An Adaptation of
the City of God from the Pen
of Ven. Mary of Agreda
which includes accounts from the Holy Bible,
by Pauly Fongemie
There are people who express their dissatisfaction with their method of meditating on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary:
"I am overwhelmed
by my feelings of inadequacy."
"I can't seem to really picture Our Lady like I want to."
And so forth.
think they feel this way because they are mistaken about what Our Lady
requires. She wants humble souls, who know that they are "inadequate"
and she wants purity of heart and intention. The intention---we are not
speaking of requests or the fruit of the particular mystery, but the
purpose of meditation on the Rosary---is to let the Mother of God take
us gently by the hand to enter into her life with Jesus Christ in our
own little way. She wants our undivided attention, free of willful
distractions. She wants our intention to meditate to be one of an act
of will, out of love for the Blessed Trinity and her, whether we
experience consolation or aridity.
novices or those who have been struggling, perhaps for years, in this
regard, one thing is essential to remember: the fruit or special grace
of each mystery is closely connected to the meditation, bead by bead.
For instance, the grace of the First Mystery, the Annunciation, is
humility. Thus our meditation should be centered on Mary's humility
when greeted by the Archangel Gabriel.
page --- there are fifteen decades, one page per decade --- the mystery
announced along with its fruit.
A note about the fruit or special
traditional prayer books provide slight variations,
such as zeal for souls and or wisdom, for the Thirteenth Mystery, one
example. This is not surprising because the apparent disparity is just
that, only an apparent one; that is, both are closely related and can
be said to be the logical outcome of one from the other as in this
case. At Pentecost, the Holy Ghost filled the Apostles with His wisdom,
inspiring them with a holy zeal whereby they were able to evangelize
beyond all human reckoning. Mary, the official Mother of the Church
since Calvary, is increasingly revered by the Apostles and their
disciples. As the Spouse of the Holy Ghost they are confident that she
will provide the wisdom they seek when they go to her, not only as the
Mother of the Saviour, but their mother, too, Queen of the Clergy and
Mother of the Church.
whenever there is more than one fruit given, you may choose to meditate
on a single aspect of that grace or on more than one, in order to enter
into the mystery. We follow tradition and, in keeping with the counsel
of Pope John Paul II, that the additional five mysteries, which he
inaugurated, are optional [for
it could never be otherwise], we are maintaining the Fifteen Mysteries.
a list of 10 brief meditation subjects follow, one for each Hail Mary
of that decade.
Please note that
you are not bound by these subjects, which are presented on these pages
as a suggestion only.
explanation for why we do not include the added five mysteries from
Pope John Paul II:
Lady gave St.
Dominic Fifteen Mysteries
not twenty. There is nothing in the extra five that requires special
21st century knowledge in order to be told of them or to appreciate
them. The Pontiff, merely added novelty. He knew it, too, because he
said they were optional: The Holy Ghost would not permit a Pontiff to
bind the consciences of the faithful in
a novelty. They add nothing to the devotion of the Holy Rosary as if it
needed updating so Catholics would pray it. The Pope is the "custodian
of Tradition, not a change agent", in the words of John Vennari, editor
of Catholic Family News.
Mr. Vennari has a CD on the New Mysteries. The CD, an excellent
compendium on the Rosary, papal authority and popular piety, is part of
a set but I think he still sells it as a single unit. Every Catholic
who is serious about true devotion to the Mother of God ought to listen
to this CD so he can fortify himself to defend the Church's Tradition.
Call 1-905-871-6292 in the USA. The
papal oath, which the Pontiffs used to take before Vatican II, includes
the declaration that if the Pontiff should break
with Tradition he expects God to judge him severely, specifically "May
God not have mercy on me."
John Paul II did not take the oath but it
remains the hallmark of the limits of the papacy. The fact that popes
felt it necessary to take this oath for centuries, means that they knew
it was possible to stray from Tradition. An oath is unnecessary for
matters that are not possible, by definition. St. Vincent of Lerins
says that when faced with novelty we ought to keep to Tradition and
reject the novelty, which has no place in our religion. When Our Lady
came to Fatima the three seers were taught to add the Fatima decade
prayer, which is not a novelty but a part of the message of Fatima
itself --- the many souls that go to Hell in this very evil age because
there is no one to pray for them. The Rosary is Our Lady's Psalter and
she may dispose of it as she wants, this is her prerogative, not ours,
not even the Pontiff's. The Rosary is called Our Lady's Psalter because
the Rosary decades of Fifteen Mysteries contain 150 Hail Marys, one for
each of the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament -- -not a coincidence. We
not apologize for following Saint Vincent of Lerins who taught in
unison with thousands of Saints, Martyrs, Doctors and Fathers of the
I once said that if anyone can point to any official Saint of the
Church who taught that novelty in religion was a good thing and practiced it himself,
that I would reconsider the extra five "mysteries". To date no
one has been able to do so. No Saint has ever said in line with John
Paul II that the Rosary of the Fifteen Mysteries lacks "Christological
depth." If the Holy Rosary really did, what a slap against Our Lady who
would be so ignorant of her own Psalter! Unbelievable!! The entire
history of the Rosary is bound closely with the 150 Psalms: St.
Benedict and his monks recited the 150 Psalms every week at the
minimum. This became essentially the Divine Office until Vatican II.
After a time the
Psalms were divided into thirds, the joyful, sorrowful and glorious;
the laity substituted 150 Hail Marys for the Psalms as they knew the
Hail Mary and not each Psalm by heart and having the sense of the Faith
they were confident that each Psalm was united to the Hail Mary it
represented. Moreover, when Our
Lord told the Apostles to cast their nets into the water again, they
caught exactly 153
fish, one for each Hail Mary on the Fifteen
Decades plus the three at the beginning. Again a pointer to the Holy
Rosary which would be the cause of the Moslem defeat at Lepanto in the
16th century and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart when the Pontiff
finally consecrates Russia by name to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady told St. Dominic
to preach the Rosary, she said "Preach my Psalter, pray my Psalter." At
the time heresy had a stranglehold on the people and St. Dominic
had been called by Christ to repel and defeat it.
When Our Lady said "my Psalter" she
referred to the 150 Hail Marys of three classes of Mysteries, not four.
She said it was a battering ram against heresy. If we used the 20
Mysteries, this places an impossibility on those who are unable to say
the entire Rosary but are able to fulfill the minimum of a third, or
five decades, traditionally thought of as the daily Rosary devotion. A
third of 20 is a fraction, not a whole number or integer. How does one
say a fraction of the Rosary. Add 2 and a half Hail Marys? Come on. All
this is more modernism, busy work at updating what is complete and
perfect in of itself. It is as if an infectious agent or germ has
invaded the upper echelons of the human aspect of the Church, one that
causes frenetic activity for the sake of activity rather than docility
to tradition and serenity in the contemplation of the sublime.
THE BANNER IMAGE WITHOUT THE TEXT AND
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The image of the Blessed Virgin Mar is public domain, the background and Rosary are exclusively the work of Catholic Tradition.
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graphic for the First Mystery.