October- dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary

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The Importance of the Family Rosary

This article is taken from the booklet “Our Glorious Faith and How To Lose It” written by Fr. Hugh Thwaites, S.J. It contains different stories of how we can lose our faith but this paper will deal only with the Holy Rosary. Fr. Thwaites’ words on this subject are as follows:

Without delay now, I want to talk about my theme. It seems to me that a principal cause of the loss of faith is the dropping off in the practice of the family rosary.

In Austria, after World War II, there was a complete collapse of vocations. One year, apparently, no one at all entered the seminaries. So the bishops held a synod, to find out how it could be that this had happened. The conclusion they reached was that the war had so disrupted family life that the centuries-old practice of the rosary in the home had stopped, and had just not started up again. This is my experience, too; when the rosary goes, the faith soon collapses.

I remember someone telling me of a friend of his, a great Catholic, the pillar of the parish, whose children had all lapsed, one after the other. They had all fallen away from the sacraments and from attending Mass. So I said to him, “I wouldn’t mind betting that your friend had been brought up to recite the family rosary when he was a boy, and that his children haven’t.” The next time I saw him, he said that this was indeed true. His friend had recited the family rosary at home when he was a boy, and when he had got married and started his own family they all said the rosary. But then, one evening when they were about to start the rosary, one of the children switched on the television, and that was that. The custom of the family rosary was dropped, and in due course, they gave up the practice of the faith.

After this life, that one unrebuked action will be seen to have affected the eternity of many people. God sent His Mother to Fatima to tell us that we had to say the rosary every day. There were no other prayers She asked us to say. Accordingly, we should do what She asked.

A layman I met once who did not say his rosary told me that he read the breviary every day. That is fine. It is what priests have to do. It is the prayer of the Church. So in a way it is better than the rosary. But it is not what Our Lady asked for. She asked for the rosary. If a mother sends her child to the shop for a bottle of milk, and he comes back instead with ice cream, is she pleased? In a way, ice cream is better than milk, but it is not what she asked for.

In that most holy home at Nazareth, do you think that Our Lady had to ask for anything twice? If we want in any way to be like Jesus, we must do what His Mother asks. If we do not, can we expect things to go right? We cannot with impunity disobey the Mother of God. She knows better than we the dangers of this spiritual warfare. She sees more clearly than we do the dangers that beset us. She warns us: You must say your rosary every day.

If the garage mechanic warns you that your car needs repairing or else it will break down, surely you would heed that warning. If the gas gauge warns you that you need more gas, do you do nothing about it? And if Our Lady comes to Fatima and tells us, not just once but six times, that we must say the rosary every day, do we disregard that warning? If we do, we have only ourselves to blame when we find that our children have lapsed from the faith.

I know that Fatima is only a private revelation, but nevertheless the Church has endorsed it, and that makes it rash for us to disregard it. If the Church informs us that Our Lady really did come to Fatima and tell us these things, then we must harken to her words. It really seems to me that those Catholics who do not take Fatima seriously and say the rosary every day in their homes are very akin to the Jews who laughed at Jeremiah. If God sends us His prophets and we do not take them seriously – well, we have the whole of the Old Testament to tell us what happens as a result. But at Fatima, God sent us, not His prophets, but His Immaculate Mother.

So I think that the abandonment of the family rosary is a main reason why so many Catholics have lost the faith. It seems to me that the Church of the future is going to consist solely of those families who have been faithful to the rosary. But there will be vast numbers of people whose families used to be Catholic.

In my work of going round visiting homes, I have seen this conclusion borne out time and again. Homes can be transformed by starting the recitation of the daily rosary. I remember a woman telling me that she could not thank me enough for having nagged her into starting it; it had united her family as never before. And I remember another home where I called. There was a strange tension there: the children were silent and the wife seemed withdrawn, but the husband was willing to start the family rosary. When I called back again a couple of months later, the atmosphere was quite different. The children were chatty and the wife was friendly, and the husband walked down the road with me afterwards and said how amazing it was that the home was so much happier.

One reason, I think, why the daily rosary makes for a happy home, is this. From what some possessed people have said, and from what some of the saints have said, it seems certain that demons fear the rosary. It makes their hair stand on end, so to speak. Holy water certainly drives them out, but they come back again. The daily rosary drives them out and keeps them out. It is rather like living in an old house where there are mice everywhere. The only way to get rid of them is to bring cats. If you get a couple of cats, after a week or two there simply will not be any more mice. Mice fear the very smell of cats. And in a home where the rosary is said every day, after a time the demons realize they are impotent in front of Our Lady, and go elsewhere.

This must be one reason why, as they say, “the family that prays together stays together.” In that home, utterly free of evil spirits, there is an atmosphere one does not find outside. In a demon-infested city like London, where I live, such a home is an oasis of God’s grace, and people find a comfort and peace there which they enjoy greatly. We human beings are not meant to live in the company of demons, but with God and with the angels and saints in heaven.

So, as I see it, in this effort we are making to keep the faith and pass it on, the practice of the rosary is absolutely indispensable. Whatever else a person may do, even though they go to Mass every day, they still need to say the rosary in their home. It is the medicine our Mother has told us to take, to keep our faith strong and healthy.

The Power of the Rosary

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, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, 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. With the holy Rosary, we will save ourselves; we will sanctify ourselves; we will console our Lord, and obtain the salvation of many souls. Conversation between Sr. Lucy of Fatima and Fr. Fuentes, Dec. 26, 1957

“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” Pope Pius XI

“Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favored by so many miracles as the Rosary devotion.” Pope Pius IX

“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.” Pope Leo XIII

St. Dominic prayed to Our Lady that she would force the devils who possessed a man to reveal the truth about devotion to her. The devils were forced by Our Lady to reveal: “Now that we are forced to speak we must also tell you this: Nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because she obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.”

Miracles of the Rosary:

Battle of Lepanto, 1571 – On Sunday, October 7, the Christian and Turkish fleets met in Lepanto Gulf, off the coast of Greece. The bitter battle finished with a brilliant victory of the Christians who where vastly outnumbered. That very evening Pope St. Pius V had at Rome a clear knowledge of this success. The same afternoon, the Confraternities of the Rosary, particularly in Rome, had marched through the streets in procession reciting the Rosary. This victory put an end to the naval power of the Turks and saved Christian Europe. To this day this victory has been attributed to the praying of the Rosary. The feast of “The Most Holy Rosary” is celebrated on October 7 now and the month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary.

Rosary Miracle at Hiroshima – August 6th, 1945 There was a home eight blocks (about 1 kilometer) from where the A-Bomb went off in Hiroshima Japan. This home had a church attached to it which was completely destroyed, but the home survived, and so did the eight German Jesuit missionaries who prayed the rosary in that house faithfully every day. These men were missionaries to the Japanese people, they were non-military, but because Germany and Japan were allies during WWII they were permitted to live and minister within Japan during the war. Not only did they all survive with (at most) relatively minor injuries, but they all lived well past that awful day with no radiation sickness, no loss of hearing, or any other visible long term defects or maladies. Naturally, they were interviewed numerous times (Fr. Schiffer, a survivor, said over 200 times) by scientists and health care people about their remarkable experience and they say “we believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the rosary daily in that home.” Of course the secular scientists are speechless and incredulous at this explanation – and they are sure there is some “real” explanation – but at the same time over 55 years later the scientists are still absolutely bamboozled when it comes to finding a plausible scenario to explain the missionaries’ unique escape from the hellish power of that bomb.

Russians Pullout of Austria, 1948 – After World War ll, the Allies turned over Catholic Austria to communist Russia. For three years the Austrian people endured this tyranny. Then, a Franciscan priest, Father Petrus, remembered how the Christians although greatly outnumbered had defeated the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto through the Rosary, and he launched a Rosary crusade. Through it 70,000 people, one tenth of the Austrian population, pledged to say the Rosary daily for the Soviets to leave their country. Austria was valuable to the Russians because of its strategic location, rich mineral deposits and oil reserves. Yet on May 13, 1955, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, the Russians signed the agreement to leave Austria, and they did so without one person being killed and without one shot being fired. It is the only time that the militant atheistic forces of Marxism have ever peacefully left a country in which they held power. Military strategists and historians are baffled as to why the Russians pulled out. But we are not – it was the power of the Rosary.

The Country That Saved Itself – Brazil 1962 – In 1962 there was a looming threat of communist takeover in Brazil. A woman there named Dona Amelia Bastos was known to have formed a Rosary rally among the Brazilian women there to do their part in opposing the looming threat. Their goal was simply to pray the Rosary in large groups asking the Virgin Mary for help in opposing the Communist takeover which the President of Brazil was leaning toward at the time. In Belo Horizonte 20,000 women reciting the rosary aloud broke up a Communist rally. In Sao Paulo, 600,000 women praying the rosary in one of the most moving demonstrations in Brazilian history, caused the President of Brazil to flee the country and not a single death was encountered, sparing the country from Communist takeover.

The above accounts are just a few of the countless examples of The Power of the Rosary!
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The Fifteen Promises of Mary to
Christians Who Recite the Rosary

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 armor 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.

(Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan)

Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes, D.D. Archbishop of New York
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The Hail Mary of a Protestant
(A true story)

A little six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer “Hail Mary.” He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. “Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer,” he said to his mother one day.

“Never again say it,” answered the mother. “It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who adore idols and think Mary a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do.” From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily “Hail Mary” and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.

One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: “Mommy, I have found the ‘Hail Mary’ in the Bible which says: ‘Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.’ Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?”

On another occasion he found that beautiful Salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that “the generations would call her blessed.”

He said no more about it to his mother but started to recite the “Hail Mary” every day as before. He felt pleasure in addressing those charming words to the Mother of Jesus, our Savior.

When he was fourteen, he one day heard a discussion on Our Lady among the members of his family. Every one said that Mary was a common woman like any other woman. The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could not bear it any longer, and full of indignation, he interrupted them, saying:

“Mary is not like any other children of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. There is no higher dignity to which a creature can be raised. The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed and you are trying to despise her and look down on her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or of the Bible which you proclaim to be the foundation of the Christian religion.”

So deep was the impression which the boy’s talk had made that his mother many times cried out sorrowfully: “Oh my God! I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of Popes!” And indeed, not very long afterwards, having made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism, the boy found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles.

Some time after his conversion, he met his married sister who rebuked him and said indignantly: “You little know how much I love my children. Should any one of them desire to become a Catholic, I would sooner pierce his heart with a dagger than allow him to embrace the religion of the Popes!”

Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion. However, she would change her ways, just as St. Paul did on his way to Damascus. It so happened that one of her sons fell dangerously ill and the doctors gave up hope of recovery. Her brother then approached her and spoke to her affectionately, saying:

“My dear sister, you naturally wish to have your child cured. Very well, then, do what I ask you to do. Follow me, let us pray one ‘Hail Mary’ and promise God that, if your son recovers his health, you would seriously study the Catholic doctrine, and should you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you would embrace it no matter what the sacrifices may be.”

His sister was somewhat reluctant at the beginning, but as she wished for her son’s recovery, she accepted her brother’s proposal and recited the “Hail Mary” together with him. The next day her son was completely cured. The mother fulfilled her promise and she studied the Catholic doctrine. After long preparation she received Baptism together with her whole family, thanking her brother for being an apostle to her.

The story was related during a sermon given by the Rev. Fr. Tuckwell. “Brethren,” he went on and said, “the boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism dedicated his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who is speaking to you now! What I am I owe to Our Lady. You, too, my dear brethren, be entirely dedicated also to Our Lady and never let a day pass without saying the beautiful prayer, ‘Hail Mary’, and your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and ‘against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.'”

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15 comments on “October- dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary

  1. The Story Of Claude Newman And The Miraculous Medal

    The True Account of Prisoner Claude Newman (1944) by John Vennari, from the March 2001 issue of “Catholic Family News.”

    The following true story of Claude Newman took place in Mississippi in 1944. The account was told by Father O’Leary, a priest from Mississippi, who was directly involved with the events. He has left for posterity an audio recording it.

    Claude Newman was a negro man who worked the fields for a landowner. He had married when he was 17 years old to a woman of the same age. One day, two years later, he was out plowing the fields. Another worker ran to tell Claude that his wife was screaming from the house. Immediately Claude ran into his house and found a man attacking his wife. Claude saw red, grabbed an axe and split the man’s head open. When they rolled the man over, they discovered that it was the favorite employee of the landowner for whom Claude worked. Claude was arrested. He was later sentenced for murder and condemned to die in the electric chair.

    While he was in jail awaiting execution, he shared a cell-block of some sort with four other prisoners. One night, the five men were sitting around talking and they ran out of conversation. Claude noticed a medal on a string around another prisoner’s neck. He asked what it was, and the Catholic boy told him that it was a medal. Claude said, “What is a medal?” The Catholic boy could not explain what a medal was or what its purpose was. At that point, and in anger, the Catholic boy snatched the medal from his own neck and threw it on the floor at Claude’s feet with a curse and a cuss, telling him to take the thing.

    Claude picked up the medal, and with permission from the prison attendants, placed it on a string around his own neck. To him it was simply a trinket, but he wanted to wear it.

    During the night, sleeping on top of his cot, he was awakened with a touch on his wrist. And there stood, as Claude told the priest later, the most beautiful woman that God ever created. At first he was very frightened. The Lady calmed down Claude, and then said to him, “If you would like Me to be your Mother, and you would like to be My child, send for a priest of the Catholic Church.” With that She disappeared.

    Claude immediately became terrified, and started to scream, “a ghost, a ghost”, and fled to the cell of one of the other prisoners. He then started screaming that he wanted a Catholic priest.

    Father O’Leary , the priest who tells the story, was called first thing the next morning. He arrived and found Claude who told him of what had happened the night before. Then Claude, along with the other four men in his cell-block, asked for religious instruction, for catechism.

    Initially, Father O’Leary had difficulty believing the story. The other prisoners told the priest that everything in the story was true; but of course, they neither saw nor heard the vision of the Lady.

    Father O’Leary promised to teach them catechism, as they had requested. He went back to his parish, told the rector what had happened, and returned to the prison the next day to give instruction.

    It was then that the priest learned that Claude Newman could neither read nor write at all. The only way he could tell if a book was right-side-up was if the book contained a picture. Claude had never been to school. And his ignorance of religion was even more profound. He knew nothing at all about religion. He did not know who Jesus was. He did not know anything except that there was a God.

    Claude began receiving instructions, and the other prisoners helped him with his studies. After a few days, two of the religious Sisters from Father O’Leary’s parish-school obtained permission from the warden to come to the prison. They wanted to meet Claude, and they also wanted to visit the women in the prison. On another floor of the prison, the Sisters then started to teach some of the women-prisoners catechism as well.

    Several weeks passed, and it came time when Father O’Leary was going to give instructions about the Sacrament of Confession. The Sisters too sat in on the class. The priest said to the prisoners, “Okay, boys, today I’m going to teach you about the Sacrament of Confession.”

    Claude said, “Oh, I know about that!”

    “The Lady told me,” said Claude, “that when we go to confession we are kneeling down not before a priest, but we’re kneeling down by the Cross of Her Son. And that when we are truly sorry for our sins, and we confess our sins, the Blood He shed flows down over us and washes us free from all sins.”

    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

    Father O’Leary and the Sisters sat stunned with their mouths wide open. Claude thought they were angry and said, “Oh don’t be angry, don’t be angry, I didn’t mean to blurt it out.”

    The priest said, “We’re not angry. We’re just amazed. You have seen Her again?”

    Claude said, “Come around the cell-block away from the others.”

    When they were alone, Claude said to the priest, “She told me that if you doubted me or showed hesitancy, I was to remind you that lying in a ditch in Holland, in 1940, you made a vow to Her which She’s still waiting for you to keep.” And, Father O’Leary recalls, “Claude told me exactly what the vow was.”

    This convinced Father O’Leary that Claude was telling the truth about his visions of Our Lady.

    They then returned to the catechism class on Confession. And Claude kept telling the other prisoners, “You should not be afraid to go to confession. You’re really telling God your sins, not this priest, or any priest. We’re telling God our sins.” Then Claude said, “You know, the Lady said [that Confession is] something like a telephone. We talk through the priest to God and God talks back to us through the priest.”

    About a week later, Father O’Leary was preparing to teach the class about the Blessed Sacrament. The Sisters were present for this too. Claude indicated that the Lady had also taught him about Holy Communion, and he asked if he could tell the priest what She said. The priest agreed immediately. Claude related, “The Lady told me that in Communion, I will only see what looks like a piece of bread. But She told me that THAT is really and truly Her Son. And that He will be with me just for a few moments as He was with Her before He was born in Bethlehem. And that I should spend my time like She did, in all Her time with Him, in loving Him, adoring Him, thanking Him, praising Him and asking Him for blessings. I shouldn’t be bothered by anybody else or anything else. But I should spend those few minutes with Him.”

    Eventually they finished the instructions, Claude was received into the Catholic Church, and the time came for Claude to be executed. He was to be executed at five minutes after twelve, midnight.

    The sheriff asked him, “Claude, you have the privilege of a last request. What do you want?”

    “Well,” said Claude, “you’re all shook up. The jailer is all shook up. But you don’t understand. I’m not going to die. Just this body. I’m going to be with Her. So, can I have a party?”

    “What do you mean?”, asked the sheriff.

    “A Party!” said Claude. “Will you give Father permission to bring in some cakes and ice cream and will you allow the prisoners on the second floor to be turned loose in the main room so that we can all be together and have a party?”

    “Somebody might attack Father,” cautioned the warden.

    Claude turned to the men who were standing by and said, “Oh no, they won’t. Will you fellas?”

    So, the priest visited a wealthy patron of the parish, and she supplied the ice cream and cake. They had their party.

    Afterwards, because Claude had requested it, they made a Holy Hour. The priest had brought prayer books from the Church and they all said together the Stations of the Cross, and a had a Holy Hour, without the Blessed Sacrament.

    Afterwards, the men were put back in their cells. The priest went to the chapel to get the Blessed Sacrament so that he could give Claude Holy Communion.

    Father O’Leary returned to Claude’s cell. Claude knelt on one side of the bars, the priest knelt on the other, and they prayer together as the clock ticked toward Claude’s execution.

    Fifteen minutes before the execution, the sheriff came running up the stairs shouting, “Reprieve, Reprieve, the Governor has given a two-week reprieve!” Claude had not been aware that the sheriff and the District Attorney were trying to get a stay of execution for Claude to save his life. When Claude found out, he started to cry.

    The priest and the sheriff thought it was a reaction of joy because he was not going to be executed. But Claude said, “Oh you men don’t know. And Father, you don’t know. If you ever looked into Her face, and looked into Her eyes, you wouldn’t want to live another day.”

    Claude then said, “What have I done wrong these past weeks that God would refuse me my going home?” And the priest said that Claude sobbed as one who was brokenhearted.

    The sheriff left the room. The priest remained and gave Claude Holy Communion. Claude eventually quieted down. Then Claude said, “Why? Why must I still remain here for two weeks?”

    The priest had a sudden idea.

    He reminded Claude about a prisoner in the jail who hated Claude intensely. This prisoner had led a horribly immoral life, and he too was sent to be executed.

    The priest said, “Maybe Our Blessed Mother wants you to offer this denial of being with Her for his conversion.” The priest continued, “Why don’t you offer to God every moment you are separated from Her for this prisoner so that he will not be separated from God for all eternity.”

    Claude agreed, and asked the priest to teach him the words to make the offering. The priest complied. At the time, the only two people who knew about this offering were Claude and Father O’Leary.

    The next day, Claude said to the priest, “That prisoner hated me before, but Oh! Father, how he hates me now!” The priest said, “Well, that’s a good sign.”

    Two weeks later, Claude was executed.

    Father O’Leary remarked, “I’ve never seen anyone go to his death as joyfully and happily. Even the official witnesses and the newspaper reporters were amazed. They said they couldn’t understand how anyone could go and sit in the electric chair actually beaming with happiness.”

    His last words to Father O’Leary were, “Father, I will remember you. And whenever you have a request, ask me, and I will ask Her.”

    Two months later, the white man, who had hated Claude, was to be executed. Father O’Leary said, “This man was the filthiest, most immoral person I had ever come across.” His hatred for God, for everything spiritual,” said the priest, “defied description.”

    Just before his execution, the county doctor pleaded with this man to at least kneel down and say the Our Father before the sheriff would come for him.

    The prisoner spat in the doctor’s face.

    When he was strapped into the electric chair, the sheriff said to him, “If you have something to say, say it now.”

    The condemned man started to blaspheme.

    All of a sudden the condemned man stopped, and his eyes became fixed on the corner of the room, and his face turned to one of absolute horror.

    He screamed.

    Turning to the sheriff, he then said, “Sheriff, get me a priest!”

    Now, Father O’Leary had been in the room because the law required a clergyman to be present at executions. The priest, however, had hidden himself behind some reporters because the condemned man had threatened to curse God if he saw a clergyman at all.

    Father O’Leary immediately went to the condemned man. The room was cleared of everyone else, and the priest heard the man’s confession. The man said he had been a Catholic, but turned away from his religion when he was 18 because of his immoral life.

    When everyone returned to the room, the sheriff asked the priest, “What made him change his mind?”

    “I don’t know ” said Father O’Leary, “I didn’t ask him.”

    The sheriff said, “Well, I’ll never sleep if I don’t.”

    The Sheriff turned to the condemned man and asked, “Son, what changed your mind?”

    The prisoner responded, “Remember that black man Claude – who I hated so much? Well he’s standing there [he pointed], over in that corner. And behind him with one hand on each shoulder is the Blessed Mother. And Claude said to me, ‘I offered my death in union with Christ on the Cross for your salvation. She has obtained for you this gift, to see your place in Hell if you do not repent.’ I was shown my place in Hell, and that’s when I screamed.”

    This, then, is the power of Our Lady.

    We see many parallels between these facts of Claude Newman story and the Message of Fatima in 1917. There is the emphasis on:

    Sacramental Confession,
    Holy Communion,
    Making sacrifices for Sinners,
    the vision of Hell.
    “Many souls go to Hell” said Our Lady of Fatima, “because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    The promise Fr. O’Leary made to Our Lady in 1940 from a ditch in Holland (the proof Claude gave the priest that Our Lady really was appearing to him) was this: that when he could, he would build a church in honor of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. He did just that in 1947. He had been transferred to Clarkesdale, Mississippi in 1945 when a group Black Catholic laymen asked to have a church built there. The Bishop of Natchez had been sent $5000 by Archbishop Cushing of Boston for the “Negro missions.” The church is still there today.

  2. Good Night To Our Blessed Mother

    Night is falling dear Mother, the long day is o’er!
    And before thy loved image I am kneeling once more
    To thank thee for keeping me safe through the day
    To ask thee this night to keep evil away.

    Many times have I fallen today, Mother Dear,
    Many graces neglected, since last I knelt here;
    Wilt thou not in pity, my own Mother mild,
    Ask Jesus to pardon the sins of thy child?

    I am going to rest, for the day’s work is done,
    Its hours and its moments have passed one by one;
    And the God who will judge me has noted them all,
    He has numbered each grace, He has counted each fall.

    In His book they are written against the last day,
    O Mother, ask Jesus to wash them away;
    For one drop of His blood which for sinners was spilt,
    Is sufficient to cleanse the whole world of its guilt.

    And if ere the dawn I should draw my last breath
    And the sleep that I take be the long sleep of death,
    Be near me, dear Mother, for dear Jesus’ sake
    When my soul on Eternity’s shore shall awake.

  3. Queen of the Holy Rosary: Our Hope, Confidence and Refuge

    It is such a simple thing to state that October is the month of Our Lady of the Rosary – She who is our hope, our confidence, and our refuge – but, like many simple things, it holds such great meaning! Following September, the month in which we remember the Virgin under Her title Our Lady of Sorrows, this month reminds us that the Lady of the Rosary who receives our loving greetings will always turn our attention to God so as to magnify His Glory.

    Remember the Mystery of the Visitation, wherein the Virgin first greeted St. Elizabeth? Our Lady’s very presence brought down the Holy Ghost, Her Divine Spouse, so that the voice of His humble Maiden immediately sanctified St. John in the womb of his mother. Filled with the Holy Ghost, St. Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice: “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? For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed are thou that thou has believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.” (Luke 1: 40-45)

    Our Lady, always filled with the Holy Ghost, offered her canticle of praise, which we call The Magnificat, “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, from henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty has done great things to me; and holy is His Name.And His mercy is from generation unto generation, to them that fear His name.” (Luke 1: 46-50)

    It is this same Lady who said at Fatima: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that leads you to God.” This humble and Immaculate Maiden, Mother of God, who lived a most holy life of poverty and suffering, is the Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix of mankind. The Virgin’s office, in this life and the next, might be simply phrased in the terms of a singular purpose: To lead souls to God through His Church. (And here is another great mystery, for the Church is a living figure type for the Virgin Herself). It follows that leading souls to God is the purpose of the Most Holy Rosary. All the great saints of the Middle Ages held a great devotion to the Rosary, because they understood that it is a meditation on the Life, Passion and Death of Our Lord.

    Can we make the very simple effort of praying one Rosary each day, in order to do at least one thing which Our Lady of Fatima asked of us? In the language of Portugal, a Rosary means 1/3 of the Psalter – that is, the introductory Rosary prayers followed by 5 decades. In ‘proper’ terms, the entire “Rosary” of 15 decades is called Our Lady’s Psalter or the Angelic Psalter.

    The faithful and humble praying of the daily Rosary or the entire Psalter is, after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most highly indulgenced prayer of the Church which cultivates our interior lives. For example, did you know that a plenary indulgence (the complete remission of confessed sins) is granted when the Rosary is prayed within the family or in front of the Blessed Sacrament?

    At various times throughout the day, we might also pray one Hail Mary to salute Our Lady and to remind ourselves to always keep the Holy Family foremost in our minds, or we may offer three Hail Mary’s (to ask for an increase of the virtues of faith, hope and charity). And then there are the the brief and ardent salutations, like the prayer given to mankind on the Miraculous Medal: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

    Too, there are these two prayers: Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! And what of the favorite short prayer of the Blessed Jacinta of Fatima: Sweet Heart of Mary, be our salvation!

    Finally, we have many prayers composed by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, who wrote The Glories of Mary. The following three address Our Lady as Our Hope, Our Confidence and Our Refuge – so eloquently stating what is in the mind and hearts of faithful Catholics who have recourse to the Mother of God – our Divine Savior, Jesus Christ:

    Prayer of Hope by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
    Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great Queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the Hell which I have so often deserved by my sins.

    I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death.

    From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.

    Prayer of Confidence by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
    O most pure Virgin Mary, I venerate thy most Holy Heart, which was the delight and resting place of God, thy heart overflowing with humility, purity, and Divine love. I, an unhappy sinner, approach thee with a heart all loathsome and wounded. O compassionate Mother, disdain me not on this account; let such a sight rather move thee to greater tenderness, and excite thee to help me. Do not stay to seek virtues or merit in me before assisting me. I am lost, and the only thing I merit is hell. See only my confidence in thee and the purpose I have to amend.

    Consider all that Jesus has done and suffered for me, and then abandon me if thou canst. I offer thee all the pains of His life; the cold that He endured in the stable; His journey into Egypt; the blood which He shed; the poverty, sweats, sorrows, and death that He endured for me; and this in thy presence. For the love of Jesus, take charge of my salvation. Ah, my Mother, I will not and cannot fear that thou wilt reject me, now that I have recourse to thee and ask thy help. Did I fear this, I should be offering an outrage to thy mercy, which goes in quest of the wretched, in order to help them.

    O Lady, deny not thy compassion to one to whom Jesus has not denied His Blood. But the merits of this Blood will not be applied to me unless thou recommendest me to God. Through thee do I hope for salvation. I ask not for riches, honors, or earthly goods. I seek only the grace of God, love towards thy Son, the accomplishment of His will, and His heavenly Kingdom, that I may love Him eternally.

    Is it possible that thou wilt not hear me? No; for already thou hast granted my prayer, as I hope; already thou prayest for me; already thou obtainest me the graces that I ask; already thou takest me under thy protection.

    My Mother, abandon me not. Never, never cease to pray for me, until thou seest me safe in Heaven at thy feet, blessing and thanking thee forever. Amen.

    Prayer of Refuge by St. Alphonsus Liguori
    Behold, O Mother of my God, my only hope, Mary, behold at thy feet a miserable sinner, who asks thee for mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole Church, and by all the faithful, the refuge of sinners. Thou art consequently my refuge; thou hast to save me. I will say with William of Paris: Thou knowest, most sweet Mother of God, how much thy blessed Son desires our salvation. Thou knowest all that Jesus Christ endured for this end.

    I present thee, O my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus: the cold that He endured in the stable, His journey into Egypt, His toils, His sweat, the Blood that He shed; the anguish which caused His death on the Cross, and of which thou wast thyself a witness. Oh, show that thou lovest thy beloved Son, and by this love I implore thee to assist me. Extend thy hand to a poor creature who has fallen and asks thy help.

    Were I a Saint I would not need seek thy mercy; but because I am a sinner I fly to thee, who art the Mother of mercies. I know that thy Compassionate Heart finds it a consolation in assisting the miserable, when thou canst do so, and dost not find them obstinate. Console, then, thy Compassionate Heart, and console me this day; for now thou hast the opportunity of saving a poor creature condemned to Hell; and thou canst do so, for I will not be obstinate.

    I abandon myself into thy hands, only tell me what thou wouldst have me do, and obtain for me strength to execute it, for I am resolved to do all that depends on me to recover the Divine grace. I take refuge under thy mantle.

    Jesus wills that I should have recourse to thee, in order not only that His Blood may save me, but also that thy prayers may assist me in this great work; for thy glory and for His Own, since thou art His Mother. He sends me to thee, that thou mayest help me.

    O Mary, see, I have recourse to thee; in thee do I confide. Thou prayest for so many others, pray also for me; say only a word. Tell Our Lord that thou willest my salvation, and God will certainly save me. Say that I am thine, and then I have obtained all that I ask, all that I desire. Amen.

    keepingitcatholic.blogspot.com/2008/10/queen-of-holy-rosary-our-hope.html

  4. Exceptional post. Is there a way to make it a “sticky” for future Octobers?

  5. You are welcome, Cyprian.
    Yes, we must always promote the family Rosary.
    bump

  6. Praying for everyone’s intentions, during this month of October dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary.

  7. Catherine, wonderful idea, I will join!
    Praying for everyone’s intentions, during the month of October.
    Thank you, my dear friend!

  8. Well, I was looking for a place for prayer intentions and requests and this is the closest I came.
    I did not want to make a blaring headline on the front page.

    After 15 years of search, the debacle with Ryan St Anne, and growing steadily older (Im now 71) the nunsearch finally ended with my once again and final attempt here in Texas with an elderly nun who wants to start an order (she is set up correctly by the Bishop and Rome). I lasted six weeks. That ended in early June. OK. I’m stuck here now, having sold/donated almost everything. It’s actually a blessing that it happened like this – to go into a time of accepting penance, to pray to let go of my inordinate desires, obsession, pride, vanity and arrogance- one day at a time. And BTW NOW I understand why convents want young women.

    Anyway, I am asking for your prayers as I try to discern ( my discernment is not always topnotch) whether and how to get a job. There’s alot behind this, since I am still active with the divine office and activities at the FSSP church here. I’m just asking for prayers that for once I will see His Will without my huge ego in the way.

    Thank you for not cancelling my account. Thank you for your prayers. I started the Novena in Honor of the Maternity of BVM.

    • I am so sorry things didn’t work out for you the way you planned. Morningprayer, Our good Lord and His Blessed Mother may have a different plan for you.
      They may open a door that you never knew existed….and if you follow God’s Holy Will, you will enter into that door and all will be well.
      I will pray for you, also the novena for the Nativity of the BVM. Morningprayer please take care and God bless you!

  9. Sorry, I need help- I went to donations page and only got a blank Paypal page twice. I would rather not use Paypal. I was unable to leave a question or private email in “Help”. So how can I donate without Paypal?

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