Sister Lucia’s Letter to Father Pasquale regarding the Rosary (26 November 1970)
Most Reverend Father,
I was very please to learn about your new apostolate. I think that therein lies the fruit of a great inspiration responding, it seems to me, to that which our epoch needs most. The decadence which exists in the world is without doubt the consequence of the lack of the spirit of prayer. It was in anticipation of this disorientation that the Blessed Virgin recommended recitation of the Rosary with such insistence. It is because the Rosary, after the Holy Mass, is the prayer the most apt for preserving and increasing faith in souls, that the devil has unleashed on it the war that we all know about. And we see, alas, the disasters he has caused.
We should also work relentlessly to establish and increase the spirit of prayer, as it is prayer which draws us close to God. It is in this meeting with God that He accords His graces, that He gives us light and strength to overcome temptations and difficulties, and wherein are resolved the many problems for which we have not been able to find solutions.
As the people who go to daily Mass and are nourished by Eucharistic Bread are, alas, rare, the prayer of the Rosary is becoming indispensable for souls. Because if they don’t recite the Rosary, what prayer will they say? And without prayer, who will be saved?
But even for those who go to Mass every day, the daily recitation of the Rosary is necessary for preserving Faith, Hope and Charity. The Rosary is the basis of the Holy Liturgy because it is a recollection for souls of the principal mysteries of our Redemption.
To begin with, the Rosary puts us in touch with the Most Holy Trinity. In fact, we begin by saying: “Lord, come to my rescue! Hasten to rescue me! Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” Then, we say the Glory Be after each decade of Hail Marys to praise the Most Holy Trinity. Is it not the Father who inspired this praise to the Angels he sent to sing near His newborn Son made man? I believe that this is the reason we can call the Rosary a Trinitarian prayer more than a Marian prayer. After the Glory Be, we say the Our Father, the prayer addressed to the Father and which we were taught by Jesus: it is no other than praise and supplication to God. And Jesus Christ did not tell us that with time it would age and we would have to find another prayer. He said: “After this manner therefore pray ye: ‘Our Father which art in Heaven’.” (Matt.6:9)
The Hail Mary is also a prayer addressed to God, and we find in it the first revelation of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, made by Him to men.
The Angel sent by the Lord to announce to Mary the Incarnation of the Word, greets her with words dictated by the Father: “Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you.” That is to say: “You are the Temple where God resides.” And the Angel added: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
We have here the first living Temple where the Holy Spirit resides, and the first revelation of this mystery for men: the Father covers Her with his shadow; the Holy Spirit descends upon Her; and the Son of God is there made man. In that way, Mary was the first living Tabernacle wherein the Father enclosed His Son, the Word made flesh; Her Immaculate Heart was the first Monstrance to welcome Him; in Her Immaculate Heart and in Her veins circulated the first blood of God made man; the bosom and the arms of this Virgin were the first Altar on which God presented His Son for our adoration: it is there that the Angels, the shepherds and the magi adored Him.
If we see in the Hail Mary all the beauty of its true significance, it will really be for us more than a simple Marian prayer, it will be a Trinitarian and Eucharistic prayer. I wouldn’t know how to find prayers that are more sublime, more appropriate and more pleasing to God, to say before the Blessed Sacrament.
But let’s see the rest of this prayer. The sacred text tells us: “Elisabeth spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” (Luke 1:41-42) Therefore, it is from the lips of Elisabeth that the Holy Spirit dictates these words to us. This salutation is in itself praise addressed to God: “Blessed art thou among women because the Fruit of your bosom is blessed.” Even the supplication that the Holy Church added, moved, surely, by the Holy Spirit, addresses God: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
Everything is directed towards God because of the union of Mary with God: “Because you are the Mother of God, living Temple of God, living Tabernacle of the Word made flesh, pray for us poor sinners.”
Our Protestant brothers stop at the words of Saint Paul saying: “There is only one Mediator with the Father.” They don’t take into account the fact that this same Apostle recognised that it is useful to pray for each other. And Mary, who is the Mother of God, couldn’t She pray for us?
We must defend souls against the errors which can make them stray from the rightful path. I can do nothing other than help you with my poor and humble prayers and sacrifices; but you, Father Umberto, you have before you much greater scope to develop your apostolate. And we must not rest, or allow, as Our Lord says, the children of Darkness to be cleverer than the children of Light.
Here, in Portugal, young people have begun to organise a campaign of prayer with the Rosary, to re-establish the practice of this devotion in souls and in families, in groups or individually, among different populations.
To this end, they recruit the greatest number of families possible who commit to saying the Rosary every day. Sometimes, such as Sundays and feast days, they form groups and go out on the roads, saying the Rosary aloud and singing hymns all the way to the church or chapel chosen for ending their prayer. If they have a priest, they finish with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament or Holy Mass; if not, by a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. If there is no Blessed Sacrament, they conclude with a prayer of praise to the Holy Virgin.
These young people have found people full of enthusiasm. I believe that, at present, it’s the best apostolate for preserving and increasing the faith.
In Argentina, a secular institute has been founded recently, the Association of Our Lady of Fatima, the object of which is this apostolate. They meet in public places and say the Rosary with the people; big crowds, they say. They also pray in hospitals, in prisons. They say that everyone prays with incredible fervour. The bishops are so happy with this that the Holy See has allowed the founders to come and tell me about it.
I tell you these things so that you see the fruits that the Rosary can produce. I believe that with the means God has placed in your hands, you can do as much or even more. The Rosary is the most powerful weapon for defending ourselves on the field of battle.
I pray for you, so that the Lord gives you enough life, enough strength and courage to see this apostolate through successfully.
Forever grateful and in union of prayer,
Sister Lucia, i.c.d.
P.S.: What I have said to you also aims to preserve the faith of God’s people in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This is why they conclude the recitation of the Rosary in a church with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, by Mass, or simply, if there is no priest, by a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.