The Purpose of the Rosary
The purpose of the Rosary is to meditate on key events and mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. There are now twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five JOYFUL MYSTERIES, the five LUMINOUS MYSTERIES, the five SORROWFUL MYSTERIES, and the five GLORIOUS MYSTERIES.
Why Pray the Daily Rosary?
In 1945 when the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a small community of eight Jesuit Fathers, only eight blocks from ground zero remained unharmed (the people and the building itself) while everyone else in a radius of 1.5 Km from the center was killed. Father Huber Schiffer one of the eight priests told the Eucharistic Congress of Philadelphia in 1976, when all eight members were alive and well, that 200 scientists had carried out investigations for several years in search of scientific explanation. He told them that there was only one thing that made their house different than the others: They recited the Holy Rosary Prayer every day by living the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
Alexandre, a girl of noble station who had been converted and enrolled by St. Dominic in the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary, after her death she appeared to him and said that she had been condemned to seven hundred years in purgatory because of her own sins and those she made others commit by worldly ways. So she implored him to ease her pains by his prayers and to ask the confraterinty members to pray for the same end. St Dominic did as she asked. Two weeks later she appeared to him, more radiant than the sun, having been quickly delivered from purgatory through the prayers that the Confraternity members had said for her. She also told him that the Holy souls in purgatory had given her a message to beg him to go on preaching the Holy Rosary and to beg their relatives to offer their rosaries for them, and that they would reward them abundantly when they came into their glory.
One day in 1460 Blessed Alan de la Roche was saying Mass. Our Lord, who wished to spur him on to preach the Rosary, spoke to him from the Sacred Host " How can you crucify me again so Soon?" Jesus said. 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 that they commit."
This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach the Rosary unceasingly. Our Lady too, spoke to him one day to inspire him to preach the Holy
Rosary more and more: "You were a great sinner in your youth," she said, "but I obtained the grace of your conversion from my Son. Had such a thing been possible I would have liked to have gone through all kinds of suffering to save you because converted sinners are a glory to me. And I would have done this also to make you worthy of preaching my Rosary far and wide." Saint Dominic appeared to Blessed Alan as well and told him of the great results of his ministry: he had preached the Holy Rosary unceasingly, his sermons had borne great fruit and many people had been converted during his missions. He said to Blessed Alan: "See the wonderful results I have had through preaching the Holy Rosary! You and all those who love Our Lady ought to do the same so that, by means of this holy practice of the Rosary, you may draw all people to the real science of the virtues." Briefly, then, this is the history of how Saint Dominic established the Holy Rosary and of how Blessed Alan de la Roche restored it.
During his Pontificate (1566- 1572) Pope Pious V found Europe to be in a devastating State as it had been shaken by the reformation, by corruption, and by the threat of Turkish invasion. Seeing that things were only getting worse, he continued to say daily his Rosary. Finally at the last minute Pious was able to call the countries of Europe to unite and pray the Holy Rosary and succeeded in organizing an army. He had a Rosary given to each and every soldier, thus on September the 30th 1571 against all odds, the much smaller European fleet (about 5000 Men) went into battle against the might of the Turkish fleet (about 30,000 Men), and on the October 7th the battle of Lepanto, off Greece was won, (by the Divine assistance of Our Lady).
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