Newsletter N.º 81 – June 2005

“Praised be Jesus Christ!”

What joy, what hope is ours as disciples and friends of Jesus Christ and His most Holy Mother Mary! With all of you we have lived these past few months in loving union with Holy Mother Church as we prayerfully bid farewell first to our beloved Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and then His Holiness Pope John Paul II. With great joy we welcomed
our new Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God, Who so graciously strengthens our faith, renews our hope and enkindles our love. Led by the Successor of Peter, we set out anew and ‘cast our nets’ into the vast ocean of God’s People.

We here in the cloister call out to Him in constant
and trustful prayer to grasp His hand, as it were, for suffering
humanity, always confident that Our Lady is at our side, most especially when we ‘contemplate the face of Christ’ in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
We assure you of our prayers in this special Year of the Eucharist, keeping you and all your loved ones near the altar of the Lord day by day. To express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude for your generous support of our Rosary Community, we have arranged a Triduum of Masses and prayers for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all of your intentions.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, protect
our families!

Your loving Sisters in Christ,
Mother Prioress and Community

Pope John Paul II, Priest Forever
18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005

“I am happy and you should be happy too. Do not weep.Let us pray together with joy.”
(Message dictated by the Holy Father for the Catholic faithful shortly before his death.)

Pope John Paul II was indeed the Pope of Fatima. In this city we could never forget his three visits on the 13 May in the years: 1982, 1991 and 2000. And on 25 March 1984, Fatima went to Rome. The image of Our Lady of Fatima was taken from the Chapel of Apparitions and placed in St. Peter’s Square, where the Holy Father offered the solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with all the Bishops of the world. Three years had passed since the attack on his life in that same place.
His Pontificate, inspired by continual contemplative prayer, consumed by joyful itinerant preaching, accompanied by untold sufferings, borne with peace and joy in union with Jesus through Mary and closed with his final “Amen” uttered just before his last breath, will continue to bear fruit – fruit that will last unto eternity!
The ‘call to mission’ of his Pontificate, imbued by his motto Totus Tuus, could be summed up in these key words: peace, that gift of God for which we must all pray and work; solidarity, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ; the dignity of all human beings as children of God, redeemed by Christ; mercy, there is no justice without mercy; dialogue – encounter open to all without exclusion and freedom, most beautifully expressed in Lourdes last year when he said: “…Be men and women of freedom! But remember: human freedom is a freedom wounded by sin. It is a freedom which itself needs to be set free. Christ is its liberator, he is the one who ‘for freedom has set us free’ (cf. Gal 5:1) Defend that freedom!…Walk beside Mary as you journey towards the complete fulfillment of your humanity!”
Compelled by the love of Christ (2 Cor 5:14) Pope John Paul II pursued the ‘ministry of reconciliation’ (2 Cor 5:18-20) entrusted to him as Priest, Bishop and Chief Shepherd always proposing, not imposing, the message of the Gospel – repent and believe in Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world.
First and foremost, Pope John Paul II was a Priest of Jesus Christ and thereby a spiritual father to all.
In this Year of the Eucharist we must point again to the letter he sent to his Priests for Holy Thursday. The Holy Eucharist, the Mysterium fidei was always the center of his life. He wrote:
“Mysterium fidei!” Every time he proclaims these words after consecrating the bread and wine, the priest expresses his ever-renewed amazement at the extraordinary miracle worked at his hands. It is a miracle, which only the eyes of faith can perceive. The natural elements do not lose their external characteristics, since the “species” remain those of bread and wine; but their “substance”, through the power of Christ’s word and the action of the Holy Spirit, is changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ. On the altar, then, Christ crucified and risen is “truly, really and substantially” present in the fullness of his humanity and divinity. What an eminently sacred reality! That is why the Church treats this mystery with such great reverence, and takes such care to ensure the observance of the liturgical norms intended to safeguard the sanctity of so great a sacrament.” (No 6)
In his message to the young people gathered in Rome on Palm Sunday this year the Holy Father prayed: “We raise together our eyes to Jesus in the Eucharist… Jesus, we adore You hidden in the Host! In a time marked by hatred, egoism, the desire for false happiness, decadent behaviour, the absence of paternal and maternal figures, instability in so many young families and the fragility and uneasiness of which young people are victims, we look to You, Jesus in the Eucharist with renewed hope. In spite of our sins
we trust in Your Divine Mercy… Stay with us Lord!
”With all our heart we thank you Pope John Paul II! Alleluia!

“O Holy Trinity, Whom I adore…”
Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, OCD
22 March 1907 – 13 February 2005

‘How good God is! He is the God of peace, and it is along paths of peace that He leads those who trust in Him.” Sister Maria Lucia.
In the lives of the Three Little Shepherds of Fatima, prayer for the Holy Father was constantly present. Sister Maria Lucia’s last words, spoken on the night of 7-8th February were the following: “For the Holy Father!… Our Lady!… Our Lady!… Holy Angels…Heart of Jesus!…
Heart of Mary! We are going, we are going… to Heaven with Our Lord… Our Lady… and the Little Shepherds!”
Sister Lucia desired to die on the 13th of the month. This wish was granted when “on Sunday 13 February 2005, at 5:25pm, in the Carmel of Santa Teresa in Coimbra, those eyes that, on our earth, beheld the most Holy Virgin, gently and sweetly closed.”
The loving gift of prayers of this Carmelite Nun were acknowledged by Pope John Paul II when he wrote immediately after hearing of her death:
“I have always felt supported by the daily gift of her prayer, especially in the harsh moments of trial and suffering. May the Lord reward her amply for the great and hidden service she has done to the Church. I love to think that the one who has received Sister Lucia in the passing from earth to heaven has been precisely She whom she saw in Fatima so many years ago. May the Holy Virgin accompany the soul of this devoted daughter of hers to the happy encounter with the divine Spouse…”
Under obedience, Sister Lucia, recorded her memories of her cousins Francisco and Jacinta and the story of the Apparitions of Our Lady. She introduced the Fourth Memoir written in 1941 thus:
“…I need no more than this: obedience and abandonment to God, Who works within me. I am truly no more than a poor and miserable instrument which He desires to use, and in a little while, like the painter who casts his now useless brush into the fire so that it may be reduced to ashes, the Divine Artist will Himself reduce His now useless instrument to the ashes of the tomb, until the great day of the eternal Alleluias. And I ardently desire that day, for the tomb does not annihilate everything, and the happiness of eternal and infinite love begins – now!”
In another place she wrote:
“As for purgatory, I am not in the least afraid of it, from this point of view. I have always obeyed and obedience deserves neither penalty nor punishment. Firstly, I obeyed the interior inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and secondly, I obeyed the commands of those who spoke in His name…”
We conclude this very brief remembrance of Sister Maria Lucia with some of her thoughts expressed in the book Calls From the Message of Fatima.

On the Church…
“And let us not waver or move away from the Church when we see imperfections in some of her members, because, individually, we are all weak and sinful. But the Church does not cease to be holy for all that: holy in her laws and in the doctrine entrusted to her by God, holy in her Head, Jesus Christ, her divine Founder and Saviour, holy in the divine Spirit which animates and helps her, and in the life of grace generated and nourished by the Sacraments.”

On Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament…
“In prayerful silence in the solitude of our churches, He continues to offer himself unceasingly to the Father as a victim on our behalf; forgotten, despised, ill-treated, humble and poor, He remains a prisoner in our tabernacles. And the Message of Fatima continues to call on us to offer to the Most Holy Trinity the Victim on our altars in reparation for all the sins by which He is offended.
And our contribution? It is our humble prayer, and our poor little acts of self-denial, which we must unite with the prayer and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation, and for the salvation of our brothers and sisters who have wandered away from the one true path that leads to Life.”

On the family…
“A home must be like a garden, where fresh rosebuds are opening, bringing to the world the freshness of innocence, a pure and trusting outlook on life, and the smile of innocent, happy children. Only thus does God take pleasure in His creative work, blessing it and turning his fatherly gaze upon it. Any other way of behaving is to divert the work of God from its end, to alter the plans of God, failing to fulfill and carry out the mission that God has entrusted to the married couple.”

On forgiveness…
“…Our forgiveness must be generous, complete and self-sacrificing, in the sense of overcoming ourselves. It will be necessary to silence within us the cry of revolt, to calm excited nerves, to keep a firm grasp on the reins of our own temper and keep a lid on the heat of our wounded self-love which, whether rightly or wrongly, feels bruised and irritated. Indeed, how can our external sacrifices be pleasing to God unless we offer Him the interior sacrifice of forgiveness granted to others? It is because that act of virtue is so little understood that Jesus tells us in the Gospel: “Go and learn what it means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice (Mt 9:13). We really need to learn this: to understand fully that it is mercy and the forgiveness of others that must well up out of our hearts as the fruit of the love we owe to God, as love wells up out of the Heart of God for us…”

And finally, on our dignity as children of God:
“We are temples of God, and God is our dwelling place; we walk in the light of the glory of God, we were chosen by God and God called us and knows us by name…Our greatness is immense: we were chosen by God, we are kept by God, we are sanctified by the presence of God for the praise of His glory, we are living tabernacles where the Most Holy Trinity dwells, we are the House of God and the Gate of Heaven!

O Holy Trinity,
whom I adore, whom I
love, whose eternal praises
I am to sing!
In me you are light, you
are grace, you are love!
Plunge me into Yourself
and I plunge deeply into
the love
of your Being.”

Spiritual Communion Prayer
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the
Most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all else and
I desire You in my soul. Since
I cannot receive You sacramentally now,
come at least spiritually into my heart…
Now that You have come I embrace You
and unite myself entirely to You.
Never allow me to be separated from You.”

Two Souls Totally Consecrated
to Jesus through Mary

Totus tuus (Totally Yours) was more than a motto for Pope John Paul II. It was a distinct, well-cultivated way of life. Totus Tuus makes high demands on one’s heart, one’s capacity to love and to suffer. Yet, at the same time, one quickly learns that to love God and neighbour in this way is to truly live. In other words it is to ‘grow up in Christ’! Total consecration demands that all forms of egoism, pride and selfishness be eliminated little by little in order to be all for Jesus through Mary. Pope John Paul II discovered the ‘secret of Mary’ as a young man and he proclaimed this ‘secret’ until his death. He proved how authentic was his total consecration when, “on awakening from the anesthetic after his tracheotomy, he wrote immediately: “To Mary…once again I entrust myself: Totus Tuus!” No man in recent history has lived this way of life more profoundly than Pope John Paul II. Simply stated, “he heard the words of the crucified Lord as addressed to him personally:

“Behold your Mother.” And so he did as the beloved disciple did: he took her into his own home” (Jn. 19:27) – Totus tuus. And from the Mother he learned to conform himself to Christ…” (Funeral Homily 8 April 2005).
In his last Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 24 March 2005 he proclaimed this ‘secret’ of his Priesthood for the last time. He concluded his Letter in this way:
“In recent years, I have warmly recommended the contemplation of the face of Christ, especially in my Letters Novo Millennio Ineunte (cf. Nos. 23ff.) and in Rosarium Virginis Mariae (Nos. 9ff.), and I have pointed to Mary as our great teacher. In the Encyclical on the Eucharist, I then spoke of her as the “Woman of the Eucharist” (cf. No. 53). Who more than Mary can help us taste the greatness of the Eucharistic mystery? She more than anyone can teach us how to celebrate the sacred mysteries with due fervour and to commune with her Son, hidden in the Eucharist. I pray to her, then, for all of you, and I entrust to her especially the elderly, the sick, and those in difficulty. This Easter, in the Year of the Eucharist, I gladly repeat to each of you the gentle and consoling words of Jesus: “Behold your Mother” (Jn 19:27).”
Pope Benedict XVI made this poignant observation:

“The light and the strength of the Risen Christ radiated in the Church by that kind of ‘last Mass’ that (John Paul II) celebrated in his agony, culminating in the ‘Amen’ of a life entirely offered, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the salvation of the world.”
On 13 June 1917 in Fatima, Our Lady said to Lucia: “…you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” To this mission she dedicated the next 87 years of her life. Everything she did or said, and especially her prayer, was under the patronage and guidance of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Mother. For example, before writing she would invoke Mary to ‘guide her pen’ so that not a word or even a syllable would be written that was not in accord with God’s will.
Hidden in the cloister for the last 57 years of her life, Sister Lucia’s mission remained the same: to make known and loved the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We can perhaps say that the most beautiful fruit of her mission was accomplished in the soul of Karol Wojtyla, who was destined to become the Pope of Mary, Most Holy. Yes, intimate but as yet unknown ties joined the lives of Sister Lucia and Pope John Paul II long ago. As the years passed the young seminarian from Eastern Europe, who had discovered St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary, would meet the one, who as a 10 year old child in Fatima, on the western seashore of Europe became Heaven’s instrument to lead the world to the refuge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These two chosen souls so intimately united to Christ through Mary, His Mother were called home to Heaven at the same hour of history and on days directly associated with the Message of Fatima: the 13th and the First Saturday of the month. God’s timing is both mysterious and marvelous!
For our part, we have only to imitate these chosen instruments of the Lord entrusting every aspect of our lives to Mary, our Mother and asking St. Joseph to help us also to ‘grow up in Christ!

“Totus Tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt!”
(“I am all yours, Oh Mary, and all that is mine is yours!”)

Pope Benedict XVI,
“Gentle Christ on earth!”

Let us move forward in the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of His unfailing help. The Lord will help us and Mary, His Most Holy Mother, will be on our side.” Pope Benedict XVI

On 19 April 2005 on the second day of the Conclave to elect the successor of Pope John Paul II, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen as the Vicar of Christ and took for his name Benedict XVI. As Cardinal he visited Fatima in October 1996 and also wrote the commentary on the Third Secret of Fatima after its release in May 2000.
While in Fatima in 1996, the then Cardinal Ratzinger was interviewed about the relevance of the Fatima Message in light of the changes that had occurred in Eastern Europe.
“…We need not go into details of the political situation because Our Lady does not interfere in day to day politics: what She does is to make us realize that conversion, the act of praying, being a Christian, and penance itself are realities that transform the world. Even though they are hidden and appear to have no political importance, they are in fact decisive. Our greatest mistake is to think that only great economic and political initiatives can transform the world. Christians too are tempted to think that prayer has no great value and so they get involved in politics and lose their sense of interiority. Here in Fatima, we hear that these things, which from the world’s point of view are of no value, are the very things that have the power to renew the world. To realize this is very important…”
After his election, Pope Benedict XVI received each Cardinal in turn. When the Portuguese Cardinal Patriarch, José Policarpo approached, the Pontiff said: “Portugal, Portugal, Fatima! Do not forget to present to Our Lady this Pontificate!”
On Sunday, 24 April, the Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate was celebrated in St Peter’s Square with countless religious and civil leaders present from all over the world. At the conclusion of his homily, Pope Benedict XVI said:
“At this point, my mind goes back to 22 October 1978, when Pope John Paul II began his ministry here in St Peter’s Square. His words on that occasion constantly echo in my ears: “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!” The Pope was addressing the mighty, the powerful of this world, who feared that Christ might take away something of their power if they were to let Him in, if they were to allow the faith to be free. Yes, He would certainly have taken something away from them: the dominion of corruption, the manipulation of law and the freedom to do as they pleased. But he would not have taken away anything that pertains to human freedom or dignity, or to the building of a just society. The Pope was also speaking to everyone, especially the young. Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that he might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes us free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen” Speaking for all Dominicans, Fr. Carlos Aspiroz Costa, our Master General wrote in his letter to the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI: “… Looking at the future, thinking about all that God wants to do through you, Holy Father Bendict XVI, may our blessing go with you. Through your confession of faith we will say too “You are the Christ, Son of the living God”; Along with your faith, filled with hope, we will exclaim once again “Lord, to whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal Life” and in your confession of love we will repeat end-lessly “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you”
Joined with the sons and daughters of Saint Dominic, I invoke the intercession of Mary, our Lady of the Rosary, that she accompany you in moments of joy, of light and of pain while you guide and walk with the Church toward the eternal glory of her Son.
As a faithful son, I beg your Apostolic Blessing for the Order from the depths of my heart.”

Pray for Pope Benedict XVI,
“Gentle Christ on earth!”

World Youth Day

The twentieth World Youth Day will take place in Cologne, Germany from 16-21 August 2005. The theme this year is “We have come to worship Him” (Mt 2:2), words of the Wise men from the East, who following the star came to Bethlehem in search of the Messiah.
The Cathedral of Cologne, where the relics of the three Wise men have been traditionally venerated for many years, will be at the centre of World Youth Day.
Since 1986 when the first World Youth Day was officially celebrated until now, hundreds of thousands of young people have gathered together to share and strengthen their faith through catechesis, the Sacraments and the preaching of the Holy Father present among them. This year Pope Benedict XVI plans to join them as the successor of Pope John Paul II, who initiated these special meetings twenty years ago.
In his final message to young people on Palm Sunday this year the Holy Father prayed:
“Help us, Jesus, to understand that ‘to do’ in Your Church, …it is important above all ‘to be’, that is, to stay with You in adoration, in Your sweet company.” As Bl Francisco of Fatima would say: “Go and stay a little while near the Hidden Jesus!”
The Pope prayed that each young person would place Jesus at the center of their lives and be committed to building “a civilization of love, and participate in Sunday, and even daily Mass. May holy vocations to the Priesthood be born…may vocations to the Religious life develop; may…vocations to holiness …flourish particularly in families. The Church and society are more in need of holiness than ever.”
Please unite with us in prayer for all the young people of the world. May we help to gather them together for Jesus with the ‘spiritual net’ of our Rosaries. May they answer the ‘call’ of Christ: “Come follow Me!” Oh Mary! Pray for our young people!

Dear Rosarians,

“The Rosary is my favourite prayer,”
proclaimed Pope John Paul II on 29 October 1978, within two weeks of his election as Vicar of Christ. The prayer of the Rosary accompanied him all his life. As he lay dying, pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square prayed the Rosary for him, and as they concluded it was the Holy Father himself who, with enormous effort, said “Amen!” Moments later he entered into the eternal embrace of the Most Holy Trinity and the Virgin Mother of God.
The Year of the Rosary and this Year of the Eucharist were Pope John Paul’s gift to the Church in his final years. He taught us clearly that we go to Jesus through Mary – to the holy Eucharist through the Holy Rosary of Mary – because in the Holy Rosary we contemplate the face of Christ; in Holy Communion we actually receive Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of Divine Love; the Holy Rosary is the sacramental of the love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In these times of darkness and confusion Pope John Paul II points us directly to the source of all light and strength to continue going forward.
In this special Year of the Eucharist we encourage you to profit by the treasury of indulgences, that Holy Mother Church has opened to all the faithful.
Some suggestions:
Assist at Holy Mass as often as possible. And prepare for Holy Communion with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Make a spiritual Communion at various times throughout the day.
Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Keep Him company; the presence of a loving heart is so consoling to His Sacred Heart.
Continue faithfully your Rosary Hour of Guard.
May Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima obtain for you and all your loved ones, all necessary spiritual and material assistance, in particular for those who are sick or suffering in any way.
God bless you always!

Your Devoted Perpetual Rosary Sisters

Decree for the Gaining of the Plenary Indulgence
during the Year of the Eucharist

“A Plenary Indulgence is granted to all faithful and to each individual faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin), each and every time they participate attentively and piously in a sacred function or a devotional exercise undertaken in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed and conserved in the tabernacle.
“The faithful who, through illness or other just cause, are unable to visit the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist in a church or oratory, may obtain a Plenary Indulgence in their own homes, or wherever they may be because of their ailment, if, … with the intention of observing the three usual conditions as soon as possible, they make the visit spiritually and with the heart’s desire, … and recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a pious invocation to Jesus in the Sacrament.
“If they are unable to do even this, they will receive a Plenary Indulgence if they unite themselves with interior desire to those who practice the normal conditions laid down for Indulgences, and offer the merciful God the illnesses and discomforts of their lives.”

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