本月是聖母「玫瑰月」，聖母「至聖玫瑰之后」乃我們總教區的主保。十月五日，教會紀念真福祿茂.朗高 —— 一位「玫瑰經」的聖僕。
Man of the Holy Rosary
This is the month of the Holy Rosary. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (feastday Oct. 7) is the patroness of our archdiocese. On Oct. 5 the Church commemorates Blessed Bartolo Longo, a saint of the Holy Rosary.
Bartolo Longo was born in 1841. He studied law at the University of Naples and lost his faith there. Through the influence of bad companions he began to practise spiritualism. Fortunately, through a deeply spiritual professor, he was introduced to a saintly Dominican priest who helped him regain his faith and to practise the devotion of the Holy Rosary.
After graduation in 1864 Longo practised law as an attorney. Eventually he gave up his law practice and devoted himself wholeheartedly to apostolic and charitable works in Naples. He became acquainted with a wealthy young widow, the countess Marianna de Fusco, whom he eventually married in 1885. Longo became the administrator of her real estate, coming to the Valley of Pompei in 1872.
The spiritual and material needs of the people in Pompei prompted Longo to stay there. He started to catechize the peasants, led the Rosary before a picture of the Queen of the Holy Rosary, and built a Rosary basilica. To meet the social needs of the people he constructed an orphanage and a large home for children of the imprisoned.
He also founded and edited a magazine, The Rosary and the New Pompei, and founded an order of sisters called Daughters of the Holy Rosary of Pompei.
In 1906 Longo turned over all his works and properties to the Holy See, remaining in Pompei as a simple employee. Longo died on Oct. 5, 1926, holding a crucifix in his right hand and a rosary in his left. In October 1980 Pope John Paul II beatified him, calling him the “Man of Mary.”
A powerful prayer
Our Lady of Fatima asked us to pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world. Blessed Pius IX pointed out, “Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favoured by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary.”
Pope Pius XII did not hesitate to affirm his confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils in modern times. Blessed John XXIII called the Rosary, “A magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nations, and the entire world.”
The Rosary helps us to contemplate the face of Christ. The repetition of the Hail Mary is a means for focusing our attention on the life of Jesus and the life of Mary. Both Pius XII and Pope Paul VI referred to the Rosary as “the compendium of the entire Gospel.”
According to Pope John Paul, the Rosary is “a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery.” It is by constantly praying the Rosary that Longo deepened his faith, did great things for God, and attained holiness.
Some practical suggestions
The Rosary has been my favourite form of devotion for almost 18 years. The method I use for meditation on the mysteries is quite systematic and detailed. I assign a point of meditation to each of the Hail Marys, so there are 10 points of meditation for each mystery. You may download my meditation from my blog: fatheranthonyho.com.
If you are not able to meditate on the entire Rosary every day, I suggest you pray at least 15 decades a week. It is not so much the quantity as the quality that counts. Say two decades daily with childlike love for six days, with three decades on the seventh day, and you will have the satisfaction of placing week after week a garland of fifteen decades at the feet of Mary.
Following the example of Blessed Bartolo, please make a very definite resolution on this lovable and important point.
Please click here to download my Rosary Meditations in English
Here is my other Pax Sinica articles