This week, we celebrated the 100th birthday of St. John Paul II.
During his life, he saw much change in the world and in the Church. He lived through both the Nazi and Communist regimes, the Cold War, Vatican II and the aftermath of confusion from its misappropriation, as well as the beginning of the scandals in the Church. He survived an assassination attempt and was a public witness to the challenges of living with a debilitating disease that transformed him from a vigorous athlete to someone who struggled to walk a few steps on his own. He was a man who was intimately familiar with suffering and spiritual battle.
In 1976, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who two years later would become Pope John Paul II, visited the United States. While in this country, he made a stunning statement:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society, or wide circles of the Christian community, realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church must take up.
How would he deal with Covid-19 and all of the other challenges facing us today? Probably by getting on his knees and grabbing his Rosary beads.
He was a powerful evangelizer of the Rosary. In 2002, near the end of his life and his pontificate, he gifted the Church with the encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae, as if to emphasize with finality the importance of the Rosary. It was a letter of instruction to inspire us to utilize the Rosary as a path to contemplation, adding the Luminous Mysteries to help us meditate upon the life and ministry of Christ.
He concludes the letter with these poignant words:
I look to all of you, brothers and sisters of every state of life, to you, Christian families, to you, the sick and elderly, and to you, young people: confidently take up the Rosary once again. Rediscover the Rosary in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the Liturgy, and in the context of your daily lives.
May this appeal of mine not go unheard! At the start of the twenty-fifth year of my Pontificate, I entrust this Apostolic Letter to the loving hands of the Virgin Mary, prostrating myself in spirit before her image in the splendid Shrine built for her by Blessed Bartolo Longo, the apostle of the Rosary. I willingly make my own the touching words with which he concluded his well-known Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary: “O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death: yours our final kiss as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompei, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven”.
Join us for this week’s Rosary. Please be sure to follow the instructions below to register for this Rosary meeting.
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Wednesday, May 20th at 4 PM Eastern Time
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Topic: Women of Grace Warrior’s Rosary Crusade Live Rosary
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