to the Rosary was restored by Christ's own command.
practice of saying the rosary had fallen into disuse
for many years, Blessed Alan de la Roche was commanded
by Christ himself to revive it.] One day when he
was saying Mass, our Lord, who wished to spur him
on to preach the Holy Rosary, spoke to him in the
Sacred Host: "How can you crucify Me again
so soon?" "What did you say, Lord?"
asked Blessed Alan, horrified. "You
crucified Me once before by your sins," answered
Jesus, "and I would willingly be crucified
again rather than have My Father offended by the
sins you used to commit. You are crucifying Me again
now because you have all the learning and understanding
that you need to preach My Mother's Rosary, and
you are not doing so. If you only did this, you
could teach many souls the right path and lead them
away from sin - but you are not doing it and so
you yourself are guilty of the sins they commit.
Louis de Montfort: The Secret of the Rosary.
is the month of the Most Holy Rosary, a month in which we
ought to be especially faithful to the fervent recitation
of this heaven-given prayer. The rosary is a weapon, not
as a physical object, but spiritual power capable of exercising
a constraining force on Almighty God. St. John Climacus
asserts that prayer is so powerful before God that it, as
it were, constrains him to give us all the graces we ask.
We do, indeed, ask for great things, and we firmly trust
that God will not refuse to grant us an answer to the four-fold
intention of this Rosary Crusade. Yet, these requests are
most necessary for ourselves, and the whole Church, therefore
our Lord will not refuse to grant them. It remains for us
to ask, with sufficient fervor and perseverance.
month, this bulletin is meant to be an encouragement to
be faithful to the prayer of the rosary. "Pray at all
times in the Spirit; and therein be vigilant in all perseverance
and supplication for all the saints," wrote St. Paul.
This month, more than others, is a time to try to pray well.
It will avail us little to pick up a rosary and run the
beads through our fingers, and even mumble the words of
the Our Father and Hail Mary, if we do not raise our minds
and hearts to God. For this reason "mysteries"
of our faith are joined to each decade. Let us fill our
souls with faith, hope, and love, as we consider deeply
the Annunciation, which is the apparition of the angel to
our Lady, asking her to become the Mother of God, also the
Crucifixion, which is Christ's death for the life of the
world, and the Resurrection, which is our Saviour's victory
to you in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I am,
is a truth of faith that, by His nature and office, Jesus
Christ is our only Mediator with the eternal Father. "For
there is one God," says the Apostle, "and one
mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave
Himself a redemption for all” (I Tim. 2:
by His nature and office, Jesus Christ is the one and only
primary advocate of God and men, but this does not prevent
us from having secondary advocates, advocates by intercession,
such as the saints, and especially the Queen of all the
saints. St. Thomas of Villanova says that, as Jesus is our
Advocate with the divine Father, it is quite proper that
Mary should be our advocate with the divine Son. Since we
lack the necessary purity and holiness we are not fit to
present ourselves directly to Jesus. For He is God, in all
things equal to the Father, and equally worthy of reverence.
Because He has condescended, in His infinite goodness and
mercy, to become our intercessor, advocate, and mediator
with His eternal Father, is no reason why we should have
less reverence for His infinite majesty and holiness. We
must agree, then, with St. Bernard, that we need an advocate
with our Advocate, Jesus; and that the advocate who discharges
this office in our behalf is Mary. There is no limit to
her compassion for our miseries. And as she has constant
access to the throne of her divine Son, she interposes her
powerful intercession in our behalf. These are the reflections
that we shall make today in honour of Mary and for the encouragement
of her devoted clients. We shall consider that Mary is our
merciful Advocate; that she is our powerful Advocate; that
she is our efficacious Advocate.
is our merciful advocate. Mary's compassion for us began
as soon as she learned the history of the unhappy father
from whom we have all descended. From that moment she tried,
by her prayers and her desires, to hasten the coming of
Him who was to free us from the slavery of Satan and the
reign of death to give us the life and liberty of the children
of God. With her eyes fixed on heaven night and day, she
hoped and longed for the speedy fulfilment of the mystery
of the redemption. When she subsequently became the Mother
of God, and also our Mother, it would be difficult to understand
the superabundant compassion that filled Mary's heart. She
was not so much interested in the honours which she was
to receive from her devote clients of every age and place,
as she was in the sighs and groans and entreaties of those
in distress of soul and body. With her eyes of mercy she
continually tried to discover our miseries. How many sighs
of anguish escape the hearts of the afflicted without the
knowledge of anyone on earth! How many wounds remain hidden,
either because the sufferer does not wish to reveal them,
or because there is no one interested in them! How many
burdens weigh heavily upon the poor children of Adam without
being seen or observed! But if the world does not see or
observe them, we must not forget that Mary sees them and
tabes note of them. No, there is not sigh or a pain or a
tear that remains unknown to Mary. She sees and knows our
miseries, even better than we do ourselves when we say to
her: "Turn, then, most gracious Advocate thine eyes
of mercy toward us."
is our powerful Advocate. We read in Holy Scripture how
Moses, by the power of his prayers, stayed God's wrath against
the stiff-necked people of Israel. The Lord, unable to resist
his entreaties, said to him; "Let Me alone, that My
wrath may be kindled against them, and that I may destroy
them. ...But Moses besought the Lord his God. ...And the
Lord was appeased from doing the evil which He had spoken
against His people" (Exod. 32; 10,11,14).
Moses was able to stay God's wrath and appease His anger,
what of the power of Mary's intercession? Her prayers are
more powerful before the throne of God than those of all
men on earth and of all the saints and angels of heaven.
So great is Mary's power that her requests are always heard
and granted. As soon as she appears before her divine Son,
she obtains whatever she asks of Him. Could it possibly
be otherwise? In order that one's intercession be efficacious,
it is necessary that the one who intercedes be dear to the
one with whom he intercedes. Since the question is one of
obtaining not justice but grace and mercy, the dearer the
intercessor is, the more powerful his intercession. Now
in the eyes of God there is no creature so beautiful, so
holy, and so lovable as Mary. And the power of her intercession
is in proportion to her dearness to God. Happy are we, therefore,
to have been given such an Advocate. "O happy day,"
says St. Thomas of Villanova, "on which such and so
great an Advocate has been given to the world! So great
an Advocate because she is most pure, because she is most
acceptable, because she is most merciful!"
is rendered still more powerful when it is exercised by
one who, besides being most dear, has the right to plead
our cause. To such intercession, a refusal may be said to
be impossible. Such is the mediation of Mary, for as our
Co-Redeemer she has the right to intercede for us. Since
she has had such a large part in the redemption, nothing
that she asks can be denied her. She furnished the flesh
and blood that formed Christ's sacred body; she nourished
Him from her own substance; her nights and days were filled
with solicitude for His safety and welfare; for His sake
she endured trials and crosses, sorrows and sadness; and
finally she suffered the most bitter agony at the foot of
the cross. How, then, could Jesus refuse to grant the petitions
of an Advocate who has so man claims on His love and gratitude?
Hence we must conclude that Mary is our most powerful Advocate.
say that Mary is our most efficacious Advocate, means that
she obtains for us grace, and mercy, and all blessings from
God. After destroying the world by the flood because of
the sins of men, God caused the rainbow to appear in the
heavens and said to Noah: "I will establish My covenant
with you, and all flesh shall be no more destroyed with
the water of a flood, neither shall there be henceforth
a flood to waste the earth. This is the sign of the covenant
that I give between Me and you, and to every living soul
that is with you for perpetual generations. I will set My
bow in the cloud and it shall be the sign of a covenant
between Me and the earth" (Gen. 9: 11-13).
Now, St. Antoninus says: "That rainbow is a beautiful
image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She stands near the throne
of God and when, because of men's sins, He is about to submerge
the world in a deluge of scourges, like a rainbow of peace
she appears in His presence and appeases His wrath."
St. Bonaventure represents Mary in the pillar of cloud that
God sent to the Israelites during their journey in the desert
(Exod. 13: 21,22). As that cloud guided
them, and protected them, and covered them from the burning
rays of the sun, so does Mary guide us, and cover with her
maternal mantle, and defend us against the rigours of God's
world will never know how often it has been saved from destruction
by Mary's intercession. There is scarcely a country on
earth, whose villages, towns, and cities do not recognize
and testify by public monuments to the fact that they have
been saved by Mary's intercession from some terrible scourge,
plague, famine, earthquake, conflagration, flood, or some
the many other disasters with which God punishes men's sins.
Neither is there a Christian who in one way or another has
not been the recipient of God's mercy through Mary's goodness.
The world is growing older, but can we say that it advancing
in virtue? Yet God's punishments are not so severe or so
frequent as they were before Christ came on earth. What
is the reason? Does it mean that the immutable God has changed?
No, it means that now we have Mary for our Advocate, who
interposes between God and us, and stays the hand of divine
vengeance. Who indeed knows how many times she has been
the means of saving each one of us from God's punishments?
Who knows how often she has turned away the hand that was
about to strike our home, our dear ones, ourselves, because
of our sins? Who knows how often, without our knowing it,
without our praying to her, without our loving her, she
has thought of us, and pitied us, and prayed for us to her
divine Son, and saved us from His just indignation? Yes,
each of us can say to Mary with St. Augustine: "I have
offended thee and thou hast defended me."
great goodness of Mary should inspire us with the consoling
hope of obtaining the salvation of our immortal souls. True,
we have offended God in the past, and have many times deserved
hell. But now we are resolved never to offend Him again,
and with this resolution in our hearts we place ourselves
in the hands of Mary. And Mary will clothe us in the merits
of her divine Son, and thus vested she will present us to
Him, that we may one day hear from His blessed lips the
consoling words: "Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess
you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of
the world" (Matt. 25: 34).
us conclude with one of St Alphonsus Liguori's beautiful
"O great Mother of God, I will say to thee
with St. Bernard: 'Speak, O Lady, for thy Son
hears thee; whatsoever thou wilt ask, thou shalt
obtain.' Thy Son certainly hears thee, and will
grant whatsoever thou shalt ask. Speak, then,
O Advocate of men, in behalf of us, miserable
sinners. Remember that it was for our benefit
also that thou didst receive such great power,
and such exalted dignity. A God has condescended
to make Himself thy debtor, by taking from thee
human existence, that thou might be able to dispense
at pleasure, to miserable sinners, the riches
of the divine mercy. We are thy servants, devoted
in a special manner to thy service, and among
them I also hope to be. We glory in living under
thy protection. If thou dost confer benefits on
all, even on those who neither know nor honour
thee, and even on those who insult thee and blaspheme
against thee, how much greater favours should
we, who honour thee, love thee, and trust in thee,
expect from thy benignity, which seeks after the
miserable in order to relieve them!
are great sinners, but God has enriched thee with
clemency and power greater than all our iniquities.
Thou art able and willing to obtain salvation
for us: and the more unworthy we are of it, the
more we desire to hope for it, that we may glorify
thee the more in heaven, when, through thy intercession,
we may reach that land of bliss. O Mother of Mercy,
we present to thee our souls, once washed and
made beautiful in the blood of Jesus Christ, but
afterwards defiled by sin! To thee we present
them: attend to their sanctification. Obtain for
us a true change of life; obtain for us the love
of God, perseverance, and paradise. We ask great
things of thee; but thou art able to obtain all
of them for us. They do not exceed the love thou
hast for God. It is enough to open thy mouth,
and pray to thy Son: He refuses thee nothing.
Pray, then, O Mary, pray for us: pray and thou
shalt certainly be heard, and we shall be securely
saved" (The Glories of Mary).
Discourses on our Lady, by Fr. O'Rafferty.