A priest friend asked me with great sarcasm, truly on the attack, whether or not I had said my rosary that day. I said that I had said two rosaries that day. Skeptical, he asked what that meant. “The joyful and sorrowful mysteries so far,” I said. “So,” he responded, you haven’t even said one Rosary today, just two thirds of one Rosary?” “That’s right,” I said. “Did our Lady of Fatima say to recite the Rosary? Yes, she did,” he said, answering his own question, then continuing: “Did she ever say to say a third of the Rosary, to anyone, ever? No, she did not. Not ever. A Rosary is 15 decades, the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.”
But I also mentioned this exchange with some other priests at the retreat. One, who leads pilgrimages over to Fatima said that what the attack priest said was actually not true, that, in Portuguese our Lady said “terço” (meaning “a third”). Apparently, the Portuguese never say “Rosary” but simply say “a third.”
Meanwhile, I’ve fallen totally in love with saying at least a full Rosary, perhaps two, and more, which has immediately brought me stunning, jaw dropping… invitations to enter into the mysteries presently. More on that later. But this is one of those things you can’t just explain. Pray. Pray the Rosary. I get it now.
I now often think of the angel reprimanding the children: “What are you doing? You must pray! Pray!”
I stand rightly reprimanded. I get the reprimand now.
I often think of what our Lady said about Francisco’s chances of going to heaven: “When Lucia asked if Francisco would go to heaven too, Our Lady said, “Yes, but first he must say many Rosaries.” Learning this, Francisco cried out excitedly: “Oh, Our Lady, I will say all the Rosaries you wish!”
I totally get that enthusiasm of his. But there’s quite the difference between little Francisco and wretched me. I don’t there is enough time in all the world for all the Rosaries I should be praying, but I’m hoping the little I can do will be like a flower for the Immaculate Conception. We gotta have hope, right?
[[ // The following is from the EWTN Fatima page. I like how the one summarizing the background in the first paragraph puts “criminals” in scare-quotes, intimating that these were, instead, under cover interrogators placed by the Mayor and Administrator. Yep. That would be right. // ]]
Under the pretext of providing his personal automobile, so that the children could travel safely through the crowds pressing around their homes, the civil Administrator or Mayor of the district in which Fátima was located, arrived in Aljustrel on the morning of August 13th. A previous attempt on August 11th to obtain the “truth” from the children having been unsuccessful, Artur Santos, an apostate Catholic and high Mason, had devised a scheme by which he would take them into custody and force them to reveal all. With a show of good will he now offered to take the three and their parents to see the parish priest, whom he claimed wished to see them, and then to the Cova. At the parish house he abandoned this ruse, and the parents, taking the children alone from there to the district headquarters in Vila Nova de Ourem, some 9 miles away. Here he tried bribes, threats of death and locking them in a cell with other “criminals” in order to get them to recant their story. It was to no avail. Despite their ages, their belief in the Lady and their courage was unshakeable.
Meanwhile, in the Cova at noon on the 13th the characteristic external signs of the Apparition appeared for the benefit of the crowd, the greatest crowd to that time. After they ended the crowd dispersed, as yet unaware of the trickery of the government.
The “trial” of the children, however, continued for two days, to the consternation of their families. Finally, on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, the Administrator had them driven back to Fátima and deposited on the steps of the rectory. Here they were seen as the people, who had just come from Mass, were trying to determined from Ti Marto where the children were. Their anger was poured out on the driver, and on the Mayor when he arrived a little later, both of whom were no doubt glad to be rid of their little charges and to escape unscathed. It would effectively be the only serious effort of the civil authorities to interfere with the Lady of Fátima.
As it was the Lady’s plans were delayed slightly. On Sunday the 19th Lucia, her brother John, and Francisco, were grazing the sheep at a place known as Valinhos. It was located on the side of the same hillock opposite Aljustrel where the angel appeared twice, though a little farther north. At apout 4 o’clock, sensing that Our Lady was about to appear, Lucia tried unsuccessfully to get John to fetch Jacinta, until she offered him a couple pennies for the errand. As she and Francisco waited they saw the characteristic light. The moment Jacinta arrived the Lady appeared.
“What do you want of me?”
Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.
“What are we to do with the offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?”
I want you to have two ardors [litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here.
Lucia then asked for the cure of some sick people.
Some I will cure during the year. (looking sadly at them) Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice.
Having said that she departed as she had on the other occasions.
/// This is the providence of the Lord, who so often provides that we are in the circumstances He Himself suffered, allowing us the opportunity to be in more complete solidarity with Him. Christ Jesus was betrayed and interrogated and thrown in prison overnight, the next day to face judgment by a puppet and then to be ripped to shreds and tortured to death on the cross.
In the case of the children, they had other tasks to be accomplished, the first amongst them being to pray the Rosary.
Typical of believers, Lucia, amidst all the chaos and suffering and then the apparition, asked about some sick people. Recall Jesus on the cross, who paid attention to His dear mother and to John.
Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary, said: “Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice.“ The purpose of this, practically speaking, is to get these fallen souls to GO TO CONFESSION! or, failing that, to help them as they die to turn to Jesus. Should they get to purgatory, they will in the end get to heaven. That’s what we want for Jesus and our Blessed Mother. We gotta get to heaven; we gotta help each other get to heaven.
This was put up before on this blog, but it is best, methinks, to put it up again. There will be some fierceness to be witnessed in the coming days. I just wanted people to see another side of Father Altman, the one who prays before the Blessed Sacrament, the one who prays the Rosary, the one who – impossible to the fakers – has great spiritual insights into the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. His words are spoken with awe before the Mystery. As expected – and I love this – he mentions some of the imbecile heresies that we all heard from Seminary professors. He refutes the idiocy well.
You can skip to 7.40 for the Gospel then the homily.
And here’s three other homilies in a row, the first one being why some powerful ecclesiastics have it in for him:
“Communism will never be conquered, it must be converted.”
There are useless arguments as to whether or not we have prayed enough so that the bishops in unison with Saint John Paul II consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Useless! Why?
Right now, we are to pray the Rosary and make Eucharistic Reparation so that our Bishops today, including and in unison with Pope Francis, can for the first time or second time, specifically consecrate Russian to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That would be good, would it not?
“That’s not possible Father George! That’s a tall order you got there. Do you really think the Archbishop of Washington is going to do this while he is given our Eucharistic Jesus to the most anti-Catholic president in the history of these USA?”
Ah yes… despair and cynicism… Jesus said: “Nothing is impossible with God.”
When I was in first grade in our Catholic parochial elementary school in the mid 1960s the school desks we had were like those pictured, but the legs were bolted to long pieces of lumber much like a railroad tracks. The desks were always in order and one couldn’t mischievously rock the desk forward either by lifting it up from behind or rocking forward on the seat in front. I would’ve been the kid with bow and arrow outside the window trying to get my sleeping friend to skip school.
Anyway, for many days in a row we had nuclear missile drills in the class room. The goal was to get as quickly under these iron and wooden desks as fast as we could when we were given the signal. This wasn’t fun, and had us living under the dark threat of nuclear war, such as little kids could even begin to understand such things. That was when I began to have a deep hatred for all that which is Communism. All of my multitudinous experiences with Communism since I was a little kid have confirmed and further informed my first visceral judgment. I learned to include other power-ideologies such as one finds in the insane governance of Iran, with the oft-repeated desire to obliterate Israel from the face of the Earth.
Meanwhile, our hide-under-the-desks drill was taking place more than two decades after these USA dropped Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. We shouldn’t forget how the war in the Pacific Theater actually ended:
Everyone knows that rule number two: “Trust but VERIFY” while making friends – of sorts – is always one aspect of preparing for the worst. It’s not a backup plan but goes hand in hand with rule number one.
Everyone knows that rule number two will be broken, which is why rule number one is always in place: “Be able and always ready to neutralize an activated threat when rule number two is broken.
Israel knows that neutralizing a merely prepared threat is absolutely necessary where they live. Thus, nuclear reactors manufacturing high grade nuclear warheads in deserts have been routinely obliterated. Great.
Not many know, however, what the absolute best way to prepare for nuclear war happens to be. It comes before the above two rules. It’s overarching, reaching into every aspect of our lives: the Rosary.
Oh, and that applies to the-end-of-the-world for us in our own personal lives, when we die, and either we will go to Heaven (whether after Purgatory or not) or directly to hell. Hell is unimaginably worse than any already unimaginable nuclear annihilation would be for those who somehow survive.
Being one with the Living God whose love is stronger than death is the way to live, and die. No threat is ever so scary when we are walking as one with the very Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.
BTW. That picture above belonged to a parishioner who recently died, Marie McIsaac. She had spent a good bit of her life teaching special needs kids. She always had a rule number one for me, every time I visited her as homebound, or in the hospital or nursing home: Behave yourself!
These guys are withstanding the freezing Winter temps outside, surely for the upcoming feast of the Immaculate Conception this Saturday, December 8. I went to Confession, a kind of General Confession, with a really good priest. What a joy. Purity of heart and agility of soul in God’s good grace, in friendship with the Son of the Living God, is happiness; looking forward to heaven with the hope that is granted to us, is the way to go. So, a flower for the Immaculate Conception, who holds us in regard, that is, regarding us, beckoning us, to be disciples of her Son. After all, He forgave us really a lot…
Right after that, it was off to Charlotte to see the Bishop and the other priests of the diocese. The bishop offers his priests an Advent meal of fraternity each year out of his own pocket. Very pleasant. I gave out the handmade Rosaries for priests, and the Bishop took one with much appreciation, asking about those who made them. I said that I had a few left and that if he knew of any priests who might appreciate them he could have those too. He said he did, and it seems we had just the exact number needed for this region of the world. So, I was quite happy with that. Thanks to the makers of the unbreakable rosaries!
A number of makers of unbreakable rosaries have sent in unbreakable rosaries. There are smaller versions and bigger versions. I’m clutzy so I like the big ones. Unbreakable is a necessity for me. All I do is break breakable rosaries, so these are great.
Comments are moderated. I won’t let comments through on this post. If you’re a priest and would like an unbreakable rosary, just put your name and address in a comment and I’ll get it sent out to you forthwith.
One is spoken for already (but I don’t have the address yet). Let me know which one you would like. Also let me know if you’re easy about it and would be happy with any of these.
These were made with love to assist our priests. Thanks to our rosary makers!
Once in a while a guy shows up in the parish wearing just such a rosary around his neck, skulls and all. He just said it was interesting to have skulls. Meanwhile, the priest friend sending in the picture of this rosary said that they are actually US Army Land Navigation Pace Counters:
“When you’re in the field, you count pace by your steps, and when you’ve traveled a certain distance you pull a bead back to show you’ve gone a mile or five miles or whatever. The beads grip the cord to you can keep track.”
Favoring the USMC, I’m going to poke fun at land lubbers using the word navigation for anything. ;-)
I need verification from any member of the U.S. Army as to the veracity of the assertion for the skulls. I’m thinking skulls are not used. He says he heard this said while he himself was a Boy Scout way back in the day.
Meanwhile, we wouldn’t want anyone to have the idea that one is pelagianistically pacing one’s journey to heaven because of saying prayers. We don’t acquire heaven. Salvation is a gift. We are drawn into true prayer by the grace of Jesus at Mary’s intercession.
Meanwhile, I have no problem with calling to mind our demise because of sin. It’s helpful to have a humble and contrite heart while thinking of the goodness and kindness of Jesus and Mary, neither of whom knew the corruption of the tomb though incomparably they knew the pain of death. We thank them.
As the doer of knots[!] tells me, it may take some time for them to make it across the pond. I have to wonder if such weapons of spiritual warfare will have to be carefully examined and pondered in customs, or if I’ll have to go some federal agency to answer questions as to their use. It’s hard to disguise them for easy transport. The priest who asked about such knotted rosaries that are quite impossible to break will have to tell me which one he likes best.
Update: He’s says he’s partial to the Pardon Crucifix. Of course!
This was made for me by a seminarian at a seminary where I was teaching a while back. He added the miraculous medal. He’s now a priest after the Heart of our Lord. I added the medal of Saint Benedict (gift from a cloistered Benedictine nun who prays for me).
I really like unbreakable rosaries as I’ve broken all other “unbreakable” rosaries. Also, I guess it’s the nylon, it doesn’t twist up into unknottable knots. Perhaps it carries the blessing of Our Lady Undoer of Knots. Anyway, I love everything about it.
To the point: A priest friend noted my EDC mention of this rosary and wondered where he could get one. I’m going to be brave and ask if anyone knows how to make such things and wouldn’t mind making such a rosary for a priest. Note the color! Note that the “Our Father” knots about twice as many twists as the “Hail Mary” knots. Don’t worry about medals. Priests know how to add their favorite medals or crucifixes.
I mean, we want to support good prayer of our priests, right? Even priests can be saints. Difficult to imagine that, I know, but it’s true. We need to help each other get to know Jesus through Mary all the more all the time. But if we can’t attempt such a rosary, perhaps a Hail Mary for him and all priests would be awesome: Hail Mary…
Update: We have a promise of a rosary or even a few coming up in a few days. This is great encouragement for us priests from the laity. This is much needed these days. So, thanks especially for that. In fact, this is what I’m sensing: the Holy Spirit is firing up the Mystical Body of Christ, more Mass attendance, more Adoration, more Confession, more personal support and encouragement. All priests thus encouraged are most thankful.
It used to be when I was a seminarian and a young priest that I would come up with wildly academic ever so cerebral meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary, reading the relative Scripture passages in Greek and Hebrew and letting all this race through my mind as the Hail Mary prayers were playing, as it were, as it is sometimes said, a symphony in the background.
But that’s a lot of work, and, by the way, not a prayer, just a recitation of the facts, all true, mind you, all awesome, all mightily traditional and in line with the Fathers of the Church. But, sorry, it was all a bit frustrating. I was forgetting one thing: prayer. Since then I’ve discovered a secret to saying the Rosary: prayer. So…
Why not put the facts of the mysteries together with the recitation of the Hail Mary into the background just a bit, the mysteries still visible, as it were, the words of each Hail Mary still recognized, but putting an emphasis on Jesus and Mary right here, right now, as they are in heaven and as they are with us, thanking them for what they did for us back in the day whilst upon this earth, but, mind you, thanking them right here, right now. Prayer once again. And the Rosary flies by. Goodness! What happened? Reality. Much better, that.
It’s all held together by a braided metal cable strong enough to pull a car, or perhaps a stubborn soul. Even I could not break this rosary, and I have a donkey’s strength. Here’s the description:
This is from Kathleen Riney. Her husband is in hospice now. In your charity please say a prayer for him and for her. She’s a great prayer supporter for all our priests including Father Gordon MacRae and myself.
A reader wanted me to upload an mp3, a recitation of the Rosary, but instead I would like to give you a peek at what I do with some of my time while driving the great distances in my parish. I chant the rosary. In the mp3 below, the Ave is chanted in Hebrew with a chant I made up while driving along.
שלום לך, מרים, מלאת החסד, אדוני עמך, ברוכה את בנשים וברוך פרי בטנך, ישוע. מרים הקדושה, אם האלהים,התפללי בעדנו, החוטאים, עתה ובשעת מותנו. אמן.
Some people have a mental block about saying the Rosary because they’re making it too abstract, repeating the Hail Mary and that’s it. Instead, while you’re reciting the Hail Mary, be personally thanking Jesus and Mary for all they did while on this earth so as to get us to heaven. The time flies when it’s not from your head but from your heart