Good morning Father,
I am writing to you, asking to be enrolled in the Rosary Confraternity.
Let me tell you my story.
I am a 58 years old primary school teacher and have three children. My first two children are from my first civil marriage. Five years after separation, I met my new life partner, with whom I had a daughter, who now is 20 .
I have never been a practicing christian. However, I have always maintained a bond with our Mother Mary since my childhood, when I attended a catholic school dedicated to the Regina Angelorum (Queen of Angels).
I have recently felt a more and more urgent desire to get closer to her. Hence, having for a long time thought about it, I decided to remain chaste until the day I will be able to marry my current partner in a Christian marriage.
I asked for forgiveness of my sins and the confessor gave me absolution and allowed me to receive Holy Communion.
I have been reciting the Rosary every day for about six months and when I found this Confraternity on the internet, I rushed sending my request.
Father, consider that I have not received the sacrament of Confirmation yet. I actually planned to receive it, but now I cannot, everything being suspended because of coronavirus.
Thank you in advance for your reply!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Father Angelo replies
Dear Maria Rosa,
1. I am happy with your testimony.
Although you have never been a practicing Christian, you have always kept a bond with the Virgin Mary. This is how such bond has brought you to conversion, to Christ. The bond with the Virgin Mary is a sure sign of salvation, said Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort. Indeed, it is a sure sign of predestination.
2. Mary, who is the Mother, has brought you to the Father.
She always does so.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori writes: “O Virgin Mary, so worthy of love, St. Bonaventure calls you the Mother of orphans, and St. Ephrem speaks of you as the receiver of orphans. These helpless orphans are none other than poor sinners who have lost God! See, then, I have recourse to you, O Mary most holy. I have lost my Father; but thou are my Mother, and must help me find Him. In this great misfortune of mine I call you to my assistance. Help me. Shall I remain disconsolate? No, indeed. For Innocent III asks: “Who that ever called upon her for help was not graciously heard by her?” And who that had recourse to you was ever lost? Who was ever lost who had recourse to thee? He alone is lost who has not recourse to you (Twenty-third visit to the Blessed Virgin, Transl. with adjustments from the Visits to the Blessed Sacrament: And the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tan Publishers, 2001).
3. This is why Our Lady brings us to Christ the Savior: She does not look at a person’s merits or demerits.
Her role, which Christ entrusted to her from the cross, is to bring souls to Him, for them to be saved.
St. Alphonsus Liguori still writes: “My most sweet, most compassionate, most amiable Queen, oh, how great is the confidence with which St. Bernard inspires me when I have recourse to you! He says that you do not examine the merits of those who have recourse to your mercy; but that you offer yourself to help all who pray to you. So, if I pray to you, in your kindness and mercy, you hear me. Listen, then to what I have to ask you. I am a poor sinner, who deserves Hell a thousand times over. I wish to change my life; I wish to love my God, whom I have so greatly offended. I dedicate myself to you as your servant. To you I give myself, miserable as I am. Save, then, one who is no his own but belongs to you. My Lady, dost you understand me? I feel sure that you do, and that you will hear my prayers. (XX visit to the Blessed Virgin. Transl. with adjustments from the Visits to the Blessed Sacrament: And the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tan Publishers, 2001)
4. After all, “Refuge of Sinners” is one of the most consoling titles with which Our Lady is praised and invoked by the Christian people.
That is to say: If someone is a sinner before God and does not know how to present himself before Him, here is a refuge for which he is sure he will not be chased away.
St. Alphonsus goes on and says: “Just as the sick poor, abandoned by everybody because of their misery, find shelter in the public hospitals; so also do the most miserable sinners, who, though rejected by all, find protection in the mercy of Mary, by whom they are never rejected; for God has placed her in the world to be for sinners a shelter or – as St. Basil of Seleucia gives us to understand – a public hospital for sinners. Hence, St. Ephrem also calls her the “Refuge of Sinners”. Therefore, my Queen, if I have recourse to you, you cannot reject me en account of my sins. Rather, even the more wretched I am, the greater is the claim I have on your protection, since God has made you the refuge of the most miserable. And so, O Mary, I have recourse to you now. I place myself under your mantle. You are the Refuge of Sinners. You are then, my refuge, the hope of my salvation. If you reject me, to whom shall I have recourse?” (XVIII visit to the Blessed Virgin. Transl. with adjustments from the Visits to the Blessed Sacrament: And the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tan Publishers, 2001).
5. You do not need to be a Saint to enroll in the Rosary Confraternity.
Nor is it required not to have become irregular, which is, for example, a condition required to be godfather or godmother.
I mean, anyone, even the worst sinner in the world, can enroll in the Rosary Confraternity, provided (s)he fulfills the obligation of reciting the Holy Rosary (15 mysteries) within a week.
As soon as one opens the doors to the Virgin Mary, she immediately undertakes to do the rest.
According to Blessed Alain de la Roche OP, the associates are “treated by Jesus and Mary with singular affection and tenderness, as brothers and favorite children, with the promise of any special assistance and favor during their life, at the hour of death and after death.”
6. What a great grace, dear Maria Rosa, Our Lady obtained for you.
The bond that you have always kept with Our Lady, even while you were far from the Lord, has enabled you to be treated by Jesus and Mary with singular affection and tenderness, as the favorite sister and daughter, with the promise of any special assistance and favor during your life and at the hour of death.
7. Turn always, but especially when you are in a particular need, turn to the promise of being helped with any special assistance and favor.
Thank you for your testimony! I bless you and remember you to the Lord.