Monday, 30 September 2013

The Dominican Rosary
The Dominican family follows the medieval custom of beginning the Rosary like the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary—for the Rosary is known as Mary’s prayer.


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


V.  Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

R.  Blessed art though amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

V.  Lord, open my lips. +

R.  And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

V.  God come to my assistance.

R.  Lord make haste to help me.

V.  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

R.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

(Alleluia.) (Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory.)

Now begin the mysteries of the day. Start each decade by announcing the mystery and directing your imagination and attention towards that particular episode in the life of Christ or Our Lady.

It can be useful to follow the announcement of the mystery with the reading of a related scriptural passage, as indicated below. In this way, the Rosary is not merely a matter of recalling information, but of allowing God to speak to us directly through his word. Ideally this should be followed be a period of silence, in which to reflect upon the scripture passage before moving on to vocal prayer.

Then, proceed to the recitation of the decade. On the large bead say the Our Father. On each of the ten small beads, say a Hail Mary. (Optionally, the appropriate intercessory prayer, provided below, can be added after each Hail Mary, asking for the assistance one of the Dominican members of the communion of Saints to carry our prayers to Mary, our Mother.) Then pray the Glory Be.

Each decade is a contemplation of the life of Our Lord, witnessed by Mary—one aspect of the paschal mystery. In recognition of the connection with Christian life, we should conclude our contemplation of each decade with a prayer for the fruits specific to that particular mystery. Alternatively, a more general prayer may be said according to custom, such as the following:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, draw all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of your mercy.

Or: Mary, mother of grace, mother of mercy, shield me from the enemy and receive me at the hour of my death. Amen
Mysteries of the Rosary

Joyful :Mondays and Saturdays
1.     The Annunciation (Lk 1, 26-38)

2.     The Visitation (Lk 1, 39-56)

3.     The Nativity (Lk 2, 1-20)

4.     The Presentation (Lk 2, 22-28)

5.     The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2, 41-52)


Sorrowful: Tuesdays and Fridays

1.     The Agony in the Garden (Mt 26, 36-56)

2.     The Scourging at the Pillar (Is 53, 1-12 / Mk 15, 1-15)

3.     The Crowning with Thorns (Mk 15, 16-20 / Mt 27, 27-31)

4.     The Carrying of the Cross (Lk 23, 26-32 / Mk 10, 17-21)

5.     The Crucifixion (Jn 19, 17-30 / Mt 27, 35-56)

Glorious : Wednesdays and Sundays

1.     The Resurrection (Mt 28, 1-15 / Lk 24, 1-49 / Mk 16, 1-18)

2.     The Ascension (Acts 1, 3-11)

3.     The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2, 1-21)

4.     The Assumption (Rev 12, 1)

5.     The Coronation of the Blessed Mother in Heaven (Lk 1, 46-55)

Luminous (Mysteries of Light) Thursdays

1.     The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan (Mt 3, 13-17 / Mk 1, 4-11)

2.     The Manifestation of Christ at the wedding of Cana (Jn 2, 1-11)

3.     The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion (Mt 4, 12-25 / Mk 1, 15       and 2, 3-13 / Lk 7, 47-48 / Jn 20, 22-23)

4.     The Transfiguration (Mt 17, 1-9 / Lk 9, 28-36)

5.     The Institutionalization of the Holy Eucharist (Lk 22, 14-20 / Jn 13, 1)


Conclusion of the Holy Rosary


Hail, holy queen, Mother of mercy, hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet virgin Mary.
V.  Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.— O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased do us the rewards of eternal life; grant we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.
R.  Amen.
V.  May the divine + assistance remain always with us.
R.  Amen.
V.  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R.  Amen.

"The Lady looked at me. She smiled at me and said: Come closer."
St. Bernadette of Lourdes.
Draw close to the Mother for there is where we shall find the Son.
Blessing of the Rosary
1. Sinners are forgiven.
2. Souls that thirst are refreshed.
3. Those who are fettered have their bonds broken.
4. Those who weep find happiness
5. Those who are tempted find peace.
6. The poor find help.
7. Religious are reformed.
8. Those who are ignorant are instructed.
9. The living learn to overcome pride.
10. The dead (the Holy Souls) have their pains eased by suffrages
Benefits of the Rosary
1. It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2. It purifies our souls, washing away sin.
3. It gives us victory over all our enemies.
4. It makes it easy for us to practice virtue.
5. It sets us on fire with love of Our Lord.
6. It enriches us with graces and merits.
7. It supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men; and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.

Rosary Confraternity Prayer

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Mother of us all, we come to you for help in our sorrows, trials and necessities. Sin leaves us weak and helpless but Divine Grace heals and strengthens.
We ask for the grace to love Jesus as you loved Him, to believe as you believed, to hope as you hoped; we ask to share your purity of mind and heart. Give us true sorrow for sin and make us love people as you and Jesus loved them. Obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, prudent with your prudence, patient with your patience, courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your Son.

Open our minds that as we pray the Rosary we will understand the teachings of the Gospel contained in its mysteries.
We pray especially for the members of the Rosary Confraternity whom we love. Help them wherever they may be; guide them, watch over them and make them strong in their trials and suffering. We are drawn together by a common bond of great charity for you and for each other; keep us faithful to your Son and to your Rosary till death.

 Intercede for the souls in Purgatory, especially for the members of the Rosary Confraternity who have died. May they rest in peace. Finally we ask for grace of final perseverance for ourselves and for our loved ones that we may all be reunited in heaven forever.
Saint Dominic, you who received so much Grace and Strength from the Rosary, Pray for Us.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Rosary for me is not just something that hangs down the left hand side of my Dominican habit, catching in every doorway and table and even catching in other people, even at times my own leg. It hangs there to remind us friars of the special love of this woman for each one of us. Here in the form of fifteen decades strung together we have the greatest tool of meditation and contemplation. We ponder on these beads held fast to our cincture belts the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ. From the Annunciation, where Mary says yes to God, allowing him to take flesh in her womb all the way to the crucifixion where again Mary stood beneath the cross saying yes with a pierced heart.

 From the glory of Easter Sunday to the Coronation of Mary as Queen and Mother of the Church. We are called to sit with Mary and through her eyes to look at the life of her Son, from the moments of fear and bewilderment to joy, from worry, sorrow, pain and finally  death we proceed to glory and heavenly splendour, full of trust and hope we partake in the life of Jesus made present in his Mothers company.

 A few Christmas’s ago I remember sitting with my own mother looking at old photo albums, and in her company reminiscing the happy days we had as a family, the young faces, the hair dos, the freaky clothes, the childhood Christmas’s, the baptisms, communions, weddings and holidays, remembering family members who died and those I never knew. Here I sat remembering again mostly forgotten events, sitting and looking down on them in the presence of a mother who can add so much detail to each blessed event in the life of our family. This is the Rosary for me, sitting with our mother, pondering with her every moment of the life of Jesus, contemplating with her the joyful, sorrowful and glorious moments, all which have links with my own life.  Through the contemplation of these mysteries we begin to see our own life and the stages we pass through whether joyful, sorrowful or glorious.

 The Rosary is the most powerful of prayers because it makes present in that moment of pondering the person of Jesus, the love of Jesus for us and points us beyond our present troubles to live lives full of hope and future glory. In the Joyful Mysteries we can ponder moments when we are asked to take on difficult tasks like that at the Annunciation, to visit those in need and pray for neighbours and all pregnant women at the Visitation, to remember the poor and homeless at Bethlehem, to pray for those who consecrate their lives in religion at the Presentation and for those who have lost family members and those who have lost their faith at the Finding in the Temple. The Sorrowful mysteries reveal so much love, each mystery opens for us an ocean of mercy. These mysteries speak for those who are lonely and abandoned by life at the Agony, those accused in the wrong at the Pillar, those treated unjustly, those tortured with pain and those who suffer mental problems at the Crowning, for those  who carry heavy crosses at the Carrying of the Cross and those who suffer a slow death at the Crucifixion. In the Glorious we pray for our dead in the Resurrection, we pray for hope in the Ascension, for the grace to be apostles and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we pray for purity and young people at the Assumption and for the Church at the Coronation and those who have walked away.

 Take up your beads and sit with a mother who only points to her Son, look through her eyes and contemplate the mystery of a God who became one of us in every way except sin. The world is losing sight that Jesus was a real human, a God with a human heart and that our flesh with its limitations and weakness was fleshed by God himself.

Pray the rosary, take refuge in the prayer and contemplate the life of one who gives life to us through his humanity. Each mystery reveals Christ and his love for you personally and we can no longer say to God you do not understand. He understands for he has walked ahead of you.

 May the Queen of the Rosary accompany you on the path of life and may she every hold before you who take her Rosary in hand, the life of Jesus, born, suffered and raised.

A famous Dominican called Fr. Vladimir Koudelka  said many years ago that, “Every Crisis in our life is a sign that something new wants to arise for us.” He was aware as a religious who lived his life in a community that we don’t like change, we definitely don’t like crisis, but we cannot avoid them. Every crisis or trail we may be going through at this moment he said must be looked on as a new birth, the beginning of a new episode in our life. All our trails are purifications, they all shape us and can even break us, and sometimes they seem to last forever.
Our vocation whether it is a priest, religious, a mother, father, married or single, whatever we are, our vocation is never complete and finished. I can remember taking my solemn profession (vows) for life, and thinking, sure that’s it now, I am a Dominican for Life, all looked after, no more to learn, but !!  Its not the way, the vocation is never finished, I am still growing into it slowly and something I am being dragged into it against my own will. Every day is a new annunciation, every trial, and mini crisis, every difficult situation that causes me to change my way of living, thinking, even praying, is a growth into the depths of my calling. It is never finished. For religious people, every day we are incarnated into Christ scourged, crowned, crucified and risen. The same can be said for the Mother, Father, friend, we face the new trails, the new call to change, in our families, our work and friendships and its painful sometimes, but it is growth.
The Vocation of life is never finished; we are growing into it all the time. Whatever you may be faced with today, whatever trial, crisis, ask for the grace to accept it and allow it to change you and your ways. A disciple of Christ is never finished, but perfected through an incarnate love which began with a simple yes.
The Irish Dominican Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary

The Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary is an international association of the faithful that exists “to praise and honour the Blessed Virgin Mary and to secure her patronage by the recitation of the Rosary for the mutual spiritual benefit of all the members throughout the world.” Each week, countless thousands of members pray the Holy Rosary and include each other’s intentions in their prayers.

The history of both the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary and the Rosary itself are bound up with the early history of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans). According to a longstanding and well-known tradition, St. Dominic first received the Holy Rosary from Our Lady in the 13th century. Since then the Dominican friars have zealously promoted this devotion to Christ and His Blessed Mother.

The first Rosary Confraternity was established in the 1470s through the zealous preaching of the Rosary by Blessed Alan de la Roche, O.P. A few years later, another local Rosary Confraternity was established in Cologne by Fr. Joseph Sprenger, O.P. After this, Rosary Confraternities began to be established in still other cities. In no small part, it was due to the spread of the Confraternity that devotion to Our Lady’s Rosary likewise flourished and a more uniform system of reciting the Rosary developed. From the beginning, Rosary Confraternities were erected under the direction of the Dominican Friars and the establishment of all Rosary Confraternities eventually became a privilege reserved to the Dominican Order.

Today, members of the Rosary Confraternity promise the recitation of a weekly Rosary as their sole obligation. Although this obligation is very minimal—and does not bind under pain of sin—the spiritual benefits are extensive. Along with several plenary and partial indulgences that are granted to members of the Confraternity, members also benefit from the countless Rosaries that are offered for their intentions by the other members throughout the world. The Rosary Confraternity is probably the largest organization of this type within the Catholic Church. In addition, enrolled members also participate in all the prayers and good works performed by the friars, nuns, sisters, and laity of the Dominican Order.

Obligations of Membership

As a requirement of membership, each member of the Confraternity promises to pray fifteen decades of the Rosary each week and to include the other members of the Confraternity in their intentions. This is sole obligation of membership in Rosary Confraternity. It does not bind under pain of sin.

Details of the Obligation

        I.            The fifteen decades of the Rosary do not need to be said all at once; they may be said throughout the course of the week, typically in three groups of five decades.

      II.            Meditation on the Mysteries of the Christ is necessary as part of praying the Rosary.

    III.            The intentions of the other members are to be included in one’s prayers. This can be done by making a “general intention” to always include their intentions and this does not need to be explicitly repeated every time one prays the Rosary.

    IV.            The obligation to pray the Rosary does not bind under pain of sin.
Spiritual Benefits of Membership
        I.            A share in the prayers and the good works of countless thousands of Rosary Confraternity members throughout the world and in heaven.
      II.            A share in the good works and prayers of the Order of Preachers (Dominican Order).
    III.            Various plenary and partial indulgences
    IV.            For members of the Confraternity, a plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions on the day of enrolment (the day indicated on the register/certificate) as well as the feast days of Christmas, Easter, the Annunciation, the Assumption of Our Lady, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculate Conception, and Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple.
      V.            A plenary indulgence is also granted, under the usual conditions, to all who pray the rosary in a Church or oratory, in a family (family rosary), religious community, or in a pious association of the faithful. Otherwise, the indulgence is partial.
    VI.            And most importantly, the intercession and special protection of Our Lady, the Mother of God.

1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive some special grace.
3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armour against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.
4. The rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
8.Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
9. I will deliver promptly from purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
10.True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in heaven.
11.What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
12.To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
13.I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
14.Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
15.Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.