Pastor’s Letter August 13, 2017 – Rich Tradition and History of the Rosary
This past week I have been visiting with my family in the Tri-Cities. This coming week I will be making a retreat at a Cistercian Monastery in Oregon called Our Lady of Guadalupe. I will be praying for the good of our parish. I thank Fr. Madigan for covering the parish while I am away.
This month is rich with connections with the Rosary. This past week we celebrated the feast of St. Dominic, August 8. Dominic lived at a time when the people were not well catechized about the faith and the life of Jesus. It was also a time when most people were not educated and could not read. St. Dominic, filled with apostolic zeal, used the Rosary as a simple tool to teach and connect the people with the life of Jesus through the Mysteries of the Rosary.
Though St. Dominic did not invent the Rosary, he did much to popularize and spread the Rosary especially through the Order he founded, the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. St. Dominic, along with St. Francis, did much to revive the faith of the Church in the 13th century. Some might argue that the Rosary is an old, worn-out pre-Vatican II prayer or pious devotion. Though obviously the Rosary is not the only way or the necessary way, it is a proven way. It connects and exposes us to the mysteries of Christ which are always necessary for discipleship.
Though the Rosary is many centuries old, it maintains its efficacy and freshness because it is meant to foster a relationship with Christ and his mother. St. John Paul II did much to promote the Rosary when he added the Luminous Mysteries, which filled out the public ministry portion of Jesus’ life. The Rosary is an expansion and complement to Scripture and the Liturgy.
On August 14th we will be celebrating another great champion of the Rosary, St. Maximilian Kolbe. St. Maximilian was a Polish Franciscan Priest who gave his life in place of a fellow prisoner in the Auschwitz extermination camp during WW II. St. Maximilian had a great love for Our Lady and encouraged people to make a consecration to her as a way to get closer to Jesus. His belief, correctly, is that love and devotion to Mary leads to a greater love and devotion of Jesus. He always wanted to die on a Marian Feast day; he died August 14, 1941 by lethal injection and his body was burned in the camp ovens August 15th. He died on the eve of one of the greatest Marian feasts, the Assumption.
The Assumption, which we celebrate on Tuesday, and the Queenship of Mary are both celebrated this month, both mysteries of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Another reminder how blessed we are that our parish in Edmonds is named Holy Rosary.