Fr. John Abberton
Posted: October 6, 2005
This request of Jesus is in the message headed, “Sincerity will abolish evil. For My sake will you learn the Rosary?” from December 28 1987.
December 28, 1987
(If I forget myself and dare utter a judgement upon anybody, or think that I understand more than others, in no time God reminds me whom He has, to give His Message: just by a penetrating look of His Eyes upon me He puts me in my place, fixing me where I should be. Just by His words: “dust and ashes,” He reminded me that I’m nothing, and the least of all His creatures. No, some will not understand this; they would think that because He has chosen me to take His Word, I am worthy, but don’t you understand? By choosing me, who am the least of all, God shows what fathomless Mercy He has on us; that even to the least He gives. Wouldn’t He then give a LOT more to those who are so much more worthy in His Eyes than I, if they ask with faith? Have you not noticed His patience with me? Instead of striking me, His Love flows with more abundance. How could His creatures reject Him? But I shouldn’t talk since I belonged in these sort of people before. Now I’m saying: “Cherish your God as much as you cherish your breath, for without your breath you will die. God gave us life by breathing in us; His Breath is our life. God is our Breath, God is our Life.”)
O Vassula! My Abel shall live this time; sincerity will abolish evil; 1 blessed are those who stimulate My Word; blessed are My sheep who recognise My Voice, blessed are those who will feed My lambs again,
blessed are the simple in heart, blessed are those who will pray the Rosary on the day of Garabandal’s sanctification2 and whose knees are bent and hail My Mother; blessed are those who will carry My Cross of Peace and Love, uniting; blessed are My sheep who return to Peter; blessed are those who humble themselves and follow My example; blessed are those who follow My command and love one another as I love you; blessed are those who bear witness of Me and are not scandalised of Me;
Vassula, beloved of My Soul, have faith and trust Me; I am your Heavenly Teacher; never doubt of My Word; come, you are weak, come lean on Me who am your Strength;
Yes, Lord, I need You. I cannot do without You ever.
love Me, desire Me; be My heaven; ah, Vassula, now you sacrificing for Me, but soon I will have you near Me;
I’m longing for that day.
stay near Me, I have got something to ask you;
for My sake, Vassula, for My sake, will you learn the Rosary? Hail My Mother at all times, will you do this for Me, Vassula?
Yes, Lord, I am willing to learn; Lord, help me learn.
this is what I desire to hear from all of you who do not know, the same words: “yes Lord, I am willing to learn; Lord, help Me learn;” I will teach you all, you who are willing to learn;
come, daughter, rest in Me; I shall not forsake you ever;
(Jesus must have felt how I long for Him and suffer out here. It’s the wave again of ‘desiring God’, wanting to be His sacrifice, detached totally. I seem to waver. Remaining here, I might ‘feed’ some of His lambs who never refuse His new Bread, pleasing Him for the return of new souls. Being with Him will be marvellous too for me. What is best?)
If we search the messages for the phrase, “Pray the Rosary” we are given ten references. Nine of these are requests or invitations from Heaven. The International Prayer Book for TLIG prayer Groups contains both the Marian Rosary and the Orthodox Rosary. Many have no problem with the Orthodox prayer (the “Jesus prayer”) but some still have questions about the five decade Rosary either because they find it difficult or because it is “too Catholic” and not part of their tradition – yet, Jesus and His Mother ask us to use it.
Research shows that the “Catholic” Rosary was known to Christians in the West before the Reformation. It is, then, a pre-Reformation prayer. Legend tells us that it originated with St. Dominic (founder of the Order of Preachers or the Dominicans), but there is no real evidence for this. The Rosary as we now have it dates from the seventeenth century, but this is a development from vita Christi (The Life of Christ) Meditations dating, at least, from the twelfth century, and Our Dear Lady’s Psalter (as set out by a Dominican in 1483). It is worthwhile looking at these two devotions.
It was another Dominic, a Cistercian monk, who put together meditation on the life of Christ with the repetition of Ave Maria in sets of 50 prayers. This is dated as between 1409 and 1415. This is the essence of the Rosary as we know it today.
A study of German devotional writing of the Middle Ages (by Anne Winston) suggests that by the thirteenth century, the ‘Marien Rosenkrantz’ (Rose Garland or wreath) consisted of the recitation of 50 ‘Aves’ (not, by then the complete ‘Hail Mary’ as we have it now, although the intention of the second part is virtually the same). To keep track of these prayers, a string of beads came into being (a ‘Zapel’ or chaplet) which became known as the ‘Ave’ or ‘Paternoster’ beads because they were used to mark off these prayers. At the same time the practice of private recitation of the psalms began, as a replacement for the traditional canonical hours. The Marian Psalter included verses as introductions for each psalm interpreting them in relation to Christ or His Holy Mother. As time progressed, the psalms themselves disappeared, leaving the stanzas and then, instead of the psalms, ‘Paternosters’ or ‘Ave Marias’.
Further development is associated with the Carthusians at Trèves. Adolf of Essen and a fellow monk, Dominic of Prussia combined the recitation of ‘Ave’s’ with meditations on the life of Christ and Our Lady and included what came to be known as the ‘Jesus Clause’. The Hail Mary became a kind of ‘Jesus prayer’ because of these additional clauses. From this time we can certainly say that the Marian Rosary was Christocentric.
In 1483 the Dominican book, “Our Dear Lady’s Psalter” reduced the 50 meditation points to 15. Except for the last two these correspond to the 15 mysteries we know today. Another Dominican, Alberto da Castello, wrote “The Rosary of the Glorious Virgin” (1521). He was the first to use the term ‘mysteries’ for the meditation points.
During the sixteenth century the Rosary of 15 mysteries, with the Jesus Clauses, became the accepted form.
Another interesting point is that the first part of the Hail Mary is found in the Eastern Liturgy from the fifth century. Marian devotion is not a Roman Catholic invention. The Orthodox world is rich with both beautiful prayers and magnificent icons relating to the Mother of God. Early Christian Tradition leaves us in no doubt that asking Mary’s prayers is a normal part of orthodox Christian life.
If most people no longer use the Jesus Clauses (there are some Rosary books which do) this does not mean that the Rosary is not Christocentric. We need only refer to the writings of modern Popes, like Paul V1 and the late John Paul 11 to see that. The Rosary invites us into the Gospel story in the company of the Mother of Christ. There can be no surer guide. As we know from the messages of ‘True Life in God’, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, wants us to have a proper respect and love for His Mother. She, in her turn says, “Do whatever He tells you”.
(Please see the book “Beads and Prayers: The Rosary in History and Devotion” by John D. Miller)