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Sunday, December 11, 2022



From "The Sacramentals of the Holy Catholic Church, or Flowers from the Garden of the Liturgy," by Rev. William J. Barry ~ 1858


The word Rosary means a garden of roses.  The Paters and Aves composing it are so many flowers twined into a wreath of prayer, the fragrance of which ascends in an odor of sweetness up to the throne of the Queen of Heaven.  There are one hundred and fifty Hail Marys in the devotion, divided off into fifteen decades or tens, before each of which there is one Our Father and a Glory be to the Father, &c.  One third of the Rosary, containing five decades, is called a chaplet, and it is this which pious Catholics say every day.  The entire Rosary is called also the Psalter or Psalmody of our Lady, because, as the Psalter of King David contains one hundred and fifty psalms, so the Rosary contains one hundred and fifty Angelical salutations.

The practice of using pebbles or beads for numbering prayers is as old as the third or fourth century.  Palladius, an ecclesiastical writer of the 5th age, relates, in his Historia Lausiaca, that Abbot Paul made three hundred prayers daily which he reckoned by means of little stones.  A canon of the Council of Celchyth, held in England in 816, commands that, on the death of a bishop, seven belts of Our Fathers should be said by the clergy every day, for the space of thirty days, for the repose of his soul; and William of Malmesbury says that a Saxon Countess, named Godiva, desired, when on the point of death, that a string of gems on which she used to count her prayers, should be suspended round the neck of the statue of the Blessed Virgin, in a Church of Coventry.  In fact the very name beads, which we apply to the Rosary or Chaplet, proves that a similar devotion was in use among the Catholic Anglo-Saxons, for, in their language it signifies not globules or pebbles, but prayers, being from the same root as the present German word beten.

But these forms of prayer were not the Rosary.  Some have ascribed the origin of the devotion, as it now exists, to St. Benedict, the Patriarch of the Monastic life in the West, who flourished in the 6th century; others to Peter the Hermit, the originator, under God, of the Crusades, in the end of the 11th century.  The claims of these venerable persons cannot, however, be substantiated.  Though both were devoted heart and sold to Mary, it did not please God to make use of them as his instruments in the establishment or propagation of the Rosary of His Blessed Mother.  The time for the devotion had not yet come.  It remained hidden in the coffers of heavenly benediction, to be opened at the prayers of Mary, when the urging wants of the Church should call for the special interposition of the Heavenly Mediatrix.

That time came at last.  The Albigensian heresy, only another name for the absurd and impious Manicheism of the third and fourth centuries, began, about the year 1200, to make dreadful ravages in the South of France.  Pillage, sacrilege and murder were the instruments which the sectaries used for the propagation of their system, and the enormities which they practiced at last forced the secular arm to interpose for the defense of the property and lives of the children of the Church.  Apostolic men went amongst them to win them back by charity and mildness to the obedience of reason and faith, but their labors were repaid with insult, ill-treatment, and assassination.  The heart of the great St. Dominic, a Spaniard by birth, and founder of the order of Dominicans or Friars Preachers, who was laboring, by permission of Pope Innocent III., on this barren and ungrateful mission, bled with anguish at the sad prospect of spiritual ruin, which met his gaze.  He turned to her to whom no one ever turned in vain.  He begged her by the Blood of her Divine Son shed for sinners, and by the sword of sorrow, which pierced her own Immaculate Heart, to intercede for the perishing souls for whom he preached and prayed and suffered.  Need it be said that such a petition was heard?  Oh!  Mother Mary! Refuge of sinners! Consoler of the afflicted! indeed it would have been a miracle, such as never before occurred, had it been rejected!  Dominic prayed, and Mary heard his prayer, and revealed to him the Holy Rosary.  What the sword of the stern old soldier, Simon de Montfort, could not do, what even the previous labors of St. Dominic and his saintly co-operators failed to accomplish, Mary's Crown of Roses did.  The meditation of the fifteen mysteries of our Lord and Lady's life and death, accompanying each decade, instructed the ignorant in the articles of faith, whilst the recitation of the Our Father and Hail Mary filled the hearts of sinners with contrition and love, and drew down the blessings of Heaven.  The work of conversion went bravely on:  Dominic reaped a harvest of souls, and our sweet Mother a harvest of glory.

From that day to this, the devotion of the Rosary has never lost its hold on the affections of the faithful.  To recount the wonders that it has wrought and will continue to work until the day of doom in heaven, on earth, and in purgatory, would require an inspired tongue, and the vision of prophecy.  The glory that surrounded it at its birth went on increasing, until it culminated with dazzling radiance on the meridian of the Mary-protected Church, towards the close of the 16th age.  The battle of Lepanto, gained on the 7th of October, 1571, by the Christian fleet, under the command of Don John of Austria, over the formidable armament of the Turks, at the time that the sodality of the Rosary in Rome was walking in solemn procession addressing fervent prayers to the Throne of Mercy, proclaimed to the Catholic world the power of Mary, and the motherly care that she ever exercises over her servants.  The prayers of the Confraternity of the Rosary, as they arose from the Eternal City, on that first Sunday of October, rent on their way to Heaven, the dark thunder-cloud of Turkish invasion, that had hung, for centuries, lowering o'er the eastern horizon of Europe.

The holy Pope, St. Pius V., who then occupied the chair of St. Peter, was informed, by revelation, from heaven, of the victory at the very moment that it was won.  In gratitude to the Divine Mother and her Son, he commanded that a yearly commemoration should be made, on the first Sunday of October, of St. Mary of Victory.  Gregory XIII., his successor, established the Festival of the Rosary, to be celebrated, on the same day, in all the churches which contained a chapel or an altar dedicated under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary.  Clement X., in 1671, at the prayer of the Queen of Spain, extended the feast to all the Spanish dominions.  Another victory gained over the Turks, in 1716, under circumstances precisely similar to those of the victory of Lepanto, induced Clement XI. to grant the celebration of the Festival of the Rosary to the Universal Church.

Such is the history of the origin and progress of this holy devotion; let us now consider briefly the intrinsic claims that it has to our veneration and love.  The prayers that compose it are most holy in their origin.  The Our Father was taught by our Lord Himself, and is a complete synopsis of Christian doctrine and morality.  We call God Father, thereby indicating His Divine Paternity.  Father implies Son, and where these two exist, there is mutual love between them.  The Eternal Father and His Only Begotten Son love one another with an eternal Love, and that Love is a Divine Person, the Holy Ghost.  But God is not only Father, but He is Our Father, by creation, preservation and the imparting of His grace.  Grace implies Jesus, the God-Man, the Source of all the graces of intelligent creatures, and he who mentions that Adorable Name fits the key to the treasury of wisdom and love contained in the mysteries of Incarnation and Redemption.  Bow down, Christian soul, in awe and adoration before the throne of the Eternal God!  See how in the first words of the prayer that He has taught us are contained the three great mysteries of our faith!  What should we find if we were to go through it in detail?  Verily, nothing else than these other great truths—the rewards of heaven, the existence of evil spirits, the punishments of hell, the Sacraments of Penance and the Most Holy Eucharist, and the principal moral obligations of our religion, as the duty of filial love for God, conformity to His Divine Will, confidence in His Providence, fraternal charity and the avoiding of the occasions of sin.  O, Adorable Lord! whose words so fruitful in meaning as Thine, whose so full of hidden wisdom, whose so full of love!

The Hail Mary is composed of three parts.  "Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women," were the words of the Archangel Gabriel, when announcing to the Blessed Virgin that she was to become the Mother of God.  The latter part of the same salutation, with an additional clause, was repeated by St. Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Ghost, when Mary visited her in the hill-country of Judea:  "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb."  The General Council of Ephesus held, in 431, against Nestorius, the heretical Archbishop of Constantinople, who impiously asserted that Mary was not the Mother of God, added the third part:  "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."

The Hail Mary is both a hymn of praise to the Blessed Virgin for the glory of her Divine Maternity, and a prayer of intercession for her protection during life and at the moment of death.  Heaven is filled with jubilee when it is said; the beautiful angels bow down in reverent adoration before the throne of their Queen; the glorified children of men, of whom no one ever reached the country of the Blessed without the assistance of Mary, hymn a new song of gratitude to their Mother and Mediatrix, and a new sea of divine radiance from the Holy Trinity breaks around her throne in a spray of dazzling splendor.  At the words, blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, her Immaculate Heart turns with unutterable love to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the flames of those two fiery furnaces of divine charity unite and arise before the Ever Blessed Three, the only offering, with the Adorable Sacrament, worthy of the Majesty of the Godhead.  Child of Mary! will you refuse this increase of accidental glory to your Mother?  One fervent Hail Mary can give it, and the third part of the Rosary will repeat it fifty times.  If you say the beads every day during a month, you will work wonders in heaven more than fifteen hundred times.  Mary will be your debtor, and never will her gratitude be satisfied until she welcomes you to heaven.  "Love," said St. Augustine, "and do what you please;" yes, let us all love Mary, and then we can, in all things, do our own will, because, in all things, it will be conformed to hers and hers is to that of Jesus.  That love will burn sin and affection for sin out of our hearts, and bring our Lord into them with all His treasures of grace and sweetness.

The Rosary opens the gates of Purgatory.  We may well believe that God will deign to release daily one soul from that place of exile and punishment for one pair of beads said with devout intention, and the application of the indulgences attached to the Rosary.  Now think, good reader, what a thing it is to have thirty-one souls in heaven, who would not have been there so soon had it not been for your beads!  They will be indebted to you, Mary will be indebted to you, her Divine Son will be indebted to you.  And what will be your recompense?  The grace of a happy death, the crowning gift of all God's gifts, that of final perseverance.  Mother Mary! Queen of the Rosary! we resolve to say the beads every day; neither business, nor pleasure, nor fatigue, nor disgust, shall hinder us from offering thee this tribute of love.  Receive our promise, and seal it by obtaining for us from thy Son the grace to keep it.

The versicle, Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, is said before each decade of the Rosary.  It is a salutation of praise to the Blessed Trinity.  The name doxology, applied to it, is derived from the Greek, meaning a word of praise or glory.

The generally received opinion attributes the origin of the doxology to the 1st Council of Nice, held in 325, against the Arian heretics who denied the Divinity of the Eternal Word.  But Pope Benedict XIV. (De Festo SS. Trinitatis) proves that it existed and was used by the faithful before the time of that Council, and that it arose naturally from the formula of baptism given by our Lord to the Apostles—baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (St. Matt. xxviii.)  The response, as it was in the beginning, etc., was most probably added by the Nicene Synod, to meet the errors of the Arians who asserted that the Son was not born of the Father in the beginning, that is, from all eternity, but in time.

The same learned Pontiff combats the opinion that the practice of adding Glory be to the Father, etc., at the end of the Psalms in the Divine Office, was introduced into the West by the order of Pope St. Damasus, in the end of the 4th century, by the advice of St. Jerome, who had heard it sung by the Oriental monks, though this opinion has in its favor the 6th Lesson in the Office of St. Damasus (December 11th:) Statuit, ut, quod pluribus jam locis erat in usu, psalmi, per omnes ecclesias, die nostuque ab alternis canerentur, et in fine cujusque psalmi diceretur, Gloria Patri, etc.  Benedict XIV. thinks that the practice in question arose from a Canon of the Council of Narbonne, in 589, which was, in course of time, adopted throughout the Church.

There are few devotions to which the Holy See has granted so many indulgences as to the Rosary; one hundred days for each Our Father and Hail Mary, and a plenary indulgence once a year, on any day the reciter may choose.  To gain the latter the usual conditions of a plenary indulgence must be complied with, that is, confession, communion, and prayers for the wants of the Church.  It need not be said that a person must be in a state of grace, because an indulgence, being the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, cannot avail until the sin itself, and, consequently, its eternal punishment, are removed.

To gain the indulgences of the Rosary, the beads must be blessed by a priest having the requisite faculties, and the recitation of the prayers must be accompanied, according to very many who have written on the subject, by meditation on the mysteries of our Lord and Lady, if the person reciting the beads is capable of meditating.


For Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

1.  The Resurrection.

2.  The Ascension.

3.  The Descent of the Holy Ghost.

4.  The Assumption of the B.V.M.

5.  The Coronation of the B.V.M. in Heaven.


For Mondays and Thursdays.

1.  The Annunciation.

2.  The Visitation.

3.  The Birth of our Lord.

4.  The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.

5.  The Finding of our Lord in the Temple.


For Tuesdays and Fridays.

1.  The Agony in the Garden.

2.  The Scourging at the Pillar.

3.  The Crowning with Thorns.

4.  The Carriage of the Cross.

5.  The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord.

Many pious persons make it a point to have their beads always about them during the day, and to place them around their neck or under their pillow at night.  Faithful soldiers of Mary, they have their arms always in their hands.  Let bad thoughts attack them or dangers menace, and at once the faithful fingers are on the beads, the Hail Mary is on their lips, the image of their Mother is before them, and the victory is won.  Let us adopt this easy and salutary practice; it will save us from at least one temptation, that of omitting to say our beads because we have them not at hand.


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From The Sacramentals of the Holy Catholic Church, or Flowers from the Garden of the Liturgy, by Rev. William J. Barry ~ 1858


The church is one in doctrine and in government, yet the modes in which she manifests the inward life which she receives from the ever-continuing action of Christ, her Divine Head, are countless in their beautiful varieties.  She is, at the same time, contemplative and active, abiding in the desert and dwelling in community, the physician of the bodies as well as of the souls of men, the teacher of the ignorant, the civilizer of barbarians, the defender of the Gospel at home, its missionary abroad.  These different and apparently incongruous functions of her sublime life she performs on a large scale by means of her Religious Orders.  These holy associations are members of Christ's mystic body, each having its different office, yet all conspiring, by their harmonious action, to the strength and beauty of the organism to which they belong.  They are the various ornaments of the golden robe of splendor which Christ has cast around His Spotless Spouse, the Church.

Numerous as are the differences in origin, mode of life and aim of the Religious Orders, they all, without exception, agree in cultivating and propagating a most tender devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and many of the most beautiful and touching practices of piety in her honor, now existing in the Church, have been introduced by them.  The Rosary is a Dominican devotion, and an unwavering faith in the Immaculate Conception, and a burning love for that greatest of Mary's privileges, next to the Divine Maternity, characterized the Seraphic Order of St. Francis, centuries before the mystery was defined to be an article of faith.  Devotion to the Sacred Name of Mary found a home in the Cistercian Order, a nestling place in the heart of the greatest of its abbots, the illustrious St. Bernard of Clairvaux: respice stellam, voca Mariam: look to the star, call on Mary . . . . . in dangers, in troubles and in doubts think of Mary, call on Mary, were the words, sweet as honey, that distilled from his glowing lips which the coal of Mary's love had touched.  The Society of Jesus, the bulwark of the Church in modern times, shows its devotion to Mary by establishing, in the colleges under its direction, sodalities and confraternities in her honor.  

This agreement of all the Orders in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, though differing in so many other devotions, proves that it is not one of several modes of manifesting the vital energy of the Church, but one which is an integral and essential part of the Christian system.  Mary is not, as Father Faber shows in his Growth in Holiness, a mere appendage or ornament of true religion: she is the mystical neck uniting the Church to Jesus, its Head: she is so completely interwoven, like a golden thread, in the web of Christian doctrine, that to separate her from it is to destroy it.  The particular manner of honoring her may vary with times and countries and dispositions, but the devotion itself will live on through the ages to be transplanted with the Church Militant, when time has ceased to be, to those happy courts over which Mary presides as Queen.

These general remarks have led us away from our immediate subject, the Scapular of Mount Carmel, yet they may be useful in showing how all devotions in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and all the Sacramentals which concern her are expressions of one great truth—that Mary is to be reverenced because of her connection with Jesus.

The Carmelites claim to be one of the oldest Orders in the Church, tracing their descent from the immediate disciples of the Prophets Elias and Eliseus, who lived more than eight hundred years before the coming of our Lord.  They derive their name from Carmel, a mountain of Palestine, on which the first religious of the Order built their cells.  Whether they can make good their claims to so venerable an antiquity is not for us to determine; from the end of the twelfth century, however, their history is clear and reliable.  Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, gave them a rule in 1209, which was afterwards approved by the Holy See.  The troubles consequent upon the continual irruptions of the Saracens into Palestine induced the good religious to look out for a safer asylum, and one in which they would be able to practice, in its perfection, their rigorous rule.  Accordingly, they passed into Europe, in the middle of the thirteenth century, and rapidly spread through the different Christian kingdoms, owing to the protection and favor of the Holy See, and the ability and zeal of the Generals of the Order.  One of the most illustrious of those Generals was Simon Stock.  He was an Englishman by birth, and, from his early years, was remarkable for the austerity and stainless innocence of his life and his tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin.  Mary rewarded his confidence and love, as she did those of his contemporary, St. Dominic.  She appeared to him in a vision and delivered to him the Brown Scapular, promising special graces to those who should devoutly wear it.  The new devotion was eagerly embraced by all ranks of society; the priest, the king, the noble and the commoner prided themselves on wearing the livery of the Queen of Heaven.  The Popes approved it by granting indulgences to it and establishing a festival in its honor.  And thus it has continued in the Church until our day, the holy rival of the Rosary in winning souls to the love of Mary and her Divine Son.

Some may smile at a devotion based on no better foundation than a vision.  Yet they can not deny, without rejecting the Bible and the testimony of ecclesiastical and profane history, the occurrence of visions in past times.  If supernatural interferences have taken place, they may take place again; and whether such has been the case in any particular instance can be ascertained by the rules of historical criticism.  Now, in regard to St. Simon Stock, we have the testimony of his secretary, Suvaningron, who, relating the vision, says, hanc ego immeritus, homine Dei dictante, scribebam:  this account I have written, though unworthy of the honor, under the dictation of the man of God.  His testimony has been received, after standing the test of an historical and theological sifting, by every unprejudiced mind that has examined the subject.  It is confirmed by the high sanctity of the parties in the transaction, by the miracles, attested under oath, wrought by means of the Scapular, and by the spiritual blessings conferred on those who devoutly wear it.

The advantages which the Scapular procures us are threefold:  it puts us under the particular protection of Mary; it gives us a participation in all the good works of the Carmelite Order, and places within our reach numerous indulgences.

When we put on the blessed Scapular, we clothe ourselves with the uniform of Mary's army, we enroll ourselves under her banner, we choose her for our Mother and our Queen.  Like the domestics of the wise woman, whose praise is in the Book of Proverbs, we are clothed with double garments to protect us against the cold winds and storms of spiritual adversity.  The Scapular is the pledge of the sacred contract that we have entered into with the Blessed Virgin; and if we be faithful to it on our part, she will reward us with the choicest blessings of her Son.

It is piously believed, to use the words of the Roman Breviary (in the Lessons of the 16th of July,) that Mary will obtain a speedy release from Purgatory for those who wear the Scapular in life and die a Christian death.  There is nothing absurd in this.  Jesus is the King of Purgatory; then Mary must be Queen.  Is it not natural to suppose that she is the Mediatrix of pardon for the suffering souls, as she is of grace and mercy for us?  And what day more suitable to exercise her intercession for them than Saturday, which the Church has consecrated to her honor?  Of course it would be the sin of superstition to believe that a person dying in mortal sin could escape the fires of hell by the fact of wearing Mary's livery.  Nor need we suppose that God's justice remits, in favor of the members of the Scapular Confraternity, any of the Purgatorial punishment due to sin.  It can crowd into an hour, by increase of intensity, sufferings which otherwise might be protracted through years.

The devotion of the Scapular beautifully illustrates the Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints; it associates us to all the good works of the Carmelites.  Their satisfactions for sin becomes ours, their impetrations for blessings belong to us.  The Scapular is the key to the rich treasure of graces which, for centuries, has been accumulating in the Church by the Masses and missionary labors, and studies and toil, and praying and watching and fasting of holy Carmelites all over the world.  Our own poor penances for the sins of our past life are little worth, but joined to the superabundant satisfactions of the Saints, they are increased in value a thousand fold.

The indulgences annexed to the Scapular afford another illustration of the Communion of Saints.  By gaining them we cancel the debt of temporal punishment due to our transgressions; we offer to God, in place of our own satisfactions, those of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the Saints.  Yet various acts are required on our part to appropriate them; we must free our souls from the stain of sin by cooperating with God's holy grace, which urges us to receive the Sacrament of Penance, and we must fulfill the other conditions prescribed by the Sovereign Pontiff in the grant of the indulgence.  The day of admission into the Confraternity of the Scapular, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on the 16th of July, and the hour of death, have a plenary indulgence annexed to them.  The numerous partial indulgences may be found in most manuals of devotion.  To participate in the benefits of the Confraternity it is necessary to receive the Scapular from a priest who has been empowered to give it, and to wear it constantly.  It is also advised that the members should recite daily seven Our Fathers and Hail Marys, or the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.

These, then, are the blessings which Mary offers us if we assume her habit; but in doing so we contract the obligation of serving her as faithful vassals and imitating her virtues, in proportion to our grace.  He who professes himself her client, and yet neglects the duties of his state of life, insults her and incurs the anger of her Son.  No exterior symbols will profit us if the interior spirit be wanting; the Scapular will not save us if we lead bad lives, any more than will the livery of his country screen the coward or the deserter from his merited punishment.

When the Prophet Elias passed from earth, in a chariot of fire, he dropped his robe to his faithful follower, Eliseus.  The disciple cast the garment about his shoulders, and, at the same moment, the spirit of his departed master was infused into his heart.  So it should be with us.  Mary's Scapular hangs around the neck to no purpose, unless the soul clothe itself with the virtues that she practiced.  Let us apply to ourselves what St. Paul wrote to the Galatians:  for as many of you as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ—as many of us as have received the Scapular of Mary, have put on Mary.

It is related of Boleslas IV., King of Poland, that he always carried about with him the portrait of his father, as the witness and guide of his actions.  Whenever he had to pass any decree or engage in any important affair, he looked at the image of his parent and pronounced these admirable words:  "O, my father! do not permit me to dishonor the blood that flows in my veins; do not permit that my tongue should utter any word, or my hand perform any action, unworthy of thy name and my high rank."  In like manner, when we look at the Scapular and the image of Mary attached to it, let us cry out with a holy enthusiasm:  "O, Sweet Mother! do not suffer us to dishonor thy name or the title of thy children."


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Thursday, December 8, 2022


The Senate passed the "Respect for Marriage Act" (Same-Sex Marriage Act) last week thanks to 12 Republicans who supported the measure. 39 House Republicans voted for it today. It is now on the way to acting-president Joe Biden to be signed into law, and he happily said he would.

Here are the Republican Senators who voted to end traditional marriage between a man and a woman:

blunt of MO

burr of NC

moore Capito of WV

collins of ME

ernst of IA

lummis of WY

murkowski of AK

portman of OH

romney of UT

sullivan of AK

tillis of NC

young of IN

[I'm very disgusted with our Senator, roy blunt, who is stepping down and giving us this "gift" as his last act in Congress, destroying his legacy.]

Here are the Republican Representatives who voted to end traditional marriage between a man and a woman:

armstrong of ND

bacon of NE

calvert of CA

cammack of FL

carey of OH

cheney of WY

curtis of UT

cavis, Rodney of IL

emmer of MN

fitzpatrick of PA

gallagher of WI

garbarino of NY

garcia of CA

gimenez of FL

gonzales, Tony of TX

gonzales of OH

herrera beutler of WA

hinson of IA

issa of CA

jacobs of NY

joyce of OH

katko of NY

mace of SC

malliotakis of NY

meijer of MI

miller-meeks of IA

moore of UT

newhouse of WA

obernolte of CA

rice of SC

simpson of ID

stefanik of NY

steil of WI

stewart of UT

turner of OH

upton of MI

valadao of CA

wagner of MO

waltz of FL

I don't need to tell you what the Democrats did.  We all know.  Nor do I need to mention the Republican cowards who didn't vote on it at all:

brady of TX

hollingsworth of IN

kinzinger of IL

owens of UT

zeldin of NY

Pandora's box was a closet.

Killing babies isn't enough apparently.

May God have mercy on us as we try to destroy ourselves.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022




On the 7th of October in the year 1571 was fought the great battle of Lepanto—a battle upon which depended the freedom of the whole Christian world, for had it been won by the Turks, they would, for a time at least, have overrun the whole of Europe.

These Turks, who were followers of the false prophet Mahomet, hated Christians with a deadly hatred, and their great desire was to keep possession of the Holy Land, which is that part of Asia where our Saviour lived, suffered, and died, and is therefore very dear to Christian hearts.

From time to time the Christians of different countries had fought bravely to recover this dear land, and had sometimes held it, and then again the Turks would get it back into their possession; and thus it went on for centuries.  Many of you have studies about these holy wars which were called Crusades, and were carried on by men, who, though of different countries and different interests, had but one object in view when they started out as Crusaders.

Do you remember Godfrey de Bouillon and Tancred? —their names were great among the early Crusaders.

Well, brave as they were, and nobly as they fought, centuries went on and still the Turks were not conquered, and to the alarm of the people of Europe, their power was increasing; they were ever taking countries governed by Christian kings.

Things were in this dreadful condition just before the great battle of which we have spoken was fought, and it was, as you have already guessed, a battle between the Turks and Christians.  The Pope at this time was Pius V., a holy Dominican, who is now a canonized saint.

Though this great Pope had many cares and troubles, he saw the great danger in allowing the Turks to increase their possessions.  He determined, therefore, to make one more stand against them.  He knew that the difficulties would be great, and to add to them, those who should have assisted would not enter the league which the good Pope was forming in order to save Christendom.  Germany and England would not help; France could not; and so all the fighting was left to the men of that part of Italy under the Pope, called the Papal States, and to Venice and Spain.  Don John, who was an Austrian, was made General, and a commander named Colonna was placed at the head of the navy.

Even during these preparations, the people of Europe did not seem to understand the danger which threatened them.  They quarreled with one another, instead of banding together against the Turks, who had taken the Island of Cyprus, and butchered priests and people.  In spite of these sad events, and the little encouragement given to him, the Holy Father never despaired, but placed all his hope in prayer, and in the assistance of our dear Lady, the Queen of Heaven.  While everything was done by this holy pontiff to gain our Lord's favor, the men started forth to battle, with the blessing of St. Pius.  They set sail for Corfu, which is a Grecian island in the Ionian Sea, but failing to meet the Turks here, they went back, and sailed up the Gulf of Corinth, and when nearly to Lepanto, a town in Greece, situated on the Bay of Lepanto, the Christians met the Turkish fleet, and the great battle of Lepanto began.

The emblem on the Christian's flag was the cross; that on the Turk's flag was the crescent, and for many dreadful hours it was doubtful which would be waving when the battle was done.  The blood of Christian and Turk flowed like water.  The decks of the vessels were wet with it, and strewn with the bodies of the dead and dying.  The shout of battle mingled with groans and prayers, and the scene was one of horrible bloodshed; but when the shades of evening began to fall upon the sea, high in air, clear and bright against the blue of the sky, hung a banner, and upon it was a gold embroidered cross.  The battle of Lepanto was over; the Christians had won it!

This memorable day, Rosary Sunday, had been spent by St. Pius and his people in most earnest prayer for the success of God's cause.  The children of the Rosary marched in procession, singing hymns in our Lady's honor, and before the day was over, while the Rosary devotions still continued, the good Pope knew by inspiration that the prayers of the faithful had been answered by the Blessed Queen of Heaven.

As an act of gratitude and thanksgiving, St. Pius instituted the feast of our Lady of Victory, and later, Pope Gregory XIII., in commemoration of the great triumph, dedicated the first Sunday of October to our Lady of the Rosary.  This beautiful feast is now kept throughout the Catholic world.

So, when you see the Rosary procession on the first Sunday of October, or should you have the happiness of joining in it, remember that it was instituted in gratitude to our Lady for the victory won, through her intercession, by the Christians over the Turks at the great battle of Lepanto, over 450 years ago.

      ~ from an article in an 1897 issue of "Rosary Magazine"


For the complete contents of the Butter Rum Cartoon, click here

Thursday, October 27, 2022



This excellent booklet, THE STORY OF THE FAMILY ROSARY, written in 1944 by the Reverend Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., received the Imprimi potest from Thomas A. Steiner, C.S.C., Provincial Superior, the Nihil obstat from Henry J. Zolzer, Censor, and the Imprimatur from Thomas H. McLaughlin, Bishop of Paterson.

It's not copyrighted and so I am happy to be sharing it with you here.


The Rosary from Life

This is a new story—the loveliest story that we know of—the story of the Family Rosary.  It begins in a little house at Nazareth: there, at the message of an Angel, Our Lady conceived her Divine Son and began to live the beautiful truths of the Family Rosary—the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.

Failure to Live Eternal Truths

For centuries men and women who were true Christians lived by these eternal truths.  But a time came in the thirteenth century when men forgot them.  Christian civilization seemed to be dying out.  All kinds of disorders had sprung up among peoples and nations.  Anti-Christian doctrines were openly offered as spiritual food for God's children.

Taught by a Mother

Then it was that God raised up one of His great saints, Dominic, a learned scholar and devoted child of Mary.  There seemed to be no hope of saving a sin-oppressed world.  Dominic did not lose courage.  He had a Mother who would not fail him.  With all the fervor of his soul he called upon her.  Then, according to tradition, the lovely Queen of Heaven and Earth appeared to him holding a Rosary in her hand, taught him how to pray it, and instructed him to preach it to the world.  These are her words telling the secret of its power: "Introduce the Rosary devotion everywhere; teach it to the people and tell them that this devotion is most pleasing to my Divine Son as well as to me.  By means of the Rosary devotion, virtue will flourish, vice will be destroyed, heresy will perish, and Divine graces will be obtained.  The Rosary will be an inexhaustible fountain of every kind of blessing.  I promise you that I will prove by many graces how pleasing this devotion is to me and how profitable to the faithful."

Preached by a Son

This was what Dominic had been waiting for.  He did introduce the Rosary to the people, as his Lady asked, but more than that, he made it his life's work.  The people must have been waiting for it, too, for they took it from the churches to their homes.  It became the prayer that conquered vice, caused virtue to flourish, and brought Divine graces and blessings to everyone.

The Plea of a Mother

For nearly two centuries the Rosary remained the great prayer of Christians.  Later, when the first ardor for the Rosary seemed to slacken, Our Lady appeared to Blessed Alan, another of her zealous sons.  She told him to revive the Rosary, adding that immense volumes would be needed to tell of all its miracles.  To him, too, she made certain promises.  Here are four of them:  "He who calls on me through the Rosary shall not perish.— The true children of the Rosary shall enjoy a great glory in heaven.— Whatever you ask through the Rosary shall be granted.— Those who propagate my Rosary shall be helped by me in all their necessities."

Salvation of the Christian World

The events of the succeeding years proved that she kept her promises.  The Mohammedans were ready to overrun Europe.  Mary's Rosary stopped them by two great victories, that broke their sea power and destroyed the last remnants of their land forces.  Pope Clement XI, to commemorate these victories, along with the even greater spiritual victory of St. Dominic and Blessed Alan, commanded the whole Church to celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

Recommended to the World

Coming closer to our own times, we have further evidence of the great value of the Rosary.  Eighteen times at Lourdes Our Immaculate Mother appeared to Bernadette, recited the Rosary with her, and recommended the practice to the world.  Again, on October 13 in 1917, in Fatima, Portugal, Our Lady summed up the greatness of the Rosary by calling herself the Lady of the Rosary.  These are her words:  "I am the Lady of the Rosary and I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.  They must not continue to offend Our Lord, already so deeply offended.  They must say the Rosary."

The Family Rosary Today

The Rosary has had a glorious past.  Our Lady of the Rosary has kept all of her promises.  She has saved individuals, families, nations, and the whole world through its power.  Now the Rosary takes on a new glory.  It is the family that is threatened today.  It is the family that must be saved if the world is to be saved.  The Rosary has saved the world in the past.  It will save the world now by saving the family.  But it is no longer the Rosary alone—it is the Family Rosary.  It is the family saying the Rosary.  It is the Rosary saving the family through the family.

A Family Prayer of Power

The Rosary by itself has proved its power.  The Family Rosary has a new power all its own.  The family in itself is already a power: it is one of the units upon which society is founded.  Its bond of unity is mutual love.  When such a unit lifts its voice in the Family Rosary, the power of this prayer of the centuries increases as the family becomes one with Jesus Christ Who said, "...where two or three are gathered together for My sake, there am I in the midst of them."

"Where two or three are gathered together": how much more truly are they gathered together for His sake when it is the family already united by love that is so gathered!  How much more truly does the prayer of the Family Rosary ascend as one voice with that of Mary's Son!  Prayer is talking to God.  The Rosary is Mary's way for us to talk to Him, for she, His Mother, gave us this way, and a mother knows best.  When individuals so closely united in love as to form a family talk to God in Mary's way, the power of the prayer is increased.  The most powerful prayer said by the members of life's most powerful social unit, the family, becomes an irresistible plea to God and His Mother, Mary.

A Family Lesson in Living

The Family Rosary is a lesson in living.  A father and mother on their knees teach their children dependence upon God.  The simple prayer of the children brings back to their parents Christ's words, "...whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it."  No husband and wife who learn well the lessons of the Family Rosary can be unfaithful to each other, or live very long in a state of mortal sin.  The petty quarrels of brothers and sisters will give way to true love for one another.  It is impossible to imagine a family dedicated to the daily recitation of the Family Rosary, living in enmity with one another or with God.

Builder of Family Unity

The Family Rosary, too, is a practical way to strengthen the unity of family life, so easily weakened by the modern way of living.  Father, away from home in the office or factory most of the day, sisters and brothers at work, school, or play, come home often to their own individual interests with little thought for one another.  The Family Rosary, for at least a few short moments of every day, will join them in a bond of loving prayer to God and His Mother.

Against Worldly Wickedness

Today more than ever there is need of a powerful weapon to protect family life.  Worldliness and worldly doctrines—the sworn enemies of the Christian life—strike first at the family.  These are stronger forces today than ever before.  What hope has any family life against the teachings of many college professors on planned parenthood, companionate marriage, divorce, and general immorality?  The radio, newspapers, comic sheets, and magazines bring these doctrines into the home itself, lay them on the table for all to see, leave them ringing in everyone's ears.  Moving pictures with color and sound attract even the wisest and wariest by scenes that make a joke of family life.

Protector of Family Life

Happily, God provides us with the weapon we need.  It is the Family Rosary.  The history of the Rosary has proved already how powerful it is against the forces of sin and evil, whatever these forces be.  It won the victories of Lepanto and Temesvar against the Turks, and saved nations when they took the Rosary into their hands.  Now it will all the more save the family if the family will only take it into its hands.  The Rosary has accomplished great things.  In the Providence of God the Family Rosary will do even greater things if families will only use it.

A Prayer of Perfect Parts

The power of the Family Rosary is not surprising to anyone who realizes the perfection of its very make-up.  It is a living organism, so to speak, with a perfect body and soul.  Its body (the vocal prayers) is perfect, since it is made up of the sign of our salvation and the three prayers of the Catholic Faith.  Its soul (the Mysteries) is perfect, too, since these Mysteries are Christ's life—the perfect life—relived again in the minds of the praying family.

The Sign of Salvation

The first act of the family is the sign of the cross.  They begin the perfect family prayer in the perfect way.  They sign themselves with the sign of Redemption and with united voice they offer their Rosary in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  As each member of the family tenderly holds the cross of salvation, from their lips comes forth a firm and united profession of faith for all that the cross stands for.  They recite the Apostles' Creed—a prayer that embraces all the Christian truths and mysteries of our Holy Faith.

Our Lord's Composition

The Our Father raises the family circle to a Divine level.  No longer as earthly father, mother, son, and daughter does the family pray but rather as children of God, united into a higher family circle where God is Father and Mary Immaculate is Mother.  No one but the Son of God Himself could have composed a prayer so full of meaning and power.  It is not merely a portion of the Gospel; it is a summary of the Gospel—that Gospel by which we must live to be true children of God.

A Divine Masterpiece

The Hail Mary is the beautiful prayer that for centuries has been lovingly spoken by old and young.  Still today it is on the lips of millions—in health, in sickness, in death.  It is so beautiful that it finds its way into music and into song.  If we ask ourselves what is the secret of its beauty, the answer is that it is God's word-picture of the loveliest of all creatures, His Mother and ours.  Never do we tire of repeating over and over again His beautiful description of Mary.  She is full of grace.  The Lord is with her.  She is blessed among all the women of the world.  She is the powerful Mother of God who can help us now and at the hour of our death.  Most blessed in the sight of God is the family that brings to life fifty-three times each day this masterpiece of Divine Wisdom.

The greatest mystery of our Catholic Faith is that of the Most Blessed Trinity: one God in three Divine Persons.  A family that says the Family Rosary daily gives glory six times a day to the Blessed Trinity as they raise their voices in the beautiful prayer of praise: "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost."

The Soul of the Rosary

The most important part of the Family Rosary is its soul—the meditations on the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious events in the lives of Our Lord and of Our Lady.  This is the part of the Rosary which, according to tradition, Our Lady took such pains to explain to St. Dominic.  It is easy to see why she did this.  She wanted, and wants, the prayer of the Rosary to be more than a recitation of memorized sentences.  She wants it to be a way for the ordinary person of a busy workaday world to think over the things she and her Son have done for them.  She knows that no person with a human heart can ever be ungrateful, forgetful, or cruel once he has understood what pain sin has caused the hearts of the sweetest Mother and Son.  She knows that there is no surer way for a person to grow up to be worthy to be called a son of God than to review with her, his Mother, some part of the life of the Son of God each day until one finally learns to imitate Him so closely that she will say to Jesus: "Son—behold Thy brother."

Power House of Spiritual Energy

Daily meditation is the spiritual power house of the great leaders of the Church.  But it is not for them alone.  Every person in the world, no matter what his talents be, can draw from this same power house by daily meditation on a portion of the Mysteries of the Rosary.  The home that makes a daily practice of the Family Rosary is strong unto selflessness, meets trials courageously, faces life joyously.  Father, mother, brothers, and sisters all sense the new feeling of power.  The family is not only teeming with life—it is teeming with the life of Christ.

The Mind's Eye Sees

The family will find no difficulty in meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary.  Each of the Mysteries gives a snapshot of some event in the life of Jesus and Mary.  Meditating means looking at that snapshot with the eyes of the mind.  At first, if the eyes have not been used to looking at these pictures, they may get a dim, hazy view.  But once they are in focus by a little practice, the picture will become clear.  Then just one thing can happen—the person behind those eyes will have to say: "Now I see what God and His Mother have done for me.  I must do something for them.  What can I do to prove that I mean what I say?"  Even the seven-year-olds can understand that.  They learn before this age to say "Thank you" for a gift.

An Unforgettable Picture

There is no one method of meditation, but for an example here is one on the first Joyful Mystery.  First, listen carefully as the leader announces the Mystery.  Imagine yourself right there in Mary's own room.  You watch her praying.  You see the Angel Gabriel approach her.  You notice that she is frightened as she suddenly sees a strange person in her room.  The sound of his voice is like sweet music.  She is no longer afraid.  You listen to what the Angel is saying: "Hail Mary..."  The words are on your lips, too.  "Full of grace..."  Not another person in the world is full of grace, yet how humble Mary is about it all.  The Mother of God!

Such a meditation, or any other that you like, can be used for each of the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.  Later we shall give a short sample meditation for all of them.

The Family Recitations

Just as there is no single way of meditating on the Mysteries, so there is no one manner of recitation of the Family Rosary.  The most practical way, however, seems to be this:  first, at the beginning of each decade, let the leader announce the proper Mystery so that all may hear.  If convenient, the leader may offer a few suggestions to make the meditation easier.  He may read the meditations which we have placed at the end of this booklet, or any others he may have.  Perhaps he may wish to compose his own.  Where practicable, the whole family may together read aloud the meditation for each Mystery, since the vocal recitation directs the attention of each one more effectively to the Mystery in hand, and gives all a fuller sense of participation in the prayer.

A Daily Practice

The recitation of the Family Rosary should be the unfailing practice every day in every family, no matter what may take members of the family away from home.  As long as two members of the family say the Rosary together, they say the Family Rosary, and all the added power of the Family Rosary is present in their prayer.  Of course the entire family should try to be present.  Those members who are deliberately absent not only fail to receive the fruits of the Family Rosary recitation which they would receive were they present, but they also weaken the power of the united family plea before God.

Win the Family Guest

The presence of visitors should never be the occasion for letting a day go by without the Family Rosary.  No guest at your home, no matter what his religion may be, would want to feel that because of his presence in your home God and Mary were put aside for fear of embarrassing him.  Experience has shown that the recitation of the Family Rosary in the presence of visitors has been one of the most fruitful means of spreading the Family Rosary to others.  Is it any wonder?  If it is a beautiful thing to do, then it is a beautiful thing to see, and those who see it themselves will wish to do it.

Recite at Any Hour

There is no determined time at which to recite the Family Rosary.  Different times fit different families.  The most popular, however, seems to be after the evening meal—perhaps even before the dishes are washed, while everyone is at the family table.  Our Lady, good housekeeper though she is, will not condemn the housewife who delays washing the dishes for ten minutes in order that she may bring to the family table prayers worth an eternity.

Value Its Indulgences

The fruits of the Family Rosary?  What is there to say about them?  Who can enumerate them?  History tells its story—from Dominic to Lepanto, from Lourdes to Fatima, and down to the present day.  The beauty of its prayers is beyond comparison, the power of its plea is irresistible.  In addition to these fruits the Church grants a special indulgence to the Family Rosary, because it grants twice the amount to group recitation as to recitation alone.  Also, on the last Sunday of the month, the family that has been faithful to the daily Family Rosary may gain a plenary indulgence by going to confession, receiving Holy Communion, and visiting a church.

The Family Rosary Crusade

The Rosary is not a new prayer—it goes far back in history.  The Family Rosary goes back just as far, and if today families do not everywhere say the Rosary, it is not because the Rosary does not belong to families but rather because families have failed to belong to the Rosary.  This is the reason why, in January of 1942, Father Patrick Peyton, a young priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, obtained the permission of his superiors to dedicate his life to the restoration of the Family Rosary.  He is not the creator of the Family Rosary.  He is not even the first leader of the present Family Rosary Crusade.  He has only taken up the cause of the Vicars of Christ.

Began with the Popes

The Popes, especially of recent years, have been constant in their plea for the Family Rosary.  Pius IX said: "If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, in your country, assemble every evening to recite the Rosary."  The last plea of this same Father of the Christian Family was: "In the whole of the Vatican there is no greater treasure than the Rosary ... Let the Rosary—this simple beautiful method of prayer enriched with many indulgences—be habitually recited of an evening in every household.  These are my last words to you, the memorial I leave behind me."

With Repeated Pleas

Pope Leo XIII was another great apostle of the Family Rosary.  He appealed for it in several encyclicals.  These are some of his words:  "It is therefore not only agreeable to the devotion of private persons, but also suitable to the public needs of the times, that this kind of prayer should be restored to that place of honor which it long held, when each Christian family would suffer no day to pass without the recitation of the Rosary."

Again he said: "The formula of the Rosary, too, is excellently adapted to prayer in common." — "It will not then seem too much to say that ... in families ... in which the Rosary of Mary retains its ancient honor, the loss of Faith through error and vicious ignorance need not be feared."

The late Pius XI carried the Family Rosary Crusade directly to parents with this message:  "The fathers and mothers of families particularly must give an example to their children, especially when at sunset they gather together ... and recite the Holy Rosary on bended knees ... This is a beautiful and salutary custom, from which certainly there cannot but be derived tranquility and abundance of heavenly gifts for the household."

And Humble Example

And today our present Holy Father preaches the Family Rosary by both word and example.  In an address to newly wedded groups, speaking of the recitation of the Rosary he said:  "You may be sure that in doing so you are insuring the success of your future family life."  But to clinch his words with action, each day he gathers the papal household together to recite with them the Family Rosary.

Modern Rosary Crusade

Father Peyton took up this Crusade of the Holy Fathers in thanksgiving to the Mother of God for the restoration of his health.  He made the first plans for a world-wide Crusade for the Family Rosary at Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C., in January, 1942.  In September of the same year he opened the first Family Rosary Crusade Office in Albany, N.Y.  From there the Family Rosary message went to every church, school, and religious institution in America.  So great was the response and enthusiasm of America to this appeal that its effects soon began to be felt in Canada, Cuba, Panama, Newfoundland, Australia, Hawaii, Ireland, and England.  The American hierarchy at their annual meeting in 1942 recommended the Family Rosary to America.  Requests for leaflets and pledge-cards poured into the Crusade Office by the thousands.  Radio stations included the Family Rosary on their schedule of programs.  Translations were made into Braille and Spanish.  French and Italian translations were asked for, too.  Personal letters praising the Family Rosary came from cardinals, archbishops, bishops, religious superiors, national and diocesan leaders of lay organizations; from students and families.  The voice of America clamoring for the perfect Family Prayer, is even heard beyond its own boundaries.  Soon, please God, there will be a world-wide united prayer ascending to the Throne of God, the prayer of the Rosary said by millions of families.

The Family's Crusade

The Family Rosary is not only the family's prayer—it is the family's crusade.  As each family takes up the practice of the daily Family Rosary, its members become apostles, persuading other families of the beauty and power of the Family Rosary, and of the peace and love it will bring into their home.

Apostles by Prayer

There are many apostles and many ways to be an apostle.  The Family Rosary said for the promotion of this Crusade has in itself a world-conquering sweep; for like true love it is never satisfied until there are no more worlds to win for the beloved.  Bernadette, after she had drawn first a village, then a nation, then a whole world, to Lourdes to say the Rosary, quietly went to a convent to be out of the reach of the world.  Yet she knew she had lost none of her marvelous power by so doing—she still had its source, for as she herself said:  "I can do two things, I can love Mary and I can say my beads."  The family that loves Mary and says the Family Rosary will draw families to the Family Rosary as Bernadette drew crowds to Lourdes.

Apostles by Action

Crusade apostles have not limited themselves to prayer alone, but have developed methods of organized action.  Bishops promote it, pastors make it a parish project, Army and Navy chaplains preach it.  Congregations of Religious spread it; students of colleges, high schools and grade schools win family pledges; the Catholic press pleads for it; and the lay organizations of America have adopted it.

For All Eternity

Great advances have been made, as you see, but the end is still not in sight.  There is a world to win.  Yet even when that world is won and the Family Rosary Crusade is finished, the Story of the Family Rosary will still go on.  For it is a living story—a story of the prayer of a living family which will worship God and honor Mary for all eternity.


Vocal Prayers of the Family Rosary


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.


I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven; sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and life everlasting.  Amen.


Our Father, Who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.  Amen.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.


Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

(Three Hail Marys as above)


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.


As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.



Announce it.  Then give the appropriate meditation—either one suggested below, or any other you like.  The more closely it applies to the particular group the better it is.

Then: One Our Father

          Ten Hail Marys

          One Glory be to the Father

Leader takes the first part of these prayers, the group the last part.

After the Glory be to the Father is said, announce the second Mystery, then continue as above, and so on for all of the Mysteries.



Monday and Thursday (Also Sundays from the first Sunday of Advent to the first Sunday of Lent)

Setting the Scene:

Today may have been a day of sorrow and pain.  So many days of life are.  But meditation on the five Joyful Mysteries will help to turn sadness into true spiritual joy.

The Annunciation:

An Angel came to you, dear Mother, as you prayed in your home at Nazareth, and told you that you were to be the Mother in the Holy Family and that the Son of God would be your Child.  You are God's Mother, but you are our Mother too.  God always listens to you.  Mother of God and of us all, listen to our prayer.

The Visitation:

Dear Mother Mary, when you left your home to visit your cousin Elizabeth, you brought the Son of God into Elizabeth's home.  Through the Family Rosary we invite you to bring Him into our home.

The Nativity:

Mother of Christ, when you brought your Son Jesus into the world, His first home was a cave for animals, but He was happy because you were there to care for Him.  We, too, will know real happiness if you come to our home, however humble it be.  Come to us, then, as we recite Your Rosary!

The Presentation:

In the Temple of Jerusalem, Immaculate Mother, you offered your little Son to the Father to Whom He belonged.  Although Simeon prophesied that a sword of sorrow would pierce your heart, yet your joy remained because you knew that you and your beloved Son belonged to God.  Let us likewise remember that no sorrow can drive away our family joy if we offer ourselves generously to God.

The Finding in the Temple:

Dear Mother, after three days of sorrow and searching, you found Jesus and your soul was filled with joy.  Never again can you lose Him.  Yet daily you seek Him in the soul of each of us in this family circle.  May your search be ever rewarded by finding Him in our souls when they are free from mortal sin!


Tuesday and Friday (also Sundays in Lent)

Setting the Scene:

Today you go with Our Lord and His Mother over the way of the Sorrowful Mysteries.  There is no need to tell you of sorrow.  If you have lived, you have felt it.  But let your only sorrow in this short journey be sorrow for sin—yours and the world's. For the rest, let peace, confidence, love, and joy stirred by the thought of so loving a God, be the sentiments of these meditations.

The Agony in the Garden:

Dear Lord, permit us to kneel with You as You pray in the Garden.  We are sorry because our sins caused You so much suffering.  With this Family Rosary we will try to show You that we love You very much.  Give us the grace to be always a comfort to You and to Your Sorrowful Mother.

The Scourging at the Pillar:

The crack of the whip rings in our ears, dear Lord, as they scourge You.  What terrible pain You suffer just for us!  Help all in our family to be holy in body and soul. 

The Crowning with Thorns:

Your crown, dear Savior, is made of cruel thorns.  Many people will not have You as their King.  But You will always be the glorious King Who rules our family.

The Carrying of the Cross:

We are walking at Your side, dear Lord.  We are carrying crosses, too.  You told us that we must.  Our crosses are little ones ... Yours is the heavy cross of Calvary!

The Crucifixion:

In spirit we stand at the foot of Your cross, dear Lord.  You hang there for three hours.  Our Family Rosary takes us only a few minutes, but we will remember all our lives the lesson we are now learning—the lesson of Your great love for us.  Dear Jesus, our family thanks You for all that You have suffered for us.


Wednesday and Saturday (also Sundays from Easter to Advent)

Setting the Scene:

In life on earth joy follows sorrow and sorrow follows joy, until life ends with the last great sorrow—death.  Then joy alone remains—joy so great that we call it glory, for there is a Resurrection and Coronation waiting for us, too, when we enter forever on the way of the Glorious Mysteries.

The Resurrection:

Dear Mother, this is a happy day for you.  Your Son has come back to life, and His glorious body will live forever.  Our bodies, too, will rise from the dead and will live forever.  Help us to live so that our family will be together again in heaven.

The Ascension:

Dear Blessed Mother, we kneel beside you as your Divine Son ascends into heaven.  He is going to prepare a place for you—you will be Queen of Heaven and Earth.  Ask Him to prepare a heavenly home for our family.

The Descent of the Holy Ghost:

Blessed Mother, our family cannot be good unless the Holy Ghost lives in it.  As you prayed with the Apostles, the Holy Spirit came upon them.  Pray with us now that during this Family Rosary the Holy Ghost may come and bring His wonderful gifts to our family circle.

The Assumption:

You are in heaven, dearest Mother, body and soul.  You are preparing a place for us.  You made a promise that the true children of the Rosary would enjoy great glory in heaven.  We know that you will keep that promise.

The Coronation:

Your Son, Jesus, dear Lady, is the King in our family.  You are the Queen.  Our Lord has promised to be with us when we pray in the family group.  We know that you, too, are in our midst when we say your favorite prayer—the Daily Family Rosary.


Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; our life, our sweetness, and our hope!  To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn, then, most  gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V.  Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, hath purchased for us the rewards of everlasting life, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who meditate upon these Mysteries of the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary may both imitate what they contain and attain to what they promise.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen. 


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