The Gates of Our Very Souls
by Thomas A. Droleskey
The epic Battle of Lepanto took place on this date four hundred forty-one years ago.
Pope Saint Pius V, a member of the Order of Preachers whose founder, Saint Dominic de Guzman, was given the Holy Rosary by Our Lady herself in 1208, urged the whole Christian world to pray the Rosary that the heavily outnumbered fleet of ships under the command of Don Juan of Austria would defeat the fleet under the command of the Mohammedan Turks. Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary won the day in the Battle of Lepanto just as it had won the day against the Albigenses, that strange sect, whose members actually killed lots of Catholics and burned their homes and farms, that harkened back to the Manicheans and were forerunners of the heretical Jansenists, three hundred fifty years before. How dastardly it was of Giovanni Montini/Paul VI, ever the appeaser of the forces (Judeo-Masonic, Communist, Protestant, Mohammedan), to return in 1965 one of the Turkish flags, one that had been on display in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, captured in the Battle of Lepanto to the successors of the infidels.
Our Lady's Holy Rosary was victorious this day four hundred forty-one years ago. It was prayed throughout Europe, led by the Pope of the Rosary, Pope Saint Pius V. It was prayed on the ships of the Christian fleet both before and during the battle with the Turkish forces. One of the admirals of the Christian fleet, Gian Andrea Doria, the nephew of the famed Andrea Doria, carried a small image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with him during the Battle of Lepanto. Our Lady had conquered the barbaric Aztecs and Mayans in the Americas after she left the miraculous image of herself on the tilma of the Venerable Juan Diego. That image had become so revered in the space of less than forty-five years that the King Philip II of Spain had given it to the Genoese admiral Gian Andrea Dora to be used in the battle against the Mohammedan infidels Our Lady was thus demonstrating how her Divine Son had assigned to her the task of crushing barbarians and infidels just as much as she had been assigned the task of crushing heresies when she gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic de Guzman.
It was but less than one hundred twelve years after the Battle of Lepanto that Polish King Jan Sobieski used Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary to defeat the Turks at the Battle of the Gates of Vienna. That same Rosary would be used by Austrians in the 1950s to pray for the withdrawal of the forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that occupied half of their country, marking only the second time that Soviet forces had withdrawn voluntarily from a country before the events of 1989-1991 (the other time was in late-1946 when Soviet forces withdrew from the Azerbaijan region of northern Iran). Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary continues to vanquish the demons that plague the gates of our very souls, which is why we must be assiduous in a fervent and recollected recitation of at least one set of its mysteries each and every day of our lives without fail.
Our Lady hates what her Divine Son hates. She hate all evil. Although she, as the Mother of Mercy (Mater Misericordia), has compassion on us erring sinners, she hates sin. She wants us to detest all sin and evil, having experienced in the very depths of her Immaculate Heart and soul the horror of what each one of our sins did to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. She was sent to three shepherd children in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, nearly ninety years ago as a final effort on the part of her Divine Son to save erring sinners from Hell, explaining to Lucia dos Santos on July 13, 1917, that she desired to have instituted in a most particular way devotion to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by the practice of the Five First Saturdays. Our Lord, Who gave us His Most Blessed Mother to be our Mother as He was dying as a result of our sins on the wood of the Holy Cross, has sent His Blessed Mother to us in these our own very days to rescue us from sins and lukewarmness and indifference and all of the errors of Modernity in the world, represented by the anti-Incarnational errors of Russia, and of Modernism (which is why the conciliarists have been demonically feverish in helping to deconstruct the Third Secret of Fatima).
We must be earnest in our efforts to use Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary and devotion to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, and through that Heart, which we pierced by our sins with Seven Swords of Sorrow, to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world.
We must make sacrifices to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners.
We must be truly sorry for our own sins and to grow to despise them so much that we lose all attachment even to our least venial sins, which is, after all, one of the conditions for gaining a Plenary Indulgence (and those who are totally consecrated to Jesus through Mary, either according to the formula of Saint Louis de Montfort or Father Maximilian Kolbe, recognize that whatever merits they gain, including Plenary Indulgences, as a result of their prayers and actions are not theirs, that they belong totally to Our Lady to be disposed of as she sees fit to make use of them). We must also understand that even the slightest attachment to heresy and error is displeasing to God and makes our souls less capable of seeing the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith and of choosing the good in accordance with that same Holy Faith.
Our Lady hates heresy and error because her Divine Son is Truth Incarnate. There is no contradiction in truth, whether natural or supernatural. There is no contradiction in the Blessed Trinity. Our Lord became Flesh in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of the Holy Ghost to bear witness to the Truth, something that confounded Pontius Pilate on Good Friday and that has been deconstructed by heretics throughout the ages, including the conciliarists, who are wedded to the condemned Modernist propositions that truth is only perceived in the mind and is thus subject to reinterpretation in light of changing circumstances and the alleged "needs" of "modern" man. Pope Saint Pius X condemned the madness of this attack upon truth, which is indeed an attack upon Truth Incarnate Himself, in Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907:
Hence [for the Modernists] it is quite impossible to maintain that they [dogmatic statements] absolutely contain the truth: for, in so far as they are symbols, they are the images of truth, and so must be adapted to the religious sense in its relation to man; and as instruments, they are the vehicles of truth, and must therefore in their turn be adapted to man in his relation to the religious sense. But the object of the religious sense, as something contained in the absolute, possesses an infinite variety of aspects, of which now one, now another, may present itself. In like manner he who believes can avail himself of varying conditions. Consequently, the formulas which we call dogma must be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change. Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. Here we have an immense structure of sophisms which ruin and wreck all religion.
Dogma is not only able, but ought to evolve and to be changed. This is strongly affirmed by the Modernists, and clearly flows from their principles. For among the chief points of their teaching is the following, which they deduce from the principle of vital immanence, namely, that religious formulas if they are to be really religious and not merely intellectual speculations, ought to be living and to live the life of the religious sense. This is not to be understood to mean that these formulas, especially if merely imaginative, were to be invented for the religious sense. Their origin matters nothing, any more than their number or quality. What is necessary is that the religious sense -- with some modification when needful -- should vitally assimilate them. In other words, it is necessary that the primitive formula be accepted and sanctioned by the heart; and similarly the subsequent work from which are brought forth the .secondary formulas must proceed under the guidance of the heart. Hence it comes that these formulas, in order to be living, should be, and should remain, adapted to the faith and to him who believes. Wherefore, if for any reason this adaptation should cease to exist, they lose their first meaning and accordingly need to be changed. In view of the fact that the character and lot of dogmatic formulas are so unstable, it is no wonder that Modernists should regard them so lightly and in such open disrespect, and have no consideration or praise for anything but the religious sense and for the religious life. In this way, with consummate audacity, they criticize the Church, as having strayed from the true path by failing to distinguish between the religious and moral sense of formulas and their surface meaning, and by clinging vainly and tenaciously to meaningless formulas, while religion itself is allowed to go to ruin. "Blind'- they are, and "leaders of the blind" puffed up with the proud name of science, they have reached that pitch of folly at which they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true meaning of religion; in introducing a new system in which "they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the holy and apostolic traditions, they embrace other and vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, unapproved by the Church, on which, in the height of their vanity, they think they can base and maintain truth itself." (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
Once again, compare this condemnation of the proposition of the ability of truth to contradict itself with its very assertion by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in his address to the curia of the conciliar Vatican on December 22, 2005:
It is clear that this commitment to expressing a specific truth in a new way demands new thinking on this truth and a new and vital relationship with it; it is also clear that new words can only develop if they come from an informed understanding of the truth expressed, and on the other hand, that a reflection on faith also requires that this faith be lived. In this regard, the programme that Pope John XXIII proposed was extremely demanding, indeed, just as the synthesis of fidelity and dynamic is demanding. . . .
It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church's decisions on contingent matters - for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible - should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.
On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.
(Christmas greetings to the Members of the Roman Curia and Prelature, December 22, 2005.)
Anyone who thinks that such condemned absurdities as spoken throughout Joseph Ratzinger's priesthood, including the nearly thirty months of his reign over the counterfeit church of conciliarism, are looked upon favorably by the Mother of God is fooling himself. Our Lady hates all heresy. The belief that truth is contingent upon perception and the circumstances of the moment, a belief that is the cornerstone of Modernism and hence of conciliarism's view of doctrine and the liturgy, is heretical, condemned by pope after pope of the Catholic Church and anathematized in no uncertain terms by the [First] Vatican Council, 1869-1870 (see the appendix beow for yet another recitation of the decree issued by the Vatican Council on April 24, 1870).
These are not minor matters. There is nothing about the Faith that is minor or "non-essential." Modernists contend that that some things about the Faith are "non-essential." Their apologists amongst the ranks of "conservatives" in the postconciliar era have accepted the premise so as to justify or excuse defections from the Faith, being joined in the last seven and one-haf years by at least a few of the partisans of the Motu Mass, people who believe that it is "strategically" opportune to "cease fire" about such things as a putative Roman Pontiff's calling a Buddhist mountain "sacred" and his personally esteeming the symbols of false religions with his own priestly hands and giving joint "blessings" with the non-ordained clergy of false religions in order to give more and more people access to the modernized version of the offering (or, more accurately in most instances, the simulated offering by invalidly ordained priests) of Immemorial Mass of Traditionm which will undergo yet another facelift on Sunday, December 2, 212. Lost in these concessions to the false foundation of Modernism's Hegelian attack upon the nature of dogmatic truth is the simple fact that it is very rare, although not unheard of, for those who choose to refrain from refuting Modernist falsehoods and to oppose it openly with Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary of ever recapturing their Catholic spines and seeking to flee from all contact with the falsehoods and from even any appearance of being "one with" those who promote them.
We must, therefore, beseech Our Lady through her Most Holy Rosary to protect us from the ways in which the adversary seeks to attack the gates of our very souls by tempting us into believing that the errors of Modernity in the world or of Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism will just "go away" all on their own. We must protect ourselves from these pernicious errors by relying upon the graces that have been won for us by the shedding of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces and by using the Most Holy Rosary as the most powerful weapon after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass itself to defeat the propagators of these pernicious errors. Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary is as powerful now as it was when she gave it to Saint Dominic to fight the Albigenses. We must use against those who dare to defy anathematized propositions as they promote condemned novelties and beliefs that offend God and harm the souls for whom He gave up His very life on the wood of the Holy Cross.
In using Our Lady's Rosary to defeat the errors of Modernity and Modernism that seek to knock down and invade with violence the very gates of our souls we must keep in mind the virtues of the saints who have employed it through the better part of the past eight centuries. The great client of Our Lady and her Most Holy Rosary, Saint Louis de Montfort, provided us with a summary of these virtues in his writings:
Among the virtues of the saints, we must imitate: the splendor of their humility, the charm of their tenderness, the excellence of their obedience, their strength of patience, the beauty of their virginity, the necessity of their penance, the tenderness of their brotherly charity, their joy of pardon, their blessed solitude, the frequency of their prayer, their power of fasting, the generosity of their alms, their love for the Cross, the treasures of their poverty, the flame of their zeal, the wisdom of their silence, their experience of the presence of God, the pleasant appeal of their modesty, their thankfulness (H 26:8), their abandonment to Providence, and even their innocent games. (Jesus Living in Mary: Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort, Litchfield, Connecticut, Montfort Publications, 1994).
As the Queen of All Saints, Our Lady exhibited these virtues to their consummate perfection. We need her maternal intercession from Heaven to help us to do so in order that our efforts to oppose the errors of our day and our method of dealing with others on a one-on-one basis will not be founded on our own disordered pride but in a true love of the majesty and the rights of God Himself and in a desire to help souls quit offending Him and His Most Blessed Mother, begging pardon of her Divine Son and of her for the times when our efforts have been disordered and caused more scandal than have been a true help to plant seeds for the eternal good of souls and for the honor and glory of God Himself.
One of the ways we can be most effective, both spiritually and temporally, in combating by means of the Most Holy Rosary the demons that knock on the very gates of our souls from so many different directions is to join forces with others who are relying upon what the late Padre Pio called our most powerful weapon. To this end, you see, it is important to take seriously our enrollment in (or to enroll for the first time in) the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, which was established by Saint Dominic himself. Pope Leo XIII himself reaffirmed the papal approbation that had been given to this Confraternity by previous pontiffs. Pope Leo's words, contained in
Augustissimae Virginis Mariae, September 12, 1897, should encourage each of us to join the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary and to exhort others to do so as well:
We do not hesitate to assign a pre-eminent place among these societies to that known as the Society of the Holy Rosary. If we regard its origin, we find it distinguished by its antiquity, for St. Dominic himself is said to have been its founder. If we estimate its privileges, we see it enriched with a vast number of them granted by the munificence of our predecessors. The form of the association, its very soul, is the Rosary of Our Lady, of the excellence of which We have elsewhere spoken at length. Still the virtue and efficacy of the Rosary appear all the greater when considered as the special office of the Sodality which bears its name. Everyone knows how necessary prayer is for all men; not that God's decrees can be changed, but, as St. Gregory says, "that men by asking may merit to receive what Almighty God hath decreed from eternity to grant them" (Dialog., lib. i., c. 8). And St. Augustine says, "He who knoweth how to pray aright, knoweth how to live aright" (In Ps. cxviii). But prayers acquire their greatest efficacy in obtaining God's assistance when offered publicly, by large numbers, constantly, and unanimously, so as to form as it were a single chorus of supplication; as those words of the Acts of the Apostles clearly declare wherein the disciples of Christ, awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost, are said to have been "persevering with one mind in prayer" (Acts i., 14). Those who practice this manner of prayer will never fail to obtain certain fruit. Such is certainly the case with members of the Rosary Sodality. Just as by the recitation of the Divine Office, priests offer a public, constant, and most efficacious supplication; so the supplication offered by the members of this Sodality in the recitation of the Rosary, or "Psalter of Our Lady," as it has been styled by some of the Popes, is also in a way public, constant, and universal.
Since, as We have said, public prayers are much more excellent and more efficacious than private ones, so ecclesiastical writers have given to the Rosary Sodality the title of "the army of prayer, enrolled by St. Dominic, under the banner of the Mother of God," - of her, whom sacred literature and the history of the Church salute as the conqueror of the Evil One and of all errors. The Rosary unites together all who join the Sodality in a common bond of paternal or military comradeship; so that a mighty host is thereby formed, duly marshalled and arrayed, to repel the assaults of the enemy, both from within and without. Wherefore may the members of this pious society take to themselves the words of St. Cyprian: "Our prayer is public and in common; and when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, for we, the entire people, are one" (De Orat. Domin.). The history of the Church bears testimony to the power and efficacy of this form of prayer, recording as it does the rout of the Turkish forces at the naval battle of Lepanto, and the victories gained over the same in the last century at Temesvar in Hungary and in the island of Corfu. Our predecessor, Gregory XIII., in order to perpetuate the memory of the first-named victory, established the feast of Our Lady of Victories, which later on Clement XI. distinguished by the title of Rosary Sunday and commanded to be celebrated throughout the universal Church.
From the fact that this warfare of prayer is "enrolled under the name of the Mother of God," fresh efficacy and fresh honour are thereby added to it. Hence the frequent repetition in the Rosary of the "Hail Mary" after each "Our Father." So far from this derogating in any way from the honour due to God, as though it indicated that we placed greater confidence in Mary's patronage than in God's power, it is rather this which especially moves God, and wins His mercy for us. We are taught by the Catholic faith that we may pray not only to God himself, but also to the Blessed in heaven (Conc. Trid. Sess. xxv.), though in different manner; because we ask from God as from the Source of all good, but from the Saints as from intercessors. "Prayer," says St. Thomas, "is offered to a person in two ways - one as though to be granted by himself; another, as to be obtained through him. In the first way we pray to God alone, because all our prayers ought to be directed to obtaining grace and glory, which God alone gives, according to those words of Psalm Ixxxiii., 12, "The Lord will give grace and glory." But in the second way we pray to holy angels and men, not that God may learn our petition through them, but that by their prayers and merits our prayers may be efficacious. Wherefore, it is said in the Apocalypse (viii., 4): "The smoke of the incense of the prayers of the Saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel" (Summa Theol. 2a 2ae, q. Ixxxiii. a. iv.). Now, of all the blessed in heaven, who can compare with the august Mother of God in obtaining grace? Who seeth more clearly in the Eternal Word what troubles oppress us, what are our needs? Who is allowed more power in moving God? Who can compare with her in maternal affection? We do not pray to the Blessed in the same way as to God; for we ask the Holy Trinity to have mercy on us, but we ask all the Saints to pray for us (Ibid.). Yet our manner of praying to the Blessed Virgin has something in common with our worship of God, so that the Church even addresses to her the words with which we pray to God: "Have mercy on sinners." The members of the Rosary Sodality, therefore, do exceedingly well in weaving together, as in a crown, so many salutations and prayers to Mary. For, so great is her dignity, so great her favour before God, that whosoever in his need will not have recourse to her is trying to fly without wings.
We must not omit to mention another excellence of this Sodality. As often as, in reciting the Rosary, we meditate upon the mysteries of our Redemption, so often do we in a manner emulate the sacred duties once committed to the Angelic hosts. The Angels revealed each of these mysteries in its due time; they played a great part in them; they were constantly present at them, with countenances indicative now of joy, now of sorrow, now of triumphant exultation. Gabriel was sent to announce the Incarnation of the Eternal Word to the Virgin. In the cave of Bethlehem, Angels sang the glory of the new-born Saviour. The Angel gave Joseph command to fly with the Child into Egypt. An Angel consoled, with his loving words, Jesus in His bloody sweat in the garden. Angels announced His resurrection, after He had triumphed over death, to the women. Angels carried Him up into Heaven; and foretold His second coming, surrounded by Angelic hosts, unto whom He will associate the souls of the elect, and carry them aloft with Him to the heavenly choirs, "above whom the Holy Mother of God is exalted." To those, therefore, who make use of the pious prayers of the Rosary in this Sodality, may be well applied the words with which St. Paul addressed the new Christians: "You are come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of Angels" (Heb. xii., 22). What more divine, what more delightful, than to meditate and pray with the Angels? With what confidence may we not hope that those who on earth have united with the Angels in this ministry will one day enjoy their blessed company in Heaven?
For these reasons the Roman Pontiffs have ever given the highest praise to this Sodality of Our Lady. Innocent VIII. calls it "a most devout confraternity" (Splendor Paternae Gloriae, Feb. 26, 1491.) Pius V declares that by its virtue "Christians began suddenly to be transformed into other men, the darkness of heresy to be dispelled, and the light of Catholic faith to shine forth" (Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, September17, 1569). Sixtus V, noting how fruitful for religion this Sodality was, professed himself most devoted to it. Many others, too, enriched it with numerous and very special indulgences, or took it under their particular patronage, enrolling themselves in it and giving it many testimonies of their goodwill.
We also, Venerable Brethren, moved by the example of Our predecessors, earnestly exhort and conjure you, as We have so often done, to devote special care to this sacred warfare, so that by your efforts fresh forces may be daily enrolled on every side. Through you and those of your clergy who have care of souls, let the people know and duly appreciate the efficacy of this Sodality and its usefulness for man's salvation. This We beg all the more earnestly as of late that beautiful devotion to our Blessed Mother, called "the living Rosary," has once more become popular. We have gladly blessed this devotion, and We earnestly desire that you would sedulously and strenuously encourage its growth. We cherish the strongest hope that these prayers and praises, rising incessantly from the lips and hearts of so great a multitude, will be most efficacious. Alternately rising by night and by day, throughout the different countries of the earth, they combine a harmony of vocal prayer with meditation upon the divine mysteries. In ages long past this perennial stream of praise and prayer was foretold in those inspired words with which Ozias in his song addressed Judith: "Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord, the Most High God, above all women upon the earth . . . because He hath so magnified thy name this day that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of man." And all the people of Israel acclaimed him in these words: "So be it, so be it!" Judith xiii., 23, 24, 26). (Pope Leo XIII,
Augustissimae Virginis Mariae, September 12, 1897.)
Please ask your true bishop or your true priest in your own chapel in the Catholic catacombs to enroll you and your family members in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Enrollees are obliged to pray the fifteen mysteries, each of which contains such great food for prayerful reflection on how our Redemption was wrought for us by Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother, of the Holy Rosary every week. As we should strive, where at all possible, to say all fifteen decades every day, fifteen in a week is not a burdensome obligation. Members must also have their names enrolled in Confraternity of the Holy Rosary register. The benefits are Heavenly. They are eternal, including sharing in the prayers of all of the members, both living and deceased, of the Confraternity. This is one very concrete way by which we can quite literally join forces with our fellow Catholics in combating by means of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary all of the demons--personal, social, ecclesiastical--that seek entry at the gates of our very souls.
The Rosary is hated by the adversary with the same degree of passion with which he hates the Immemorial Mass of Tradition in all of its unvarnished splendor and beauty. The devil knows how the Rosary has defeated him and his wiles in the past. This is what he, the ultimate trickster of darkness who hates our souls because they are made in the image and likeness of the One He hates, the Blessed Trinity, will use every trick he has in his dirty book to trap us into thinking that we are too tired or too busy or, God forbid, too "sophisticated" to pray the Rosary well or to promote it publicly as the signal means by which a just social order according to the Mind of Christ the King as He has discharged It exclusively in His Catholic Church can be established, maintained and renewed with constant spiritual vigor. The devil will seek to discourage us from carrying extra Rosaries (and Rosary instruction pamphlets) on our person to hand out to the lost souls who are the victims of Modernity's and Modernism's assaults against the Deposit of Faith. The adversary will attempt to convince us that it is "just too much" for us to carry Green Scapulars and blessed Miraculous Medals to hand out to those whom God's Holy Providence puts in our lives on a daily basis. We must call upon Saint Michael the Archangel and to recite the August Queen of Heaven Prayer to resist these demonic efforts to dissuade us in our own devotion to Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary and its public promotion.
Make no mistake about it, ladies and gentlemen: the public promotion of the Rosary, which consists, as the Psalter of Our Lady, fifteen decades of ten Hail Marys each, is feared by the adversary, who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Pope Leo XIII, writing to Italian Catholics in the midst of the ongoing assaults by the Judeo-Masonic regime that had overthrown the Papal States on September 20, 1870, exhorted his fellow Catholics to embrace penance and mortification and fasting a desire to eschew all human respect in order to defend the Holy Faith, words that are as applicable in our day as in his 110 years ago now:
We ardently exhort you, venerable brethren, devote all your care and zeal to kindle among those committed to your charge a strong, living and active faith, and to call on all to return by penance to grace and to the faithful fulfillment of; all their duties. Among such duties, considering the state of the times, must be reckoned as paramount an open and sincere profession of the fait and teaching of Jesus Christ, casting aside all human respect, and considering before all things the interest of religion and the salvation of souls. It cannot be concealed that, although thanks to the mercy of God religious feeling is strong and widely spread among Italians, nevertheless by the evil influence of men and the times religious indifference is on the increase, and hence there is lessening of that respect and filial love for the Church which was the glory of our ancestors and in which they placed their highest ambition. Let it be your work, venerable brethren, to revive this Christian feeling among your people, an interest in the Catholic cause, a confidence in Our Lady' help, and a spirit of prayer. It is certain that the august Queen, invoked thus well by her man sons, would deign to hear their prayer, console Us in Our sorrow, and crown Our efforts for the Church and for Italy, by granting better times to both. With these desires, We bestow on you venerable brethren, and the clergy and people committed to your care, the Apostolic Benediction as a promise of graces and favors of the highest kind from heaven. (Vi E Ben Noto, September 20, 1887, the seventeenth anniversary of the overthrow of the Papal States.)
The work of changing the world and of combating the errors of the day, both of Modernity and Modernism, depends upon our desire to give up sin forever. Our Lord cannot reign as King of nations if he does not reign first as King in the hearts and souls of men, starting with our own. Saint Louis de Montfort's reminder of this truth should encourage us to get to Confession weekly and to recognize that the state of our own immortal souls will influence the degree to which our efforts to restore all things in Christ the King through Mary our Immaculate Queen will bear fruit:
It is not so much the length of a prayer, but the fervor with which it is said which pleases Almighty God and touches His Heart. One single Hail Mary that is said properly is worth more than one hundred fifty that are badly said. Most Catholics say the Rosary, the whole fifteen mysteries or five of them anyway, or least a few decades. So why is it then that so few of them give up their sins and go forward in the spiritual life? Surely it must be because they are not saying them as they should. It is a good thing to think over how we should pray if we really want to please God and become more holy.
To say the Holy Rosary to advantage one must be in a state of grace or at the very least be fully determined to give up mortal sin. This we know because all our theology teaches us that good works and prayers are only dead works if they are done in a state of mortal sin. Therefore they can neither be pleasing to God nor help us gain eternal life. This is why Ecclesiastes says: "Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner." Praise of God and the salutation of an angel and the very Prayer of Jesus Christ are not pleasing to God when they are said by unrepentant sinners.
Our Lord said: "This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." It is as though He was saying: "Those who join My Confraternity and say their Rosary every day (even perhaps the fifteen decades), but without being sorry for their sins offer Me lip service only and their hearts are far from me."
I have just said that to say the Rosary to advantage one must be in a state of grace "or at least be fully determined to give up mortal sin;" first of all, because if it were true that God only heard the prayers of those in a state of grace it would follow that people in a state of mortal sin should not pray at all. This is an erroneous teaching which has been condemned by Holy Mother Church, because of course sinners need to pray far more than good people do. Were this horrible doctrine true, it would then be useless and futile to tell a sinner to say all, or even part of his Rosary, because it would never help him.
Secondly, because if they join one of Our Lady's confraternities and recite the Rosary or some other prayer, but without having the slightest intention of giving up sin, they join the ranks of her false devotees. These presumptuous and impenitent devotees, hiding under her mantle, wearing the scapular and with rosary in hand, cry out: "Blessed Virgin, good Mother--Hail, Mary! . . ." And yet at the same time, by their sins, they are crucifying Our Lord Jesus Christ and tearing His flesh anew. It is a a great tragedy, but from the very ranks of Our Lady's most holy Confraternities souls are falling into the fires of hell.
We earnestly beg everyone to say the Holy Rosary: the just that they may persevere and grow in God's grace; the sinners that they may rise from their sins. But God forbid that we should ever encourage a sinner to think that Our Lady will protect him with Her mantle if he continues to love sin, for then it will only turn into a mantle of damnation which will hide his sins from the public eye. The Rosary, which is a cure for all our ills, would then be turned into deadly poison. "A corruption of what is best is worst."
The learned Cardinal Hughes says: "One should really be as pure as an angel to approach the Blessed Virgin and to say the Angelic Salutation." One day Our Lady appeared to an immoral man who used to always say his Rosary every day. She showed him a bowl of beautiful fruit, but the bowl itself was covered with filth. The man was horrified to see this, and Our Lady said: "This is the way you are honoring me! You are giving me beautiful roses in a filthy bowl. Do you think that I can accept presents of this kind?" (Saint Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, pp. 87-88.)
Powerful words, are they not? We should take them most seriously. The members of Judeo-Masonic lodges and other of their naturalist allies and the conciliarists, who certainly bear much responsibility for the evils of our days, are perhaps less to blame for the state of the world and the confusion that exists amongst most Catholics today than perhaps we are. This is something we should ponder during this month of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary as we seek to use this weapon well for our own advantage and for that of our fellow sinners and for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
And we must remember that it is no accident at all that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI almost never speaks of the Rosary, refusing to do during his pilgrimage to the United States of America in 2008 or his pilgrimages to Jordan and Israel and the Czech Republic last year or in his own native Germany just last month. That he does not do so on a regular basis, especially when addressing the young, is a crime against Our Lady and against the souls redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To refuse to exhort Catholics on a regular basis to pray the Rosary is to contribute to the worsening of the state of souls and thus of the world.
Saint Louis de Montfort's The Secret of the Rosary reminds us to avoid all worldliness and worldly souls, which includes all immersion in the seemingly never-ending permutations of naturalism, and to never give up on the praying of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary:
Predestinate souls, you who are of God, cut yourselves adrift from those who are damning themselves by their impious lives, laziness and lack of devotion--and, without delay, recite often your Rosary, with faith, with humility, with confidence and with perseverance. . . .
Dear Rosary Confraternity members, if you want to lead a fashionable life and belong to the world--by this I mean if you do not mind falling into mortal sin from time to time and then going to Confession, and if you with to avoid conspicuous sins which the world considers vile and yet at the same time commit "respectable sins"--then, of course, there is no need for you to say many prayers and Rosaries. You only need to do very little be "respectable": a tiny prayer at night and morning, an occasional Rosary which may be given to you for your penance, a few decades of Hail Marys said on your Rosary (but haphazardly and without concentration) when it suits your fancy to say them--this is quite enough. If you did less, you might be branded as a freethinker or a profligate; if you did more, you would be eccentric and a fanatic. But if you want to lead a true Christian life and genuinely want to save your soul and walk in the saints' footsteps and never, never, fall into mortal sin--if you wish to break Satan's traps and divert his flaming darts, you must always pray as Our Lord taught and commanded you to do.
If you really have this wish at heart, then you mst at least say your Rosary or the equivalent, every day. I have said "at least" because probably all that you will accomplish through your Rosary will be to avoid mortal sin and to overcome temptation. This is because you are so exposed to the strong current of the world's wickedness by which many a strong soul is swept away; you are in the midst of the thick, clinging darkness which often blinds even the most enlightened souls; you are surrounded by evil spirits who being more experienced than ever and knowing that their time is short are more cunning and more effective in tempting you.
It will indeed be a marvel of grace wrought by the Most Holy Rosary if you manage to keep out of the clutches of the world, the devil and the flesh and avoid mortal sin and gain heaven! If you do not want to believe me, at least learn from your own experience. I should like to ask you, if when you were in the habit of saying no more prayers than people usually say in the world and saying them they way they usually say them, you were able to avid serious faults and sins that were grievous but which seemed nothing much to you in your blindness. Now at last you must wake up, and if you want to live and die without sin, at least mortal sin, pray unceasingly; say your Rosary every day as members always used to do in the early days of the Confraternity. . . .
Even if you suffer from dryness of soul, boredom and interior discouragement, never give up even the least little bit of your Rosary--for this would be a sure sign of pride and faithlessness. On the contrary, like a real champion of Jesus and Mary, you should say your Our Fathers and Hail Marys quite drily if you have to, without seeing, hearing or feeling any consolation whatsoever, and concentrating as best you can on the mysteries. You ought not to look for candy or jam to eat with your daily bread, as children do--but you should even say your Rosary more slowly sometimes when you particularly find it hard to say. Do this to imitate Our Lord more perfectly in His agony in the garden: "Being in agony, he prayed the longer," so that what was said of Our Lord (when He was in His agony of prayer) may be said of you too: He prayed even longer.
Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray. The Eternal Father yearns for nothing so much as to share the life-giving waters of His grace and mercy with us. He is entreating us: "All you that thirst, come to the waters . . ." This means "Come and drink of My spring through prayer," and when we do not pray to Him He sorrowfully says that we are forsaking Him: "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water." (Saint Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary; pp. 99-101; 103)
Let us not forsake Our Lord. Let us go to Him through the very instrument His Most Blessed Mother gave to Saint Dominic, the Holy Rosary. Let us take seriously the words that Our Lady told Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria to pray many Rosaries and to do penance for the conversion of poor sinners and to save them from Hell. We are poor sinners in need of conversion! We need to be saved from the fires of Hell. We must use the spiritual weapon that Our Lord has given us through His Most Blessed Mother to defeat the enemies of our salvation at the very gates of our soul this day and every day our lives as we lift high the standard of His Most Holy Cross, which is adorned to every Rosary of His Most Blessed Mother, as we seek to spread devotion to this paramount weapon against all sin and heresy.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us now and the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Pope Saint Mark I, pray for us.
Saints Sergius, Bacchus, Marcellus, and Apuleius, pray for us.
Saint Dominic de Guzman, pray for us.
Blessed Alan de la Roche, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Vatican Council, Session III, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, On Faith and Reason, April 24, 1870
For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward
- not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence,
- but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred
dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy
mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense
under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.
God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth.
The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either: the
dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the
mind of the church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions
Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false. . . .
3. If anyone says that it is possible that
at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be
assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from
that which the church has understood and understands: let him be
And so in the performance of our supreme pastoral
office, we beseech for the love of Jesus Christ and we command, by the
authority of him who is also our God and saviour, all faithful
Christians, especially those in authority or who have the duty of
teaching, that they contribute their zeal and labour to the warding off
and elimination of these errors from the church and to the spreading of
the light of the pure faith.
But since it is not enough to avoid the
contamination of heresy unless those errors are carefully shunned which
approach it in greater or less degree, we warn all of their duty to
observe the constitutions and decrees in which such wrong opinions,
though not expressly mentioned in this document, have been banned and
forbidden by this holy see. (Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session III,
Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, On Faith and
Reason, April 24, 1870. SESSION 3 : 24 April 1870.)