Letter from the Pastor
Dearest Friends in Christ,
The month of May is traditionally known in our Catholic Culture as the month of Mary. In other words it is a "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May, no. 1).
In light of this May has become a month where the faithful often gather to pray the rosary together. So did you know? The word “Rosary” means “crown of roses.” Its origin goes back to the Church’s earliest times when martyrs wore a crown of roses as they were led out to be devoured by wild beasts. They wore the crown as a sign of joy that they were going to meet their Lord. Following the actual martyrdom, Christians gathered at the place of martyrdom and prayed (usually reciting a psalm) at every rose that had formed the crown. This tradition evolved and soon became a recitation of a rosary made up of the 150 psalms.
Beginning in 1221, the rosary assumed its present form when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Dominic and told him that praying the rosary pleased God. Although it assumed this new form, each bead was still considered a rose on the crown that gives us joy before we are led out into the world to face (a living) martyrdom. So being strengthened in joy amidst any suffering or persecution becomes very real to all Christians through this recitation of the rosary, where one meditates or enters into the mysteries of Christ’s life through the eyes of His mother. And so this month of May, I encourage all my parishioners to make an effort to gather to recite the rosary.
Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin R. Ferguson