Sunday, 29 September 2013
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.
FIFTEEN PROMISES OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
TO CHRISTIANS WHO FAITHFULLY PRAY THE ROSARY
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.