Ateneo Rosary Crusade: Who wants to join?

October medal (Miraculous Medal) and rosary given in Ateneo de Manila University

October medal (Miraculous Medal) and rosary traditionally given for free in Ateneo de Manila University after an October Mass. The book is my 1962 Baronius Missal.

I read in Zenit:

MANILA, Philippines, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Family Rosary Crusade in the Philippines is spearheading a campaign to get 1 million Filipinos to pray 1 million rosaries in 200 days for all nations in the world.

Dubbed “A million roses for the world: Filipinos at Prayer: Peace for All Nations,” the campaign aims to rally Filipinos to offer one rosary each day for a particular country in the world in 200 days.

The nationwide activity will begin Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and end May 31, 2012, Feast of Our Lady of All Nations.

I am thinking of organizing an Ateneo Rosary Crusade (ARC) as a complement to my other org, the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS).  The ALMS I organized in behalf of Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ.  For ARC, I have a couple of Jesuits in mind whom I can ask if they would be willing to serve as spiritual directors.  But I think it would be easier to ask a Jesuit if there is already a stable group of Ateneans who would like to pray the rosary together, e.g. before mass in the college chapel.

I admit I have difficulty praying the rosary on my own.  It requires an extreme effort on my part.  But if there is a group who prays the rosary regularly, it is easier to persevere in prayer.  As St. Louis de Montfort says, the demons can distract one person at a time, but several persons praying the rosary together is difficult to distract, just as a bundle of sticks is hard to break.

So is there anyone interested in joining the Ateneo Rosary Crusade?

The Rosary belongs to the Ateneo’s Jesuit tradition.  Our Alma Mater Song is a Song for Mary.  Our basketball team is the Hail Mary Squad.  During October, the school gives out rosaries and October medals (Miraculous Medal) (I got 3 rosaries and 3 medals after mass).  And Ateneo High School students always have rosaries in their pockets.  So set us recover the tradition of praying the rosary in Ateneo de Manila University.  Let us form the Ateneo Rosary Crusade.

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Liberal education vs liberal Faith: What is the true essence of Ateneo education?

There is a distinction between liberal education and liberal Faith. Liberal education of Ateneo simply means that students become well rounded individuals: they study languages, humanities, arts, and sciences, regardless of their chosen course. The core curriculum is the essence of Ateneo’s liberal education.

On the other hand, to have a liberal Faith is antithesis of being Catholic. To be liberal in Faith is to choose only the doctrines and teachings that you feel like obeying and discard the rest. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the Cafeteria Catholicism. The words of Dr. Clamor are only partly true. There are things in Catholicism that if one does not believe them, you do not cease to be Catholic. An example would be some Marian apparitions and other private revelations to the saints. But there are things called dogmas that are non-negotiables: if you don’t believe them, you cease to be Catholic. You become a heretic. An example would be the Dogma of the Trinity.

Membership in the Church is not a subjective feeling or being conscious about it. If you are baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, you become the member of the Catholic Church. Outside the Church there is no salvation. If you are cut off from the Church, you wither and die, because the Church is the Body of Christ (c.f parable of the vine and branches).

One cannot support the Reproductive Health Bill in good conscience, because a good conscience is formed by obedience to the teachings of the Church. Support for the Reproductive Health Bill can only be a result of malformed conscience. Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae has explicitly condemned the use of contraceptives in married life as instrinsically wrong. Your Th 121 can have his/her opinions on what should the Catholic Church do regarding homosexual couples, but he does not have the Magisterium (Teaching Authority) of Bishops and Popes. Your teacher can say his opinions and we can debate forever. But when the Pope speaks ex Cathedra as successor of Peter, the case is closed.

In the time of Jose Rizal, to be an Atenean is to have a liberal education. Jose Rizal studied Latin and Greek and learned the arts and sciences. A true Atenean is a devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jose Rizal carved the Statue of the Sacred Heart in wood with a penknife. A true Atenean is a devotee of Our Lady. Jose Rizal prays the rosary. This is the reason why the Ateneo Basketball Team was once known as the Hail Mary Squad because they always pray the rosary before each game. And this is also why we sing our Alma Mater Song:

“Mary for you! For your white and blue! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, constantly true! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, faithful to you!”

As an agnostic, you have to be careful when you sing this song. Mama Mary can convert even the most hardened sinners. The Campus Ministry in Ateneo never cease to give the Miraculous Medal every year. It is not called Miraculous Medal for nothing. If you receive that medal and pray a Hail Mary a day devoutly for a month, you will be converted. If you are incredulous, try it.

When Rizal gone astray into masonry, did his Jesuit teachers approve of his views? No. This led to the series of letters between Rizal and Fr. Pastells, SJ. Rizal’s physics teacher, Fr. Federico Faura, SJ, the man who first forcasted Philippine storms, rebuked Rizal for his insolence. But when Rizal was shown the statue of the Sacred Heart that He carved in his youth, Rizal converted. Fr. Faura heard his confession and he died in Luneta as a true Atenean and Catholic.

Mass with Morning Prayers with the Dominican Friars at the Santissimo Rosario Parish Church inside University of Santo Tomas

Last Saturday, my friend invited me to a 6:00 a.m. mass at the Santissimo Rosario Parish Church inside University of Santo Tomas.  It was convenient for her since she mostly lives near UST.  For me, since I live in Makati, it was an adventure.

I woke up at 4:30 a.m.   I took a bus along EDSA to Cubao.  At the end of the EDSA-Aurora intersection, I took an Espana jeep to UST for Php 13.  It is early morning.  There is no traffic.

The UST is a beautiful campus with grand colonial spanish buildings.  I entered the main gate and passed the Arch of the Centuries.  The road is flanked by many trees.  I see joggers everywehere.  I asked one of them where the church is.

“Straight ahead, then turn left,” she replied.

The church is raised a few steps above the ground.  The lighted cylindrical roof appears cloud-white, bright and luminous, and supported by columns topped with ornate leaves.  The style appears classical but subdued by the simplicity of geometrical forms of lines, triangles, and squares.  But on the altar, the roof is hemispherical or polyhedral.

What captured my attention is the larger-than-life statue in the altar wall:  the statue of a crucified Christ framed with a triangular arch.  On the left of the Altar is a statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.  On the right is that of St. Thomas Aquinas.

I looked around.  There were about a hundred parishioners seated.  I saw my friend on the left side of the aisle.  She wore a white T-shirt and a black jogging pants.  I went to her and sat.

The Dominican friars are coming to the altar one by one, sitting at the back of the altar, while facing the people.  This is the first time that I saw these mendicant monks in their white habits.  They were unhooded and their fifteen-mystery rosary is tucked at their sides like swords dangling on their black chastity belts.  If you are a demon, these Dominicans are terrifying to behold.  St. Dominic once placed a rosary around a posessed heretic and he commanded the demons to testify to the power of the rosary and the power of Mary.  After their ordeal, the demons left the man in the form of red hot coals.  If these Dominicans would go out to the world in this war gear and preach the Catholic Faith once again, what a havoc they will wreak to Lucifer’s kingdom.  They have annihilated the Albigensian heresy in centuries past; they can surely annihilate all new heresies of the modern age.  With the rosary.  With Mary.

It is the custom for Dominicans to say the breviary as a community; the Jesuits, being the Catholic Church’s rapid deployment missionary force, are dispensed from this rule.  So after the Angelus was said by a lady, two  Dominican friars went to the lecterns on each side of the altar.  They represent the left and right choirs.  In centuries past, I can imagine these two choirs seated facing each other with no microphones, their voices echoing in the church walls, piercing the very dome of the heavens, shaking the foundations of the world.

It appears that past animosities between Dominicans and Jesuits are gone.  Decades ago, the Dominicans proposed that Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval be the Patron of the Philippine Islands, in commemoration to the victory of the Spanish-Filipino naval forces over Dutch forces.  The Jesuits were in uproar: Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion, the Patron of Ateneo de Manila University, was already the patron of the Philippine Islands, because the United States of America is under Mary’s patronage under this title, and Philippines was at that time a colony of the United States.  Until today, the Jesuits in Ateneo still continue the hallowed tradition of giving out Miraculous Medals with blue ribbons every October.  The Miraculous Medal contains the image of the Immaculate Concepcion.

19th Century Apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes

Bro. Francis Mary Kalvelage F. F. I., ed., You Will Make This Known to All My People: 19th Century Apparitions in France–Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes (Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, MA USA, 1998), 182 pages.  Imprimatur by Most Rev. Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Bishop of Fall River, Mass., USA, 8 Dec 1998, Feast of Immaculate Conception.  Preface by Fr. John Hardon S.J.

[Note: There is a new edition by Ignatius Press with an additional shrine of Pontmain (Our Lady of Hope).  The new edition is entitled, Marian Shrines of France.  This is available in the F.F.I. Immaculate Mediatrix Online bookstore. Price: $12.50.  (PROD ID: SMS-MSF007, 198 pp, perfect bound, illustrated.)]

This book is a a collection of essays on the three 19th century apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Sallete, Lourdes.  But why France?

In modern times, it seems, France has been more a prodigal daughter of the Church than her “Eldest Daughter.”  The history of Catholicism in France has been a glorious and turbulent one: at times France has been a great defender of the Church and at other times, her greatest adversary.

Christianity arrived there in the middle of the Second Century in the area around what is now the city of Lyons, at that time a part of the Roman province of Gaul.  Its first bishop, Hilary, was martyred but by the middle of the Third Century, there were over 30 bishoprics.  Much of this expansion was due no doubt to the first Saint to be canonized other than a martyr, namely the popular St. Martin of Tours.  When the Vandals and Franks overran the country, the brought with them the Arian heresy, which caused much confusion and falling away from the Faith.  Following the conversion and baptism of King Clovis in 496, the Franks were converted.  But it wasn’t until two centuries later that the Christianization of France was completed.  From that time on virtually every development and important event revolved around the Catholic Church–through the periods of the Carolingians, feudalism, the Middle Ages and monarchies right up to the Eighteenth Century and the French revolution.

It was that revolution and the bloody persecution of the Church that caused a devastating break between church and state and the introduction of the strictly secular state.  This break with the past Christian roots of France was symbolized and made visible in her national flag.  For centuries the French flag had the fleurs-de-lis on a blue field.  They every symbolized the Christian virtue of purity and the Immaculate Virgin in particular, thus uniting Mary and the Church with French patriotism.  The present tricolor was introduced at the time of the French revolution when religion was being exiled from public life.  But love and loyalty to the Church could never by taken away from the hearts of Frenchmen.  Our Lady saw to that.  (pp. 1-2 by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate)

The book does not only tell the story of the apparitions, but also provides character sketches of seers, the meaning of the message, the subsequent developments, and the testimonials on the miracles.  Like a diamond cut in a multitude of facets, this book is a gem.

PREFACE

by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

Saints and Marian Shrines are gaining in popularity.  Thus, the series of Marian Saints and Shrines, of which this book is the third, is well-timed.  The present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has been criticized for the numerous men and women, clerical and lay, whom he has beatified and canonized in the last two decades, much more than any previous pontiff.  Recently, he announced that there will be many more beatifications and canonizations in celebrating the second millennium of Christianity.  All of this points to the fact that we are living in extraordinary times.  As the saying goes “where evil abounds, good abounds that much more.”  St. Louis de Montfort predicted in his great spiritual classic, True Devotion to Mary, “God will raise up great saints towards the end of time,” and these saints will be noted for their true devotion (total consecration) to the Blessed Mother.

In recent decades there has been a diminution of the cult of the saints.  One has to but look at the number of lives of the saints, books that have been written in the last thirty years, compared to the previous thirty years.  But one can say today that the trend is gradually changing.  The series of books on Marian Saints and Shrines published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, is one indication to that fact.  Ignatius Press, possibly the largest Catholic book distributor in the country, has carried in their catalogues the first two books in this series.  The Guadalupe Handbook and St. Therese, Doctor of the Church.  They have found that there is a growing market for books of this type.

. . .

Thus again, the vital importance of showing Mary’s presence in our times, in particular through her apparitions and her admonitions at Lourdes, La Salette and other Church-approved apparitions.  It is a well-known fact, besides the physical cures at these shrines, there are countless spiritual lepers, or sinners, who have been cleansed and reconciled to God.  So I welcome this latest and third in the series of Marian Saints and Shrines.  May it increase the number of those who are sincerely striving to become Saints.  As Mother Theresa used to say to priests, even at this time of shortage of vocations, “We do not need more priests but holy priests.”  That can apply to all of us.  For the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ is built up by “little people,” the saints, and will triumph ultimately united to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

CONTENTS

Part I.  From a Historical Perspective

  1. The Eldest Daughter of the Church is Marian
  2. Mary, Mother of the Church
  3. The Ballad and the Message

Part II.  Rue du Bac, Paris 1830–Mary’s First Message to the Modern World

  1. Revelation of the Medal called Miraculous
  2. The Triple Mission
  3. Rich Symbolism of the Miraculous
  4. The Conquest of a Rabid Anti-Catholic
  5. The “Bullets” Hit the Mark
  6. The Saint of Silence

Part III.  La Sallete, 1846, The Madonna in Tears Appears as the Reconciler of Sinners

  1. A Mother Weeps for Her Children
  2. How She Touched the Most Hardened Sinners
  3. He Skied Into Mary’s Arms
  4. “. . . The Seventh I Kept for Myself”
  5. A Cautious “Mother” Investigates
  6. Why Believe in Private Revelations
  7. Faithful to Their Mission
  8. What about the Secret?
  9. The Lady Gives a Lesson in Theology
  10. The Ars Incident

Part IV.   Lourdes, 1858, The Immaculate Virgin of the Grotto and Her Sainted Seer

  1. The Lady of the Grotto
  2. The Brave Little Heroine
  3. Lady Poverty Finds a Home
  4. School of Evangelical Penance
  5. The Penetrating Sweetness of that Smile
  6. Pope Pius XII Remembers Lourdes
  7. A Most Astounding Miracle
  8. “I Met a Miracle”
  9. Where the Miraculous Confronts the Science-Skeptics
  10. Interview of Doctor from the International Medical Committee
  11. Human Interest Side of Medical Bureau
  12. Two Novelists Went to Lourdes
  13. The Real Bernadette
  14. He Wrote About Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception
  15. The Two Things Go Together
  16. Guardian and Teacher of the Faith
  17. She Pushed Back the Germans
  18. Bernadette Speaks from the Heart

Ordering Information:

The following information is from the book’s last page (This was still in 1998; the website address is still valid):

Special bulk rates are available with 10% to 60% discount depending on the number of books, plus postage.  For ordering books and further information:

Academy of the Immaculate, POB 667, Valatie NY 12184, phone/FAX (518) 758-1584.  E-mail Mimike@pipeline.com.

Quotations on bulk rates shipped directly by the box from the printery, contact:

Friars of the Immaculate, P.O. Box 3003, New Bedford, MA 02740, (508) 984-1856, FAX (508) 996-8296, E-mail ffi@ici.net, http://www.marymediatrix.com.

The FFI website is Immaculate Mediatrix Online (same address as above).  The book may be purchased in their bookstore here.

Here is a tabular list of bookstores for the book “Marian Shrines of France”:

Company Price Type In Stock Delivery
Immaculate Mediatrix Online
$12.50 softcover Yes
The Catholic Company $12.50 softcover Yes 1-2 business days
Family Publications
£ 9.95 (UK) paperback Yes
All Catholic Books
$12.50($9.70) softcover(paperback) Yes
EWTN Religious Catalogue
$13.00 softcover Yes
Freedom Publishing
AUD 25.95 paperback Yes 1-2 business days
Amazon
£ 24.23 to £ 86.20 Used and new books Yes
Leaflet Missal
$13.95 Softcover Yes
The Abbey Shop
£ 9.95 paperback Yes

Updated: 10 Feb 2009