Rosary Crusade Clarion
Devotional bulletin of the Rosary Crusade in Canada

January 2001 Issue #1

At Fatima in 1917, and again to Sr. Lucy in 1925 at Ponteverda, the Most Holy Virgin appeared and demanded an act of reparation for sinners who offended God, and of supplication for their conversion. She demanded especially:

  • Daily recitation of the rosary,

  • Devotion to her Immaculate Heart by confession, the communion of reparation, recitation of the rosary and meditation on the mysteries of the rosary for at least 15 minutes, on the first Saturday of the month, during 5 consecutive months,

  • The consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart,

  • The practice of penance through the duty of state well accomplished,

  • Prayer for the conversion of sinners.

We ask Blessed Francesco and Jacinta, the little seers of Fatima who have been beatified last May 13, to aid us to respond to the desires of the Most Holy Virgin



Welcome to the first issue of the Rosary Crusade Clarion. All Canadians who have enrolled in the perpetual rosary crusade should receive this issue. There is a purpose: firstly, this is a call to action, a reminder of the obligations to pray which you have embraced, prayers which are needed so much; and also, this bulletin is meant to encourage your devotion to the Blessed Mother of God. It is readily assumed that you have a great devotion, since you are faithfully praying to the Blessed Virgin every month, at a fixed hour. That is good, but I hope that is not all. Devotion is not only the act of prayer, it is the quality of strong love and affection - strong love for our mother Mary. A living affection will find expression often, and in a variety of manners. Whether we think of our Lady when we gaze on her image which hangs by our bedsides, or as we work at the daily chores, like the housewife of Nazareth, let us speak to her in our hearts with interest, as we would speak to a dear friend and patron. This sort of interest is an affair which will develop as we give it our attention by caring thoughts and studious wondering, into constant meditation. Our aim is a greater devotion, to pray better, to love more.

United to you in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I am,
Emanuel Herkel
Rev. Mr. Herkel

The Rosary, Origin and Utility of the Devotion

There are numerous pious practices sanctioned by the Church whereby we may honour the Blessed Mother of God, among which a distinguished place is held by confraternities such as that of the Scapular, and by membership with various Sodalities and Associations in her honour; each and all of these have some special pious recommendation of its own, and we cannot fail to derive some special spiritual benefit from each or as many of them as our devotion leads us to enroll ourselves in; yet all of them yield the palm to one other, which the Church has most highly approved, and to which she accords her most precious favours, - this "queen of devotions" is the Rosary.

The Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, composed of fifteen decades of the "Hail Mary," each decade following one "Our Father," the whole preceded by the recital of the "Creed;" a chaplet or a "pair of beads" is the third part of the Rosary, five decades. The appellation of this devotion is equally touching and expressive; it signifies roses garlanded into the form of a crown. When we recite the whole Rosary, or a pair of beads, we offer to our Mother a large and beautiful crown, or a delicate lovely little wreath formed of our salutations and our prayers.

Towards the close of the twelfth century our Lord and His Holy Mother were hardly ever thought of in some parts of France; they were almost as much forgotten as if their names had never been known. This was the deplorable result of a heresy that had spread on all sides, ravaging the provinces, destroying the temples and the altars, massacring the faithful and the priests. Nothing seemed to have power to arrest this furious torrent until St. Dominic appeared. His eloquence, his magnificent virtues, the wonderful miracles God operated by his hands began to arrest the progress of the heresy, but the evil had become so great that even his efforts did not suffice fully to remedy it. Then it was, while lamenting at the feet of Mary the insufficiency of his labours, he received, as an assured means for the conversion of the heretics, the Rosary, whose form of prayer and use the Mother of God was herself pleased to teach to him. St. Dominic obtained by means of this prayer numerous and courageous assistants; very soon their endeavors were crowned with the most brilliant success, and heresy disappeared from the land which it had almost led to destruction.

It is now seven centuries since the Rosary has been one of the usages of the Church, and during that time what fruits of grace has not the practice of this devotion produced! What numberless conversions, what countless graces has not this simple prayer obtained for us! The little child and the aged man, - the rich and the poor, - the learned and the uninstructed, - can all use it with the same fervour, the same love, the same efficacy. The Beads contain the most sublime prayers that can possibly be addressed to God and to the Blessed Virgin. It begins with the Creed, which is our profession of faith and which contains, in abridgement, all the truths of our religion; by the "Glory by to the Father," etc., the most solemn worship is offered to the adorable Trinity, and the Church ceases not to repeat it in all its holy offices; then the Prayer by excellence, that which our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us, and by saying which after Him we ask of God all that is necessary for us, for soul or body; lastly, we salute Mary with the angel, we laud her with St. Elizabeth, and with the Church entreat her to pray for us poor sinners who need her help during life and at the hour of death.

Can anything be more sublime than this crown of prayers, by which flow unceasingly from our lips the most beautiful praises to God and to Mary, the most pathetic requests we can make to them? But, say some, perhaps it takes very long to say even the chaplet; are we obliged to repeat it all at one time? Oh no; we can say it a decade or even less at a time, provided it all be said, and that in the end we offer her complete crown to our Lady; it will not be less pleasing to her, thus divided into many little clusters if all be lovingly offered.

There are in the world a countless variety of prayer books, and among them very beautiful selections of prayers, and perhaps we sometimes say to ourselves when we see one of them, - "Oh, how well I could pray if I had one of those beautiful books!" Ah, well! Not one of these books, how beautiful soever it be, can be better than the Rosary. This is the book for all, the book alike for those who can or cannot read, and containing in reality more than all the most wise and beautiful books of the world can suffice to tell in words; and then too what book is so convenient to carry with us as our beads? It can always be about us; in going to our work we can take it in our hands, and say a decade; at night we can put it round our neck or on the arm, and before falling asleep offer our Mother another decade of sweet roses. And if we happened to lose it? - Why the good Lord has provided each of us a living chaplet; we can count our ten Hail Marys on our ten fingers. And cannot we accommodate ourselves thus until we have provided ourselves with another?

It would be impossible to mention the names of all the saints and celebrated men of all classes who have made the Rosary; their favorite prayer. St. Vincent Ferrer proposes it as a most certain means of inspiring horror of sin and the spirit of penitence. St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, not only themselves said their beads daily, but by their own exhortations and those they caused others to make endeavored to excite all the people under their charge to do the same. The Blessed Alphonsus Rodrigues received a most sweet recompense for his fervour in reciting the Rosary: our Lord made him behold the beautiful red and white roses that took form in the air as the Pater and Ave fell from his lips, and how the Blessed Virgin from the height of heaven smiled tenderly at the offering of these flowers which spread around a delicious odor.

Behold what persons of all conditions thought of the Rosary; clerics and seculars, kings and peasants, wise and illustrious men and poor old women and little children have found in it help and consolation; let us hence-forth cherish with still greater piety this most beautiful devotion, the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

From Ave Maria. May 30, 1868


Dedication of one’s self to Mary

Most holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, I, .... although most unworthy to be thy servant, yet moved by thy wonderful compassion, and by my desire to serve thee, now choose thee, in presence of my guardian angel and of the whole celestial court, for my especial Lady, Advocate, and Mother and I firmly purpose always to love and serve thee for the future, and to do whatever I can to induce others to love and serve thee also. I beseech thee, O Mother of God, and my most compassionate and loving Mother, by the blood which thy Son shed for me, to receive me into the number of thy servants, to be thy child and servant forever. Assist me in all my thoughts, words, and actions in every moment of my life, so that every step that I take, and every breath that I draw, may be directed to the greater glory of my God; and through thy most powerful intercession, may I never more offend my beloved Jesus, but may I glorify Him, and love Him in this life and love thee, my most beloved and dear Mother, and thus love thee and enjoy thee in heaven for all eternity.

My Mother Mary, I recommend my soul to thee,
and especially at the hour of my death.

-taken from the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.