In Fatima, Portugal from October 9 – 14, hundreds of thousands made a pilgrimage to Fatima and the sites of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, to three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta Marto. At this historic and holy place, the Master of the Order, fr. Bruno Cadoré, O.P., and several other Dominicans, especially the Promoters of the Holy Rosary from varied Provinces, with the guidance of fr. Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, spent time in visitation of the holy sites, participated in daily meetings concerning the promotion of the Rosary in differing regions, celebrated the Holy Eucharist, and prayed the rosary using the Mysteries of the Incarnation to praise God while together with enormously diverse other pilgrims together in this centennial of the appearances of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
In presenting his reflections on the final evening of the pilgrimage, fr. Bruno offered ten points concerning the proclamation of the Rosary. The first of these is:
“Preaching and Praying the Rosary are Vital.”
Dominicans throughout over 800 years of preaching and caring for souls have devoted themselves to the prayer and practice of the mysteries inherent in the sign of the rosary beads and cross or crucifix connected and hanging on the belt of the habit. The beads with cross are tactile and challenging reminders to us that we are graced and equipped interiorly with the desire to make known the mystery of God’s plan in Christ (re: Ephesians 1. 3-10).
In the Psalms, we can notice that singing and instruments are notably integral to them. In Psalm 49: 3-4, is sung: “My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.” Using the rosary or, better, playing the music of the rosary, serves to help us resolve the discordance in our lives and the discordance in the world.
A Dominican friar, Austin Green, from St. Martin de Porres Province, who passed away at the age of 93, lived a robust life of preaching and was ever faithful to the prayer and preaching of the Rosary. Having lost 90% of his hearing in WWII, fr. Austin still spoke and preached in robust fashion and cared for souls with attentive wisdom. Often I would see him taking his daily unrushed mid-afternoon walk along the paths of priory, university, seminary, and parish carrying his rosary in his hand. His continues to be an inspiration for so many and his steadfast prayer of the rosary was itself a holy preaching.
St. Dominic’s prayer was so often intercessory. When praying the decades of the rosary we have the opportunity to intercede for others as we attempt, with the assistance of the Blessed Mother, to fathom the mysteries of the Incarnation. It is a creative action, since those for whom we intercede accompany us along the way. Who is it today who will accompany us in our prayer of the rosary?
Mary, Holy Mother of the Redeemer ~ Pray for us.
In Saint Margaret of Hungary,
fr. Chris Eggleton, O.P.