October Rosary request from Pope Francis

On Saturday, the Vatican (Holy See) Press Office released an official communique about the upcoming month of October. In it Pope Francis expresses his wishes that all the faithful, of all the world, pray the Holy Rosary every day, during the entire Marian month of October. This is a regular request so it wasn’t really that much of surprise. His Holiness also added that we add at the end of the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation “Sub tuum praesídium”, and with the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. The Sub Tuum is one of the most ancient prayers to Mary, it was originally in Greek and it dates to the fourth century.  The hymn is still used in modern time in both East (mostly during Great Lent or on the Eve of Theophany) and West (Little Office of Mary or Liturgy of Hours), the Marists and Salesians hold it a special place. The Latin version has been set to music numerous times.

The prayer is nice I’m putting the Greek translation and the Latin one here Greek first.

Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.
the Latin one
We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen

The Prayer to St. Michael was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1886. It used to be recited at the end of Low Mass, although depending where you are it might be recited at the end of like Daily Mass and in some dioceses it has has re-emerged in light of the recent scandal have reintroduced it to all masses.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

Rosary and St. Joseph

Since we recently celebrated Father’s Day in America it seems fitting to turn to Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron saint of the universal Church. Back in 1889 Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical Quamquam Pluries, asked the faithful to add a prayer to Saint Joseph to the end of the Rosary, especially during the month of October. Sure I pointed this out back in October but It is a nice prayer, there are many others to St. Joseph and over the next couple of weeks we will have some more.  This first one written by Leo XIII is added to the end of the Rosary and it follows

To you, O blessed Joseph,
do we come in our tribulation,
and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
O most loving father, ward off from us
every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle
with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.

Amen.

Ubi Primum

Ubi Primum is an Apostolic Constitution from Pope Leo XIII. Now, Apostolic Constitutions are the highest form of a Papal Decree, the Encyclical is a step down followed by Exhortations and Letters.  We have looked at many an Encyclical here and a couple Constitutions from Vatican II. This one focuses on the Laws, Rights and privileges of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. Now this is some sixteen paragraphs long.

It begins with a reminder of what the Rosary is and noting that Popes have published many Encyclicals about the Rosary over the year including Diutirni Temporis, published roughly a month ago which said that this Apostolic Constitution would be coming out. This document continues with various rules and regulations of how Confraternities should be formed and what they should do. The basic rules are that members of a confraternity should have their names written in the register of the confraternity and, if possible, go to Confession and Communion and say the Rosary on the day they are enrolled; possess a blessed rosary; pray the Rosary every day or at least once a week; and whenever possible, go to Confession and Communion on the first Sunday of every month and take part in the Rosary processions. This also includes some talk about indulgences on Wikipedia they listed what they are, in which members are granted a plenary indulgence, on the day of enrollment and on various feast days. They also are granted a plenary indulgence when the Rosary is prayed in Church, or in a Public Oratory, in a family (family Rosary), Religious Community, or Pious Association. Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted. This is if you want to get into indulgences which still exist in the Church you just can’t buy them anymore.

If you want to dig deeper into the document why not take some time and read it. Pope John Paul II did add the Luminious mysteries and that is the only real thing that has changed since the constitution was written.

 

Diutirni Temporis

Diuturni Temporis is Pope Leo XIII’s last encyclical on Mary and the Rosary. This came out only a year since the previous one Augustissimae Virginis Mariae, and sort of continues on with the same themes. The second paragraph is one of my favorites as it reminds us that “have never ceased to encourage the constant use of the Rosary among Christians, by publishing every year since September 1, 1883, an Encyclical Letter on this subject, besides frequently issuing Decrees, as is well known.” Pope Leo then given an overview on all that’s been said on the Rosary so far “We first of all pointed out that the origin of this form of prayer is divine rather than human,showing it to be an admirable garland woven from the Angelic Salutation, together with the Lord’s Prayer, joined to meditation, and that this form of prayer was most powerful and particularly efficacious for attaining eternal life. For besides the special excellence of the prayers, it affords a powerful protection to faith and conspicuous models of virtue in the mysteries proposed for contemplation. We showed also how easy the devotion is and how suited to the people, offering an absolutely perfect model of domestic life in meditation on the Holy Family at Nazareth, and that therefore Christendom had never failed to experience its salutary effects.” This is a wonderful summation of the previous teaching on the Rosary.

Pope Leo continues offering history of how different Popes have evolved the idea of praying the Rosary from the dates of Gregory XIII and Sixtus V to today (1898). This document itself is just a big old teaser for an Apostolic Constitution Ubi primum, which was on the laws, rights and privileges of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary issued about a month later. I’ll get to this next week.

Augustissimae Virginis Mariae

Augustissimae Virginis Mariae (Of the Most August Virgin Mary) is another encyclical from Pope Leo XIII about the Rosary, this one however talks about the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.

This Encyclical start off as so many of the other one about the Rosary with a plea for more devotion to the Most August Virgin Mary, daily and for public and private benefit. It also highlights the role of Mary in the Incarnation and Redemption as well as pointing toward Christ’s example. As well as calling for individuals to pray the Rosary in October. Now this is the first half which we’ve read before and since.

Pope Leo continues turning the conversation to the gathering of humanity into pious associations. He specifically talks about the Confraternity of the Rosary. This is a group under the care and guidance of the Dominican order. The members of the Confraternity strive to pray the Rosary of weekly. It goes on to point to the power of the Rosary with the Battle of Lepanto and the victory of the Catholic fleet. This continues with a discussion of the prayers to God and prayers to the saints. All too often we pray to Mary and not God, for many individuals we turn to the saints and other rather than talking with God about what our troubles are yet as we pray to the saints and Mary we are asking through their prayers and merits our prayers may be efficacious. Then in turning to the communal prayer as that of the Angels. It end with a nice ending in which Leo asks that more people join in this Solidarity for the usefulness of our salvation and talks of the living Rosary.

So pick up a Rosary in this final week of the month of the Rosary and pray it.

Fidentem piumque animum

Fidentem poumque animum is another encyclical on the Rosary by Pope Leo XIII. This one is pretty short and simple one. It starts with the whole general idea of Pope Leo reminding everyone that we’ve sent out numerous Encyclicals about how important the Rosary is and how everyone should be praying it especially in the month of October. This turns into a look at how important prayer in general is everything. Leo notes “The Fathers and Doctors in subsequent times have taught that this is a matter of such grave necessity, that if men neglect it they hope in vain for eternal salvation.”  Leo continues that the Rosary is a deeply Christ-centric prayer. It concludes with the request to pray the Rosary during October. This is basically the entirety of the Encyclical

Quamquam Pluries

Quamquam Pluries is an Encyclical by Leo XIII on the Devotion of Saint Joseph. I know you might be asking isn’t this supposed to be about the Rosary since it is October now, well yes you are right but this concerns the Rosary as well. The Encyclical begins although we’ve said it before yet again it seems like it is necessary for special prayers to be offered up “chiefly when every lawlessness of act seems permitted to the powers of darkness” we turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Leo urges praying the Rosary as it turns us to Mary. We should also remember Joseph, the Patron of the Church, for his dignity, holiness, and glory. Since in the ties of marriage, Mary and Joseph became one and “its essence imparts a community of gifts between those that by it are joined together. Therefore God appointed him as a participator in Mary’s sublime dignity. It goes on like this talking about Joseph, how work is a vocation and that the family is the foundation of Christianity and society. These topic were picked up again in Rerum Novarum, which I’ll get to later on. Leo ends this Encyclical by asking for the Rosary to be prayed but to end it with a prayer to St. Joseph in the month of October. It also made his feast day, 19 March, a Holy Day of Obligation. St. Joseph’s feast day is still a Holy Day in some places as it is one of the ten set forth in canon 1246.

The prayer is as followed I think that during this month I will be adding it.

Prayer to Saint Joseph

To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. By that charity wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and wilt succor us in our need by thy power and strength.

Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, following thine example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

October is for the Rosary

Over the month of October I will be taking a break from the decades of the Rosary and turn to some of the Encyclicals on the Rosary. It’s going to be Pope Leo XIII centric since he has written the most on the Rosary. October is the month of the Rosary because of the Battle of Lepanto took place in October in which the Holy League fleet defeated the vastly superior Ottoman fleet.  Pope Pius V urged praying the Rosary for a victory in this battle. Since the Christian fleet defeated the Ottoman fleet the day of the battle became the feast to Our Lady of Victory, this feast has been renamed to honor Our Lady of the Rosary. This is why the month of October is dedicated to the Rosary.

Saint Joseph’s Day

This is the Italian equivalent of St. Patrick’s Day traditionally on March 19th. Traditionally you wear red and set up a St. Joseph altar. This is about all I know about the feast since Patrick gets the lions share of the press around this time of year. However Joseph is someone that we all tend to forget about, he isn’t in the Bible much and we hardly talk about him at all. Much of the focus goes to Jesus and Mary, so let us all remember Saint Joseph today. There are a bunch of prayers to St. Joseph, and nothing really has stuck like St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The first one is prayed as a novena to St. Joseph:

Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh, Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.

Oh, Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.

Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. (Mention your intention) Amen.

This other one was given to us by Pope Leo XIII as a prayer to add to the end of the Rosary especially during the month of October.

To you, O blessed Joseph,
do we come in our tribulation,
and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
O most loving father, ward off from us
every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle
with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.

Amen.

Prayer to Saint Michael

I’ve got a soft spot for this prayer, growing up I went to school at Saint Michael’s from first to eight grade. I’m sure at some point we were taught the prayer and we’d pray it like when we would attend one of the daily Masses during like Lent not on a first Friday or something, It’s been a while since I was there. Anyways the prayer is one of the Leonine Prayers that Pope Leo XIII added after the celebration of a low mass, now this tradition was ended during Vatican II, however to this day we still have some individuals who pray some type of prayer after a low Mass.  This prayer is as follows:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell
Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Although no longer prescribe for after a low Mass, Pope John Paul II in one of his Regina Caeli addresses on 24 April 1994 where he said “‘Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.” So if you have some time learn this prayer it a pretty neat prayer and as the world seems to be on the brink it is always nice to have an archangel on our side.