October & Living Rosary Association…

Ven. Pauline Jaricot

The following article, written by Kevin Rowles, one of our English readers,
is published here, with permission…  

On May 26th 2020, Pope Francis authorized the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to promulgate the Decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Pauline Maria Jaricot, Foundress of the Societies of the “Council of the Propagation of the Faith” and of the “Living Rosary”, opening the way to her beatification. As we approach the month of the Rosary, I thought readers might like to know a little bit more about the important work of this incredible organisation.

The Living Rosary Association was founded in 1826 by Venerable Pauline Jaricot, then aged 27, at Lyon, France. The Venerable Pauline had already founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith at the age of 20, and was a close friend of the Curé of Ars. The Living Rosary devotion spread like wildfire throughout the world and was formally approved and richly indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI, and accorded official canonical status on January 27, 1832.

The Living Rosary is a perpetual devotion. That is, once joined, you agree to pray a daily decade of the Rosary faithfully for the remainder of your life. This obligation doesn’t bind under pain of sin, but your effort and desire to remain faithful are crucial. Your decade may be offered at any time of the day or night. ULRA builds a list of 15 names of those who contact them, wishing to join the Living Rosary. Each of the 15 people are then allotted their specific mystery to pray every day and are notified by post which mystery they are to be allotted and when to begin it. The intention of the decade is always the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in honour of Saint Philomena.

Patti Melvin of Texas, U.S.A began the revival of The Living Rosary Association on December 8, 1986, with 30 members. The apostolate has been richly blessed by Our Lady and under the powerful patronage of St. Philomena, the membership now stands at 8,000,000 and has been planted in every continent of the world. Each member is asked to voluntarily give a monthly donation if possible, as the organisation has no other means of financial support. The donations received are then ploughed straight back into spreading the Living Rosary devotion, maintaining the ULRA centre, and mailing devotional literature and sacramentals such as the Rosary, the Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal, St Philomena’s Cord and St Philomena’s Oil to the missions and elsewhere throughout the world. If it isn’t possible to donate financially, ULRA asks that its members pray fervently that its material needs are met. The Living Rosary has ecclesiastical approval and is affiliated to the Shrine of St Philomena at Mugnano, Italy.

One ULRA article states: “In these days of evil, chaos, confusion, division and Modernism, the Living Rosary will be a mighty force in every family, parish, diocese and country. The Holy Rosary is a gift to us from the Queen of Heaven. If the Rosary is prayed faithfully and is strengthened by the unity of association, it will render the attacks of Satan impotent. The Living Rosary is endowed with great power before the throne of God through the union of charity that flows through its members. Immense are the graces and merits obtained daily, by every member, when united and animated by the fire of Divine Love in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. One who prays the Rosary alone receives the grace and merits of a single Rosary, but if he or she is united with EIGHT million members, then all of the graces and merits of the whole are gained.”

A regular newsletter called Dedicated Decades is posted to members. It is a beautiful magazine, full of traditional and inspiring Catholic devotional articles, pictures and prayers. It also contains reports of ULRA’s work and many testimonials from all over the world of spiritual and temporal graces received through the practice of the Living Rosary and the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and St Philomena. Dedicated Decades is a wonderful antidote to the spiritually poisonous literature so prevalent today. All ULRA literature and prayer cards show the Mass represented in the traditional form.

One letter published by ULRA, dated October 19th 2007, was heart-breaking to read:-

Cher Madame Patti, Bonjour from Goma in D.R. Congo. We have not written to you for a long time because the situation here in Eastern Congo is the very worst in the world according to U.N. reports. We are so sorry we missed Emma’s visit to us (Emma – Emmanuel is the ULRA African Liaison). We hear now he is in Sudan. God bless him! Oh, the renegade rebel, General Nkunda of Rwandan descent is massacring our people in large numbers! Many teachers and pupils cried to me to give them the Miraculous Medal, so at least when they are shot, they will be dressed in Our Lady’s medal. I told them I had none as when Emma came, we told him not to come to us, as we feared for his life. I am so sorry to say that many of those who cried for medals have since been killed. We had over 320,000 refugees who lived here and now they have been scattered. We have no way to reach Emma. When will he be back in Rwanda so that he can send us the medals? When is he coming out of Sudan? We are in the middle of the biggest war. Rebels invade at night and kill, claiming to be protecting the Tutsi of Rwandan origin. Please save the situation. If only Emma could come, we might at least die wearing Our Lady’s Miraculous Medal. We beg you, let us at least die with Mother Mary. Hear our voice! We cannot pray now, because we are all running and hiding, but at least the precious Medal would be around our neck. Please reply. We have no other hope! Bonnie in Bukavu, Congo is also struck and cut off from us . . .”

A tragedy like this is certainly enough to put our own problems into perspective, and it should also act as a rebuke to those Catholics who display general indifference and sometimes even contempt towards the beautiful sacramentals that Our Lady has given to aid us in our journey towards eternal salvation. It should also act as a prompt to us, to help make such sacramentals available to as many others as possible.

I joined ULRA and was given my decade, the Nativity of Our Lord, to start on Christmas Day 2003. Through good times and bad, it is comforting to know that one is part of a great spiritual family, supporting each other and praying for the most important of intentions – the hastening of Our Blessed Lady’s promise given at Fatima: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph”. I urge you to join – you won’t regret it!

To join ULRA, or for further details, please contact:- In England: Anne Curran, Universal Living Rosary Association, P.O. Box 9964, Colchester, CO1 9FN. ulrauk@gmail.com .
In America: Patti Melvin, Universal Living Rosary Association, P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A. info@philomena.org

Comments invited…   

June: O Take me to Thy Sacred Heart… 

The two young teenage friends of Catholic Truth singing in the above video, asked to do so because they want to honour Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, to mark this Month of June – the month traditionally dedicated to paying tribute to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They assure me of their motivation, insisting that it’s not because I was threatening to sing this myself!   It is one of my favourite hymns and since I’m keen to add it to our small collection of video hymns,  I decided to take them at their word.  The two lads (who are 14 and 17 respectively) deserve our warmest appreciation  because they’re not students of music, or in any way professionally qualified, yet they gave generously of their time to learn the hymn and record it for us, so… Enjoy! 

As always, with Feast Day or dedicated “month” threads, feel free to post your own favourite hymns, prayers, novenas, stories etc.  Here’s one short prayer that I’m sure we all learned at school (well, those of us in a certain age group, at least!)…

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee…  

27th October – Feast of Christ the King!

Comment:

We are reflecting upon, and discussing, the shocking state of the Church on various threads; We have noted that Our Lord, Christ the King, is being abused and insulted at the highest levels in His Church today.  The human element in the Church is all but obscuring the divine.  Let us, therefore, use this Feast Day thread as a small means of reparation, as well as celebration. Take a few minutes to share your favourite hymns and prayers, devotions, novenas, pilgrimages etc. as a means of reminding ourselves that, despite the scandalous outward appearances, Christ is  remaining true to His promise to be with His Church right to the end:  “…And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt 28:20)  

Real faith is required of us today – we cannot merely, as some put it, “cling to a tribal identity”.  Perhaps a short extract from the life of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, will point us towards the attitude of soul which we might most profitably embrace at this time – the saint is writing (to her Superior) about the affliction of her “dark night of the soul”: 

From the time of my childhood I felt that one day I should be set free from this land of darkness. I believed it, not only because I had been told so by others, but my heart’s most secret and deepest longings assured me that there was in store for me another and more beautiful country—an abiding dwelling-place. I was like Christopher Columbus, whose genius anticipated the discovery of the New World. And suddenly the mists about me have penetrated my very soul and have enveloped me so completely that I cannot even picture to myself this promised country . . . all has faded away. When my heart, weary of the surrounding darkness, tries to find some rest in the thought of a life to come, my anguish increases. It seems to me that out of the darkness I hear the mocking voice of the unbeliever: “You dream of a land of light and fragrance, you dream that the Creator of these wonders will be yours for ever, you think one day to escape from these mists where you now languish. Nay, rejoice in death, which will give you, not what you hope for, but a night darker still, the night of utter nothingness!”

Dear Mother, this description of what I suffer is as far removed from reality as the first rough outline is from the model, but I fear that to write more were to blaspheme . . . even now I may have said too much. May God forgive me! He knows that I try to live by Faith, though it does not afford me the least consolation. I have made more acts of Faith in this last year than during all the rest of my life.  (Chapter IX, The Story of a Soul).

Maybe we should compete with this great saint and Doctor of the Church, in making many acts of Faith, not just on this beautiful Feast, but every day throughout the worsening crisis in the Church.  Here’s one – if you have a favourite, please share:

An Act of Faith…

O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.   Amen.

Hail, Christ the King! 

31/5: The Queenship of Our Lady

Note:  only two of the verses published below, are sung in the video, but included here for the record (so to speak!)

Bring flowers of the rarest
bring blossoms the fairest,
from garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling
the praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Their lady they name thee,

Their mistress proclaim thee,
Ah, grant that thy children on earth be as true
as long as the bowers
are radiant with flowers,
as long as the azure shall keep its bright hue

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Sing gaily in chorus;
the bright angels o’er us
re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
their harps are repeating
the notes of our greeting,
for Mary herself is the cause of our mirth

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May

Comment: 

Earlier in the Month of Mary, a few of the families who attend the traditional Mass at the SSPX chapel in Glasgow, organised a little gathering for the purpose of crowning Our Lady’s statue.  Since these families double as Catholic Truth readers, I was invited along.  It turned out to be a truly beautiful experience. 

The host family has a statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in their garden, which is large enough to allow the children to play/kick a ball around etc.  The afternoon began with a buffet lunch and, following some play time (and chat time for the adults), everyone gathered round the statue for the crowning.  Girls, assorted ages and from the different families, were primed to place the lovely crown of flowers on the statue’s head as we began singing each chorus.  They did so perfectly.   An adult would remove the crown at the end of the chorus, and then it would be placed again on the statue by the next girl in line – and this until all three choruses had been sung, and every girl had had the privilege of placing the crown on Our Lady’s head.  It was absolutely beautiful. 

Later, when everyone had abandoned the garden and gathered in the living room, where a statue of Our Lady of Fatima takes pride of place, the children asked if they could again crown the statue.  That’s understandable; as the novus ordo Mass-goers keep telling us, everyone, especially the young, “like to be actively involved…”  😀  Of course, anyone who can’t see the difference between this sort of “active involvement” and the (literal) mass takeover in parishes in the past fifty years, needs help.  

Anyway, afraid of over-kill, of perhaps putting them off hymn singing forever, if not the Faith itself, I suggested that we just do the crowning, not necessarily sing the three verses/choruses of the hymn again. The youngsters would have none of it!  They insisted on singing the hymn again, every verse and every chorus.  And sing along they did, so seriously, so touchingly. 

There is no question about it, the sparks of devotion, love of Our Lord and Our Lady, are ignited when we sing the “old hymns” – you know, the ones which raise our hearts, minds and souls to the things of God and help to embed and deepen our love for Christ and His Mother.   

So, enjoy the above lovely rendering of Bring Flowers of the Rarest – and maybe next year YOU might organise a crowning party for your family and friends.  

For now, as this Month of Mary draws to a close, I wish a very happy Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary to one and all! 

Who’s Your Favourite Saint… And Why?

Comment:

This year,  for reasons beyond our control, we missed out on marking the Feast of All Saints (1st November) so, better late than never, here we go…

Tell us the name of your favourite saint  (imagine you are forced to choose just one)  and explain why.  In what way does that particular saint help your spiritual and religious life.