The Gateway to Heaven?

Church of Saint Lucie at Venzolasca in Corsica
Maundy Thursday – 21 April 2011

The cards for the General Promotion of the Rosary have been distributed by tens of thousands. On the front they show a photograph taken by Brother Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, OP, and can be used as a simple and evocative sermon. Be they large or small, they are all the same overleaf: you will find the site’s slogan in the three official languages of the Dominican Order, “Pray, preach, live… the Rosary!”


This image is a psychological test!

What do you see?

The most rational among us will say it is a stained-glass window photographed against the light, with the sun streaming into a church. And they would be right! This photo was taken after the Mass of the Last Supper, through the vapours of incense, in marvellous weather.

But let’s investigate further!

What do you see?

I confess that when I saw this photo, I immediately thought of the Gateway to Heaven opening before us. In the images handed out, we have added Rosarium below to clearly signify that the Rosary is a way to reach Heaven.

My religious aunt told me: “Not at all, it’s not the Gateway to Heaven. Look: you can see the Holy Face of Christ!” Some people add that they even see his head crowned with thorns!

A nun added: “Brother, have you noticed the 7 red circles around the light? They are the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit!

In November 2015, a sister of the Rosary in Lebanon was categorical: “You can clearly distinguish the black veil of a sister, seen from behind, who is worshipping the Holy Sacrament.

As a son of the Province of Toulouse whose patron saint is Mary Magdalene, I see her running towards the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection.

Some see the door of an open tabernacle. Others again, a lighthouse which attracts and guides.

And as a good Frenchman, I can’t help but see the cork of a champagne bottle which has just been opened!

And you, what do you see?

A little of God’s light which attracts without ever forcing.

Let’s join him through the Rosary!
For ever!

Fr. Louis-Marie ARIÑO-DURAND, OP
General Promoter of the Rosary