Hail Mary, Full of Grace! Feast of Our Lady of Rosary Celebrated
Hail Mary, Full of Grace! Feast of Our Lady of Rosary Celebrated in Great Devotion, Fervor, Gaiety and in Glamour at Holy Rosary Convent Chapel, and at St Anthony’s Ashram on 6 October 2016 from 5.30 pm.
Mangaluru:“Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed Art Thou among Women and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us Sinners, now and at the Hour of our Death. Amen.”- The feast dedicated to “Our Lady of the Rosary” was instituted by Pope Pius V. It was to commemorate the anniversary of the defeat of the Turkish fleet at the battle of Lepanto on the first Sunday in October 1571. This miraculous defeat broke the back of Muslim domination of the Mediterranean and was attributed to the prayers and processions of the Rosary confraternity in Rome. The Feast was later moved to the fixed date of October 7. In fact, the entire month of October is dedicated to encouraging the praying of the Rosary and reflecting on the mysteries of the Christian faith which it memorializes.
Here locally, St Anthony’s Ashram Jeppu celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Rosary, a day earlier on 6th of October- and it was celebrated in a grand and huge scale for the FIRST time in the history of the Mangaluru, and was attended by a large gathering of faithful. Thanks to the initiative by Fr Onil D’Souza-the Director of St Anthony’s Ashram who had toiled hard to make this Feast a memorable one- and it was a big success! On this occasion, Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu the Vicar General of the Mangaluru Diocese concelebrated Holy Mass at Holy Rosary convent Jeppu at 5.30 pm, with Fr Onil D’Souza, Fr Anil Kiran Fernandes SVD from Divine Centre-Mulki, along with ten other priests from around the city.
In his homily, Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu said, “We need someone to strengthen us, protect us, and stay at our side. Of course, God is always with us, but He also likes to work through human instruments.The Virgin Mary, who remained free from sin all her life, and gave birth to the Savior who crushed the head of the serpent, Satan, is always there to intercede for us in heaven. We have but to ask in order to receive Her help. She needs little convincing; her Son died for us and gave us to her in His own place, so she loves us as her own children. One “Hail Mary” can often be enough to help us feel Her assistance. However, Christ teaches us to persevere in prayer, and more prolonged prayer can increase our desire and readiness to receive God’s gifts. It also helps us to contemplate the mysteries of God’s goodness. It is in this spirit that we pray the Rosary, with its repetitions and mysteries. It continues to be a powerful form of prayer that can help us through difficult times in our life, as it helped the Christians in the battle of Lepanto. Start saying the Rosary daily – thank you”.
The Mass was followed by carrying decorated Mother Mary’s statue to St Anthony’s Ashram, Jeppu in a candle light procession, with a large number of faithful taking part. During the procession on the way the Rosary was recited and hymns were sung in honour of Mother Mary. At the Ashram campus, Fr Anil Kiran Fernandes preached a meaningful homily highlighting the importance of praying the rosary. He said, ‘God the Father has honored Mother Mary when Angel Gabriel greeted Mary saying ‘Hail Mary Full of Grace’. God the Holy Spirit has honored Mary when Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit said Blessed are you among women and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. God the Son and her own son Jesus has honored Mary when He addressed her at Cana saying “Woman” and again when He was hanging on the Cross said “Woman” this is your son (looking at John) referring to the prophecy made in the book of Genesis(God foretells the victory progeny of new Eve over Satan). If the Triune God has honored Mother Mary, we should not shy away in honoring Mother Mary”. He, further said that those who honour Her, She will not let them down.
As part of the joyous celebration honoring Our Lady of Rosary, a cultural programme was also arranged, where “Konkan Myna” Meena Rebimbus-wife of “Konkan Kogul’ Late Wilfy Remimbus along with the Jeppu choir; Prem Kumar and group sang songs to Mother Mary. Merul and group from St Joseph Nagar mesmerized the crowd with a scintillating dance performance in honour of Mother Mary. Fr Onil D’Souza delivered the vote of thanks, while Pamla Santos compered the programme very professionally.
Fr Onil D’Souza speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” I wanted to celebrate this feast in a big way to bring awareness about saying Rosary among Catholic families because presently the practice of saying Rosary is lacking in many Catholic families.The word Rosary means “crown of roses.” St. Louis De Montfort calls the Rosary “the mystical rose tree of Jesus and Mary in life, death, and eternity.” He tells us that reciting the Rosary produces spiritual roses which will “never wilt or die, and they will be just as exquisite thousands of years from now as they are today.” In regards the worth of saying the Rosary, he professes it to be a “priceless treasure which is inspired by God” .
“The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation and to thank and praise God for them. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five ‘Joyful Mysteries’, the five Luminous Mysteries’, the five ‘Sorrowful Mysteries’, and the five Glorious Mysteries’. As suggested by the Pope St. John Paul the Great, the Joyful mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous on Thursday, the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception: Sundays of Christmas season – The Joyful; Sundays of Lent – Sorrowful) ” added Fr Onil.
In conclusion, I would like to add, where Pope John Paul II tells us: “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at the heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. .Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer”. It is certain that devotion to the Rosary, a powerful weapon which efficaciously destroys vice, evil and sin, is the answer to the “intolerable moral corruption” so prevalent in our secularist society. May Mary be close at our side this month and all year round, and may we always remember to turn to Her for protection and intercession as we fight our daily battles to free our souls of sin and spread Christ’s kingdom in our hearts and in our world. Happy Feast of Our Lady of Rosary!
I end this column with a prayer to Our Lady of Rosary:
O blessed rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, the bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death; yours our final kiss as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven.