Our Lady of Pompeii
Rosary Novenas to Our Lady
by CHARLES V. LACEY
With Preface by
REV. RAYMOND P. LAWRENCE
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See
Copyright, 1926, by Benzinger Brothers. Printed in U.S.A.
MONSIGNOR BENSON. in one of his early novels, gave us a beautiful explanation of the Rosary. An old nun is trying to make the devotion clear to a young Protestant girl. The enquirer asks:PROMISES
"How can prayers said over and over again like that be any good?"
Mistress Margaret was silent for a moment.
"I saw young Mrs. Martin last week," she said, "with her little girl in her lap. She had her arms around her mother's neck, and was being rocked to and fro; and every time she rocked she said 'Oh mother.'"
"But, then," said Isabel, after a moment's" silence, "she was only a child." "'Except ye become as little children--' " quoted Mistress Margaret softly--"you see, my Isabel, we are nothing more than children with God and His Blessed Mother. To say, 'Hail Mary, Hail Mary,' is the best way of telling her how much we love her. And, then, this string of beads is like Our Lady's girdle, and her children love to finger it, and whisper to her. And then we say our Our Fathers too; and all the while we are talking, she is showing us pictures of her dear Child, and we look at all the great things He did for us, one by one; and then we turn the page and begin again."
Those who have profited most from the Rosary are the ones who have thus understood it. With heats full of love they have rested close by the side of our heavenly Mother; and, whispering words of endearment to her, they have gazed the while at these wonderful pictures which the changing mysteries recall, seeing always something new and beautiful. And when they have come to the end of the picture-book, with the insatiable interest of a child, they have gone back to the beginning and turned every page over again.
In the devotions which are offered in this little book, the prayers to be said at the beginning of each decade set before the mind those wonderful pictures in a simple and striking way. It is as if someone stood at our side to point out the beautiful and interesting things which by ourselves we might have missed. And then, in order that our seeing may not be profitless, we are led on at the end to ask for that grace which the mystery suggests. Surely, even apart from the making of the novenas, we must feel that this is the best method of reciting the rosary.
The devotion which this little brochure explains, should do much to spread this practice. It combines three things which are dear to God in a very remarkable scheme; frequent Communion (Spiritual Communion), the practice of the virtues, and devotion to Mary in the Rosary. One who will carry it out faithfully will have besieged Heaven in a way that must make him heard.
REV. RAYMOND P. LAWRENCE
Nov. 28, 1925.
ORIGIN AND METHOD
THIS devotion, which the author has called the "Rosary Novenas to Our Lady," is of comparatively recent origin.
"In an apparition of Our Lady of Pompeii, which occurred in 1884 at Naples, in the house of Commander Agrelli, the heavenly Mother deigned to make known the manner in which she desires to be invoked.
"For thirteen months Fortuna Agrelli, the daughter of the Commander, had endured dreadful sufferings and torturous cramps; she had been given up by the most celebrated physicians. On February 16, 1884, the afflicted girl and her relatives commenced a novena of Rosaries. The Queen of the Holy Rosary favored her with an apparition on March 3rd. Mary, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, held the divine Child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary. The Virgin Mother and the holy Infant were clad in gold-embroidered garments. They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. The throne was profusely decorated with flowers; the beauty of Our Lady was marvelous.
"Mary looked upon the sufferer with maternal tenderness, and the patient saluted her with the words: "Queen of the Holy Rosary, be gracious to me; restore me to health! I have already prayed to thee in a novena, O Mary, but have not yet experienced thy aid. 1 am so anxious to be cured!"
" 'Child,' responded the Blessed Virgin, 'thou hast invoked me by various titles and hast always obtained favors from me. Now, since thou hast called me by that title so pleasing to me, 'Queen of the Holy Rosary,' I can no longer refuse the favor thou dost petition; for this name is most precious and dear to me. Make three novenas, and thou shalt obtain all.'
"Once more the Queen of the Holy Rosary appeared to her and said, 'Whoever desires to obtain favors from me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving.'
"This miracle of the Rosary made a very deep impression on Pope Leo XIII, and greatly contributed to the fact that in so many circular letters he urged all Christians to love the Rosary and say it fervently."--The Rosary, My Treasure, Benedictine Convent, Clyde, Mo.
The Novena consists of five decades of the Rosary each day for twenty-seven days in petition; then immediately five decades each day for twenty-seven days in thanksgiving, whether or not the request has been granted.
The meditations vary from day to day. On the first day meditate on the Joyful Mysteries; on the second day the Sorrowful Mysteries; on the third day the Glorious Mysteries; on the fourth day meditate again on the Joyful Mysteries; and so on throughout the fifty-four days.
A laborious Novena, but a Novena of Love. You who are sincere will not find it too difficult, if you really wish to obtain your request.
Should you not obtain the favor you seek, be assured that the Rosary Queen, who knows what each one stands most in need of, has heard your prayer. You will not have prayed in vain. No prayer ever went unheard. And Our Blessed Lady has never been known to fail.
Look upon each Hail Mary as a rare and beautiful rose which you lay at Mary's feet.
These spiritual roses, bound in a wreath with Spiritual Communions, will be a most pleasing and acceptable gift to her, and will bring down upon you special graces.
If you would reach the innermost recesses of her heart, lavishly bedeck your wreath with spiritual diamonds--holy communions (spiritual communions). Then her joy will be unbounded, and she will open wide the channel of her choicest graces to you.
In obedience to the decree of Pope Urban VIII and of other Supreme Pontiffs, the author begs to state that, in regard to what is herein narrated, no higher authority is claimed than that which is due to all authentic human testimony.
Made by the Blessed Virgin to St. Dominic and Blessed Alanus.
1. To all those who will recite my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and very great graces.
2. Those who will persevere in the recitation of my Rosary shall receive some signal grace.
3. The Rosary shall be a very powerful armor against hell; it shall destroy vice, deliver from sin, and shall dispel heresy.
4. The Rosary shall make virtue and good works flourish, and shall obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies; it shall substitute in hearts love of God for love of the world, elevate them to desire heavenly and eternal goods. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!
5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary, shall not perish.
6. Those who will recite my Rosary piously, considering its Mysteries, shall not be overwhelmed by misfortune nor die a bad death. The sinner shall be converted; the just shall grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the consolations of the Church, or without grace.
8. Those who will recite my Rosary shall find during their life and at their death the light of God. the fulness of His grace, and shall share in the merits of the blessed.
9. I will deliver very promptly from purgatory the souls devoted to my Rosary.
10. The true children of my Rosary shall enjoy great glory in heaven.
11. What you ask through my Rosary, you shall obtain.
12. Those who propagate my Rosary shall obtain through me aid in all their necessities.
13. I have obtained from my Son that all the confreres of the Rosary shall have for their brethren in life and death the saints of heaven.
14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are all my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.