7 October: prayers as SSPX leadership considers what the Holy See has offered

Several people who receive email from the SSPX have received this message and have in turn forwarded it to me.  I share it with you.

“Dear Brothers,
On October 7, feast of our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, victorious at
Lepanto, an important meeting of the Society of St Pius X will take
place in Albano (Rome) about some potential agreement with the Vatican or to at least evaluate the current situation. We would like to propose that on that day you say a full 15 decade Rosary or make the Way of the Cross… or both.”

I think this is a good intention.

May I recommend it to the readership?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Duly added to the ‘To Do’ list.

  2. Tom Esteban says:

    Consider it done :-)

  3. JP Borberg says:

    Thank you, Father.

  4. MikeM says:

    I should have plenty of time for this on my six hour car ride today.

  5. Tom Ryan says:

    They’re are people suggesting 20 decades on the blogs and I think that is a very uncharitable and divisive thing to say, IMHO

  6. acardnal says:

    I try to pray the Way of the Cross EVERY Friday. My inspiration for doing so was Blessed John Paul the Great who did so.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Will do the fifteen tomorrow.

  8. acardnal said:

    I try to pray the Way of the Cross EVERY Friday. My inspiration for doing so was Blessed John Paul the Great who did so.

    Do you know, I’ve honestly never thought of doing that! Now you mention it – it seems like such a good idea. I shall do that from now on. Thanks.

  9. amichel says:

    I’ve never prayed the Way of the Cross, though I would like to. Is it the one that begins “O most merciful Jesus, with a contrite heart and penitent spirit, I bow down in profound humility before Thy divine majesty. I adore Thee as my supreme Lord and Master; I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things.” and continues through the 14 stations?

  10. Andy Milam says:

    I will be praying the whole of the rosary for this intention tomorrow. I will also pray my Office for this intention tomorrow.

    I will resume my regular schedule of intentions on Saturday. The SSPX needs the focus tomorrow.

  11. Jack Regan says:

    As a Catholic in communion with Rome, if I were to pray a full Rosary, it would be twenty decades. If the members of the SSPX are praying the fifteen which they recognise then so be it. The effectiveness of the prayers will not be altered by our being faithful to the Successor of Peter.
    Sorry… that’s not meant to be an agressive point. No intention to offend. But a point worth making, I feel.
    On another note, I pray for Christian unity regularly, and will pray here too. I think any reconciliation cannot be fudged, as some have speculated may be the case here. If the SSPX are allowed back ‘in’ with only a sort of provisional, half-hearted, “in principle, however…” sort of assent, then it will give others in the Church license to believe that they have some wiggle-room on Church teachings too. And that wouldn’t be good.
    Will pray :)

  12. Ezra says:

    I am “in communion with Rome”, but I choose to pray the fifteen mysteries entrusted to St Dominic by Our Lady, which give the Rosary its character as the layman’s Psalter (corresponding to the 150 Psalms). Obviously, those who want to are allowed to add Bl. John Paul II’s “Luminous Mysteries” to the devotion, but they are not integral to the Rosary as handed down for centuries, nor do they constitute a necessary evidence of orthodoxy, membership of the Church, obedience etc.

    The more important thing – much more important than trying to score points over the format – is that people pray for this intention!

  13. dominic1955 says:

    The use of the Luminous Mysteries can in no way be considered a sure mark of orthodoxy, loyalty, communion with the See of Peter, etc. to the effect that if one chooses not to avail themselves of this optional addition, they are to be considered suspicious or against the Church. Pope John Paul II himself said they were optional. I myself treat them as a chaplet related and based on the Rosary and say them sometimes, but I do not add them to my usual cycle of the Rosary. Also, it wasn’t just Traddies that didn’t like the idea of 20 mysteries. The Dominicans weren’t exactly thrilled and from the correspondence from the Rosary Confraternity, one need not do more than the 15 mysteries for the Confraternity though one is welcome to do the new ones if they so choose.

    Personally, I wish JPII had instituted them precisely as such, a chaplet based upon and related to the traditional Rosary but regardless, I think he did make it clear enough that they were not in any way obligational or mandated. Regardless, its a devotion, and as such anyone can basically do what they want with it-from Pope on down.

  14. Augh! — All the chaplets and all the many, many Rosary/Mysteries formats are personal, private devotions. The only time you need to worry about “specifics” is if you’re trying to gain an indulgence that specifies certain stuff, or if you’re praying in public with other people and all need to be (literally) reading from the same page. There are so many different sets of Mysteries out there that your eyes would bleed from reading the catalog. And yes, Bl. JPII would have known that, because he came from Poland, yet another home country of little old ladies with forty thousand ideas for bead-related prayers! (Where did St. Faustina come from, eh?)

    When Anthony Boucher wrote a Catholic-related mystery novel back in the Forties, what did he use as a plot device? An obscure chaplet set of beads, used in an obscure (fictional, I think, but how can you prove it?) local San Francisco Catholic devotion. (From back in the days when San Francisco was known for its huge devout Catholic population.)

    So yeah, it’s like saying that you can prove you support X and Y, because you have a photocopied St. Jude Prayer and aren’t afraid to use it. Total non sequitur, folks.

  15. irishgirl says:

    What you said, dominic1955!
    I will pray my own Rosary (the usual five decades-can’t sit still long enough for the whole fifteen, although I do have a Rosary of that length in my possession) for the success of the SSPX meeting tomorrow.
    It is my continued hope and prayer that the Society will accept the hand which Rome is extending to them and return to full communion.
    I go to a TLM chapel which most ‘mainstream Catholics’ consider as ‘outside the fold’ (I go there for the Mass, and not for the ‘politics’), but I consider myself as ‘A Traditional Catholic Who Is Also A Papist’-I am a supporter of the Holy Father!
    And it would quite the ‘coup’ for our Papa Benedict XVI if Bishop Fellay said ‘yes’ to his offer!

  16. scholastica says:

    A wonderful intention to pray for. We will be traveling to Steubenville for parents’ weekend so should have plenty of time to pray. I will pray the 20 decades, but have never considered it necessary as the complete rosary. My familly absorbed these extra decades into our family rosary after they were first promulgated by Blessed JPII. At the time my spiritual director suggested that it was necessary to lengthen the rosary to make up for all of the lost rosaries which would have been prayed by those who were aborted or contracepted. It is certainly food for thought and helps to encourage me to prayer.
    Does Heaven consider us more faithful whether we pray 15 or 20 decades? I doubt it. The point is to be faithful to prayer whether it is a single Ave or a full rosary and to pray in charity. I’m certain Our Lady want not her rosary to be a place of divisiveness and lack of charity?
    Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

  17. acardnal says:

    amichel says:
    6 October 2011 at 8:17 am

    I’ve never prayed the Way of the Cross, though I would like to. Is it the one that begins “O most merciful Jesus, with a contrite heart and penitent spirit, I bow down in profound humility before Thy divine majesty. I adore Thee as my supreme Lord and Master; I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things.” and continues through the 14 stations?

    There are several versions of the Stations of the Cross. Some long, some short. The two classics are the one written by St. Francis of Assisi and the one by St. Alphonsus Liguori, my favorite. Also, if you say them in a church before each station, a plenary indulgence is conveyed under the usual conditions.

  18. Kevin Egger says:

    I commit myself to those prayers and intentions. May the Lord grant us unity!

  19. MJ says:

    Prayers for the SSPX!

    @Suburbanbanshee – I don’t want to pick a nit, but someone in another post mentioned something similar…something about making up their own mysteries…so I wanted to address this – there may be other prayers/devotions that use the Rosary *beads* to help one keep track of the prayers, but the *Rosary* is defined as the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and optional Luminous Mysteries. It is fine (and good) to meditate on other things from the life of Christ, but we should not make up our own mysteries (not saying you’re doing that…but you mentioned many mysteries / many different sets of mysteries…those are devotions, but they’re not *the* Rosary.

    Anyway just wanted to make that point.

    Hopefully tomorrow we will hear some good news about the SSPX!

  20. Sword40 says:

    My wife and I will be going to a low Mass tomorrow evening. It will include confession, and our Rosary as requested. Adoration is today. will do the Stations too.

    Perhaps our Holy Father will bring in these needed 600 priests to help bolster the church.
    Soon Lord, Soon.

  21. jrotond2 says:

    Will do, and, time permitting, the Seven Penitential Psalms & Litany of the Saints would also be in order. I pray most decidedly that I may once again stand together with my former SSPX brethren. I would take nothing back from the excellent academic and spiritual formation I had with them in my formative years.

  22. amichel says:

    @ acardnal

    Thanks for the tip!

  23. Centristian says:


    “Does Heaven consider us more faithful whether we pray 15 or 20 decades? I doubt it.”

    Thank you.

    I pray that in the course of their dialogue, all participants humbly listen to and faithfully respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, Who has the answers to all problems.

  24. Jack Regan says:

    Didn’t mean to sidetrack this topic so much!!

    Here’s the comment I should have posted.

    Yes… I’ll pray too :)

  25. Jim_Sheridan says:

    I will pray the Way of the Cross and the Luminous Mysteries today for this special intention. Dr. Edward Peters wrote on his website that “The authority of the Roman Pontiff to establish new mysteries in the Marian Rosary is certain (c. 331). ” http://www.canonlaw.info/blogarch02.htm

  26. Ezra says:


    Who’s disputing authority? The fact of the matter is that Bl. John Paul II’s Rosarium Virginis Mariae describes the “Luminous Mysteries” as “a proposed addition to the traditional pattern”, with the Pope noting that

    Of the many mysteries of Christ’s life, only a few are indicated by the Rosary in the form that has become generally established with the seal of the Church’s approval. The selection was determined by the origin of the prayer, which was based on the number 150, the number of the Psalms in the Psalter.

    I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion.

    The proposed addition is thus left to the freedom of individuals and communities, and its value is argued in terms of possibility (“could broaden…”) rather than certainty. No-one – no, not even the much-hated SSPX – is required to pray these mysteries, nor is one failing to pray the Rosary if one ignores them.

  27. Ezra says:

    Interesting to note this section of Pope Paul VI’s Marialis Cultus::

    The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the tradition accepted by our predecessor St. Pius V and authoritatively taught by him, consists of various elements disposed in an organic fashion:

    a) Contemplation in communion with Mary, of a series of mysteries of salvation, wisely distributed into three cycles. These mysteries express the joy of the messianic times, the salvific suffering of Christ and the glory of the Risen Lord which fills the Church. This contemplation by its very nature encourages practical reflection and provides stimulating norms for living.

    [other elements follow]

    These are the elements of the Rosary.

  28. Geoffrey says:

    “They’re are people suggesting 20 decades on the blogs and I think that is a very uncharitable and divisive thing to say, IMHO.”

    I thought it was a very uncharitable and divisive thing to emphasize praying 15 decades. Why mention a number at all? The SSPX could easily have said “the complete Rosary” or something similar, thereby leaving it up to the individual, instead of being divisive in their prayer request. I will continue to pray that they come home to Rome, even though I can’t see how it will be possible!

  29. JP Borberg says:

    Geoffrey, people affiliated with the SSPX usually only say the three traditional mysteries, those who have heard of the Luminous Mysteries never even think of them. It probably didn’t even occur to whoever wrote the original message the Rosary might have more than 15 decades. Even if he did mention it, the people he was writing to would have wondered what he was on about.

    Anyway, the message was from the SSPX to its supporters, where the rosary they pray has 15 decades. If you want to go reading their mail go right ahead, but please don’t get your knickers in a twist over the SSPX not doing what you think they should do. There is a good intention. They ask for Rosaries. Isn’t that enough?

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