Tuesday, May 28, 2013



Saint Dominic received the Rosary and Instructions from Mary. 

Saint Dominic was nick-named "Dog of the Lord"
perhaps because of his valiant nature.

Saint Dominic (Spanish: Santo Domingo), also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán (1170 – August 6, 1221), was a Spanish priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.

Life: Dominic was born in Caleruega, halfway between Osma and Aranda de Duero in Old Castile, Spain. He was named after Saint Dominic of Silos, who is said to be the patron saint of hopeful mothers. The Benedictine abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos lies a few miles north of Caleruega.

Saint Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization to address the spiritual needs of the growing cities of the era, one that would combine dedication and systematic education, with more organizational flexibility than either monastic orders or the secular clergy.

In the earliest narrative source, by Jordan of Saxony, Dominic's parents are not named. The story is told that before his birth his barren mother made a pilgrimage to Silos and dreamed that a dog leapt from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth, and "seemed to set the earth on fire". This story is likely to have emerged when his order became known, after his name, as the Dominican order, Dominicanus in Latin and a play on words interpreted as Domini canis: "Dog of the Lord." Jordan adds that Dominic was brought up by his parents and a maternal uncle who was an archbishop. He was named in honour of Dominic of Silos as well as the Lord's Day (Sunday in Spanish is "Domingo.") The failure to name his parents is not unusual, since Jordan wrote a history of the Order's early years, rather than a biography of Dominic. A later source, still of the 13th century, gives their names as Juana and Felix. Nearly a century after Dominic's birth, a local author asserted that Dominic's father was "vir venerabilis et dives in populo suo" ("an honoured and wealthy man in his village"). The travel narrative of Pero Tafur, written circa 1439 (about a pilgrimage to Dominic's tomb in Italy), states that Dominic's father belonged to the family de Guzmán, and that his mother belonged to the Aça or Aza family. Dominic's mother, Jane of Aza, was beatified by Pope Leo XII in 1828.

Education and early career: Dominic was educated in the schools of Palencia (they became a university soon afterwards) where he devoted six years to the arts and four to theology. In 1191, when Spain was desolated by famine, young Dominic gave away his money and sold his clothes, furniture and even precious manuscripts to feed the hungry. Dominic reportedly told his astonished fellow students: "Would you have me study off these dead skins, when men are dying of hunger?" In 1194, around age twenty-five, Dominic joined the Canons Regular in the canonry of Osma, following the rule of Saint Benedict.

In 1203 or 1204 he accompanied Diego de Acebo, the Bishop of Osma, on a diplomatic mission for Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, namely to secure a bride in Denmark for crown prince Ferdinand. The envoys traveled to Denmark via Aragon and the south of France. There, Dominic and Diego encountered the Cathars, a Christian religious sect with gnostic and dualistic beliefs, which the Roman Catholic Church deemed heretical. The negotiations ended successfully, but the princess died before leaving for Castile.

Foundation of the Dominicans: In 1215, Dominic established himself, with six followers, in a house given by Peter Seila, a rich resident of Toulouse. He subjected himself and his companions to the monastic rules of prayer and penance; and meanwhile bishop Foulques gave them written authority to preach throughout the territory of Toulouse.

In the same year, the year of the Fourth Lateran Council, Dominic and Foulques went to Rome to secure the approval of the Pope, Innocent III. Dominic returned to Rome a year later, and was finally granted written authority in December 1216 and January 1217 by the new pope, Honorius III for an order to be named "The Order of Preachers" ("Ordo Praedicatorum", or "O.P.," popularly known as the Dominican Order).
Later life: Although he traveled extensively to maintain contact with his growing brotherhood of friars, Dominic made his headquarters at Rome. In 1219 Pope Honorius III invited Saint Dominic and his companions to take up residence at the ancient Roman basilica of Santa Sabina, which they did by early 1220. Before that time the friars had only a temporary residence in Rome at the convent of San Sisto Vecchio which Honorius III had given to Dominic circa 1218 intending it to become a convent for a reformation of nuns at Rome under Dominic's guidance. The official foundation of the Dominican convent at Santa Sabina with its studium conventuale, the first Dominican studium in Rome, occurred with the legal transfer of property from Pope Honorius III to the Order of Preachers on June 5, 1222 though the brethren had taken up residence there already in 1220. The studium at Santa Sabina was the forerunner of the studium generale at Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The latter would be transformed in the 16th century into the College of Saint Thomas (Latin: Collegium Divi Thomæ), and then in the 20th century into the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum sited at the convent of Saints Dominic and Sixtus. It was in the winter of 1216–1217, at the house of Ugolino de' Conti that he first met William of Montferrat, Dominican friar, afterwards a close friend.

Dominic arrived in Bologna on 21 December 1218. A convent was established at the Mascarella church by the Blessed Reginald of Orléans. Soon afterwards they had to move to the church of San Nicolò of the Vineyards. Dominic settled in this church and held in this church the first two General Chapters of the order. He died there on 6 August 1221 and was moved into a simple sarcophagus in 1233. In 1267 Dominic's remains were moved to the shrine, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop.

According to Guiraud, Dominic abstained from meat, "observed stated fasts and periods of silence", "selected the worst accommodations and the meanest clothes", and "never allowed himself the luxury of a bed". "When travelling, he beguiled the journey with spiritual instruction and prayers" (also Guiraud). Guiraud also states that "as soon as Dominic passed the limits of towns and villages, he took off his shoes, and, however sharp the stones or thorns, he trudged on his way barefooted", and that "rain and other discomforts elicited from his lips nothing but praises to God."

Dominic died at the age of fifty-one, according to Guiraud "exhausted with the austerities and labours of his career." He had reached the convent of Saint Nicholas at Bologna, Italy, "weary and sick with a fever". Guiraud states that Dominic "made the monks lay him on some sacking stretched upon the ground" and that "the brief time that remained to him was spent in exhorting his followers to have charity, to guard their humility, and to make their treasure out of poverty." He died at noon on 6 August 1221. 

The spread of the Rosary, a Marian devotion, is attributed to the preaching of St. Dominic. The Rosary has for centuries been at the heart of the Dominican Order. Pope Pius XI stated that: "The Rosary of Mary is the principle and foundation on which the very Order of Saint Dominic rests for making perfect the life of its members and obtaining the salvation of others." For centuries, Dominicans have been instrumental in spreading the rosary and emphasizing the Catholic belief in the power of the rosary.
"Crown of Roses"
The rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning "Crown of Roses" or "garland of roses" ) is a Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer and the commemoration of Jesus and events of his life. The term "Rosary" is used to describe both a sequence of prayers and a string of prayer beads used to count the prayers. The word is sometimes written with an initial capital in a Catholic context.

Throughout centuries, the rosary has been promoted by several popes as part of the veneration of Mary. The rosary also represents the Roman Catholic emphasis on "participation in the life of Mary, whose focus was Christ," and the Mariological theme "to Christ through Mary," taught by Saint Louis de Montfort.

The sequence of prayers is the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary ten times, and the Glory Be to the Father, sometimes followed by the Fatima Prayer. Each sequence is known as a decade. Five decades are prayed, after beginning with the Apostle's Creed and five initial prayers. The praying of each decade is accompanied by meditation on one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall the life of Jesus.

The traditional fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary were standardized based on the long-standing custom by Pope Pius V in the 16th century. The mysteries are grouped into three sets: the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries, and the Glorious mysteries. In 2002 Pope John Paul II announced a set of five new optional mysteries called the Luminous mysteries, bringing the total number of mysteries to twenty.

The rosary is part of the Catholic veneration of Mary, which has been promoted by numerous popes. In the 16th century, Pope Pius V introduced the rosary into the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar as the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, celebrated on October 7.

Pope Leo XIII, known as "The Rosary Pope", issued twelve encyclicals and five apostolic letters on the rosary and added the invocation Queen of the most Holy Rosary to the Litany of Loreto. Pope Pius XII and his successors actively promoted the veneration of the Virgin in Lourdes and Fatima, which is credited with a new resurgence of the rosary within the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II (whose pontificate had major Marian themes) issued the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae which built on the "total Marian devotion" pioneered by Saint Louis de Montfort.

On May 3, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI stated that the Rosary was experiencing a new springtime: "It is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother." To Benedict XVI, the rosary is a meditation on all important moments of salvation history. The Congregation for Divine Worship's directory of popular piety and the liturgy emphasizes the meditative aspects of the rosary, and states that the Rosary is essentially a contemplative prayer, which requires "tranquility of rhythm or even a mental lingering which encourages the faithful to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life."

The Congregation for Divine Worship also emphasizes the importance of the rosary as a formative component of spiritual life. The theologian Romano Guardini thus defined the Roman Catholic emphasis on the rosary as "participation in the life of Mary, whose focus was Christ." His statement echoed the view that in Roman Catholic Mariology the path to Christ is through Mary, with Mariology being inherent in Christology; a sentiment also expressed by saints such as Louis de Montfort who was a strong rosary advocate. This view had been endorsed by Leo XIII who viewed the rosary as a vital means to participate in the life of Mary and to find the way to Christ.

Devotion to the rosary is one of the most notable features of popular Catholic spirituality. Pope John Paul II placed the rosary at the very center of Christian spirituality and called it "among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation." Saints and popes have emphasized the meditative and contemplative elements of the rosary and provided specific teachings for how the rosary should be prayed, for instance the need for "focus, respect, reverence and purity of intention" during rosary recitations and contemplations.

From the sixteenth century onwards, rosary recitations often involved "picture texts" that assisted meditation. Such imagery continues to be used to depict the mysteries of the rosary. Saints have stressed the importance of meditation and contemplation. Scriptural meditations on the rosary build on the Christian tradition of Lectio Divina, (literally divine reading) as a way of using the Gospel to start a conversation between the soul and Christ. Padre Pio, who was devoted to the rosary, said: "Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him."

Saint Pio said, "Through the study of books one seeks God;
by meditation one finds him."
References to the rosary have been part of a number of reported Marian Apparitions spanning two centuries. The reported messages from these apparitions have influenced the spread of rosary devotions worldwide. In Quamquam Pluries Pope Leo XIII related rosary devotions to Saint Joseph and granted indulgences for adding a prayer to St. Joseph to the Rosary during the month of October.

Pope Leo XIII related rosary devotions to Saint Joseph
and granted indulgences for adding a prayer
to St. Joseph to the Rosary during the month of October.
Praying the rosary may be prescribed by priests as a form of penance after confession. Penance in this form is not generally intended as a "punishment"; rather, it is meant to encourage reflection upon and spiritual growth from past sins. Some forms of the Roman Catholic rosary are aimed at reparation including the sins of others. An example is the Rosary of the Holy Wounds first introduced at the beginning of the 20th century by the Venerable Sister Mary Martha Chambon, a Roman Catholic nun of the Monastery of the Visitation Order in Chambéry, France. This rosary is somewhat similar in structure to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, is said on the usual rosary beads, and is intended as an Act of Reparation to Jesus Christ for the sins of the world.

The concept of the rosary was given to Saint Dominic
in an apparition by the Virgin Mary in the year 1214
in the church of Prouille.
History of the rosary: There are differing views on the history of the rosary. According to tradition, the concept of the rosary was given to Saint Dominic in an apparition by the Virgin Mary in the year 1214 in the church of Prouille. This Marian apparition received the title of Our Lady of the Rosary. In the 15th century it was promoted by Alanus de Rupe (aka Alain de la Roche or Saint Alan of the Rock), a learned Dominican priest and theologian, who established the "15 rosary promises" and started many rosary confraternities. However, most scholarly research suggests a more gradual and organic development of the rosary.

The practice of meditation during the praying of the Hail Marys is attributed to Dominic of Prussia (1382–1460), a Carthusian monk, who called it "Life of Jesus Rosary." The German monk from Trier added a sentence to each of the 50 Hail Marys, using quotes from scriptures. In 1569, the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices by the Dominican Pope Pius V officially established the devotion to the rosary in the Catholic Church.

From the 16th to the early 20th century, the structure of the rosary remained essentially unchanged. There were 15 mysteries, one for each of the 15 decades. In the 20th century the addition of the Fatima Prayer to the end of each decade became more common. There were no other changes until 2002 when John Paul II instituted five optional new Luminous Mysteries.

In 2002 Pope John Paul II announced
a set of five new optional mysteries
called the Luminous mysteries.
The rosary has been featured in the writings of Roman Catholic figures from saints to popes and continues to be mentioned in reported Marian apparitions, with a number of promises attributed to the power of the rosary.  As early as the 15th century, through Saint Dominic and Alan de la Roche the Virgin Mary is reputed to have made 15 specific promises to Christians who pray the rosary. The Fifteen rosary promises range from protection from misfortune to meriting a high degree of glory in heaven. In support of this statement Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes of New York provided his imprimatur to this effect.

In the 18th century, the French priest Louis de Montfort elaborated on the importance of the rosary and its power in his widely read book Secret of the Rosary. He emphasized the power of the rosary and provided specific instructions on how it should be prayed, e.g. with attention, devotion and modesty (reverence), with reflective pauses between the beads and smaller pauses between phrases of the prayers.

One of the forces that drove the spread of the rosary during the 19th century among Roman Catholics was the influence of the Rosary Pope, a title given to Leo XIII (1878–1903) because he issued a record twelve encyclicals and five Apostolic Letters on the rosary, instituted the Catholic custom of daily rosary prayer during the month of October and, in 1883, added the invocation Queen of the most Holy Rosary to the Litany of Loreto.

Leo XIII explained the importance of the rosary as the one road to God, from the father to the son, to his mother, and from her to the human race. He said that no human creature can change this and therefore there exists only one road for the faithful, to the mother and from her to Christ and through Christ to the Father, and that the rosary was a vital means to participate in the life of Mary and to find the way to Christ. This emphasis on the path through Mary to Christ (which was also a basis for some of Louis de Montfort's writings) has since been a key direction in Roman Catholic Mariology, with Mariology being viewed as inherent in Christology, and the rosary paving that path. 
Our Lady of Peace at Medjugorje, September 27, 1984, begged,
"Dear children! Your prayer has helped my plans to be fulfilled. Pray continually for their complete fulfillment. I beg the families of the parish to pray the family rosary."

Daily, Family Rosary was supported by
Pope Pius XII. Our Lady at Medjugorje
has recommended it frequently. 

The use of Novenas which include a rosary is popular among Catholics. As in other Novenas, the traditional method consists of praying the rosary on nine consecutive days, and submitting a petition along with each prayer. Indulgences are provided for rosary Novenas that include specific prayers, e.g. a prayer to Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Dominic.

The longer "54-day Rosary Novena" consists of two parts, 27 days each, i.e. three repetitions of the 9 day Novena cycle. It is an uninterrupted series of Rosaries in honor of the Virgin Mary, reported as a private revelation by Fortuna Agrelli in Naples, Italy in 1884. The Novena is performed by praying five decades of the Rosary each day for twenty-seven days in petition. The second phase which immediately follows it consists of five decades each day for twenty-seven days in thanksgiving, and is prayed whether or not the petition has been granted. During the novena, the meditations rotate among the joyful, [luminous cj], sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
 Ave Maria (Bocelli) (click here for music)

"How to say the Rosary"
see Cousin Jeanne,

Love, Jeanne