A Gift from
by Father Stefano Manelli, S.T.D.
At Lourdes and at
Fatima Our Lady appeared particularly to recommend to us the recitation of the
Rosary. At Lourdes She Herself held a beautiful Rosary while Bernadette recited
the Hail Marys. At Fatima, in every apparition, She recommended the
recitation of the Rosary, especially during the last apparition, when She
presented Herself as the "Lady of the Rosary".
It is truly of
great importance that Our Lady gave us the Rosary. When She spoke at Fatima of
the salvation of sinners, of the ruin of the souls in hell, of wars and of the
future of our age, Our Lady indicated and recommended the Rosary as the prayer
Sister Lucy of
Fatima tells us in short that "in our time the Blessed Virgin gave an added
efficacy to the Holy Rosary, so that there is no problem, material or
spiritual, national or international that cannot be solved with the Rosary and
One morning St.
Joseph Cafasso, while passing through the streets of Turin, met a poor, old,
hunchbacked woman, who recited the Rosary softly as she walked.
"Why in such a
hurry, good lady?" asked the saint.
"Oh, Reverend, I
pass to clean the streets!"
"To clean the
streets ... ? What do you mean?"
"Look, last night
there was the carnival and the people committed many sins. Now, I am saying the
Hail Marys to cleanse this place of sin."
cleanses the soul of sin and adorns it with grace. The Rosary saves souls. St.
Maximilian Kolbe wrote in his agenda, "Many Rosaries, many souls saved." Do we
think of this? We will save many souls by reciting the Rosary. What charity of
inestimable value would this be!
What can we say of
the conversion of sinners through the Rosary? We ought to speak of St. Dominic,
St. Louis de Montfort, the Holy Curé of Ars, St. Joseph Cafasso, St.
Padre Pio, etc.
The Rosary does
good to all sinners, men of good will, and saints.
When St. Philip
Neri was asked what prayer to choose, he responded immediately, without
hesitation, "Recite the Rosary and recite it often."
Even when St.
Padre Pio was asked what prayer he preferred most, he answered almost abruptly,
The saints, above
all, have shown the efficacious grace of the Rosary. Many saints were true
apostles of the Rosary St. Peter Canisius, St. Charles Borromeo, St.
Camillis de Lillis, St. Anthony M. Gianelli, St. John Bosco, etc., perhaps
among the greatest and most remarkable examples was St. Padre Pio. He is the
most prestigious of all humanity. For many years he recited daily more than one
hundred Rosaries. A gigantic model who guaranteed the fecundity of the Rosary
for his sanctification and for the salvation of souls.
thousands of souls were mysteriously attracted to that priest, who for hours
and hours, day and night, with swollen and bleeding hands recited the Rosary
while standing at the foot of Our Ladys Statue. He has truly shown that
the Rosary is the chain of salvation which hangs from the hands of Our Savior
and His Blessed Mother and which indicates the source of every grace that comes
down to us, and where our every hope must go up." (Pope Paul VI.)
shouted the devil to the Holy St. Curé of Ars while pushing him hard
against the wall of the room. "You have already robbed me of eighty thousand
souls this year, and if there would be four priests like you I would surely end
my reign on earth ..." He acknowledged that his being a priest was a special
gift from Our Lady, because he knew how to say the Rosary well, remained always
in his humility, aware of being unworthy in all aspects. Above all, he thought
of praying and doing penance with all his strength. The rest God did for him.
These were the things that humiliate hell totally, and made it unable to face
this humble priest.
It is the truth of
Gods word, "every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he
that humbleth himself, shall be exalted." (Luke 14:11.) And still, "God
resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5.)
If now we think of
the surpassing grandeur of Our Lady, we will understand immediately of humility
that must be in Her, "Exalted above all the choirs of Angels."
The humility of
Our Lady is noted in the first pages of the Gospels, "Behold the Handmaid of
the Lord." (Luke 1:38.) It is manifested in the Visitation to St. Elizabeth,
who rightly cried out, "Whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should
come to me?" (Luke 1:43.) It shines forth in the birth of Jesus which took
place in a poor stable because "there was no room for them in the inn" (Lk.
2:7). It is wrapped up in thick silence and hidden for thirty years in
Nazareth. It is resplendent of opprobrium and ignominy on Calvary where Our
Lady was present as the Mother of the Condemned.
The humility of
Our Lady is more or less proportional to Her Supreme Regality. She was highly
exalted because She was supremely humble.
We must learn
humility from this school.
All the prayers,
knowledge and love of St. Bernadette seemed to consist in the Rosary. Her
sister Antoinette said, "Bernadette did nothing but pray and did not know what
else to say besides the Rosary."
The Rosary is an
evangelical, Christological and contemplative prayer in the company of Our
Lady. (Marialis Cultus, 44-47.) Praise and supplication which constitute the
Hail Mary urge the mind towards contemplation of the present mystery of the
The Rosary can be
said equally well on the street as at the foot of the altar. When the mind is
recollectedly turned to Mary, it pleases Our Lady if it is said in the church
or on a train, while walking, or flying in an airplane.
Is it possible
that we can not find even a quarter of an hour daily to offer a Rosary to Our
Lady? The Rosary can be said any place, any time, with anybody, without books
or ceremonies, aloud or in silence.
Let us think of
the Rosaries recited in the wards of the hospitals by St. Camillis de Lellis
and St. Bertilla Boscardin; on the way to Rome by St. Vincent Palotti; on a
train and on board a ship by St. Frances Cabrini; in the Sahara Desert by
Brother Charles de Foucauld; in royal palaces by the venerable Maria Christina
of Savoy; in concentration camps and in the bunker of death by St. Maximilian
Kolbe; above all in the family by Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, by the parents of
St. Thérèse and by the mother of St. Maria Goretti. Let us not
waste time on trivial and detrimental things, when we have a precious treasure
like the Rosary. Let us recite it and promise Our Lady to end the Marian month
with it. "Every day a Rosary for You, O Mary!"
At Fatima the
Rosary was the gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We want to conclude the
Marian month putting our Rosary in the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the
commitment of reciting it daily.
The Rosary and the
Immaculate Heart of Mary mark the final triumph of the Kingdom of God for this
True devotion to
the Rosary and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary guarantees salvation. Even Our
Lady says that the souls devoted to the Rosary and to Her Immaculate Heart will
be chosen ones of God "as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne."
Our Lady Herself
wants to light and to keep burning in us the love for the Rosary and for Her
Recite a Rosary in thanksgiving.
Offer a Mass and Communion in thanksgiving.
Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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