The most important message in the world today is one many successors of Peter have pointed us toward in recent decades. The message is neither sensational nor confusing; it does not concern itself with trifles; what it asks us to do is not impossible for us to attain; we can, in our own lives, help to accomplish it.
It is ... the message of Fatima.
The message of Fatima is the best hope we have to obtain real peace in our world. If we really want peace, if we really want to avoid war, why do we not follow the requests of Our Lady of Fatima, Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
Perfect happiness consists in suffering much for Our Blessed Lord, who willed to suffer so much for us! We must give faith back to souls. There alone lies salvation for society and individuals.
One with Mary, we can help many souls to encounter Jesus Christ; without Our Blessed Mother this cannot be done. We must dedicate our lives, our strengths, our health to this great mission. We must evangelize, for this was the very mission of Our Lord. We must 0 to the poor, to the workers, to the humble, to the little ones, to the abandoned and to all of those who suffer. We must speak to them, show them and teach them of the Kingdom of God. If we wish to triumph with Him, we must fight with Him.
Everything speaks to us of the Cross. Contemplate the Crucified, for suffering is the consecration of all Christian life.
Let us therefore take our stand at the foot of the Cross with Our Mother and His. Let us wield her Most Holy Rosary well, and reach out to all souls while it is still possible, for Heaven and Hell are locked in mortal combat and the earth shakes from the shock of the encounter.
As the foundress of the Propagation of the Faith and The Living Rosary, Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot was endowed with a unique vision and a profound common sense.
Pauline Jaricot was born into a devout Catholic family in Lyon, France, on July 22, 1799. She had a great concern for the peoples of Asia and dreamed of becoming a great missionary. At 17 she took a perpetual vow of virginity, and at 18 composed a treatise on the Infinite Love of the Divine Eucharist.
Pauline was born 10 years after the French Revolution had trampled the doctrine, dogma and devotion of the Church underfoot. The revolution, lauded by the secular world in the name of liberty, equality and fraternity, brought much selfindulgence, cruelty, inhumanity and godlessness into the world. It sought to extinguish the light of Christian truth.
The Living Rosary Association was founded by Pauline in 1826 to save the Church in France. It was born of Humility, Obedience and Immolation.
Pauline Jaricot was a victim soul who, at the height of her beauty, radiant charity and overflowing love and desire to serve the suffering, was advised by her spiritual director to separate herself from the world and live a contemplative life.
She enclosed herself for three years inside the walls of her home where she prayed, read and suffered in loving obedience and patient resignation. The fruit of those three years of isolation and martyrdom was The Living Rosary Association. It was formally approved and richly indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI, and accorded canonical status on January 27, 1832.
The Living Rosary Association was her inspired plan to restore the reign of Christ the King to France and the entire world. Her plan, quite simple and within the reach of all, was that of "Prayer-Penny Propagation."
Pauline's triune plan embraced all that was Catholic. Regardless of station in life or financial means, all could participate.
People throughout history have failed to understand the power of association. Satan, however, understands well the almost limitless power of association. The assemblies of the wicked derive their power, their strength, from the secret ties and oaths that unite their members. By association, these satanic forces spread division and disorder. That is their goal.
WE MUST GIVE FAITH BACK TO SOULS. THERE ALONE LIES SALVATION FOR SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUALS
For 20 centuries, the Earth has been the battleground, situated as it is between Heaven and Hell. For 20 centuries, good and evil have struggled for dominion over this "middle earth."
Jaricot understood intuitively the strength and the power of association. So it was that "The Living Rosary Association" was conceived. "We will be united in prayer with all of the peoples of the universe," she once said. "Let us form a group of 15 souls which will consist of the good, the mediocre, and those who simply have only good will; 15 coals: one well-lighted, three or four partially lit, the others with no warmth at all. Bring them together and you have a furnace!"
Pauline Marie Jaricot took her mission to the factories, where she assembled the workers, prayed a decade of the Rosary, and collected a penny for the apostolic works of the Association. Good Catholic literature was distributed in order to combat the voluminous writings of error in her day.
By 1831, membership in The Living Rosary in France grew to 200,000. By 1837, some 1,000,000 were members, and 2,000,000 had joined before her death.
The prayer of the Rosary (often ridiculed then as now, many complaining that the Rosary is repetitious and childish) is mankind's greatest spiritual weapon - the rampart against which the forces of evil have no defense. It is the most highly indulgenced and recommended prayer. It is a weapon "without equal" that will crush the enemies of Holy Mother the Church, and finally bring peace to our very sick world.
"There is nothing more excellent than that numerous voices pray without interruption from all parts of the world, simultaneously lifting up supplications to the Blessed Virgin Mary as they meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, "Pope Leo XIII" There is nothing more excellent than that numerous voices pray without interruption from all parts of the world, simultaneously lifting up supplications to the Blessed Virgin Mary as they meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary," Pope Leo XIII once said. "Many Christian nations seek the protection of the Mother of God with an ardor that grows greater every day; may they cling more and more to the practice of the Holy Rosary, not only as a remedy for their misfortunes, but as the very badge of Christian piety! The Rosary is the protection of the Mother of God against the enemies of the Catholic Church. To Mary we must fly. We wish to see it offered more widely in all places and at all times! The great Virgin of Christians."
As in the time of Pauline, the Church in the 20th century was betrayed by many of her own servants, and continues to be betrayed in the 21st century! She (Holy Mother Church) is attacked by her servants as well as by her enemies.
Our Blessed Mother appeals to all men to "Pray the Rosary" and to unite in prayer against the powers of darkness which are bent upon the destruction of the Catholic religion.
The Living Rosary is not a new devotion but a continuation of the Rosary preached by St. Dominic and announced by our Blessed Mother for centuries. In these days of confusion, evil, chaos and modernism, the Living Rosary can be a mighty force in every family because the Holy Rosary is a gift to us from the Queen of Heaven.
On December 8, 1986, Richard and Patricia Joann Melvin (married for 31 years), in an effort to honor St. Philomena and win her favor, began a revival of Pauline Jaricot's Living Rosary ministry. With great hope, 30 people were gathered to pray a daily decade for the common intention: the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the honor of St. Philomena. By September of 1987, 300 members had been enrolled. The Living Rosary started a small periodical in 1987 entitled Dedicated Decades, a copy of which was sent to the principal shrine of St. Philomena in Mugnano, Italy.
Sadly, devotion to St. Philomena in Italy and elsewhere was dying out, but news of the work in Dickinson, Texas, inspired the rector of the shrine to visit Texas in 1987. Father Giovanni Braschi brought with him many devotional items as well as old rare books in French and Italian. Amongst these treasures was the original Little Manual of the Living Rosary Association along with all of the directives, guidelines and indulgences. Thanks to all of this information, the Universal Living Rosary Association was formatted exactly as the directives outlined, and continues to this day without deviation from the original text.
Who is Patricia Joann Melvin? Patti, as she prefers to be called, 56 years old, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (both she and her husband Richard are Catholics from birth), graduated as a registered nurse from St. Vincent's College in Los Angeles. Upon graduation, Patti was preparing to go to Tanzania, East Africa, when she met with a near-fatal accident that was to change her entire life. It took months for her to recover from her serious head injuries.
After recovery, Patti worked at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane for several years, and there she met and married Richard. Though they longed for a large family, none was forthcoming, and they eventually adopted two wonderful sons and moved to Dickinson, Texas.
While home schooling their sons, they acquired a very large book on the life of St. Jean Marie Vianney and through it were introduced to St. Philomena.
As most things do, their work began small. Patti and Richard wrote all the letters and did all the record-keeping, packing, shipping, and much, much more.
It was decided that, for the unity and perpetuity of this important devotion, each person would accept and pray the same decade of the Rosary each day. This was discussed with the secretary of the Cause of Venerable Pauline Jaricot and her bibliographer, Fr. Naidenoff, who gave his confirmation of their work from Lyon, France, at his office within the Propagation of the Faith.
One person at a time, Patti and Richard, through the Universal Living Rosary Crusade, with the continued intercession of St. Philomena (the daughter they had always hoped for) are reaching out to the whole world with the healing balm of the Living Rosary.
One by one they come in, bishops, archbishops, priests, religious, lay apostles and the faithful.
The years passed. The revival of the Living Rosary and the revival of the devotion to St. Philomena are clearly connected. When the Melvins began their work, devotion to St. Philomena was buried in the catacombs - the 20th century version. Over the years the faithful are again learning of and turning to this great saint, who is the patroness and protectress of the Living Rosary.
The faithful have not been disappointed. St. Philomena has dazzled them with her favors and miracles.
St. Philomena's fame has again begun to spread from one end of the earth to the other. After 20 years, Patti's prayers have been answered more fully than even she ever dared to imagine. St. Philomena has been given to the world again through the Universal Living Rosary.
What began on December 8, 1986, with less than 30 people, now numbers 5 million people around the world, all praying their dedicated decades of the Rosary each day of every year. Five million decades are prayed every day because a single Catholic couple had faith.
When Patti and Richard began the revival of the Living Rosary and devotion to St. Philomena, it did not take long to fill their home with machines, translations, devotional articles and boxes. They interested companies in making St. Philomena devotionals; books were translated, formatted and published; holy cards, medals, and statues were created. Famous old prints were reproduced and new images created.
Through the efforts of the Universal Living Rosary, the principal shrine of St. Philomena in Mugnano is being restored and the pilgrims pour in from all over the world for her great feast.
Further, the entire estate of Venerable Pauline Jaricot is being restored and turned into a pilgrim center for all of France. A special book of her spiritual mysticism will be released in 2005.
It is in fact the victim heart of the beloved foundress of the Living Rosary that has provided the fire that is setting the world aglow with prayer to draw souls to "The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary" and so restore the Church, through fervor, zeal and sacrifice.
Through the Universal Living Rosary, we can all help bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - and when this comes to pass, God's victory will be accomplished.
Over the years the Universal Living Rosary Association has had close connections in Rome, including Fr. Redemptus Valabek (canon lawyer and Carmelite), now deceased.
The Universal Living Rosary Association
PO Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas, 77539
Silvio Mattacchione is a writer and publisher who lives near Toronto, Canada.