Mary's Holy Rosary
by Father Gino Burresi
"The Scourge of Satan"
Our Lady came six times to Fatima to tell us all to pray the Rosary. She said, "the Faithful must pray the Rosary every day." To help us better understand how very important the rosary is for our time we bring you some words of two souls chosen by Our Lady of Fatima.
Father Gino Burresi is 54 years old and lives near Rome at San Vittorino where Our Lady of Fatima appeared to him. She asked him to build a shrine there in Her honor. He bears in his body, the five wounds of Christ, like Padre Pio did before him. Many miracles have taken place at San Vittorino through Our Lady of Fatima's intercession.
Sister Lucy, to whom Our Lady appeared at Fatima, is a Carmelite Nun living in Coimbra, Portugal. She was left on earth to make better known the Message of Fatima. (See "The Solution to All Problems.")
Living the Message of Fatima:
Devotion to Our Lady
Our Lady is the Mother of God, our Mother, and She is the Mother of the Church. But She too has been driven away from our hearts and frequently from our churches as well, pushed out into hallways or relegated to a garden. I would never dream, I would never have the courage to take the only memento I have left of my mother - her photograph - and throw it out!
And yet, devotion to Our Lady and the prayer She most strongly asked of us, the Rosary, have been undermined. And perhaps some of us who wear the religious habit - may the Lord forgive us - have been the first to tell you that the Rosary is an outdated practice, a boring repetition of words.
But I know that one who really loves another never tires of saying to the person he cherishes, "I love you." In the Rosary we have the Bible, the Prophets, the life of Jesus and Mary, the life of the Christian, and that of the Religious. Therefore, I would call the Rosary "the scourge of Satan." Let this be our resolve: to have more love for the Sacraments, for the Pope, and for the Blessed Virgin.
It we reject even one of these cornerstones of our faith we put ourselves outside the Church of Christ.
Four Aids to Assist Us Along the Path to God
Prayer, the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, penance, and the sanctification of Sundays and Holy Days are four aids to assist us along the path to God. Just as an automobile moves more efficiently with the support of four, rather than just three wheels, likewise we move more efficiently along the right path when we use the fourth wheel - Sunday, when we must go to Mass.
The sanctification of Sunday is a most reasonable act of gratitude toward God. In our days there is no man who would work for an employer who then denies him his salary at the end of the week. He insists on his paycheck, and if it doesn't come on time or if it is not paid in full, he fights for his rights, which is totally justifiable. I wouldn't question that at all.
But we tend to forget that we have a Father in Heaven and the father of a family also has certain rights over his children. He can say to them, "You always come to me to ask for something, but you never give me anything!" We have lived another seven days. Isn't it right that on Sundays we take our hats off and say to the Lord, "Lord, I am here to give You thanks for the seven days You gave me."? Really, God is satisfied with so little!
Our Lady, in Her great love, pointed out to us the most efficient means to become good Christians. The first is prayer: conversing with God and remaining in union with Him. Our brothers the Saints who walked the earth like us, understood its value and became great men of prayer. Just recently, a fellow who thought he was really "with it" told me quite seriously that prayer is a waste of time and that after all, everything is a prayer today. Well, that is just a fancy excuse for not praying. And I assure you that since that day, I've been saying to Our Lord, "Lord, when I bend my knee before You, remove from me any thought that I am wasting my time!"
Our Lady has insistently stressed the recitation of the Holy Rosary as a prayer. The world's situation today is so sad! Love is hard to find, and charity, goodness, and justice are sluggish; the dignity of the human person is fading fast. Today, people talk only of rights, money, well-being; and they ignore the spiritual values.
Dear young people, what can we do to change this sad situation? Our Lady of Fatima shows us the way of salvation in Her message. The arms of violence must be met with the arms of prayer. Our Lady invites us to say the Rosary, thinking and meditating on the Mysteries, which contain the whole Gospel. We need to say the Rosary many times and we need to say it well.
Don't pay any attention to those people, even if they are priests, who tell you otherwise. Tell them instead to teach you how to say the Rosary well. Our Lady came from Heaven to warn us and to show the way to save ourselves. She appeared at Fatima to root out the Phariseeism of our age.
Let's Return to the Holy Rosary
It is urgent for us to cling to the mantle of Mary, to have the Rosary in our hands once again! But if the shepherd does not take the beads in his hand, neither will the sheep. Dear priests, I don't see the Rosary in your hands any more. And the families in your parishes don't have it either. And you see what is becoming of them. Mary's Rosary is no longer to be found in the families, but we do find divorce, separations, and discord. There is no more prayer and its absence keeps these people away from the Sacraments. People without prayer and the Sacraments lack everything, you can be sure of it. And so the family disintegrates too.
Until We Have the Rosary in Our Hands Again ...
|Padre Pio said, "Our Lady has never refused me a grace through the recitation of the Rosary." The Rosary was the contact link between himself and the Blessed Mother. It was the weapon which Padre Pio would defeat the devil. Padre Pio was never without the Rosary in his hands throughout the day.
Father Stefano Manelli, O.F.M., Conv., who occasionally lived in the monastery with Padre Pio, estimated that Padre Pio prayed well over 100 Rosaries a day, praying it by a special grace even in the midst of his other occupations.
Padre Pio, like Padre Gino and Sister Lucy, is an apostle of the Rosary. The Rosary saved Portugal in 1928, it saved Austria from Russian occupation in 1955, and in 1964 Brazil was delivered by the Rosary. St. Pius X said, "Give me an army of Christians who recite the Rosary well and I will conquer the world." By the Rosary we will conquer all fear, sadness, doubt and difficulty.
Our age is dismaying, because we have lost God. And look, there is no way out. If we want to be saved there is only one way: Mary Most Holy and Her Immaculate Heart. But until Her blessed Rosary is in our hands, I don't see much hope - escape will be an illusion.
If the Rosary comes back, then we will think a little more seriously about our Christian life, appreciate more the Christian virtues, and so much of our wickedness will disappear as we grow in virtue. We will have more charity, be less selfish, and detach ourselves from so many material things which only make us constantly restless. We will also keep the Commandments more scrupulously in order to follow more closely the Church founded by Jesus Christ to be the guiding light for all men, who are all our brothers.
A Quarter of an Hour for Mary:
The Daily Rosary
Set aside a quarter of an hour each day for Mary's Rosary. Offer Her these fifteen minutes, so that you really pray the Mysteries.
In the Holy Rosary, I find the whole Bible, simplified. The four Gospels are contained in it ... There I find the coming of Christ, my redemption, my Christian life, and my religious life - because in the Rosary mysteries we see humility, detachment from the things of this earth, charity in dealing with our fellow men and women. Everything is in the Rosary!
And then I begin to think. Do I behave properly? Do I act as the Gospel demands, as the Rosary teaches? Do I think of what I am really saying in the Our Father?
The Value of the Rosary
The prayer which the Blessed Virgin Mary particularly desires the most is the Most Holy Rosary. We know this from Her appearances at Fatima. Today this prayer is bitterly opposed and those who are against it call themselves "wise." They have already abandoned it because for them it is a prayer which says nothing, a useless repetition of words. Really, I feel sorry for them.
In the Rosary we contemplate the life of Jesus, the life of Mary, and our own Christian life. Hence, it is most worthwhile. Why does Heaven insist so much on the recitation of the Rosary? Because in the Mysteries we find the entire Gospel. Unfortunately, the Holy Gospel is little known, seldom meditated upon, and consequently poorly lived. It is truly in praying the Rosary that we return to the Gospel and become true disciples of Christ.
Mary is a living person, not a memory. We talk and converse with Her when we pray, especially in the Rosary because there we meditate and ask Her help to put into practice what we've meditated upon. When the Bishop was about to decide on the ordination of the future Curé of Ars, he hesitated because Saint John Marie Vianney had very little ability in his studies. But then the Bishop asked, "Do you know how to say the Rosary?" "Oh, yes, very well," he replied. And then the Bishop said, "We will ordain him. He will be a good priest."
When a postulant, a religious, or a seminarian does not like the Rosary, send him home because such a person would never be a good priest or a good nun.
The Family Rosary
We have just recited the Rosary, but have you never asked yourselves why God cannot enter into so many homes? It is because so many families don't pray any more; they don't go to the Sacraments and so they gradually become infected with materialism, which chokes and blinds and ends by leaving them in darkness.
In times past it was such a joy to be part of those families, all gathered together in front of Our Lady's picture, even the little ones, and the parents would teach them the Our Father and the Hail Mary and then all would say the Rosary. But now we have dropped the Rosary; our children don't even know what it is.
But, dear parents, if we do not put the Rosary into the hands of our little ones, what will your sons be carrying when they are eighteen? Will they spend their youth uselessly? If they did not find the "arms of love," you may one day find them carrying guns, the arms of hate. And will their parents not be partly to blame?
Either the Rosary or a Pistol
We must take the Rosary in our hands again because we need to hold on to something. If you do not choose the beads that speak of love, you will perhaps reach for a pistol that speaks of hate. We see this sort of thing every day.
We do not find people who pray the Rosary turning around to shoot someone. No; they have learned that there are mysteries of love in the Rosary; there is a Bible of love; there are prophets of love; and there is also a life of love, our own Christian life.
Let us return to our knees and let us pray to the Lord that the Divine Child and His Blessed Mother will give each of us the strength to be content with what God's Holy Will sends us each day, and that we will never be attached to worldly things, which can never make us truly happy. When our needs are fulfilled, that should be enough to satisfy us. If all you need is a small car, why break your back to get a big one?
Today's world is dissatisfied and knows no peace. Even that "other world," our inner self, is restless. Why? Because we have let materialism sweep us away. And where materialism is in command, Christ, the Author of Peace, does not enter in.
Holy Communions of Reparation on the
Five First Saturdays
The second means to be good Catholics, requested by Our Lady of Fatima, is a life marked by frequent reception of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. "Go to Holy Communion often, especially for these specific intentions, on five First Saturdays. Receive Communion to offer reparation to My Heart which you have so deeply offended."
Unfortunately, we must admit that She, our great and Most Holy Mother, is of all women the most mistreated and offended. Let us make reparation for the pain caused to this Heart by ourselves and by others. Let's really live our Sacramental life, particularly Confession and Communion; in this way we will always have light in our heart. Not to sin any more, but to love, not words, but deeds to adequately respond to Love.
How many Saints in our times reached the heights of perfection because of the Rosary and Holy Communion! How many Saints spent whole nights in Church on their knees before the Blessed Sacrament!
Today, Jesus is left alone in our churches but men also remain alone today, because when we lose Jesus we lose everything.