus. What anguish, what sorrow did the Mother of Jesus experience at the foot of the Cross as she witnessed the sufferings and death of her Divine Son!

In both accounts, Jesus addressed Mary by the term woman. In Hebrew the word used by Jesus was a term which would be addressed to a queen or a woman of high rank. It was a term of great respect.

But why did Jesus Christ address His Mother by the term woman at these two significant moments in His life at His first public miracle, and at His Crucifixion on the Cross?

Our Divine Lord wanted to clearly indicate that His Mother was the Woman spoken of in the Book of Genesis

I will put enmities between thee (Satan) and the Woman, between thy seed and her seed, and she shall crush thy head.

Lastly, Catholics firmly believe that Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, was ever Virgin. That Mary was a virgin before and after the miraculous birth of Jesus can be demonstrated from the passage of the Prophet Isaias:

The Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel.

Note well that the virgin is the subject of the verbs conceive and bear.

As for after the birth of Jesus, Protestants reject that Mary remained a virgin by their false interpretation of Holy Scripture. To summarize briefly their arguments, they claim that in the Gospel of St. Matthew, we read:

He (St. Joseph) knew her not till she brought forth her first-born so (Matthew 1:25).

It is falsely argued on two points knew her not till and her first-born. In Scriptural usage, until expresses what has occurred up to a certain point and leaves the future aside. Thus for example, God says in the book of Isaias, I am till you grow old (Isaias. 46:4). From this are we to infer that God would then cease to be? Of course not! Again in the Book of Psalms, God the Father said to His Divine Son: Sit Thou at My Right Hand, until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool (Psalm 109). Will the Messias, once His enemies are subdued, relinquish His place of honor? Of course not! So when St. Matthew records, He knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn Son, his principal aim was to tell his readers that Christ birth was miraculous and that St. Joseph had not part in the conception of Mary Child. As for the term, first-born, this was a legal term and did not imply that Mary had other children. The child is called first-born from the fact of its opening the womb and not to contra-distinguish it from subsequent issue.

Protestants also make reference to various passages in the Gospels which refer to the brethren of the Lord, and from this, they infer that Mary had other children. Once again they falsely interpret the Scriptures. The Hebrew words ahh, which is the word for the brethren, is applicable not only to a brother in the strictest sense, but also to a nephew (see Genesis 14:16); a cousin (see Numbers 16:10); a husband (see Canticles 4:9; Esther 16:12); members of the same race (see Numbers 20:14); an ally (see Amos 1:9); and a friend (see Job 6:15). There are no Scriptural references which refer to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as having other children. Why did Jesus, when dying on the Cross, give the care of His Mother to His Apostle St. John? This would not have been necessary if there were brothers in the strict sense.

The constant tradition of the Church of Christ from the earliest ages of Christianity has always upheld this prerogative of Mary. This is amply proven by the writings of the early Popes, early Councils of the Church, and early Fathers and Doctors of the Church. In conclusion, let us, as members of Christ one, true Church, fulfill the prophecy made by the Blessed Virgin Mary during her visit to St. Elizabeth Behold henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

In Christo Jesu et Maria Immaculata,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

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6 Ways to Understand the Variety of Marian Titles and Feasts

Event. It means what took place in Christian history, narrated in Sacred Scripture, i.e., the feast day of the Annunciation, which celebrates the Angel Gabriel appearance to the Virgin Mary.

Dogma. The beliefs that we have learned through Church doctrine, such as the feast day of the Solemnity of the Assumption, where Mary goes to heaven in body and soul.

Geographic. A title received commemorating Mary apparitions in certain places, i.e., the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, other apparitions : Our Lady of FatimaOur Lady of La SaletteOur Lady of Good Success.

Mary Life. This is related to her live experiences as the mother of Jesus, i.e., the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows, which focuses on her intense suffering and grief during the passion and death of our Lord.

Symbolism. This indicates some of Mary powerful roles as an intercessor, and the way she guides us towards Christ, i.e., Our Lady Star of the Sea feast day. Under this title, the Virgin Mary intercedes as a guide and protector of those who travel or work at sea.

Virtue. The titles that were given to the Virgin Mary in honor of her multiples merits, i.e., the Immaculate Heart of Mary, where Catholics have recourse to her inspired by in her love and perfect purity.

The message of our Blessed Mother can be summarized as a call to a stronger faith in our Lord Jesus, a deeper prayer life, a life of penance for the conversion of sinners, and the offering of her consolation and help to anyone that turns to her. Through the Virgin Mary apparitions and miraculous intercession, believers have increased their faith, their hope, their love, and they have spread the devotion to others, too.

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