Rosary Crusade Clarion
Devotional bulletin of the Rosary Crusade in Canada

October 2002 Issue #22

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for us!

Rosary, in the literal sense of the word, designates a garden of roses.  Most fittingly is this term applied to the well-known prayer which we call the rosary.  This prayer is truly a garden, in which bloom the roses of Mary's heavenly virtues; a garden, in which we can drink from the rivers of grace and breathe in the pure and invigorating atmosphere of the supernatural.  Through the rosary we not only acquire a deeper knowledge of the life of Jesus and Mary, but we are also aroused to holy love and imitation.  Even a summary reflection on the mysteries of the rosary will show us how true this is.

Queen of the Rosary


Joyful Mysteries

What is it that makes the mysteries of our Lord's infancy and childhood joyful mysteries?  It is the fact that the Son of God became the Son of Mary; Mary is a living tabernacle, Nazareth a sacred shrine.  Joy fills the home of Zachary, the Precursor is sanctified, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit at the presence of the Mother of the Lord and the first manifestation of the blessings of redemption.  Heavenly peace descends upon the earth in that silent holy night at Bethlehem, in which the Saviour is born and angels sing of glory to God and peace to men of good will.  It is the program of the Saviour and of all those who follow Him; to carry it out men must place themselves at the disposal of God, ready to be sacrificed.  Jesus Himself does so in His presentation and Mary presents herself for the same purpose with all the love of her heart.  But often service must be rendered and sacrifice offered in the bitterness and desolation of the soul, comforted only by the consciousness that it is the will of the Father.  This is the meaning of the loss of Jesus and His finding in the temple: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?"

There are joyful mysteries in the Christian life unknown to the world.  We are temples of the Holy Spirit, tabernacles of the Saviour after Holy Communion.  He who is the light and hope of the world is within us and we can bring His blessings to our fellow men.  Daily the mystery of Christmas night is re-enacted upon the altar, reminding us of our life's task: to give glory to God in order to secure the peace promised to men of good will.  In baptism we were conse

crated to the service of God - to be victims living, holy, pleasing unto Him; could there be a nobler joy than that of spending our life for God?  And in life's lonely hours we know that God has not forsaken us, but tests our loyalty.  He must be served, not because of His sweet consolation but because He is the Lord.

Sorrowful Mysteries

The cross appears in many forms.  All that is in man must suffer and bear the punishment of sin, either personal sin or the sins of others.  The soul must suffer because mind and will are primarily responsible for sin.  The

refore Jesus suffers His agony, sad unto death, trembling and sweating blood, but accepting the chalice of His Passion because it is His Father's will.  The pain of the scourging atones for the sins of the flesh, all sensuality and pampering of the body; the humiliation of the crowning with thorns, for the pride by which man seeks to be like unto God and despises His will; the carrying of the cross, for the pleasure-seeking and forgetfulness of duty; the crucifixion, for the spirit of rebellion against the restraints of God's law binding man at all times and under all circumstances.

The sorrowful mysteries are found in the life of every true follower of Christ.  Through agony of mind and body, through humiliations patiently borne, through fidelity in carrying the burdens of life, through perseverance in the attitude of loving submission to God's will he must atone for sin, conform to the image of Christ, and through such conformity with Christ Crucified prove his claim to the glory of life everlasting.

Glorious Mysteries

Without the glorious mysteries the work of Christ would be incomplete and His followers would be the most miserable among men, as St. Paul says.  But Christ rose from the dead - O death where is thy victory, O death where is thy sting?  Christ ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us- joys, which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart experienced.  And here on earth we are not left alone in the struggles andlabors of life; Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit, that by the power of His love we might persevere in loyalty to Christ unto death.  A pledge and illustration of the glory to come was given us in Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  She was raised from the dead and taken into heaven with soul and body, and there crowned as Queen of all angels and saints, because more than all of these she has served, suffered, and loved unto death.

Holy Mother of God

Holy Mother of God, Pray for us!

Four invocations in the Litany of Loreto refer to Mary's divine motherhood….

The first of these titles states the basic truth: Mary is the Mother of God.  Thus it was defined at the Council of Ephesus, in the year 431, against Nestorius, "If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore the holy Virgin Mother of God, since she brought forth according to the flesh the incarnate Word of God, let him be anathema" (Denz., 113).

There is but one God, that is, one divine nature, but in that one God there are three distinct Persons.  In virtue of her divine motherhood Mary must therefore enter a most intimate relationship with each one of these divine Persons.

Sanctuary of the Blessed Trinity

As Mother of God Mary becomes the most sacred sanctuary of the Most Blessed Trinity.  The very Godhead, the divine Life and Operations, abides in Mary as long as she carries the incarnate Word of God beneath her heart.  In her the Father begets the Son, the Son proceeds from the Father, the Holy Spirit is breathed forth in the eternal love of Father and Son.  In her dwell Eternity, Omnipotence, Immensity, and all other divine perfections.  In view of all this St. Thomas can say: "Mary, by the fact that she is the Mother of God, possesses a certain infinite dignity, arising out of the infinite good, which is God" (Ia, q.26, a.6, ad 4).

Relation to the Father

As Mother of God Mary can call Him her Son whom the Father begets from all eternity.  The overwhelming majesty of this fact is set in striking relief in the Christmas liturgy of holy Church.  In the Introit of the first Mass we listen to the voice of the Father: "The Lord hath said to me: 'Thou art my son; this day I have begotten thee.' "   In the Gospel of the same Mass St. Luke records: "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger."  This glorious Mother can say to this her first-born Son, who is the same only-begotten Son of the eternal Father: "Thou art my Son; this day I have given thee birth."  The Introit of the third Mass proclaims the joyful news: "A child is born to us and a son is given to us. ..." yet this Child is He, of whom St. John says in the Gospel of this Mass: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ...And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."

Since through Mary the Son of the Father has in all truth become man, He can now honor, obey, worship, offer sacrifice to the Father, which He could not do before because of the equality of nature.  Now one act of worship on the part of the divine Son confers upon the Father infinitely more honor and glory than the combined honor and glory rendered Him by all angels and saints.  This is a mystery so profound and incomprehensible that all we can do is admire and adore.

Relation to the Son

Through Mary's motherhood the Son of God becomes the Son of Man, the Head of the human race; it is in Mary that He celebrates His nuptials with the human race for the purpose of begetting spiritual children of God.  So says Leo XIII: "The eternal Son of God, about to assume human nature for the redemption and exaltation of man, and for that reason to enter a certain mystical marriage with the whole human race, did not do so until He had received the full consent of the chosen Mother, who in a certain way acted the part of the human race" (Octobri mense, 1891).

The fruit of this marriage is the Church. According to Pius XII: "The Church was born from the side of our Saviour on the cross like a new Eve, mother of all living" (Mystici Corporis).  But, according to the same encyclical, "Mary offered Him on Golgotha to the eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his fall, and her Mother's rights and Mother's love were included in the holocaust."  As Mary together with the Holy Spirit built the physical body of Jesus, so she now together with her divine Son builds up His mystical body.  The divine life that will quicken the Church is in Christ, but He will release it only through Mary.  Leo XIII thus expresses this thought: "With no less propriety may we say that of the immense treasures which the Lord has produced, by the will of God nothing whatsoever is to be imparted to us except through Mary.  As no one can come to the Father except through the Son, so in almost the same manner no one can come to Christ except through Mary" (Octobri mense).

Thus it is through Mary that the Word of God, begotten of the Father in the silence of eternity, in inaccessible light, enters this world. Now the Word of God can speak the words of God in the language of men, can place Himself at the head of the human race and lead men in rendering to the Father adoration and worship, such as men could never have rendered otherwise.

Relation to the Holy Spirit

Mary's relationship to Father and Son finds its completion in her relation to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son; no Person proceeds from Him.  Now in the mystery of the Incarnation the Holy Spirit overshadows the Blessed Virgin and makes her the Mother of Christ; the fruit of Mary's chaste womb is also the fruit of His love.  And through Jesus and Mary the fruit of His love will also be all the members of the mystical body of Christ, for they are born again to the life of the children of God through water and the Holy Spirit.

Mary is called the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.  The very name stands for mutual love, mutual self-surrender - in the case of two human persons, within the limits of the law of God; in the case of a divine and human person, absolute and unconditional on the part of the human person.  To no other human person did the Holy Spirit give Himself with such fullness of grace and love; no other person did He associate with Himself so intimately in the sanctification of souls.  On the other hand, from no other human did He receive such complete, perfect, loving surrender as from Mary.

These relations of the Mother of God to the three divine Persons so wonderfully unite God and men, produce such harmony in the works of God, that Mary has been called the complement of the Blessed Trinity.  This expression surely does not imply that she added anything of her own to the perfection of the divine Persons, but it does imply that God decreed from all eternity to unite the whole of creation with Himself in a mysterious union of life and love through the Incarnation of the divine Word, and that in the realization of this decree Mary was to co-operate in a more excellent way than any other creature.

Mother of God - infinite love and condescension on the part of God, infinite exaltation on the part of man - all so sublime, so full of mystery, that it were unbelievable, were it not a dogma of our holy faith: Mary is the Mother of God.

-from Our Lady’s Litany, by Rev. A. Biskupek.


Our Lady


This issue is filled with explanations for titles of our Lady.  In the last issue Fr. Biskupek explained the name of Holy Mary.  In future issues I would like to continue republishing this marvellous series on the litany of Loreto. 

The Latin inscription on the cover picture is an encouragement to pray the rosary.  Inclytae matri coronas nectite means “bind together crowns for our renowned mother.”  The rosary is as a crown of roses, which are laid by angels before the feet of heaven’s queen.  We honour the Blessed Mother by our prayers, and she loves to receive them.

United to you in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I am,
Emanuel Herkel
Fr. E. Herkel