An October observation: “If you get lost…”

October is a month dedicated in a special way to attention to one of our greatest Catholic devotions which is one of our greatest spiritual tools, the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On that note, in a CNA story we read:

Cardinal Angelo Amato told attendees at a major Marian conference in Rome that “if you get lost, take the hand of Mary and she will lead you to Jesus.”

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was addressing the 13th International Mariological Symposium, which concludes Oct. 7.

“For conversion to Christ you must go to the Virgin Mary so that she leads us back to Him,” he told the delegates, adding that Mary leads us to “drink from the cool waters of Jesus Christ.”


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  1. Dennis Martin says:

    And please, the story about Dominic Guzman receiving this devotion in a Marian apparition in the early 1200s is apocryphal. This eminently practical devotion was devised by the Carthusians, Adolf of Essen and Dominic of Prussia (of the Charterhouse of Trier) for the use of an active and devout laywoman, the Duchess of Lorraine in the early 1400s.

    It spread among reformed monks first, then was massively popularized by the Dominicans in the later 1400s and early 1500s. That’s how Dominic of Prussia the Carthusian morphed into Dominic Guzman, founder of the Dominicans.

    There were antecedents among Cistercians in the late 1200s and reciting repeated Aves as a lay substitute for reciting the Psalter goes way, way, way, way back. But the particular combination of meditation on the Life of Christ/Mary and repetitive Aves that we recognize today as the Rosary was new in the early 1400s. It was devised as a more structured way to combine meditation with Jesus-prayer type Marian-Aves when Dominic explained to Adolf of Essen, his spiritual director, that he couldn’t handle the free-form Life of Christ meditation combined with repeated Aves that Adolf had encouraged the duchess and Dominic to use. Dominic needed more structure for the meditative part, so Dominic came up with the idea of short “mysteries” for meditation. His set of mysteries was refined and simplified by the Dominicans to create what really captured the attention of devout lay people across Europe in the late 1400s.

    It was used, Lepanto-like by a “Rosary faternity” in the 1470s? in the Flemish city of Maas? under seige, if I recall correctly. (I”m hazy on these details, but the idea of large groups of people praying this new devotion to implore aid in time of danger took off in the late 1400s, under Dominican urging.)

  2. Dennis Martin says:

    Coincidentally, today is, of course, the feast day of Bruno of Cologne, the founder of the Carthusians. (Well, technically, founder of the Grande Chartreuse; the “order” did not emerge until the middle 1100s.)

  3. Sandy says:

    Three cheers for the Cardinal! He must know the way of St. Louis de Montfort to speak in those terms. The Church is so blessed to have clergy who urge us to cling to Mary. “To Jesus through Mary.” She will never mislead us!

  4. GirlCanChant says:

    Ipsam sequens non devias.

    This was the motto of Cardinal O’Hara. (My high school was named after him.) We were told it meant “Following her [Mary] you will not go astray.” It’s stuck with me, even 5 years after college.

  5. PostCatholic says:

    There’s a really lovely statue of Mary in the Cathedral of St Matthew, Apostle in DC which portrays this sentiment. In it, an urgently concerned Mary bends down with one hand extended to sinners and the other hand directed upward, presumably to Christ or to the Father.

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