Week of October 10, 2021

Week of October 10, 2021


Dear Parishioners,

The month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. It is no wonder that the Church pays so much attention to this devotion. Countless miracles have been done through Our Lady’s intercession and so many saints have recommended it. Out of all the stories, I could tell about this great devotion, I want to share one in particular about the Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926).

Bartolo was raised in a devout Catholic family in Italy, but quickly fell away from the faith when he went to college to study law. He was exposed to many new ideas in college about the importance of freedom, science and progress. However, without any sense of the sacred, he began to fill that void in his heart with an interest in the occult and consulted with mediums. He was so enthralled by new age practices that he eventually became a satanic priest. He often preached against the Church. This hatred of the faith began to take a psychological and physical toll on him and he was convinced by friends and family to turn away from this kind of life and to reconcile with the faith.

To make up for his evil former life, Bartolo lived a life of charity and penance. He was very distraught over the scandal and pain he caused and was unable to forgive himself. He despaired that he could never be really forgiven and nearly was driven to suicide. But, then he heard that the Blessed Virgin made a promise that all those who promote the rosary will be saved. This caused great hope in Bartolo and he began to promote the rosary far and wide. He wrote books and hymns about the rosary and even raised money to build a cathedral in Pompeii dedicated to Our Lady. Later his writings inspired Pope St. John Paul II to add the Luminous mysteries to the rosary.

In his encyclical on the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope John Paul II quotes Blessed Bartolo who wrote, “Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection.” (from ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE, JP2)

Through the rosary, Blessed Bartolo did become more like Jesus and Mary and if you trust in it, it will help you become like them, too. So, pray the rosary.

God bless!

Fr. Carter