|My dear Patti,
My heart is filled with joy as I write to you on account of my grace-filled experiences during these past few days of promoting the Living Rosary devotion.
On Friday, February 12, with the permission of the Rector of Pope John Paul II Major Seminary, Awka, I spoke to the seminarians about the Living Rosary. There were more than 280 seminarians present. The response was very encouraging! So many of the seminarians, if not all of them, got enrolled and many expressed their desire to become promoters of the Living Rosary. Providentially, one of the Priests accepted to help us from that day regarding the co-ordination of the Living Rosary promotion. Three seminarians will be helping him and I handed on the materials needed for the promotion of the devotion.
On Saturday, February 13, invited by the national director of the Association of Mary Queen of All Hearts, I went to St. Scholastica Benedictine Abbey, Umuoji, to speak to and pray with the promoters of Total Consecration according to the teachings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. (I am a member of the Association and together with other Priests, I worked closely with them before I left for studies in Rome). I spoke to them on Marian Spirituality and the Christian Family. I also introduced to them the Living Rosary. They were so delighted and all of them got enrolled! There were about 80 persons and came from all parts of Nigeria!
The “miracle” of Our Lady of the Rosary…
The Association decided to make the promotion of the Living Rosary part of their regular Total Consecration programs! This means that each promoter goes to the grassroots, the parishes where 33 days are dedicated to teaching the Truths of our Faith in preparation for the Total Consecration, at the end of which, those who do the Consecration are also enrolled in the Universal Living Rosary Association. We now have a structure as well as experienced and trustworthy promoters all over the country. The Association of Mary, Queen of All Hearts enjoys the canonical status conferred on Her by the Holy See as well as the approval of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria. I see this as the work of Our Lady and Saint Philomena!
The Diocesan centers of the Living Rosary will co-ordinate the distribution and collection of materials for the promotion. The National center will co-ordinate the regular posting of the completed enrollment forms to your office in Texas. Please send materials to Fr. Chinedu Basil Achusim, Fr. Aduaka Augustus, Diocesan Catholic Secretariat and Posi Fabio Rocco who are keen in promoting the Living Rosary devotion. The promoters of Mary, Queen of All Hearts have their meeting four times a year and these meetings precede the promotion of Total Consecration which is usually done four times a year too. The postal addresses of some Diocesan coordinators will be sent to you so that you can send them what you have for the national promotion of the Living Rosary. They will bring the all the materials to the next national meeting of the promoters for distribution to all the promoters.
You just wrote me: “The hour is late, this you must know, and there is no time to lose.” It will be my joy to see the Living Rosary flourish in Nigeria to the Glory of God through the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Salvation of Souls.
With all my heart, I remember you and our members during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and other prayers. Pray for me too, please. Yours in the Immaculata,
< Fr. Michael Akaigwe, Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary, Anambra State – NIGERIA >
|HOLINESS THROUGH MARY (concluded)
Such spiritual growth implies also increase in faith, courage, wisdom, humility, tenderness and the other virtues which adorned Mary’s precious soul. Here are the words of St. Louis de Montfort: “The Blessed Virgin will share with you that faith which, when She was on earth, was greater than that of all the Patriarchs, Prophets Apostles, and Saints … The more you gain the benevolence of this august Princess and faithful Virgin, the more will pure faith be evident in your conduct; a pure faith that will make you care little for sensible and extraordinary feelings; a lively faith, animated by charity, enabling you to perform your actions only from the motive of pure love; a faith firm and unshakable as a rock by which you will stand firm and steadfast in the midst of storms and tempests; an active and piercing faith which, like some mysterious master-key, will give you admittance to the Mysteries of Jesus Christ, the last end of man, and to the Heart of God Himself; a courageous faith, by which you will unhesitatingly undertake and carry through great things for God and the salvation of souls. Lastly, a faith which will be your blazing torch, your divine life, your hidden treasure of divine Wisdom and the all-powerful weapon you will use to enlighten those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death, to inflame those who are lukewarm and need the burning gold of charity, to give life to those who are dead in sin, to move and convert by gentle and convincing words, hearts of marble and cedars of Lebanon; and lastly to resist the devil and all enemies of salvation.”
With the despoiling of self and the life of faith comes the grace of pure love which is the very essence of perfection. “The Mother of fair love” says St. Louis de Montfort, “will fill the heart of Her true slave with the pure love of which She holds the treasury.” Through this communication of Mary’s love, the soul will be transformed into the image of Mary’s Son.
St. Louis de Montfort’s comparison is well known. Mary, he says, is the “mold of God.” “He who is cast in this divine mold is soon formed and molded in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ in him; with little cost and in little time he will become God-like, since he is cast in the same mold which formed God.”
When Our Lady deigns to receive from us the gift of ourselves and all we are capable of surrendering to Her, She does so only that, enriched beyond measure by Her touch, She may pass them on to Her Son. “There can be no doubt” writes St. Louis de Montfort, “that Our Lord is more glorified thereby than if we offered them with our own sinful hands.” It may even be that some who practice this wholehearted True Devotion to Mary, as recommended by Her apostolate, will be favored with the special grace of union with Her. For, as Fr. Chaminade, the Venerable Founder of the Marianists, has written, “There is a gift of the habitual presence of the Blessed Virgin even as there is a gift of the habitual presence of God – very rare, it is true, but obtainable by great fidelity.”
Those thus favored feel that Mary has taken them under Her very special care and She remains almost ceaselessly before their souls, attracting them to Herself as a mother. She goads them on, leads them, directs them and enlightens them in all that concerns the life of the spirit. Graces flow into the soul almost unnoticed; it lives in Mary and is united with Her through love. In Her and through Her, God reveals Himself to His child as by a mirror.
It is quite impossible to describe adequately the graces which flow from practicing this devotion to Our Blessed Mother. They differ in each individual soul; but Christ Himself gives us some idea of what we may expect in return for such a thorough surrender of self. Christ says, “Every man that has forsaken home, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive his reward a hundredfold, and obtain everlasting life.” That being so, what reward may not he expect who surrenders not only his attachment to persons and possessions, but even his whole self as an oblation of love to God through Mary?
Is there, any reason to suggest that Jesus will be less generous in rewarding those who give Him themselves and all they have through His holy Mother? The wants of multitudes of souls are satisfied through the gift of one princely Child of Mary. His own needs are more than satisfied, along with those of countless other souls. Moreover, his obligations to pray for certain individuals or intentions are perfectly fulfilled. Not only has he committed to Mary the assets of his life, he has cast into Her mighty, majestic Heart all his liabilities and obligations as well. Everything is to be disposed of according to the Divine Will. If God desires me to pray for the Pope, or the Souls in Purgatory, or the Missions or benefactors or anything else at all, these intentions will be satisfied by Mary. The making of the Consecration does not mean that one’s ordinary prayers or actions need be changed in their form; life’s ordinary ways may be followed; usual intentions may still be recommended in prayer; but all is understood to be wholly subject to Mary’s good pleasure.
Devotion to Mary should be the first obligation of each member. Mary must be honored as the Mother of every soul, and the Channel of every grace.
Fidelity to the Mother of God is the secret of success for Mary’s Army. Through Mary, every member finds himself at one with every other member in that great world-wide army, aspiring after high and holy qualities and pledged to heroic endeavor. This marvelous unity in Mary is so esteemed by God that He endows it with invincible might. In the individual soul true devotion to Mary is certainly a unique channel of grace; when it is practiced on a large scale by all the members of a mighty organization it brings to the modern world the spirit of the first Pentecost. “All these, with one mind, give themselves up to prayer, together with Mary, the mother of Jesus,” who has received all possible graces from God; they aspire to share Her spirit and thereby enter as fully as possible into His designs with regard to the distribution of grace. Thus, the whole army is “filled with the Holy Ghost” and “many are the wonders and signs performed.” (cf. Acts: I, 14; IT, 4, 43)
From all that has been written, it will be seen that the spirit of the Child of Mary is nothing less than the spirit of Mary herself. Devotion to Her epitomizes, so to speak, all the elements of devotional life which together constitute authentic Marian holiness. Devotion to the Holy Eucharist, prayer, faith, hope, charity, humility, courage, prudence, perseverance, sacrifice, obedience, joy, enterprise, kindness – all these find their consummation and perfection when they are toiled for and practiced in the spirit of Mary. They must find expression in action. The outpouring of them all is through the mouthpiece of action. Action is, as it were, the setting in which all other characteristics of the apostolate shine forth like jewels. It is the setting which holds them together in proper pattern and brings them into service. In other words, it is action which makes the Child of Mary … that dominant note must be accentuated and his action must be intense and heroic.
Love in action is a good definition of zeal for souls, Marian love in action is a perfect definition of the spirit of our apostolic labors. Our Lord prepared for the conversion of the world by gathering around Him a group of chosen souls whom He trained Himself and filled with His own spirit.
The Apostles carried on the work of the Master in the same way. The strangers from Rome who heard the preaching of the Apostles on the first Pentecost day may well have been the first to bring the news of Jesus to Rome, thereby planting the seeds of the Church which Saints Peter and Paul were soon to establish officially. In the words of Pope Pius XI: “What would the Twelve have done, lost in the immensity of the world, if they had not gathered around them men and women, the old and the young, saying: ‘We carry with us the treasure of heaven. Help us to scatter it abroad.’”
Every priest naturally turns to the example of Our Lord and His Apostles to seek a pattern of work for the salvation of souls. He necessarily, therefore, agrees with Pope Pius X that “what is most necessary at the present time is to have in each parish a group of laymen at the same time virtuous, enlightened, determined and really apostolic.” And that is the essential idea of Mary’s apostolate – to bring the priest to the people at least in influence and understanding and work in inseparable union with the priest. The apostle should strive to reflect in his own life the pastoral virtues of the Priesthood and chief amongst these is zeal for souls.
St. John Eudes tells us, “the first and most important obligation of the priest is to work for the salvation of souls. For that purpose Christ established the priesthood in the Church.” He goes on to prove that the salvation of souls is the great work of God, the end and purpose of all the works of the power, wisdom and goodness of God; that it is the great work of Jesus Christ, Who loved and. preferred souls to anything else, even His own life; that it is the great work of the Mother of God who was made all that She is, that She might be worthy to co-operate with Her divine Son in man’s redemption. Mary was and is ready to undergo every torment of earth to save even a single soul; that it is the great work of the Church, of the Angels and Saints, of the Apostles. “It is the work of works,” says St. John, “surpassing all others in time or eternity.” (The Priest, pp. 131 ff.)
What a privilege it is to be called by Mary to practice, in a manner proportionate to the circumstances and obligations of the lay state, the vocational virtue of the priesthood! How absolutely correct it is to state that the spirit developed in the soul of each member must “find expression in action”! It is through the disciplined practice of Marian love in action that the Child of Mary is led towards the pinnacle of perfection. The apostolate is sanctified through Marian action. If the spirit of Mary grows in any soul, it will surely be given to him to share in the greatest work of Her who was so absolutely full of love that She was considered worthy to give to the world Him who is Love itself. More than anything else, the world of our day needs Christ. Events are proving that as of old, Mary is waiting to give Christ to the world and She is pleased to use Her faithful Children, unworthy as they are, in the accomplishment of that goal. This is the greatest desire of Her Immaculate Heart!
(Excerpts from HOLINESS THROUGH MARY by Father Francis Ripley)
“My Immaculate Heart will be your Refuge and
|THE HOLY MASS IS YOUR LIFE!
The rational man needs the Mass to pay Almighty God the debt of homage and adoration he owes Him. The grateful man needs the Mass to pay his debt of thanksgiving. The sinful man, and who among us is without sin, needs the Mass to propitiate God’s Justice and to pay his debt of satisfaction.
The needy man needs the Mass, that praying with Jesus Christ and through Him, he may offer a prayer that is worthy of being heard and, thus, discharge his duty and debt of petition.
At the hour of death, the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon. At every Mass, you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins. Assisting devoutly at Mass, you render the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, the greatest homage. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions. He forgives you all the venial sins you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all the unknown sins you have never confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished.
By hearing Mass, you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief. One Mass heard by you, during life, will be of more benefit to you than many offered for you after death. Holy Mass preserves you from many dangers and misfortunes that would otherwise befall you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass and win for yourself a higher degree of glory in Heaven. At Mass, you kneel amidst the multitude of Angels who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe. You receive the priest’s blessing which Our Lord Himself ratifies in Heaven. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.
Nihil Obstat: P. L. Biermann, Censor Librorum.
The names you send for individual enrollment for the Sacred Masses during the Lenten Season and Easter Octave will be placed upon the Altar. Fr. Ivan Kolodiy and all the priests you have helped in Ukraine will offer these Masses. Suggested donation for each enrollment is $5. Mass cards will be provided for the persons enrolled. Please PRINT the names CLEARLY:
Make your payment online through PAYPAL / CREDIT CARD at: WWW.PHILOMENA.ORG
If payment by Check / Money Order / Cash, please mail it directly to the address below:
THE LIVING ROSARY, P.O. BOX NO. 1303, DICKINSON, TEXAS – 77591
For centuries, our cherished Catholic faith has been passed from person to person, parent to child, etc. Each of us carries in our heart a special memory of how God first graced us with the knowledge of the faith and how Our Blessed Mother, Saint Philomena, Venerable Pauline Jaricot and other saints changed our lives and brought us closer to Christ.
In our work in the Universal Living Rosary Association, we see first hand how millions of souls are currently living without that knowledge of God and are living outside of His grace. We have been given a beautiful opportunity to carry out Christ’s work and pass on our faith and blessings to others who would otherwise never be introduced to Our Lord, the Savior of all mankind. Just as we pray for the souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them, we should also make it a part of our life’s mission to pass on our faith to as many souls as possible who have no one else to pass it on to them, who don’t know Our Lord and His promise of salvation.
This is the box we send out to the foreign Missi4 lb. box @ $53 (in place of $42.70), 20 lb. box @ $95 (in place of $86.25), 1 lb. package @ $22 (in place of $20)7.95. It contains Rosaries, Scapulars, Miraculous Medals, Cord & Oil, Newsletters, Calendars, Catechism books, 2 TAN books, large color prints, lists and encouragement for our Promoters.