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Pope Leo XIII on the Holy Rosary 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016 3:25
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(Before It's News)

In the course of his Papacy, the fourth longest in history, Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) issued eleven encyclicals on the Rosary, in the years 1883, ’84 and ’87, and then each year from 1891-98. All of them were published in September (except one, at the very end of August), looking forward to the feast of the Holy Rosary, which in his time was kept on the first Sunday of October. The feast was later fixed by Pope St Pius X to October 7, the date of the famous Battle of Lepanto which it commemorates, inter alia. Much of what Pope Leo writes is every bit as germane to the condition of society and the Church as it was when it was written over a century ago. The following is an excerpt from the 1897 Encyclical Augustissimae Virginis Mariae; on the Vatican’s website you can read the full text in Latin, or in English. (Last year I published an excerpt from the Rosary encyclical of 1891, the English translation of which given on is terrible, and which I had to correct extensively. The version of this one is much better, but I did make a few small adjustments.)

Whoever considers the great height of dignity and glory to which God has raised the Most August Virgin Mary, will easily perceive how important it is, both for public and for private benefit, that devotion to her should be assiduously practiced, and daily promoted more and more.
God predestined her from all eternity to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word, and for that reason so highly distinguished her among all His most beautiful works in the three-fold order of nature, grace and glory, that the Church justly applies to her these words, “I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-born before all creatures” (Sirach 24, 5). And when, in the first ages, the parents of mankind fell into sin, involving their posterity in the same ruin, she was set up as a pledge of the restoration of peace and salvation. The Only-begotten Son of God ever paid to His Most Holy Mother indubitable marks of honor. During His private life on earth He associated her with Himself in His first two miracles: the miracle of grace, when, at the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in the womb of Elizabeth; the miracle of nature, when He turned water into wine at the wedding-feast of Cana. And, at the supreme moment of His public life, when sealing the New Testament in His precious Blood, He committed her to his beloved Apostle in those most sweet words, “Behold, thy Mother!” (John 19, 27)

The Madonna of the Rosary, by Guido Reni, 1598

We, therefore, who, though unworthy, hold the place of Vicar of Christ upon earth, shall never cease to promote the glory of so great a Mother, as long as life endures. And since, as old age draws on apace, We feel that life cannot now last much longer, We are constrained to repeat to each and all of our beloved children in Christ those last words of His upon the Cross, left to us as a testament, “Behold, thy Mother!” Greatly rewarded indeed shall We deem Ourself, if Our exhortations succeed in making every one of the faithful hold nothing greater and dearer than devotion to Mary; so that those words which St. John wrote about himself may be said of each one, “the disciple took her to his own.” …

So far from this derogating in any way from the honour due to God, as though it indicated that we placed greater confidence in Mary’s patronage than in God’s power, it is rather this which especially moves God, and wins His mercy for us. We are taught by the Catholic faith that we may pray not only to God himself, but also to the Blessed in heaven (Conc. Trid. Sess. xxv.), though in different manner; because we ask from God as from the Source of all good, but from the Saints as from intercessors. “Prayer,” says St. Thomas, “is offered to a person in two ways – one as though to be granted by himself; another, as to be obtained through him. In the first way we pray to God alone, because all our prayers ought to be directed to obtaining grace and glory, which God alone gives, according to those words of Psalm 83, 12, “The Lord will give grace and glory.” But in the second way we pray to holy angels and men, not that God may learn our petition through them, but that by their prayers and merits our prayers may be efficacious. Wherefore, it is said in the Apocalypse (8, 4), “The smoke of the incense of the prayers of the Saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel.” (Summa Theol. 2a 2ae, q. 83. a. 4.).

Now, of all the blessed in heaven, who can compare with the august Mother of God in obtaining grace? Who sees more clearly in the Eternal Word what troubles oppress us, what are our needs? Who is allowed more power in moving God? Who can compare with her in maternal affection? We do not pray to the Blessed in the same way as to God; for we ask the Holy Trinity to have mercy on us, but we ask all the Saints to pray for us (Ibid.). Yet our manner of praying to the Blessed Virgin has something in common with our worship of God, so that the Church even addresses to her the words with which we pray to God: “Have mercy on sinners.”

(Addressing the bishops) We have gladly blessed this devotion, and We earnestly desire that you would sedulously and strenuously encourage its growth. We cherish the strongest hope that these prayers and praises, rising incessantly from the lips and hearts of so great a multitude, will be most efficacious. Alternately rising by night and by day, throughout the different nations of the earth, they combine a harmony of vocal prayer with meditation upon the divine mysteries. In ages long past this perennial stream of praise and prayer was foretold in those inspired words with which Ozias in his song addressed Judith: “Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord, the Most High God, above all women upon the earth… because He hath so magnified thy name this day that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of man.” And all the people of Israel acclaimed him in these words: “So be it, so be it!”(Judith 13, 25 et seq.)

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  • “…she was set up as a pledge of the restoration of peace and salvation. (The whore of Babylon, Satan’s legal BAR club)

    “Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord, the Most High God, above all women upon the earth… because He hath so MAGNIFIED thy NAME this day that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of man.”

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    • …who are you talking about…Hillary?

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