No discussion of the rosary is complete without mentioning Fatima. In 1917, the Blessed Mother Mary appeared to three Portuguese children. This is a well-documented appearance as she appeared once a month for six months. The first appearance was on April 13, 1917, and the last appearance was October 13, 1917.
There were three warnings given, as well as other exhortations. One statement was that the war (World War I) would end soon, but if men did not repent, there would be a more terrible war break out. This happened in World War II.
On July 13, 1917, Mother Mary told Lucia (one of the three children) this:
“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.”
During this time, another miracle that happened was the Miracle of the Sun. Thousands of people viewed this, as well as newspaper reporters.
Bishop Fulton Sheen reviewed the events of Fatima in a talk given in 1954.
Saint Dominic was born in 1170 and died August 6, 1221. He was born and lived in present-day Spain. He was a Spanish priest and founder of the Dominican Order.
There is a story told about him that before his birth his mother made a pilgrimage. She dreamed a dog leapt from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth and “seemed to set the world on fire.” The order to which Dominic belonged to, and which was named after him, was called in Latin Dominicanus, or “Dog of the Lord.”
He was educated and later joined the Canons Regular. In 1203 or 1204 he was a accompaniment for a diplomatic mission to Denmark. Later, he was in southern France, involved with a program to convert Cathars, a sect which the Roman Catholic Church deemed heretical. He only managed a few converts. When he prayed about this, he received this reply.
“Wonder not that you have obtained so little fruit by your labors, you have spent them on barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine Grace. When GOD willed to renew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore preach my Psalter composed of 150 Angelic Salutations and 15 Our Fathers, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.”
He became much more successful.
By 1215, and later 1216 and 1217, he was involved in creating a new Order, “The Order of Preachers,” popularly known as the Dominican Order. He travelled extensively, but his headquarters was in Rome.
The spread of the rosary is attributed to St. Dominic’s preaching. The rosary is at the heart of the Dominican Order.
Pope Pius XI stated, “The Rosary of Mary is the principle and foundation on which the very Order of Saint Dominic rests for making perfect the life of its members and obtaining the salvation of others.”
According to tradition held by the Dominicans, there were fifteen promises made by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Christians. The fifteen promises fall under the category of “private revelation.”
- Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
- I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
- The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
- It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the heart of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary shall not perish.
- Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
- Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have, during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
- I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
- The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
- You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
- All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
- All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.