You are born a MAN. You become a KNIGHT

Dear Brothers in Christ
Our world needs saints right now – more than ever! We are losing the battle for souls because of our indifference and lukewarmness. Evil people are being aggressively evil, while far too many are not “aggressively saintly.” This is especially evident with men. Men who are weak and effeminate and who choose luxury over discomfort and vice over virtue. Men who choose fear over faith and relinquish true freedom. As a result, evil is allowed to flourish and run rampant without any resistance. In all of human history we have never witnessed evil promoted so effectively on a global scale, while virtue, character, and morals are bluntly mocked, rejected and cancelled. Objectively it is obvious that those who identify themselves as Christians, have never been so unprepared for and unengaged in the challenging mission of spiritual warfare and the mandate of evangelisation. In contrast, it is obvious that Satan’s forces are well-trained, well-organized and highly motivated, while the souls on earth and those who call themselves Catholic, clearly are not. We, the Church Militant, have abandoned, if not surrendered vital territory to evil and by our indifference and lukewarmness, have ushered the greatest apostasy history may ever witness. The time has come for men, real and courageous men, to enter the spiritual battle once more and engage the enemy as our forefathers have before us.

“To refrain from doing battle for Jesus Christ amounts to fighting against Him; He Himself assures us ‘He will deny before His Father in heaven those who shall have refused to confess Him on earth’ (Luke 9:26).” (Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae christianae, 43).

It is on the shoulders of these virtuous and saintly men that we need to stand on, to imitate their courage and fortitude as we recall their battles in fighting the enemy and reclaiming lost territory.

DEUS VULT! DEUS VULT!

Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade in 1095 with the primary goal of the Christian re-conquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. So great was the Pope’s speech in Clermont, France, on that day that the crowd was inspired to cry out: “Deus Vult! Deus Vult!” (“It is the will of God! It is the will of God!”). This became the battle cry of brave and noble knights who sought to recover that holy ground. The Crusades saw brave and noble knights, men of God, stand up against the enemy and form a brotherhood in the fight against evil.

THE ROSARY & BATTLE OF LEPANTO – OUR LADY’S VICTORY

This brotherhood was again seen when Pope St Pius V, sent out the call and formed the original Holy League of Nations in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Bands of Catholic men and armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don Juan of Austria. With the command from the Pontiff to pray the Rosary for victory during the Battle of Lepanto, the greatly outnumbered Holy League was victorious against the Ottoman invasion of Europe. That victory led Pope St Pius V to establish October 7 as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, later renamed the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary!

ANTEMURALE CHRISTIANITATIS

This call to brotherhood in the fight against evil and the defence of the Church has been witnessed throughout history. For Croatian men, it was evident when our forefathers defended Christendom during the hundred years war against the Ottoman Turks. Countless other battles were also fought, including the Battle that saved Western Civilisation – the Battle for Siget. So courageous were these men, Croatia was named Antemurale Christianitatis by Pope Leo X in 1519. These men were the defenders of Christendom, the Bulwark of Christianity.

A CALL TO SPIRITUAL BATTLE
While it was nearly a millennium ago that Pope Urban II challenged would-be warriors to “reclaim the sacred,” in our times, this clarion call to “reclaim the sacred” has never been more needed. Scripture says, If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? (1 Cor. 14:8). Nobody is calling for WWIII. We pray we can avoid physical warfare. What we are referring to, here, is full-on “Spiritual Warfare!” The battle lines are not political; not right vs. Left – this is Christ vs. Antichrist. This is the call to battle and the lines have been drawn.

Pope John Paul II (whilst still a Cardinal) in 1976 during a visit to America stated the following;

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realise this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.”

The time is now for men to wake up and become the soldiers of Christ they were created to be, who are ready to reclaim the surrendered ground of the sacred. To be once again the Antemurale Christianitatis. To form a new Holy League of Men, men who with their spiritual sword in hand, will use the weapon of the Rosary to drive back the demonic. In today’s secularized modern world that embodies the culture of death, the need has never been greater to reclaim the surrendered ground of the Sacred, the teachings of the Bible and of the Church, and supernatural life in the Holy Spirit. To once again take up the prayer weapon of the Rosary in hand and enter into spiritual combat with the enemy.

Brazilian layman, Plinio Correia de Oliveira of the 20th Century, gives an excellent quote to summarize this call for men. He says:

“Every man is born a soldier, although not every soldier will use his arms. Yes, all men are born soldiers because, as the Scripture states, Militia est vita hominis super terram [The life of man upon earth is a warfare] (Job 7:1). Our life is a fight, and this is how we must consider it first and foremost. A man is born a soldier at the first moment he sees the natural light. Then when he is baptized, he receives the light of grace and is born a second time, now to the supernatural life, becoming a soldier in its defense. Further, the Church has a special Sacrament that confirms a man as a soldier in the full sense of the word. It is the sacrament of Confirmation. Not every soldier uses his weapons on the battlefield, but whoever does so is privileged. Since the duty of the soldier is to fight, when he takes up arms to enter battle he becomes privileged. Imagine a painter who does not paint, a musician who cannot make music, a singer who cannot sing, a professor who is unable to give classes, a diplomat prevented from engaging in politics. Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Catholic Church, comes asking us to join His Holy War inside the Church against progressiveness, and inside the State, against communism. And He appeals to us to fight and not be soft or indifferent to this struggle, but to wage battle with all our soul.”

The devil has strategically succeeded in promoting the error’s and heresy of modernism removing every sense of the sacred from our churches, our homes, and our hearts. In dropping our sacramental life and our weapon of prayer ie. the rosary, Satan has had little resistance in drawing us into temptation and sin. Fear, the greatest weapon of Satan has taken grip of society. Governments around the world are using mandates and communist tactics to instill fear in society and bear no Christian principles in their governance, promoting the evils of abortion, euthanasia, destruction of family and gender fluidity ideology which are all foreign to Christian beliefs. Indoctrinating our children in schools and universities and utilising mass media, they have managed to reduce the Church and Christian ideals to have little or no relevance to society. They are pushing worldly passports but the passport and way to heaven is ignored. They are trying to once again silence and crucify Jesus Christ by killing the body of Christ and the teachings of the Church.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA’S WARNING

Our Lady appeared in Fatima in 1917 with an urgent call to repentance, reparation, sacrifice and daily rosary. She warned us that if her requests were not adhered to, that the error of communism would spread. Sadly, her plea was not taken seriously by all and the seeds of communism are sprouting everywhere.

In his monumental 2017 homily entitled, “Fatima: A Call to Spiritual Arms for the Salvation and Peace of the World,” Archbishop Cordileone gives us the battle plan to “reverse the curse” of a nation under the spell of the satanic. The Archbishop said:

“For 100 years we ignored the message of Fatima; or, perhaps, it is not so much the message we ignored, for we are well aware of the warnings and the history that resulted. Rather, it is the requests we ignored. But we cannot afford to do so any longer. We have to pay attention. We have to do what she told the waiters at Cana: do whatever he tells you And what does Christ tell us to do?

The Archbishop continues:

“Far from being something we check off on a to-do list, what we are about today is nothing less than a call to arms: to spiritual arms. We are living in a time and place of intense spiritual battle, and only in taking up spiritual arms will we alleviate the spiritual disease that is at the root of so much of the physical and mental suffering in the world today.
Again, this is not a political battle … This. Is. Spiritual. Warfare!”

Likewise, in a monumental and powerfully worded apostolic exhortation, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, put a call out to all men to “not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you.” Bishop Olmsted continues:

“Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real. It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes.

Venerable Fulton Sheen who prophesied that communist ideals would take over America and the world also wrote:

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”

THE TIME IS NOW FOR MEN TO RISE UP!! We must become strong in the Lord and in His mighty power! (Eph 6:10).

Msgr. Charles Pope writes in an article which appeared in the National Catholic Register:

“We live in historic times. If we don’t rise up in courage, strength, and true compassion then Christianity will continue on the road to irrelevance. We have a fundamental choice: do we stand with the brave or do we fade into darkness? We are told repeatedly to not be afraid. Our silence is complicity. Our breeding division is demonic. The devil delights in little more than a co-opted Christian…more so a co-opted cleric. Remember, Christ prayed that we would be one, not a collection of warring tribes at each other’s throats. Our enemy is united and broken through our ranks. We must be united and strengthen what is harmed. Now is no time to abandon the battlefield.”

THE CALL FOR A HOLY LEAGUE

A Holy Rosary Crusade and a call for a Holy League of Men is needed to form a spiritual army. I call upon you my Christian brothers – all who call themselves Catholic Australians and living in Australia, to come and fight this spiritual battle with Rosary in hand. We have to take the lead and follow what our Polish and Irish brothers are doing in Europe and kneel in the public square and pray the Rosary as a public witness. It is up to us to become the Antemurale Christianitatis and drive back the enemy.

We call upon all men, religious and lay men, to engage the enemy, to recapture lost territory and make advancements on the battle field for souls. We have not listened to the call of Our Lady of Fatima nor heeded her plea to offer sacrifices in reparation against offenses committed against the Sacred Heart and her Immaculate Heart. We have laid down the heavenly weapon of the Rosary which she has asked us to pray daily. The time has come, for men to once again pick up the weapon of the Rosary and enter into battle! In confidence, we call upon our Heavenly Mother in this battle and call upon her intercession as we engage the enemy knowing her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Bishop Athanasius Schneider reminds us:

“The most powerful help in our personal life as soldiers of Christ and in the life of the entire militant Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mother of God, and She is the winner in all the battles of the Lord”

With this confidence we fight under her banner.

I would like to leave you with this quote from Venerable Fulton Sheen who gives us a fair warning:

“Those who have the faith had better keep in the state of grace and those who have neither had better find out what they mean, for in the coming age there will be only one way to stop your trembling knees, and that will be to get down on them and pray.”

Our Lady of the Rosary – pray for us.
St Joseph, Terror of demons – pray for us.

Yours in Christ Jesus through Mary

Knights of the Precious Blood

Bog i Hrvati

Our Lady’s Call to Battle

The continual apparitions of Our Lady at Medjugorje over the past 40 years are well known to Croatians both in the homeland and abroad, as they are to many faithful Catholics who have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. While in recent time others recall the apparitions of the Virgin in Garabandal, Spain and Akita, Japan, the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917 have captured and enflamed the imagination of many Catholics. In fact, it is difficult to find a Catholic who has not heard of Fatima. When one asks further, most refer to secrets and others to the dancing sun phenomena as important events of Fatima. Certainly these are part of the Fatima message, Fatima goes beyond that and Our Lady’s apparition in 1917 are as relevant today as they were for the world engulfed in war in 1917.

Our Lady came to Fatima in the midst of extreme political turmoil and unrest in Europe. For centuries the Christian faith and culture had been growing steadily weaker. Christian leaders of Europe, were more committed to worldly success, control and power rather than living the faith or living in peace. Despite the call for reason by Pope Benedict XV, the leaders would not listen and resorted to war to resolve their differences. The Pope therefore turned to prayer and in 1916 called on all Catholic children in the warring countries to offer Holy Communion to God for peace. While most of the faithful know of Our Lady’s apparitions, few know that during the prayer and request of Pope Benedict XV, an angel appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima in 1916.

The angelic apparitions served as a preface for the message Mary would later speak. The angel taught the children two different prayers during the apparitions and to offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. The angel said he was the Angel of Peace. In particular, the angel told the children to offer up all their daily crosses, the trials and tribulations they faced each day, for the conversion of sinners, to repair the damage done by sin and to bring peace to their country. He gave them a simple prayer during the first apparition:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you and I ask your pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.”

He told the children to repeat this prayer often.

The second angelic apparition encouraged the children to offer sacrifices to God and to pray for peace. It was during this apparition that the angel identified himself as the Angel of Portugal.

The third apparition emphasized the Eucharist as the angel appeared with a Host and Chalice. Lucia received the host, while Jacinta and Francisco received from the chalice. The angel also taught the second prayer as an act of adoration of the Eucharist and reparation for sin. The Angel taught them to pray:

“O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”

These often-forgotten angelic apparitions and prayers contain great significance and should be a part of living the message of Fatima as be later discussed. The angel taught those two prayers to the children because they were efficacious and pleasing to God.

While the Angel of Peace was appearing to the children, war raged on in Europe. The following year, 1917, the Holy Father called on all Catholics to join with him on May 5, praying to Our Lady, Queen of Peace, for an end of the war and peace on earth. On the ninth day, May 13, Our Lady appeared to the three children at the “Cove of Peace” in Fatima (Cova da Iria). She asked them whether they were willing to offer their suffering to God, as the Angel had taught them, “as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners.” In later years, Lucia said this was the most important request of Our Lady of Fatima: that we offer all our daily suffering that we cannot avoid as reparation for sins and the conversion of sinners.

Mary appeared a total of six times to the three Fatima children between May 13 and Oct. 13, 1917. In each of the six apparitions, Mary instructed the children to pray the Rosary every day, especially for peace in the world and an end to war. During the apparition on July 13, Mary requested that the children add a simple phrase after each mystery:

“O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy”

Also in the July apparition, Our Lady showed the children hell and the tormented souls. She told them that to save souls from going to hell, God wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She said,

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

She said, “If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.” In August, Our Lady told the children;

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

This, then, is the heart of Our Lady’s Message at Fatima: to offer up daily prayers and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, and tell others about this request. It is why St. Pope John Paul II said the message of Fatima is more important today than ever, and why Pope Benedict XVI said that Fatima is not just a private devotion; the message is a call from Our Lady to all of her children to participate in the salvation of souls, promising the blessing of peace for our country and the world.

Lastly, Mary promised the children she would reveal her identity during the last apparition in October in which occurred the sun dance. While we often refer to the apparitions as “Our Lady of Fatima,” Mary told the children: “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” The revealed identity of Mary and the message she spoke to the three shepherd children of Fatima draws attention to one of the most common forms of Marian devotions — and calls us to pray the Rosary daily. Sadly, this message has been forgotten or ignored by most Catholics and church leaders.

Make your whole day a prayer offering

It is no surprise that Our Lady has asked once again, for devotion to her Immaculate Heart and the recitation of the Rosary. She gave it to her servant St Dominic in the 13th Century to defeat heresy and revived it through Blessed Alan de la Roche in the 14th Century, once again to fight heresy and convert sinners. Many centuries later, she appeared again, this time in Fatima in 1917 to ask us to pray the Rosary daily for peace and to end the war. But have we heard this call to fulfill Our Lady’s request? Mary certainly predicted the war would end, but if the people did not convert another and worse war would occur. As history recalls, World War II started a few decades later as was predicted by Our Lady. Catholics did not take up the message of Mary nor did they accept the urgency of her message. The prayer and devotion to the Rosary has not been taken up by Catholics and is not prayed in many families. Catholics, especially the men, have become effeminate. They prefer worldly pleasures rather than doing what is right, even though it may incur suffering. Catholics are not carrying their cross and offering sacrifices to God. The Angel of Peace instructed us to “accept and bear with submission” our daily trials and tribulations and offer them for the conversion of sinners. Our Lady also spoke of offering our suffering whenever it occurs during the day. Isn’t this what Our Lord meant when He asked us to take up our cross every day and follow Him? In this way we can make our whole day a prayer. This is the urgency of the message.

In spreading the message of Fatima, the World Apostolate of Fatima has been asking Catholics to start each day with the “pardon prayer” of the Angel of Peace:

“O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee; and I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”

Then offer Our Lord all our suffering and trials we will encounter during the day for love of Him, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Our Lady specifically requested. Finally, do our best, whenever anything happens that we don’t like and can’t avoid, to accept it as a daily cross and “offer it up!” for the conversion of sinners. Remember that we can do this for our own loved ones whose souls seem to be in danger. As St. John Paul II taught, if they won’t do penance for their sins, do it for them! In this way, we will be joining with the angels in spiritual warfare for the salvation of souls, growing in holiness and bringing down the blessing of peace on our families, our country, our Church and the world.

Shortly after the apparitions and the well-known apparition of October 13 where the sun gyrated and danced across the sky witnessed by over 70,000 people, Lucia’s two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco died while Lucia went on to become a Sister of St Dorothy and then a Discalced Carmelite nun. As Fr Don Calloway recalls in his book, “26 Champions of the Rosary”, Mary stressed the importance of the recitation of the Rosary. All three children became champions of the Rosary and encouraged others to pray it with them before each apparition. Our Lady particularly emphasized the daily rosary as a means of bringing about an end to the war.

After the Marian apparitions occurred in Fatima, Sr Lucia received several other visitations from Mary. During the apparition of December 10, 1925, Our Lady revealed to Sr Lucia her desire for the Five First Saturday devotion in reparation to her Immaculate Heart.

During the Marian apparition to Sr Lucia, Mary said:

“My daughter, look at my heart surrounded with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me”

“The Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families …. That cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary” – Servant of God Lucia Dos Santos

The apparitions at Fatima occurred during a time of turmoil. World War I was raging throughout Europe, and the threat of atheism and Russian communism taking over parts of the world was a great concern to Mary. In 2021 we find ourselves in a similar situation. Although not World War III, we find ourselves in probably the greatest spiritual battle of all time. The threat of communist type mandates world-wide, the acceptance of abortion, same sex marriage and wide spread euthanasia has resulted in a culture of death and the consequence of the greatest apostasy the Church has ever seen.

In the convent, Sister Lucia received special insights related to the Message of Fatima, and years later, wrote a letter to the Pope describing one particular insight. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who had seen the original letter, quoted Sister Lucia’s words from the letter: “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and family… nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.” (Radio interview with Cardinal Caffarra following Mass at the tomb of St. Padre Pio, February 16, 2008)

The final confrontation between the Lord and Satan will be over family and marriage. It should be evident to the faithful and those who have eyes to see, that we are living in these times. This message should wake up Catholic men and impress upon them their mission to defend their families from the evil one. God and His Church need us to step up and be Saints! We need to reclaim our masculinity as holy leaders for our wives, our kids and our local parishes. We need to be Champions of the Holy Rosary and promote the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of life within marriage and society. Men need to once again, take up the weapon of the Virgin – the most Holy Rosary. Men need to know they are soldiers of Christ and that Our Blessed Mother is our general on the spiritual battlefield of life. Pray the Rosary daily – to defend your family and Church and to join Mary in crushing the head of Satan. As a parting thought, I want to leave you with a quote from Pope Pius XI:

“If our age in its pride laughs at and rejects Our Lady’s Rosary, a countless legion of the most saintly men of every age and of every condition have not only held it most dear and have most piously recited it but have also used it at all times as a most powerful weapon to overcome the devil, to preserve the purity of their lives, to acquire virtue more zealously, in a word, to promote peace among men.”
Pope Pius XI

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Bog i Hrvati

Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica

Inspiracija

Hrvatska zavjetna krunica sažima najdragocjenije trenutke svete prošlosti našeg naroda. To su povijesni trenuci koji su stvorili neizbrisivu vezu sjedinjenja između katoličke vjere i hrvatskog identiteta. Ti su događaji glavna inspiracija za stvaranje ove posebne krunice.

Najznačajniji od tih događaja je veliki jubilej proslave 1300 godina kršćanstva u Hrvata (641.-1941.) Još je krajem 1930 –ih godina blaženi Alojzije Stepinac planirao obilježiti ovu značajnu obljetnicu uspostave formalnih odnosa između Svete Stolice i Hrvatskog naroda. Iako mu je rat prekinuo plan, nije zaboravljen. Hvala Bogu, Hrvatski su biskupi oživjeli ovu značajnu spomen proslavu početkom 1970-ih godina. Odlučili su zahvaliti Bogu kroz razdoblje od devet godina (devet-godišnja devetnica) na daru krštenja, vjere i pripadnosti Katoličkoj crkvi.

Spomen obilježje sastojalo se od nekoliko velikih proslava:

• 1976. g. – Hrvatska Marijanska godina ili godina kraljice Jelene, proglašena u Solinu 1975
• 1978. g. – Zvonimirova godina, obilježena u Solinu,
• 1979. g. – Branimirova godina obilježena u Ninu,
• 1984. g. – Nacionalni euharistijski kongres (NEK) u Mariji Bistrici.

Uz navedeno i druga dva događaja također su bila snažna inspiracija za stvaranje Hrvatske zavjetne krunice. Prvi od njih dogodio se u osvit 20. stoljeća. To je bilo 22. lipnja 1900. godine, na blagdan Presvetog Srca Isusova, kada se 160 000 mladih Hrvatica i Hrvata posvetilo Presvetom Srcu Isusovu pod zavjetnom zastavom Presvetog Srca Isusova.

Druga se dogodila 1979. godine, koja je nazvana Branimirovom godinom. Bila je to proslava 1100. obljetnice, od kada je Hrvatski narod prvi puta sklopio zavjet s Gospodinom pod vodstvom kneza Branimira (879. godine). Tijekom Branimirove godine Hrvatski je narod obnovio svoj zavjet s Gospodinom. Za tu jubilarnu godinu napravljen je Hrvatski ‘Zavjetni Križ’ i napisana molitva ‘Ispovijest Vjere Hrvata Katolika’.

Ovi povijesni događaji bili su inspiracija za naziv krunice „Hrvatska zavjetna krunica“.

Raspelo na krunici

Zavjetni Križ odabran je kao raspelo za ovu jedinstvenu krunicu zbog njegova povijesnog, vjerskog i kulturnog značaja. Zavjetni Križ ‘Branimirove godine’ simbolički je katekizam naše vjere i povijesti našeg spasenja.
• To je znak da smo mi Hrvati kao narod odavno pokršteni;
• da je kroz burna stoljeća križ za nas bio znak spasenja i jamstvo budućnosti;
• da smo narod koji je utkao pobožnost prema Blaženoj Djevici Mariji kao bitan element u našoj nacionalnoj duši i
• da smo kroz čitavu svoju povijest bili katolički narod u zajednici s Papom.

Zavjetni Križ

Na poleđini Zavjetnog Križa dodani su nacionalni slogan ‘Bog i Hrvati’ pisan glagoljicom a ispod slogana povijesni Hrvatski grb. S tim dodacima, poleđina križa obuhvaća, prema važnosti: Boga, obitelj i domovinu. Bog je prvi, na prvome mjestu, iznad svih drugih natpisa; drugo, na vodoravnoj prečki naša je obveza prema obitelji; zatim na dnu naša ljubav prema domovini Hrvatskoj.

Središnji dio krunice – Zavjetna medaljica

Središnji dio, zavjetna medaljica  na kojoj je Presveto Srce Isusovo inspirirana je zavjetnim barjakom pod kojim se 160 000 mladih Hrvatica i Hrvata 1900. godine posvetilo Presvetom Srcu Isusovu. Kako bi se ostvarila veza s ovim velikim povijesnim događajem slika Presvetog srca stavljena je u središte Hrvatske zavjetne krunice na povijesnom grbu. Isto takvo srce, izrađeno u zlatu Hrvatska omladina darovala je papi Leonu XIII. u Rimu 1900. godine (slika ispod).

Zlatno Srce – Papa Leon XIII

Presveto Srce našega Gospodina na Hrvatskom povijesnom grbu izrađena je i na amblemu ‘Miles Christi’ (slika ispod) za prvi susret Nacionalne hrvatske muške konferencije u Australiji (Sydneyu) 2019. godine.

Medalja sv. Benedikta na poleđini središta označava duhovnu borbu na koju smo svi pozvani i duhovnu zaštitu i blagoslove povezane s ovom medaljom. Koristi se izvorni dizajn medalje svetog Benedikta, s monogramom našeg Gospodina, ‘IHS’, koji se nalazi na vrhu. Medalja sv. Benedikta poznata je po svojoj učinkovitosti u duhovnoj borbi. Njegova je svrha prizvati Božji blagoslov i zaštitu na nas, na naše domove i imanje, kakvi smo, i uvijek smo bili, u duhovnom ratu, a naš Gospodin je bio, i uvijek je, naš jedini štit i snaga.

Zavjetna medaljica

Suradnja

Posebnost Hrvatske Zavjetne Krunice leži u načinu na koji nas povezuje s naša dva doma, onim na Zemlji i vječnim domom na Nebu. Suradnja hrvatske dijaspore u Australiji i hrvata u Domovini, braće i sestara u Kristu doprinijela je jedinstvenom karakteru krunice.

Izvorne koncepte dizajna i ilustracije Zavjetne medaljice i poleđine Zavjetnog križa izradila su dva hrvatska Australca. S druge strane, crteži križa, i modeli zavjetnog križa i zavjetne medaljice, rezultat su rada dizajnera u Hrvatskoj. Konačna izrada i oblaganje ova dva ključna elementa krunice također su obavljena u Hrvatskoj.

Verzija Hrvatske zavjetne krunice s drvenim perlicama od hrvatske masline ima posebno dirljivu pozadinu koja pokazuje kako su dijaspora i Hrvati u domovini povezani međusobnom ljubavlju jedni prema drugima, utemeljenom na ljubavi prema Bogu. Ovu krunicu u Domovini izrađuje Hrvatica koja je u potpunosti slijepa. Izrada krunica Marijani i njezinoj obitelji donosi određeni prihod koji će im pomoći da spoje kraj s krajem. Zauzvrat, oni koji kupuju i koriste krunice sudjeluju u duhovnim i tjelesnim djelima milosrđa.

Konačno, značajan zadatak povezivanja tima iz dijaspore s timom iz Hrvatske preuzeo je dragovoljac domovinskog rata i umirovljeni časnik Hrvatske vojske, čiji angažman u projektu pokazuje da se na pravog Branitelja uvijek može računati.

Prvih 50 krunica (verzija s drvenim perlicama) blagoslovio je biskup mons.dr. Vlado Košić (Sisačka Biskupija), bio je i dobitnik prve  Hrvatske zavjetne krunice nakon blagoslova.

Biskup Vlado Košić – Blagoslov krunice

 

Zaključna misao

Hrvatska zavjetna krunica ima dvostruki ciljSjećanje i Ohrabrenje.

Sjetimo se svete prošlosti naše nacije. “Trinaest stoljeća postojanja. Sama ta činjenica jest nešto veliko, nešto, što u sebi nosi i duboki smisao i nepresušnu vitalnost i određenu misiju.” (1) Sveta prošlost našeg naroda sažeta je u raspelu krunice, zavjetnom križu i zavjetnoj medaljici.

 

“Trinaest stoljeća kršćanstva u hrvatskome narodu. Velika je to milost i razlog trajne zahvalnosti Božanskoj Providnosti, koja je hrvatski narod – prvi od slavenskih naroda – izvela iz tmina poganstva i privela k svjetlu prave vjere. (…) Ovo jubilarno slavlje završavate Nacionalnim euharistijskim kongresom. (…) Izabrali ste najbolji način da okrunite proslavu ove obljetnice svraćajući tako pozornost cijele zajednice vjernika na bitnu stvarnost naše vjere: Presvetu Euharistiju! (…) Neka za sve vas ovaj Euharistijski kongres bude kako dolazište tako i u isto vrijeme polazište. (…) Ojačani u duhu nastavite na ovoj vašoj blagoslovljenoj zemlji djelo spasenja koje nam je povjerio Krist Gospodin!“ (2)

Iz poruke pape Ivana Pavla II. za NEK (Nacionalni euharistijski kongres)

Potaknite sve hrvatske katolike da žive svoj dio zavjeta koji su sklopili naši preci, živeći svoju krsnu vjeru konkretno, vjerno i dosljedno u svakodnevnom životu i u svom pozivu. Potaknite sve Hrvatske katolike da našu vjeru prenose na buduće naraštaje, kao što su to činili i naši preci prije nas.

“Dobro znamo za vašu vjernost. Ipak, dopustite da vas snažno potaknem. Svojom ustrajnošću načinili ste svojevrstan savez s Kristom i Crkvom, na vama je da ostanete vjerni tom savezu, koliko god to bilo teško. Onakvi kakvi bijaste od slavne one godine 879., takvi uvijek ostajte, biskupi, prezbiteri, sav katolički narod, najtješnje među sobom povezani i privrženi ostanite jedna cjelina, jedne duše, jedne volje i vjerni u savezu s Kristom, vjerni savezu s Rimskom Katoličkom Crkvom. Ta Crkva, uvijek zahvalna hrvatskom narodu zbog posvjedočene ljubavi i posluha, i danas je zahvalna, što ste nas silno obradovali istim svjedočanstvom. Ujedno vas uvjeravam koliko Crkva cijeni taj savez i kako ste joj srcu bliski ne samo blizinom vaših granica nego nadasve velikom ljubavlju.” (3)

Papa Ivan Pavao II

“Tko na tvrdoj stini svoju povist piše
Tom ne može nitko prošlost da izbriše
Mi smo tu odavna svi moraju znati
To je naša zemlja tu žive Hrvati.“

(Dražen Žanko, Od stoljeća sedmog)

Bog i Hrvati

 

Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica trenutno je dostupna u dvije opcije (na slici dolje).

Vojnički stil – lančića od nehrđajućeg čelika
Verzija od maslinovog drveta – antikno srebro

 

Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica – Engleski Tekst

  1. 641-1941 Najznačajniji Jubilej Hrvatske – Tiskara “Glasnik” Zagreb 1941, pg 5
  2. Izvod iz poruke pape Ivana Pavla II za “NEK” (Nacionalni euharistijski kongres) 1984 – Milosti puna, br. 18 Svetište Majke Božje Bistričke, 15. rujna 2014.
  3. Poruka pape Ivana Pavla II za Branimirova Godina 1979 – Branimorova Godina Fotomografija 1980, Izdao Nadbiskupski ordinarijat, Zadar

 

Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica (Croatian Covenant Rosary)

Reflecting on the inspiration behind this unique rosary

The “Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica” encapsulates the most treasured moments of our nation’s sacred past. These are historical moments that forged an indelible bond of union between the Catholic faith and the Croatian identity. These events are the main inspiration behind the creation of this very special rosary.

The most significant of these events is Croatia’s Great Jubilee of 641-1941, which celebrated the 1300th-year anniversary of her baptism. As far back as the late 1930’s, Blessed Aloysius Stepinac planned to commemorate this momentous anniversary of the establishment of formal relations between the Holy See and the Croatian people. Although his plan was interrupted by the war, it was not forgotten. Thanks be to God, the Croatian bishops revived this significant memorial celebration in the early 1970’s and decided to thank God, over a 9-year period (a 9-year novena), for the gift of baptism, faith and belonging to the Catholic Church.

This memorial consisted of several major celebrations:
• 1976 – Croatian Marian (or Jelena) Year.
• 1978 – Zvonimir’s Year, celebrated in Solin.
• 1979 – ‘Branimirova Godina’ (Branimir’s Year), celebrated in Nin.
• 1984 – The National Eucharistic Congress (NEK) in Marija Bistrica.

Two other events were also strongly inspirational in the creation of the Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica. The first of these occurred at the dawn of the 20th century, on the 22nd June 1900, the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, when a staggering 160 000 young Croatian men and women made a covenant (zavjet) to fight under the banner of, and consecrated themselves to, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The second of these happened in 1979, named ‘Branimir’s Year’, as it was the 1100th-year anniversary of the grand occasion in 879AD when the Croatian people, as a nation, first professed their covenant (zavjet) with Our Lord under the leadership of Prince Branimir. During ‘Branimir’s Year’ of 1979, the Croatian people renewed their covenant (zavjet) with Our Lord. The Croatian ‘Zavjetni Križ’ and the prayer ‘Ispovijest Vjere Hrvata Katolika’ were specifically created for this memorial. Both of these events inspired the naming of the Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica.

The Crucifix on the Rosary

The Zavjetni Križ or ‘Covenant Cross’ was chosen as the crucifix for this unique rosary because of its historical, religious and cultural significance. The Zavjetni Križ of ‘Branimir’s Year’ is a symbolic catechism of our faith and of the history of our salvation. It is a sign that we Croats, as a people, have been baptized from long ago; that through the turbulent centuries the cross was, for us, a sign of salvation and a guarantee of the future; that we are a people who weaved devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as an essential element into our national soul, and that throughout our entire history we have been a Catholic nation in union with the Pope.

Zavjetni Križ (‘Covenant Cross’)

Two additions were made to the reverse side of the Zavjetni Križ – the inclusion of our national slogan ‘Bog i Hrvati’ in our ancient Glagolitic script (‘Glagolica’), and beneath this slogan, the inclusion of our traditional Croatian coat-of-arms (‘Hrvatski Grb’). With these inclusions the reverse side of the Cross encompasses, in order of importance, God, Family, Homeland (‘Bog, Obitelj, Domovina’). God is first, in the prime position, above all other inscriptions; secondly, on the horizontal cross-bar, is our obligation to family; then at the bottom, our love for our homeland, Croatia.

Rosary Centrepiece – Zavjetni Medal (Covenant Medal)

The Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica is the only rosary to feature a uniquely Croatian centrepiece, namely, the Zavjetni Medal (Covenant Medal). The front of the Zavjetni Medal showcases the Zavjetni Grb which is inspired by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and this devotion’s manifestation in the history of the Croatian people.
This design (superimposing Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart on the Croatian coat-of-arms) was first used on the ‘Miles Christi’ Croatian emblem, created for the inaugural National Croatian Men’s Conference of 2019. This emblem became the inspirational starting point for the centrepiece design.

Such a beautiful starting point was also reminiscent of the consecration event of 1900, when 160 000 young Croatians pledged their commitment to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Golden Heart – Pope Leo XIII

To strengthen the link to this great event in Croatian history, the Sacred Heart image used for the Zavjetni Grb on the Zavjetni Medal was reworked to be a replica of the actual gold ‘Sacred Heart’ gifted to Pope Leo XIII by the Croatian youth while on their pilgrimage to Rome in 1900. To further commemorate this event, the coat-of-arms (‘Grb’) shape was formed into the same shape as the ‘Grb’ that was used in the literature for the preparations for the 1900 youth consecration event.

Zavjetni Medal  (Covenant Medal)

The St Benedict medal on the reverse of the Zavjetni Medal signifies the spiritual combat we are all called to, and the spiritual protection and blessings associated with this particular medal. The original St Benedict medal design is used, with our Lord’s monogram, ‘IHS’, featured at the top. The St Benedict medal is renown for its efficacy in spiritual combat. Its purpose is to invoke God’s blessing and protection upon us, and upon our homes and possessions, as we are, and always have been, engaged in a spiritual war, and our Lord was, and always is, our only shield and strength.

Collaboration

The Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica’s unique beauty lies in the way it links us to our two homes, a temporary yet beloved one here on earth – our Croatian homeland, and the eternal home we yearn for too – Heaven. This rosary’s unique Croatian character and wealth of cultural and religious meaning is further enriched by the fact that its creation is the result of a collaboration between the Croatian diaspora – those living away from home, as it were – and their brothers and sisters back in the homeland, particularly those who sacrificed all to defend the homeland in her hour of greatest need, the ‘Branitelji’.

The original design concepts and illustrations of the Zavjetni Medal (Covenant Medal) were produced by two Croatian Australians working together. This working partnership also conceptualised the design of the reverse side of the Zavjetni Križ. On the other hand, the 3D drawings of the Križ, as well as the models of both the Zavjetni Križ and Zavjetni Medal models, were the result of the work of a designer in Croatia. The final production and plating of these two crucial elements of the rosary were also done in Croatia.

The wooden bead version of the Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica has a particularly poignant background, showing how the diaspora and the Croatians still in the homeland are tied by a mutual love for each other, grounded by love of God first. This wooden rosary is produced by a woman in Croatia that is blind. Making the rosaries provides Marijana and her family with some income to help them make ends meet. In turn, those who purchase and use the rosaries she makes engage both in spiritual and corporal acts of mercy.

Finally, the mammoth task of connecting the team from the diaspora with the team of people from Croatia was undertaken by a retired Hrvatski Branitelj, whose involvement in the project demonstrates that a true Branitelj labours for his people on the spiritual plane as well as on the physical plane.

The first 50 rosaries (wooden bead version) were blessed by Bishop mons.dr. Vlado Košić (Sisačka Biskupija), he was also the recipient of the first  Hrvatska Zavjetna krunica after the blessing.

Bishop Vlado Košić – Blessing Rosaries

 

The ultimate mission

The Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica has a two-fold aim – Remember and Encourage.

Remember our nation’s sacred past. Remember that “we have existed for over thirteen centuries. The very fact that we began to exist as an organic people thirteen centuries ago and that we still exist today is something remarkable, something that carries a deep meaning and inexhaustible vitality and a certain mission.” (1) Our nation’s sacred past is succinctly summarised in the rosary’s crucifix, the Zavjetni Kriz (‘Covenant Cross’) and its centrepiece, the Zavjetni Medal (Covenant Medal).

“Thirteen centuries of Christianity of the Croatian people. It is an immense grace, and the reason for lasting gratitude to the Divine Providence, for the Croatian people – the first of the Slav nations – who were brought out of the darkness of paganism and led into the light of true faith. (….) This jubilee celebration is ending with this National Eucharistic Congress. (…) You have chosen the best way to crown the celebration of this anniversary, thus focusing the attention of the whole community of believers to the essential reality of our faith: the Most Holy Eucharist! (…) May this Eucharistic Congress be for all of you – both a coming and a starting point. (…) Reinforced in Spirit continue in this blessed land of yours for works of salvation which Christ the Lord has entrusted to us!“
From the message of Pope John Paul II for NEK (2)

Encourage all Croatian Catholics to live out their part of the covenant that our forefathers made, by living their baptismal faith concretely, faithfully and consistently in everyday life and in their calling. Encourage all Croatian Catholics to pass on our faith to future generations as did our forefathers before us.

“We well know your faithfulness. Still, allow me to touch you with my strength. By your perseverance you have made a unique covenant with Christ and the Church, it is up to you, to remain faithful to that covenant, no matter how hard the opposition. As you have been, since the glorious year of 879, so always remain, Bishops, Presbyters, all Catholic people, closely connected and attached, remain one whole, one soul, one Will, faithful in covenant with Christ, faithful in covenant with the Roman Catholic Church. This Church, always grateful to the Croatian people with witnessed love and obedience, still thanks you very much today through us, since you have made us very happy with the same witness. At the same time, she assures you how much she appreciates this alliance and how close you are to her heart, not only by the proximity of your borders, but above all by great love.“
From the message of Pope John Paul II, 1979 (3)

Bog i Hrvati

 

The Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica is currently available in two options (pictured below).

Military Style – Classic Stainless Steel pull chain version
Olive Wood version – Antique Silver

Hrvatska Zavjetna Krunica – Croatian Text

  1. 641-1941 Najznačajniji Jubilej Hrvatske – Tiskara “Glasnik” Zagreb 1941, pg 5
  2. Extract from message given by Pope John Paul II for “NEK” (National Eucharistic Congress) 1984 – Milosti puna, br. 18 Svetište Majke Božje Bistričke, 15. rujna 2014.
  3. Message from Pope John Paul II for Branimirova Godina 1979 – Branimorova Godina Fotomografija 1980, Izdao Nadbiskupski ordinarijat, Zadar

 

Cro Combat Rosary

The Story of the – Cro Combat Rosary

Shortly after the Knights of the Most Precious Blood were formed in 2015, the group’s logo was designed and confirmed by the founding members. The logo was intended to embody the charism and chivalric code of the Knights, combining fidelity to Christ with Croatian heritage.

The founding members all agreed that the Knight’s logo should include a shield in the colours of the Croatian emblem (grb), with the Cross of Our Lord as the centerpiece of the shield. This was to emphasize the belief that the Holy Cross is our shield and our victory. Our Lord shed his Most Precious Blood on the Cross for us and it is the Most Precious Blood that we call upon daily for our protection. The rays emanating from the Cross represent the glorious victory over death that was won by our Lord on the Cross. This glory of the Cross, the victory of the Blood of the Lamb, is our Shield and our Strength.

With the foundation of the Knights and their logo settled, the idea of Knights needing a weapon to combat with began to materialize. Our Queen, the Blessed and ever Virgin Mary, gave to Catholics the ultimate weapon in the fight against Satan and our enemies. From the very beginning of the Knights, the need to have a manly rosary, that is, a special, sturdy rosary for the Knights of our order, became evident. The traditional, chain-link rosaries had a tendency to come apart when they were carried in pockets or worn. Consequently, the search for a tough, manly rosary began. In the course of online research, the Knights came across a rosary manufacturer with whom they had discussions with, hoping to produce a rosary from stainless steel, a naturally robust material. Unfortunately, this lead did not materialise, and the search continued.

Undeterred, the Knights continued their search. By God’s providence, the first chain manufacturer that they contacted advised that they could manufacture the rosary the Knights wanted, as they had done similarly styled items in the past.

Overjoyed at this joyous news, the Knights discerned the need for a specifically Croatian version of the pull-chain combat rosary. The Knights deemed that the “Hrvatski Zavjetni Križ” (Croatian Covenant Cross) would be the best crucifix for this uniquely Croatian rosary due to its great significance to the Croatian people. It is a sign of our sacred Catholic history and identity, and is a symbol of our covenant with God. This traditional crucifix was sourced from Croatia.

The next challenge was producing the Miraculous Medal centerpiece. The Knights had difficulty sourcing an existing design of a high enough quality required for the new Cro Combat Rosary. After an extended period of fruitless searching, the group decided to have a new Miraculous Medal centerpiece designed and created especially for their rosary.

After conducting research into the early designs based on the visions of the Miraculous Medal, the Knights noticed that the records of the visions did not ever mention the inclusion of the stars typically found on the reverse side of most of the available Miraculous Medal designs (most often five-pointed stars, however in some designs, stars were and six-pointed). Croatians naturally have a strong aversion to the ‘petokraka’ (five-pointed star) as they were under cruel oppression for 50 years or so under the tyrannical and evil Communist regime, whose symbol was the red ‘petokraka’. For these two reasons, the Knights did not include the stars in their version of the Miraculous Medal.

The other feature included on most medal designs but not recorded in the visions is the ‘1830’ atop the globe on the front side of the medal, and again, for this reason, the Knights decided to omit this feature in their design. Also, the lettering on the original medal design was in French as St Catherine Laboure, the Saint to whom the design of the Miraculous Medal was first entrusted, was French. For their Miraculous Medal, the Knights decided to go with Latin wording as Latin is the universal language of the Catholic Church.

The shape of the Knights’ Miraculous Medal is based on the earliest drawings of the medals, which were slightly wider across the center section of the medal. The other unique element of the Knights’ Miraculous Medal design is the incorporation of the Croatian ‘pleter’ (weave) on the Cross. Most Miraculous Medals have cross-hatching patterned inside the Cross, and in the ‘M’ on the reverse side of the medal to emphasize these elements more. A supplier was sourced to produce a 3D model of the group’s design so that samples could be checked before mass production began.

The Knights perceived that the men needed a practical, masculine carry case for their Croatian Combat Rosary. The simplest, most practical idea that came to mind was the old-fashioned leather rosary or coin pouches, with spring metal strips that held the pouch closed. Squeezing the sides would make the spring bow out and open the pouch. The pouch could easily fit in a pocket and would be able to be opened and closed with one hand. It would not have any clumsy zippers that can be a bit noisy in quiet Church environments. The Knights decided to have the St Benedict Medal embossed on the pouch for their unique Croatian Combat Rosary, as the Rosary is the spiritual weapon for our times.

To accompany this new rosary, the Knights included a masculine ‘how to pray the rosary’ card. They designed a unique military-style fold-out card with another fold-out card that gave an overview of the symbols on the medal and the crucifix and their meanings. This card would fit neatly in the two external pockets of the pouch (front and rear).
With the grace and inspiration of God, the journey to create a unique Croatian Combat Rosary package was finally realised. In addition to the traditional ‘Pardon Crucifix’ combat rosary style, the newest option, the traditional or the “Zavjetni Križ” style, has become, by far, the most popular preference among Croatian men.

Currently the Cro Combat Rosary is available in the following styles.

Classic Stainless Steel pull chain version
Classic Stainless Steel pull chain version with Pardon Crucifix
Olive Wood version – Antique Silver
Olive Wood version – Antique Bronze

What is a man without the rosary?

The ‘What is a man without the rosary?’ challenge is an initiative that encourages all men to pray the rosary, and is carried out twice a year, in the months of Our Lady, May and October. It takes it inspiration from a Croatian initiative found at Muževni Budite.

The goal of this initiative is to challenge men (#krunicachallenge) to pray the rosary daily throughout the year, but in particular challenge men to recite the rosary daily for the months of May and October. Apart from instilling devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and meditating on the life of Christ, this initiative aims to ultimately inspire and facilitate the recitation of the rosary in its home and rightful place – that is in the family. As stated on “Muževni Buditie” website, the rosary can be prayed for different intentions during those months.

The fruits of frequent and devout rosary prayer recitation has been spoken and written about by many saints, popes, but also by lay people. Our Lady of Fatima requested it be prayed daily. The following is a selection of a few quotes about the rosary, followed by instructions on how to pray the rosary.

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” -Saint Padre Pio

 

“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” – Blessed Pope Pius IX

 

“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.” – Saint Francis de Sales

 

“Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” -St. Padre Pio

 

“Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!” -St. Padre Pio

 

“The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” -St. Josemaria Escriva

 

“Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” -St. Josemaria Escriva

 

“For those who use their intelligence and their study as a weapon, the Rosary is most effective. Because that apparently monotonous way of beseeching Our Lady as children do their Mother, can destroy every seed of vainglory and pride.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

 

“You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

 

“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labours.” – Pope Pius XI

It is evident from the above quotes that the rosary is one of the most powerful weapons that the Catholic man has. Faithful and devout recitation of the rosary, meditating on the life of Christ and His Mother and forming the centre piece of family prayer is the intention of this challenge. This is a call to all Croatian men. All men who profess faith and fidelity to Christ, who honour His Mother, the Blessed Virgin and who are faithful soldiers of the Holy Catholic Church.

What are you waiting for? Take up the challenge. Need more inspiration. I will leave you with instructions on how to recite the rosary at the end of this blog and the following quotes from St Louis de Montfort, a champion of spreading daily devotion of the rosary:

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day become a formal heretic or be led astray by the devil.”

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”

 

Take up this daily challenge today!

Bog i Hrvati

Recent Blogs on the Rosary

HISTORY of the HOLY ROSARY

Rosary Revival

Two Battles that saved Western Civilisation

HOLY ROSARY CRUSADE OF REPARATION – WAKE UP AUSTRALIA AND TURN BACK TO GOD!

 

How to Pray the Rosary for men.

How to Pray the Rosary Eng

How to Pray the Rosary Cro

Meditations on the Holy Rosary Booklet

 

Contagious Faith

The Alpha and the Omega and the Great Mandate

These times are unprecedented. Churches are closed in Australia and many other countries. Our priests are unable to minister the sacraments in public. There is massive pressure on us all, fuelled by the devil’s favourite tool, fear, to force us to take experimental injections which have been branded by governments and media world-wide as our saviour and ticket to freedom. I don’t judge those who have received the vaccines for whatever personal reason. I pray that they had full informed consent and no coercion in making their decision. Likewise, I don’t judge those who have decided to stay away from them for moral reasons or who are hesitant out of concerns regarding safety and efficacy. We are all created in the image and likeness of God.

The headlines constantly blare at us the news that this year’s dominant COVID strain is the Delta variant. They remind us daily just how highly contagious it is. They repeat to us the government’s mandate to vaccinate in order to regain our previous rights and freedoms: “Take the jab to get your health passport and we will let you have your freedom” is the government’s catch-cry. Governments are telling us that if we haven’t taken the jab, we won’t be able to attend places of worship, pubs, restaurants, movie theatres, shopping centres and the like, and that we won’t be able to work. Furthermore, whether one can see it now or not, the segregation of society has already begun. Those without the jab are branded as contagious, modern day lepers. But we need to ask ourselves deeper questions -what are the unvaccinated actually spreading if they are healthy, and why do they have to be separated from everyone? What am I, as a Christian, spreading? What is the fruit of what I am spreading? Am I really free if I decide to comply with these mandates? What makes one free?

Let me pause for a moment and briefly add to my previous post on Fear or Faith. Harking back to the days of my childhood, I smile as I remember how times were good in Australia. As the eldest of five children, I remember playing with my siblings in a carefree world and praying each day as a family. We misbehaved at times, but we were essentially free to go and do as we please. Sure, we had our ups and downs, as all siblings do, but overall life was great. It was a time when religious movies were played on mainstream television (how times have changed!) and the movie “King of Kings” was broadcast on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and sometimes even on Christmas Day. I remember us, as a family, watching the life of Christ as portrayed in that classic 1961 film starring Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus. I am particularly reminiscent of a scene in the movie when Jesus comes to visit John the Baptist in prison. Even though this meeting isn’t recorded in the Gospels, the conversation between Jesus and the prison guard, Lucius, has always resonated with me, even back then when I first saw the movie as a little boy. The words exchanged are as follows:

Lucius : [Jesus is trying to visit John the Baptist in prison] The prisoner John is not allowed visitors. If You wish to send him a message, leave it with the guard.
Jesus : I would see John.
Lucius : Why?
Jesus : I come to free John.
Lucius : [sarcastically] And just how do You propose to break him free from his cell?
Jesus : I come to free him within his cell.
Lucius : Freedom? Behind stone walls?
Jesus : You are free to come and go as you please, and yet you are still a prisoner because you place no faith in anything but your sword.

“I come to free him within his cell”. I remember going through the Gospels as a 10 year old trying to find these words but being unsuccessful. Irrespective of that, the words made a deep impression on me. They hold a wealth of meaning and I believe they resemble the spirit of the Gospel message of Christ. Those words which impacted me from long ago have finally made sense today, in this present situation. How can a person be free in the four walls of a prison cell? How can a person have freedom, when the four walls of pressure – mainstream media, governments, society at large, and the devil – are severing your freedoms and the ability to choose how to live your life?

Pondering on our current situation, one can’t help but draw parallels to the trials our Croatian forefathers experienced under the oppressive rule of communism. Our Blessed Cardinal Stepinac was placed under house arrest, effectively stripping him from the ability to act freely in performing his religious function as a Cardinal. He was offered freedom in exchange for complying to the mandates of men. All he had to do was to break the Croatian Catholic Church away from its union with Rome and he would be a free man. The communists even promised to allow him to be the face and head of this new break-away church. This was the man-made mandate the communists insisted on in order for Blessed Stepinac to have freedom. But Blessed Stepinac refused their mandates and instead chose to be free within his cell, first serving a term in prison, and then under house arrest. Yet the Cardinal cemented himself as a voice of hope and a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the people of Croatia, as well as remaining a faithful son of the Catholic Church.

In the light of our current situation, we need to ask ourselves how or what makes us free within the cell of lock-down? What makes us free even in the absence of lock-down? We need to look deeper into the narrative of the COVID-19 crisis and the mandating of vaccines and health passports. As Christians, we need to examine our conscience on this issue. Did we succumb to a fear that is foreign to our faith in God, a fear that isn’t worthy of our dignity as children of a loving God? Did we help to re-balance the sentiment of the current climate by offering an alternative witness to the pervading sense of despair and fear in response to the pandemic by displaying hope and witnessing to others with a contagious faith?

Who or what shall we fear then? It is true that sometimes it is easy to get caught in a cycle of fear and worry about financial issues, sickness and disease, social isolation or cancellation, and family relationship issues. I know I have certainly felt the pressure of some of these fears in my life. They are all legitimate reasons to worry, but we can and often do, by the grace of God, overcome and recover from these setbacks and concerns.
Death is a fear common to many. With the numbers of COVID cases re-read repeatedly and daily by every media outlet, and the number of deaths attributed to COVID broadcasted on the evening news, it is no wonder fear is instilled in the majority of listeners as they are now encountering the reality of death for the first time. But for a Christian, death poses no fear and does not draw the final curtain. Jesus tells us of Himself: “This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that if anyone eat of it, he will not die. I am the living bread that has come down from heaven. If anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever” (John 6:50-51). So, for a Christian, death is not the final tragedy. It is eternal damnation that one should fear more than death of the body (Matthew 10:28) and it is the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News, this message of hope and salvation in Jesus Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13).

Unfortunately, we live in a post-Christian, pagan, secular society which replaces messages of hope and faith with government mandates which seek to direct trust in government policies as the only saviours from disease and death (cf Matthew 15:9). Christ teaches us that we should give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God, what belongs to God (Mark 12:17). It is the mandates of Christ that we must fulfill, especially the ‘Great Mandate’ – the mandate to go make disciples of all nations, as commissioned in Matthew chapter 28, continuing the work of Christ with signs and wonders (Mark 16:15-18). In these troubled times, how have we carried out this ‘Great Mandate’ of Christ? Has our faith in the Alpha and Omega been a contagious faith, or have we been paralysed with fear? Have we spread the good fruit of hope, encouragement and a building up of the body of Christ?

To understand the great mandate of God, we need to go to the beginning of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, namely, the prologue:

“FATHER, . . . this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”1 “God our Saviour desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”2″There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”3 – than the name of JESUS.

It is important to note that God the Father desires all men to be saved and the only way to be saved is through acknowledging the truth, that Jesus Christ died so that we may be saved. The prologue continues, outlining and mandating this call to mission not just for the apostles, but for us all:

2 So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles He had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”4 Strengthened by this mission, the apostles “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”5

3 Those who with God’s help have welcomed Christ’s call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ’s faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.6

This great mandate of proclaiming the Good News was not meant to be contained within the four walls of the Church, nor the four walls of a lock-down. Blessed Stepinac was able to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ even though he was under house arrest. It is our call to do the same and to fulfill the great mandate entrusted to us all by Christ and His Church. Using the current COVID catch-phrases as a starting point, let us examine our lives with a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) to see how we have carried out this mandate in our own circles of influence.

MASK WEARING

What are you hiding behind? What is the mask concealing in your life?

We all have masks at times. The mask of sin is the greatest hindrance to showing our love for Jesus and others. Although the COVID virus will not infect everyone, original sin (passed down from our first parents) and our own actual sins have infected one hundred percent of the population. Our sinful nature has masked us and separated us from relationship with God.

Blessed are we that God the Father sent His only Son Jesus into the world to die on the cross to save us from this sin. It is the spilling of his Most Precious Blood that has removed this mask of sinfulness in our lives by the grace of Baptism and given us the power to live as true children of God. Remove the mask of sin in your life by cleansing yourself in the Sacrament of Confession so you can grow in the love of Christ and His saving mission. Take off the mask and start to spread this contagious faith. Be a super spreader. Spread the Alpha and the Omega to all those you meet and infect them with your faith.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Where are you hiding? Are you in the upper room, hiding from the authorities, as the apostles were after the crucifixion (John 20:19)?

The separation and isolation imposed by fear and lock-downs seems to discourage the free sharing of our contagious faith in the Alpha and Omega with others. But we mustn’t let distance stop us. We can still share our faith even if we are locked down and are restricted in our movements. We need to be super spreaders of the love and hope of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Talk to your neighbour. Have an encounter with the person on your street and show them the love of Christ. Call a friend or family member. Spread and infect them with a message of hope, encouragement and support. Distance yourself from the virus of sin rather than from the mandate of spreading the Good News and Gospel of Jesus.

PCR TESTING

We need to test ourselves daily by examining our consciences. St Paul tells us “test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thess 5:21-22). We don’t need to line up in cars to get nose swabbed. We need to swab our soul. Practice the Examen of St Ignatius of Loyola daily. Carry out an examination of conscience in preparation for the Sacrament of Penance. If we have strayed and infected ourselves with a variant of sin, separating us from the Alpha and Omega, we need to call a priest and go to the Sacrament of Confession in humility to restore our relationship with God. This will give us the strength and resolve to get up from any isolation and spread a contagious faith to all we encounter.

VACCINATION

Vaccines have been developed over the last 100 years in an attempt to eradicate disease and stop the spreading of infection. And a lot of good may have come as a result of this. The current COVID 19 experimental injections are questionable though, not yet proven with long term studies, and are showing signs of not being as effective as initially promised. But what is true is that they have certainly caused a great division and segregation amongst people. This blog is not to judge those who have or haven’t taken it. For a Christian, it is the Blood of Christ that we want to flow through our veins. It is the Blood of Christ, spilled on the Cross for our redemption, that we receive in the Eucharist along with His Body that we desire to permeate us. This is the true and ultimate vaccine for the body and soul. For this reason, pray that our Churches be opened so the faithful can once again go and receive their dose of life-giving drink. The faithful are being denied Life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58).

The faithful need to receive their dose of this vaccine on Sundays at the very least, if not every day. Woe to those who have denied the faithful the Eucharist – the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’ (CCC #1324). For those who cause scandal and block the receiving of the Eucharist in the Holy Mass to all people – vaccinated or not, I repeat the words of Christ: “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

HEALTH PASSPORT – DIGITAL CERTIFICATION

Governments have mandated that proof of vaccination be shown through the use of a passport or certificate. This will be needed to move around and function freely in society – to work, to shop and to attend public gatherings and venues. Entry will be denied without these credentials. Compare this situation to what Our Lord says in the parable of the wedding banquet. In this parable the king invited everyone but there was a person who entered without the appropriate clothing. “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” said the king (Matthew 22:12). The ‘wedding robe’ we need to enter the heavenly banquet is the robe washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb. We are healthy in both body and soul when living in a state of grace. Our passports are printed on our souls, not on a digital wallet. Heaven’s passport will only be for those who do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21).

Having a passport system brands those who have chosen not to follow the mandates of men as an inferior class of people, fracturing society. It will mirror the situation of the lepers in the time of Christ’s sojourn on the earth, when they were forced to live away from the rest of the people and were not allowed into the cities according to the laws of that time. Ironically, the laws today want to treat the healthy as lepers and segregate them from society. This calls to mind the situation of the Jews in Nazi Germany who were forced to don a yellow star or badge to signify their exclusion from the mainstream and to carry papers identifying who they were. It is reminiscent of South Africa’s Black Apartheid, where countless black Africans were treated as lower class citizens, segregated from society by means of political and economic discrimination and forced to carry special written permits in order to enter otherwise restricted areas.

This health passport system being introduced today segregates society once again under a system of medical apartheid, essentially creating an inferior class of citizens. This is not part of the great mandate of God, but rather of man and ultimately Satan, who wants division and disharmony in society. Jesus died for ALL men, not just for a select group. Separating people who are healthy and not infectious, but who haven’t had a vaccine, is also illogical. You can’t spread something you do not have. The health passport system is not Christian. I am calling upon all Christians to stand up for freedom. Fight for unity and oppose those who want to impose laws that cause division and fracture society. Accepting this mandate will enslave us as prisoners, prisoners to an ideology that is flawed and oppressive. Regardless of vaccination status, we can never be free by following this evil mandate. Pray and desire unity as Christ prayed and desired unity (John 17:20-23).

 

So how does one become free, even within the four walls of a cell or within the walls of lock-down? Cast your mind back to the scene in “King of Kings” where Jesus wants to free John the Baptist within his cell. The answer, and the only answer, is Jesus. “So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). No matter where we find ourselves, be it in a lock-down, in a prison cell like John the Baptist or Cardinal Stepinac, at home, at work, or in society, only the Son of Man can set us free. Through Him, we are free to have a contagious faith that spreads the Alpha and the Omega; a faith to spread the gospel message of salvation and hope. We have that light in us (Matthew 5:16) and we need to let Christ shine in us and through us to light up the darkness of this world. This freedom will entail suffering; we may be called to suffer as a white martyr like Blessed Stepinac, or as a red martyr, spilling our blood, like St John the Baptist. Following the examples of holy men and women, have faith in God who is good and ask Him for a contagious faith. As stated in the prologue of the Catholic Church Catechism:

All Christ’s faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer”

It is a call for us all, not just some. As Christ died so all may be saved, so all are called to this mandate of action. We are called to instruct others in the faith, to pray and to foster prayer in our families, to spread the message of hope, to share our faith and to celebrate the life-giving sacraments in the liturgy of the church. We all need to spend some time in prayerful conversation with God and ask ourselves the following questions:

How have I responded to the call of the ‘Great Mandate’?

Have I solidified my prayer life and made time for God – to thank Him, to present Him with my own and others’ petitions, and to make reparation for my sins and those of the world?

Have I isolated behind the mask of lock-down and not shared my faith due to fear?

We need to recognize that the important things in life are spiritual and we cannot grow spiritually if we are governed by fear. Fear comes when we forget that God is standing right beside us! Have faith in God that He will give us the grace to live our lives with the hope and love that God has always ordained for us. With this faith we will be able to handle any adversity and we will not despair, because we will realize that all that will happen – both good and bad – ultimately leads to the same end – God’s glory and our good. We live in the promised hope of returning to the heavenly home of our Father and Creator when our life on earth ends. Now is the time to grow in awareness that we are accountable to Him for the time that we have spent here on Earth (Romans 14:12).
How do you want to face the Father in Heaven when you are asked ‘What is it that you have done on Earth?’
If we do not respond to His call now, to this mandate of living and spreading the Good News and faith in Christ, it will be too late in the future to answer the questions that God will put to you. You need to know now – who you are, why you are here on earth, and what is it that your Lord and Saviour wants of you. Pray. Pray. Pray. Live out your prayer in action! I want to leave you with a quote from an early Church Father and Saint who echoes this mandated call:

“Scattered about the entire earth, your mother the Church is tormented by the assaults of error. She is also afflicted by the laziness and indifference of so many of the children she carries around in her bosom as well as by the sight of so many of her members growing cold, while she becomes less able to help her little ones. Who then will give her the necessary help she cries for if not her children and other members to whose number you belong?”
– Saint Augustine

Be super spreaders of the Alpha and Omega. Have a contagious faith!

Bog i Hrvati

Heaven’s Passport – The Pandemic of the Non-Believers

Fear or Faith? The choice for Freedom

Two Battles that saved Western Civilisation

Battle of Lepanto

The beginning of the 16th century saw Europe experience the Renaissance. Not only a re-birth of culture and art, it saw the continued growth and revival of confraternities, such as the confraternity of the Rosary, which played a major role in reviving piety and devotion. Continuing on from the work of St Dominic, and the resurgence of the Rosary devotion by Blessed Alan de la Roche, men like Fr Jacob Sprenger of Colonge, Germany, continued the spread of the confraternity and had the honour of being the first to have it officially recognized by the Church on September 8, 1475, the Feast of the Birth of Mary. Remarkably, it was also the same day Blessed Alan died in Zwolle, Holland. It was also Fr Sprenger who is accredited as calling the Marian Psalter, the Rosary.

With the Church granting indulgences to the confraternities, they spread rapidly throughout Europe, as did booklets of images of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries and instructions on prayer from the writings of Blessed Alan with the inventing of the printing press. With the explosion of Renaissance artwork, it is believed that the most famous masterpiece of Italian Baroque painter, Michelangelo da Carravaggio, was donated by Croatian Nikola Radulovic of Dubrovnik, a member of the confraternity for the Dominican Church in Dubrovnik.

Despite the flourishing of confraternities, the Rosary devotion and artwork depicting Our Lady and the Rosary, Europe and the Catholic faith was not without threat. The protestant rebellion by Martin Luther, and the turning on Catholics in England saw a war rage against Marian devotion such as the Rosary. Heresy was running rampant across Europe while the physical attacks of the Ottoman Turks continued to threaten on all fronts.

It is well known to Croatians, that a decisive battle that “saved western civilisation” was fought at Siget (Szigetvár) in 1566. The 36-day siege of the fort by the 100,000 strong Ottomans lead by Sultan Suleiman I, was defended by approximately 2300 Croatian / Hungarians led by Nikola Zrinski, a Croatian noble and seasoned general. For nearly a month, wave after wave of Ottoman attacks were thrown back from the walls of the fort. Suleiman I offered Zrinski rule of all Croatia if he would yield his city to him, but Zrinski answered,

“No one shall point his finger on my children in contempt.”

The heroism of these men and the inspiration of Nikola Zrinski is forever remembered in the battle that saved Western civilisation. Despite losing his life in leading his men in heroic battle, Zrinski led his diminishing army on one last charge after taking the life of Suleiman I, which the Ottomans tried to keep secret for fear of losing morale. The courageous example of Zrinski and his small army who valiantly defended the fort enforcing heavy losses of up to 20,000 Turks, sent shockwaves among the Ottoman circles stalling their advancement on land. While the Croatians were fighting and defending Europe from the Ottoman invasion from land attacks, earning them the name, the Antemurale Christiantantis (Bulwark of Christianity) by Pope Leo X in 1519, the Ottomans were waging their attacks on Christendom on a lot of fronts, especially from the sea.

Fierce battles took place, not only on land but on sea. The siege of Malta in 1565, saw the 6000 Knights of St John, under the command of Jean Parisot de Valette, defeat and expel 40,000 Muslims from the island. In preparation for the battle, de Valette had a sword commissioned with the Rosary engraved on the sword! Despite this defeat, the Ottomans regrouped to strike again. Knowing the real threat to Christendom, Dominican Pope, St Pius V, called for an assembly of an army, a Holy League, to defeat the Islamic threat with two kinds of swords – that of steel and the other, the spiritual sword of the Rosary.

Pope St. Pius V used all the influence he had to get the Christian states of Spain, Naples, Sicily, Venice, Genoa, Sardinia, Savoy, Urbino, Papal States, Germans, and Croatians to assemble into the Holy League. Eight galleys from the eastern Adriatic coast of Croatia took part in the battle: from Kopar, Cres, Krk, Rab, Šibenik, Trogir, Hvar and Kotor. The largest among them was the ‘Cristo Ressussitato’ (“Resurrected Christ”) trireme from Krk under the command of the sopracomito Ljudevit Čikut, whose grave is located in the Krk Cathedral as the only known grave of a Croatian galley commander.

The 24 year old, Don Juan of Austria, was chosen by Pope St. Pius V to lead the fleet. Not only had he proven himself in battle defending attacks from the Moors in southern Spain, he was chosen by the Dominican Pope due to his devout Catholic belief and chivalric love for Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. It is said of him that he was the last true knight of Europe. Quoting direct from Fr Don Calloway’s book, Champions of the Rosary we read of Don Juan:

“ Indeed, Don Juan had been sent from God. The young captain knew that he was about to engage in a holy war with Islam. Prior to sailing off to war, he gave orders that all blasphemy was forbidden on his ships and required that all of his men fast for three days. He forbade women from entering his vessels, lest any of his men fall into sin of lust and mar their souls before battle. He ensured that his vessels would have Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, and other priests available to hear confessions and grant absolution. He also distributed a rosary to every man in his armada. Then, on the eve of battle, leading by example, he required that all his men take the spiritual sword of the rosary into their hands and pray it – and they did”

Fr Calloway continues to describe how the morning of the battle saw each vessel celebrate Mass after which Don Juan, knowing that his men had been granted a plenary indulgence by St Pope Pius V, raised the banner of the Cross on his flagship and addressed his men:

“You have come to fight the battle of the Cross – to conquer or to die. But whether you die or conquer, do your duty this day, and you will secure a glorious immortality!”

While Don Juan was giving words of encouragement to the men assembled for the physical battle, St Pope Pius V was assembling a spiritual army of pray warriors. He encouraged public devotion to Our Lady and her rosary and called upon all the confraternities to pray the rosary for the Pope’s intentions. On the evening of October 6, 1571, the night before the decisive battle, the Pope led the rosary at the Dominican convent of Santa Maria Sopra Minivera in Rome. With tears in his eyes and rosary in his hand, he entrusted the fate of Christendom to the Queen of Heaven.

On the morning of October 7, 1571, the Holy League of 285 vessels and 70,000 men set sail to engage the Muslim fleet head on. Don Juan had no idea he was going to encounter a Muslim fleet, led by Ali Pasha, of more than 300 vessels and over 100,000 men. The battle lines were now set and both sides had vision of each other near the town of Lepanto (now Naupaktos), Greece. The Christian fleet was in the shape of a cross and at the blast of a trumpet, the Christian men all dropped to their knees in prayer as the Crucifix was raised on each vessel. The battle was now on. The galley from Krk ‘Cristo Ressussitato’ was positioned in the left wing as the twenty-eighth ship in the first naval row, and the success of that wing was crucial for the victory. When galleys on the right Ottoman wing began to retreat, this enabled the left wing to help the Christian forces in the centre and in the right wing.

Holy League Flag
Holy League Flag

However, there was a problem for the Holy League. They were sailing into a thick headwind blowing against them and a thick fog engulfed them rendering them poor visibility and conditions for battle. This gave the Ottomans great comfort but little did they know that Heaven had another directive. At the same time, confraternities were praying the Rosary and storming Heaven with a petition for victory. Incredibly, Heaven heard their prays and the weather shifted. The wind changed and the fog lifted and the weather now favoured the Holy League who came at the Ottomans at full speed. The battle lasted for five fierce hours. Spotting the flagship boat Ali Pasha was on, Don Juan pressed forward to engage it in collision and hand-to-hand combat. Full of trust in Jesus and Our Lady, filled with the spirit of God, Don Juan danced with full abandon and trust on the deck of his ship. This act enraged Ali Pasha, but it was short lived. A musket ball hit him in the forehead and killed him. An armed prisoner on the Muslim ship freed himself and cut off what he could find of Ali Pasha’s head and hoisted it on a spike. The banner of Ali Pasha was captured and later taken to St Pope Pius who later displayed it at the Lateran Basilica. The Ottomans suffered a great loss, losing almost all their vessels. The Christians were able to free Christian galley slaves and the Holy League only lost 12 vessels. It was a complete victory for the Christians.

That evening, St Pope Pius V was in Rome in a meeting and suddenly got up and went to the window and as if in ecstasy, had a vision. He turned back to those in the room and jubilantly exclaimed, “Victory! Victory!”. The vision occurred more than 2 weeks before official word arrived in Rome from Venice. A decisive battle for Western civilisation by sea was won, just like the Croatian led army in Siget (Szigetvár) saved western civilisation on land.

The Battle of Lepanto victory was attributed by St Pope Pius V to our Lady of the Rosary. All knew this to be true. The Venetian senate had inscribed on a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary the inscription: “Neither valour, nor arms, nor armies, but Our Lady of the Rosary gave us victory!”. St Pope Pius was so convinced of Our Lady’s intercession that the Feast of Our Lady of Victory was instituted on October 7. One year later, the Dominicans requested the feast to be specifically titled “Our Lady of the Rosary”. Pope Gregory XIII granted their request in 1573 and the first Sunday in October is celebrated as the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary which was extended to the entire Church by Pope Clement XI in 1716.

The news of the victory spread throughout Europe and in that year alone, the confraternity of the Rosary grew by 30,000 members in Rome alone. Upon reading of the battle, one has to pause in wonder and admiration at the Rosary and the intercession of Our Lady. The Rosary which is the meditation on the life of Christ and His Mother, inspires us in our own battles. We all have a Siege of Siget (Szigetvár) or Battle of Lepanto in our life. Some have bigger battles than others, but nevertheless they are battles – whether physical or spiritual. Looking at the inspiration of men like Nikola Zrinski and Don Juan, we should all wield our rosary in prayer and daily storm heaven with reciting it in devout prayer and trust in God. Our Lady did not abandon her champions in that decisive battle of Lepanto and it is our call to be champions of the Rosary in our time. I am certain, like the devout men who put their trust in their Heavenly mother’s intercession, she will not fail us.

Our national history teaches us how difficult it is to be a Croat and a Catholic at all times, and what it is like to die “za krst časni i slobodu zlatnu” (for the cross of honour and the golden freedom). I want to leave you with the famous last words of Nikola Zrinski, when tired from battle, and having only 600 hungry and tired men with him, still full of faith in God, roused his men and led them into one last charge in the battle of Siget (Szigetvár). Against all odds, he drew his sword, held it high, and declared his intention to fight to the last:

“Let us go out from this burning place into the open and stand up to our enemies. Who dies, he will be with God. Who dies not, his name will be honored. I will go first, and what I do, you do as well. And God as my witness – I will never leave you, my brothers and knights!”

Bog i Hrvati

History of the Holy Rosary – Part 1

History of the Holy Rosary – Part 2 – Rosary Revival by Blessed Alan de la Roche

 

Fear or Faith? The choice for Freedom

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

 

“. . . so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

 

“. . .pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent me.” (John 17:21)

With so much current world-wide confusion and mis-information surrounding the so-called Covid pandemic, the mandating of Covid vaccines and draconian ‘public health’ measures at present, many people and Catholics have presently found themselves in the position of being forced to choose a position on the issue. It is a position which, in more recent times, is being touted by governments as a choice for freedom. Freedom, they say, will only happen when certain vaccination targets are met to allow you a health passport. This freedom will allow you to travel freely, to work, to attend school and to attend public gatherings and restaurants. For those who refuse the vaccine the opposite is true – they will not be allowed to share in the privileges afforded to the vaccinated. This division in society as a whole (and even amongst Catholics) has essentially formed a rift between the vaccinated and the un-vaccinated – essentially having the unvaccinated treated like lepers or outcasts.

For the individual, this decision to jab or not to jab has to be based on something. Similarly, the way we may judge or treat a person who is jabbed or not jabbed is also based on something. Is this decision one based on fear or, by the power of God’s Spirit, one based on love and a sound mind? This blog does not aim to judge or criticise a decision made by any person regarding vaccination, but rather it aims to offer a reflection on the decision-making process, specifically, to help the reader discern which spirit it is that inspires our decisions.

So what exactly is freedom? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

“Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.” (CCC #1731)

So freedom is the ability to act or not to act using one’s reason (i.e. being informed), to make a free choice, which if directed toward God, attains perfection. Freedom is not the idea that I can do what I want and go where I will, as these actions can in themselves be good or evil, but rather, freedom is achieved by doing what you should do, being informed by reason, and has the glory of God as its final end. Following this logic, one can see that freedom is not achieved if a decision is made from a place of fear or coercion, as the following statement from the Catechism states:

“Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.” (CCC #1735)

Remembering stories my late father would tell me, I cannot help but reflect on our Croatian forefathers who had difficult choices to make for themselves and for their families. Under the Communist rule of former Yugoslavia, Croatians were offered the communist passport as a means of attaining certain privileges like better jobs, schooling, government housing, and a generally improved status and way of life. This passport, which was a physical manifestation of a choice for the Socialist Party of Yugoslavia, came at the expense of renouncing the Catholic faith and elements of the true Croatian national identity. Choosing to uphold the Catholic faith meant you were given less or no entitlements, little or no freedoms, the lowest jobs or positions and, in some circumstances, even death.

Countless Croatian Catholic religious, priests and faithful were suppressed or even imprisoned for their choices, as in the case of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac. The ruling communists offered Blessed Stepinac the choice to break away from Rome and head his own church, and in doing so, be granted the freedom and the privileges that came with that choice. As history relates, he chose to carry his cross in imitation of Christ and to be a faithful son of the Catholic Church. Other priests, who made similar choices to Blessed Stepinac, had to be hidden by the faithful, going house to house, hearing confessions, baptising, and celebrating Mass underground. It is clear to see that these heroic Croatians were not influenced by fear or the lure of false freedoms in making their choices, but chose bravely for true freedom, despite being treated as outcasts by the ruling socialists. They were certainly aware and informed of the consequences of not taking up the communist passport. They achieved freedom by maintaining their integrity, their faith, unity and in doing so, giving glory to God.

It is my observation, that there are two types of Christians, those who primarily act out of fear and those that primarily act in faith. Fear is to the devil what faith is to God. When we act out of fear, we’re giving permission to the devil to lead us because that is primarily how he acts upon us – through fear and deception. God, on the other hand, has given us His Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, which is, as St Paul tells us, a spirit of power, and of love and of a sound mind. We received this spirit of faith when our parents brought us forward for Baptism and when we were initiated and equipped as soldiers of Christ with the gifts of the Holy Spirit at our Confirmation. But how many of us act out of fear rather than in faith and with a sound mind?

Many years ago I came across the inspirational true story of the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. I could not help but see the parallels between what they went through and the experience of our Croatian forefathers, an experience we are encountering ourselves and seeing played out in this day and age.

The 40 Holy Martyrs are commemorated on March 10. In the year 320 AD the Holy Martyrs died at the hand of Emperor Licinius who persecuted Christians, particularly in the East. We first hear of the Martyrs in a eulogy-type sermon delivered by St Basil. He relates how these 40 men were faithful and trusted soldiers in Cappadocia under Governor Agricola. Agricola found out that he had 40 soldiers who were Christians, and following the edict of Licinius, tried to force them to worship idols. Refusing to sacrifice to the Roman idols, all the 40 soldiers were jailed for eight days, beaten with stones, but at the same time also lured with gifts to give up their minds. Sound familiar? Rather than giving in to achieve freedom, they stood their ground in faith and fidelity to Christ. As a result, they were sentenced to death by freezing in the Sebaste Lake in the province of Armenia. The martyrs were herded naked into the lake, at dusk, in the middle of winter. Some soldiers were stationed around the lake to guard the martyrs so they wouldn’t get out. To coerce and entice the future martyrs, Agricola’s soldiers made warm baths and fires near the lake’s edge in an attempt to tempt the martyrs to emerge from the water and to warm themselves up first, and then to subsequently change their minds and sacrifice to the Roman gods.

This situation, to choose the proposed freedom, is the decision facing all of us today. In Australia the vaccines are heavily promoted, marketed, and coerced upon the population. Sure, the Federal government has said vaccines are not mandatory, but they have given private employers and corporations the impetus to mandate vaccines. No jab, no job is the slogan of the rule. Another slogan is no jab, no entry. If you are not vaccinated you cannot travel, nor enjoy the freedoms of eating out at a restaurant, nor enter a shop or public event. This is what is proposed to the people. Have the experimental vaccine and the government and businesses will reward you with freedom.

You may be saying that this isn’t about religion, it is about health. That is not completely true. It is, in fact, also about religion. Our Churches are closed! We are not able to attend Mass, receive the Eucharist or the Sacrament of Confession, baptise our children nor bury our dead freely. And yet, our churches are and have been used as vaccination hubs! It isn’t safe in the eyes of some to worship with the faithful lining up in the pews, but it is safe to line up in Church for the jab!

But even the Pope and our bishops have encouraged the vaccines you may say. Yes, this is true however they are not doctors or experts in this field. The Pope is just giving his personal opinion as a bishop. It does not carry the infallible authority given on a matter of dogma or faith such as that when he speaks ex-cathedra (from the chair of St Peter). His opinion should be listened to and considered in the same manner as all opinions, but the individual must then base his or her decision not solely on the weight of opinions but on the basis of accurate information gleaned from a variety of credible, unbiased sources (with no conflict of interest). The governments and religious institutions have made it a pandemic of the unvaccinated and our bishops have left us with the pandemic of the unbaptised and the un-absolved; a pandemic of the un-evangelised; a pandemic of the starving, made up of those who are unable to receive the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian life.

I do not want to make this blog a ‘medical science’ blog. But for the person who wants to be informed (not by politicians but by peer reviewed medical journals and the silenced medical experts such as Dr Robert Malone the inventor of the mRNA vaccines) it is clear that the vaccines have not done what they were proposed to do. If jabbed, you can still contract the virus with breakthrough infections, pass on the virus just as much as the unvaccinated, and end up in hospital and die from the virus at a rate no lower than the unvaccinated. This is all evident in the northern hemisphere nations that have the highest vaccination rates, such as Israel, Malta, Iceland and the UK. If one searches properly for this information with the purpose of being accurately informed (click on hyperlinks in article), one will discover that this is the result being observed, questioning the efficacy of the vaccines.

One thing is certain – ‘no jab, no freedom’ is the cry of governments world-wide and it has caused division amongst families, work places, society and even amongst states, territories and countries. Through my extensive research into medical peer-reviewed published journals, I have not found evidence anywhere that the unvaccinated are a threat to anybody, especially to the vaccinated. Yet the governments continue to segregate society with their mandates and their threats to the unvaccinated of withheld freedoms and privileges via so-called ‘health’ or ‘green’ passports. Our good God makes it rain or shine on the good and the bad. It should be Heaven’s passport we are more concerned about.

Continuing the story of the martyrs, we learn that upon being forced to undress and enter the cold waters of the lake, one of the martyrs exclaimed:

“We don’t take off our clothes, but we take off the old man. Winter is harsh, but the Paradise is sweet; the cold is strong, but the delight is pleasant”.

This response has the power of the Holy Spirit as its author. It is power. It is love. It is of a sound mind. There is no fear in this statement. If the response was one made out of fear or coercion, they would have jumped out of the icy water at the thought of death and ran to their bodily freedom.

After a while of suffering the cold and being tempted to take the world’s concept of freedom, one of the original 40 soldiers gave up, deciding that he would comply and sacrifice to the Roman gods. He left the 39 in the lake, and hurrying toward the heated baths and fire on the lake’s edge, died on the spot, as his body could not handle the rapid temperature change.

But that night an unusual miracle occurred: the lake’s water warmed, the ice melted, and 39 shiny crowns came down from heaven upon the martyrs. This miracle was witnessed by only one guard, the only one who remained awake, called Aglaius, who counted only 39 crowns, and then realized that one of the 40 had run out of the water and had died. Aglaius then woke the other sleeping guards, stripped his clothes and jumped into the lake, shouting “I am a Christian too” and in doing so, taking the number of martyrs once again to 40. At dawn, the Saints were removed alive from the lake and executed and burnt so that the faithful would not have relics. Thus, the Holy Martyrs entered Heaven on the true and only passport, stamped with their love and fidelity to Christ.

So what are we to learn from this story of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste and the actions of our Croatian forefathers? Certainly that fear and coercion are the vehicles of the devil. They do not provide true freedom.

What should the vaccinated do? They should pray. Pray, repent, confess their sins (and to a priest as soon as possible) and pray that the body of Christ (the Church) may be one. They should pray for the ending of this pandemic and not treat the unvaccinated as if they were lepers.

But those who are vaccinated should not be judged by the unvaccinated. What should the unvaccinated do? They, too, should pray. They should not judge those who, for whatever reason, chose to get the jab. But they should stand firm in their decision not to acquiesce to all the pressure. They will be offered prizes to become vaccinated. They will be offered the warmth of a secure job, travel, and the ability to move freely, thus sparing them the coldness of isolation, but they should stay strong and hold their line. Expect to see the vaccinated freely congregating in restaurants, public areas etc. Pray that those in government and our bishops do not force or coerce people to get vaccinated out of fear. They will use this emotion and coercion to make the ones holding out break – like the soldier who saw the warmth of the hot baths on the side of the lake. Do not break ranks. Hold your line!

What is coming? More of the same. If we look at the northern hemisphere and countries like France, the people are revolting. Vaccinated and unvaccinated alike are banding together – holding the line. They do not want to bow down to the idols of their governments who are just pushing for more lockdowns, more vaccines and more restrictions.

The fight is far from over. But take heart, for the Lord has already won the victory. Just as Christ suffered for us, so too will the body of Christ have to suffer. We are living in times that were long prophesied. We did not choose these times. Our good God chose us to live in these times, to be saints; to hold fast to the mercy and love of God and to live the Gospel value proclaimed by Jesus. If you find yourself combatting the spirit of fear, turn immediately to Jesus, remembering His words: “It is I. Do not be afraid” (John 6:20). Do not fear. Jesus is with you always. In humility cry out to the Lord. Stand firm. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18). Like the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste, hold your line. Do not listen to fear, but rather with the power of the Holy Spirit of God, have faith, love and have a sound mind. I urge you all – hold the line, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. We are all children of God. Stand firm against mandates based on fear. Resist coercion for health passports. Instead, pray and repent. Confess your sins. Storm heaven with your prayers and sacrifices for the opening up of our churches. Stop the pandemic of the un-baptised the un-absolved and the famine of the Eucharist. Let nothing stop you seeking your daily food – the Eucharist.

I want to leave you with a psalm to meditate on – a soldier’s psalm.

Psalm 91
You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’
For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;
He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
or the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling-place,
no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.
For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
Those who love Me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know My name.
When they call to Me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honour them.
With long life I will satisfy them, and show them My salvation.

Faithful Catholic soldier – Stand firm and do not fear!

Bog i Hrvati

 

 

 

Definition of Coercion

The broad definition of coercion is “the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behaviour that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will.” Actual violence, threats of violence, or other acts of pressure may constitute coercion if they’re used to subvert an individual’s free will or consent.

In legal terms, it’s often said that someone who’s been coerced was acting under duress. In fact, “duress” and “coercion” are often interchanged. Black’s Law Dictionary defines duress as “any unlawful threat or coercion used… to induce another to act [or to refrain from acting] in a manner [they] otherwise would not [or would].”

Heaven’s Passport – The Pandemic of the Non-Believers

Contagious Faith

Rosary Revival

Rosary Revival by Blessed Alan de la Roche

During my teenage years, growing up in a Croatian household, we continued to pray the family Rosary on Wednesday’s and Friday’s. Like most teenagers of that era – as now – I became more interested in sports, playing football and computer games and sadly falling into sin. My fond memories and excitement of the Rosary devotions taught to me by my parents in my childhood, set my foundation in knowledge of Christ and his Blessed Mother. But, I started to lose fervour and zeal.

In researching the content for this blog, I wasn’t aware, that while St Dominic preached the Rosary and achieved success in battling the heresies of his time by converting sinners, its momentum and excitement eventually waned. Like as when any great movement or spiritual good starts, the devil, knowing the Rosary of the Virgin Mary will be both the instrument and weapon of his defeat, no doubt interferes and people neglect the Rosary. This initial zeal followed by a lack of inspiration or desire, is paralleled with some who journey in the spiritual life. While loving the Rosary as a child and looking forward to praying it, temptations, sin and distractions were prominent in my teenage years (and I continue to battle them) which led me away from my initial enthusiasm and fervour.

In his book, Fr Don Calloway, Champions of the Rosary, describes how the sword of the rosary was forged, unsheathed, and entrusted to St Dominic. During the early 13th century Europe experienced a rise of Medicant orders, St Dominic and St Francis appeared on the scene. The Franciscan orders were instrumental in reform of religious life as was St Dominic. This was followed by the golden age of scholasticism.

After the initial success by St Dominic and his preaching of the Rosary the Confraternity of Prayer was established. Europe found itself in tragic times in the 14th & 15th centuries. The Babylonian captivity of the popes (1309-1377), saw the removal of the Papal seat from Rome to Avignon on the borderland of France. For nearly 70 years, the popes, all Frenchmen, were under the influence of French kings. The Bubonic (Black) Plague struck in 1348 and saw countless people die. It is estimated that Europe lost a third to half of its population, to this plague. Then came the great schism of the west (1378-1417) during which time we had two popes claiming the papacy and even at one stage three.

At the same time the Ottoman threat was advancing from the south east. The Siege and conquest of Constantinople (1453) by the Ottomans and their march into southern Europe through Greece (Athens captured 1458) then the conquest of Serbia in 1459, Bosna fell into Ottoman hands in 1463. Fear seized Europe, once again, at the threat of Ottoman invasion.

This threat and scenario is not too dissimilar to today. In 2021, we see the Covid pandemic and its effects, resulting in loss of life, people living in fear of disease and death and the closing of Church’s and places of worship. There are disagreements and confusion in the Church amongst Bishop’s over issues such as abortion, contraception, illicit unions and the worthy reception of Holy Communion. The persecution of Christians in the Middle East by extremist Jihadists and the influx of Muslims into Europe poses a constant threat to Christian culture. People are living with a lack of hope and faith in God which is growing faster than any plague or infection. The closing of Church’s has caused a pandemic of the un-baptised and the un-absolved, as the faithful are denied access to the Sacraments.

Yet, God never abandon’s His people! Through these turbulent times He is always calling us back to Himself. He gave us some great saints – St Vincent Ferrer, St Joan of Arc, St John of Capistrano to name a few. The imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis was published around 1418 -1427. The printing press was invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1455, and the first book printed was the Holy Bible. With this invention, books could be produced in large quantities in a short period of time.

Even though we may wander and turn our back to God, he always remains faithful. While enduring the trials faced by the people in the 14th and 15th Century and looking for God’s Mercy, Our Lady appeared to the Dominican, Blessed Alan de la Roche (literally translated Alan of the Rock) during the 15th century. According to St Louis de Montfort in his great work “The Secret of the Rosary”, he recounts how Our Lady appeared on several occasions to Blessed Alan encouraging him to preach the Rosary of which devotion had been lost. St Louis de Montfort continues:

“Blessed Alan began this great work in 1460 after a special warning from Our Lord. This is how he received His urgent message, as he tells it himself:

One day when he was saying Holy Mass, Our Lord, who wished to spur him on to preach the Holy Rosary, spoke to him in the Sacred Host:

“How can you crucify Me again so soon?” Jesus said.

“What did You say, Lord?” asked Blessed Alan, horrified.

“You crucified Me once before by your sins,” answered Jesus, “and I would willingly be crucified again rather than have My Father offended by the sins you used to commit. You are crucifying Me again now because you have all the learning and understanding that you need to preach My Mother’s Rosary, and you are not doing so. If you only did this you could teach many souls the right path and lead them away from sin – but you are not doing it and so you yourself are guilty of the sins that they commit.”

This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach the Rosary unceasingly.

Our Lady too spoke to him one day to inspire him to preach the Holy Rosary more and more:

“You were a great sinner in your youth,” she said, “but I obtained the grace of your conversion from my Son. Had such a thing been possible I would have liked to have gone through all kinds of suffering to save you because converted sinners are a glory to me. And I would have done this also to make you worthy of preaching my Rosary far and wide”

St Dominic appeared to Blessed Alan, as well, and told him of the great results of his ministry: he had preached the Holy Rosary unceasingly, his sermons had borne great fruit and many people had been converted during his missions. He said to Blessed Alan:

“See the wonderful results I have had through preaching the Holy Rosary! You and all those who love Our Lady ought to do the same that, by means of this holy practice of the Rosary, you may draw all people to the real science of the virtues.”

Reflecting on this revival, I can’t help but feel that Our Lady obtained for me a grace to restore the passion for the Rosary in my life. At the age 17, I was given a little booklet on Our Lady Queen of Peace, a booklet with some of the messages from Our Lady at Medjugorije. Her message spoke to my heart, allowing me to see the horror of my sinful ways and once again I found myself a keen devotee of the Rosary and with the help of Our Lady and God’s grace continue to see the benefits in my life – both physical and spiritual. I have often felt Our Lady’s help in gently guiding me onto the right path each time I have strayed and the praying of the Rosary has been the key instrument. As St Louis de Monfort recorded, St Dominic speaking to Blessed Alan, the practice of the holy Rosary continues to draw people (including myself) into the real science of practicing virtues. I am sure that those who practice devotion to the Holy Rosary will, too, find the grace of conversion and the inspiration to learn and practice virtue.

I am also convinced now, more than ever, that Our Lady and her Rosary, are key to thee victory over the threats we see in Christian society today. To end the adverse consequences imposed by the Covid endemic, the threat to Christianity by Islam, and the errors of Modernism infiltrating the Church instilling so much confusion and uncertainty, fueling the mass exodus from the Church and the great apostasy. The Church needs, once again, faithful sons and daughters, like Blessed Alan, to revive the reciting of the Rosary. Personal Rosary, Family Rosary and Communal Rosary. When one reads the promises to those who faithfully recite the Rosary, given by Our Lady to St Dominic and Blessed Alan, it is clear, that it is a vital arsenal in Christian warfare, the ultimate and Heavenly tool, next to the Sacraments to fight sin and heresy. The 15 promises are listed here:

Imparted to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan
1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

4. The Rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.

6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

9. I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters of my only Son Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

I relayed earlier how the Rosary, as a weapon was forged and unsheathed when presented to St Dominic by Our Lady. The Rosary is a weapon. And as men, it is the greatest weapon we need, to wield in our mission as men, husbands, fathers and brothers. Blessed Alan certainly had this in mind when he preached. Fr Calloway tells how restoring the confraternity of the Rosary to almost 100,000, Blessed Alan, had the inspiration that the Rosary should be worn around the shoulder, like one wears a sling for a quiver, or from the belt, as a knight wears a sword. This style of wearing the Rosary helped reinforce the idea that the Rosary is a spiritual weapon.

Blessed Alan was a champion of the Rosary in a time the world most needed a guiding light and a return to prayer and conversion. This call is for you, Croatian men! Take up your weapon. Be a champion of Our Lady and Her Rosary. The world, in 2021, needs men to unsheathe this weapon, to faithfully recite the Rosary, destroy sin and heresy, and convert sinners. Men it is time to set your heart and world on fire!

 

 

“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labours.” – Pope Pius XI

Bog i Hravti

History of the Holy Rosary – Part 1