N° 72 : The organisation of living rosaries

Newsletter n°72 (4 April 2018, 3rd anniversary of Cap Fatima)

Dear friends,

Today, Cap Fatima celebrates its 3rd anniversary.  The idea of organising something to celebrate, in the most fitting way possible, the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima, was launched three years ago, on the 4th of April 2015 (which was a First Saturday of the month).   (See the introductory newsletter.)  At this time, nothing concrete was decided, but it seemed a shame not to take advantage first of the First Saturdays of the month in the centenary to launch the project, entrusting to Providence the care of outlining the specifics when it saw fit.  Little by little, ideas grew and activities were put into place:  the newsletters beginning in May 2015, consecrations to the Immaculate Heart beginning in November 2015, the series of First Saturdays of the month in 2017, a letter of support to Cardinal Burke in the summer of 2017 for his activity regarding the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, etc.

Initially, it was envisioned that the project would finish at the end of 2017.  However, faced with the number of people who asked to continue receiving the newsletter, it was decided to keep it going for another year or two.  How long will it last?  Heaven only knows.  We will trust in Providence to tell us when the time comes.  Be that at is may, continuing with the pr

oject seems to respond to the wishes of Providence as, only recently, a new idea has seen the light of day:  putting into place living rosaries.

Faced with the difficulties encountered by some people in saying a chapelet every day, a request so dear to Our Lady’s heart, the last newsletter proposed following the example of Marie-Pauline Jaricot in organising “living chapelets” to facilitate this recitation, using the facilities offered by internet to do this.  Without waiting for any kind of organisation to be put into place, it was suggested that those who might be interested register on a dedicated page on this website.  The response was rather surprising:  three days later, there were already more than a hundred people registered, sometimes with a very touching message of encouragement.  It also seemed judicious to immediately instigate not living chapelets [five decades of Hail Marys whilst meditating either the Joyful, Sorrowful or Glorious mysteries], but living rosaries in full.  An organisation was rapidly put into place which, after a few adjustments, permitted the launch of eight living rosaries on Palm Sunday, and a ninth on Easter Sunday.  Thanks to these first rosaries, we were able to verify that the structure we had proposed, even though it had been hurriedly put into place, satisfied a need.

With the welcome this proposition received, it seemed pertinent to definitively add this activity to those already suggested by Cap Fatima and to present it to our readers so that they could judge whether or not it was likely to help them better say the chapelet.  This means having a slightly longer than usual newsletter, but the subject deserves it, as well as being a great way of celebrating the third anniversary of Cap Fatima.

In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Yves de Lassus.

The Living Rosary

Suggested organisation

The aim of the living rosary

In the 19th century, after the ravages caused by the French Revolution, Marie-Pauline Jaricot, wishing to restore the taste for prayer and most particularly for the chapelet, had the idea of grouping 15 people together and asking each of them to recite one mystery every day.  This way, a whole rosary was said each day, even though each person only recited a decade.  (See the presentation of the living rosary in the last newsletter.)

The aim of the living rosary is to enable us, little by little, to say a chapelet every day, or even a whole rosary for those who no longer have family or professional obligations.  For this, we begin by reciting a decade of a chapelet every day whilst meditating for a while on a particular mystery.

Attribution of the mysteries to be meditated

The organisation adopted by Marie-Pauline Jaricot was the following:  each member of a living rosary was given a mystery by drawing lots.  They had to recite their decade of the chapelet whilst meditating on this mystery for a month.  At the end of the month, everyone was given a new mystery, again by drawing lots, and so on until everyone had meditated all the mysteries of the Rosary.

At the time of Marie-Pauline Jaricot, the means of communication were not as they are today and so this organisation was surely appropriate;  however, it is probably less so today.  Nowadays, when parishes organise living rosaries, the mysteries to be meditated are changed every day, which needs a rather complicated organisation.

As the objective is to discover (or go more deeply into) the Rosary, it seems preferable to meditate on the same mystery for several days in succession, without, however, doing a whole month.  This is why we suggest changing the mystery once a week, on Sundays.  Meditating for seven days in a row on the same mystery is long enough to be fully immersed but not so long as to become bored.

Composition of rosaries

Groups of fifteen are made up in the order of their arrival on the registration page on this website, thereby leaving their composition up to Providence.  However, in the case of a group registration this will be modified to allow these people, if possible, to be in the same rosary.

Attribution of mysteries

Rather than drawing lots once a week, which would lead to a complicated organisation, the attribution of mysteries will take place using their usual sequence.  To begin with, the mysteries are attributed in order of registration:  the first person to register with a new rosary is attributed the first joyful mystery, the second person to register receives the second joyful mystery, and so on until the rosary is complete.  Then, everyone changes their mystery each Sunday, following the traditional order of succession of the mysteries.  A table showing the mystery each person should meditate each week is sent to each member of the group as soon as a rosary is complete.

Duration of commitment

There will be a fixed limit to the commitment undertaken.  Planning to meditate for a week on each of the fifteen mysteries of the rosary means a commitment of fifteen weeks, in other words, three and a half months, which seems a reasonable length of time.  In this way, at the end of the three and a half months (exactly one hundred and five days), each person will have said 7 whole rosaries as they will have meditated for seven days on each of the mysteries.  Moreover, each day they will have received the graces attached to the recitation of a whole rosary, even though they only said a decade of a chapelet.  (See the graces attached to the living rosary in the last newsletter.)

At the conclusion of these one hundred and five days, the commitment is ended.  It is to be hoped that by then, many will have developed a taste for praying the chapelet and they will decide to say a whole chapelet every day.  Nevertheless, all those who wish to continue can re-register:  they will then be integrated into a new group.

Attention:  registering constitutes a real commitment with regard to the group, because, in the case of defection, the Rosary will be incomplete and the group will lose the graces attached to its recitation.  Admittedly, God doesn’t keep count, but He respects human liberty and leaves mankind to the consequences of their acts when they don’t keep their commitments.  It is therefore important that, having joined a rosary group, the decade is well and truly said during the three and a half months, according to the indications given in the table.

If, however, for a serious reason, a member wishes to interrupt their participation, we ask that they give a few days’ notice:  they will then be relieved of their engagement and another person will be designated to take their place, in such a way that the Rosary can continue with all fifteen members.  This procedure, however, must be the exception.

In this case, in order that it can be done as quickly as possible, those who are willing to be replacements are asked to tick the box indicated for this when they register.  When the Rosary is finished, they won’t have meditated all the mysteries, but they will have enabled the Rosary to be completed.

The number of mysteries to meditate

We suggest adopting the traditional disposition of three groups of mysteries:  Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious.  For several centuries now, special graces have been attached to the recitation of a whole Rosary comprising the meditation of the three key moments in our salvation:  the Nativity, the Passion and the Resurrection of Our Lord.  It is impossible that a Rosary said in these conditions no longer has the same graces today.

Furthermore, changing to four groups of mysteries would mean having to lengthen the time necessary to say a whole Rosary (20 weeks instead of 15), whereas the commitment to three and a half months is already long.  Then, with 60 people, this would mean only organising 3 living rosaries instead of 4.  This would be a shame, even if the object is not to multiply them as much as possible.

Finally, in Pope Jean-Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, nowhere does it say that it is obligatory to pray the Luminous Mysteries.  The classic way of praying the Rosary has never been abolished and therefore is still current in the Church.  In particular, it conserves all the graces and indulgences which have been attached to it for several centuries, as, since the publication of Rosarium Virginis Mariae, no text has been issued which suspends these graces.

There are even more reasons which explain this choice, but it would be too long to expose them here.  This will be, perhaps, the subject of a future newsletter.

However, those who do not wish to limit themselves to meditating 15 mysteries can obviously themselves organise their own living rosary.  But as far as Cap Fatima is concerned, the rosaries it organises will only involve three series of five mysteries.

For those who already say their chapelet every day

Those who are already in the habit of praying their chapelet every day can most certainly be part of a living rosary.  In this case, the decade of the living rosary will be added to the five decades of their daily chapelet.  The idea of the living rosary is to meditate the same mystery for a given time in order to go more deeply into it, and once a mystery has been attributed, it is absolutely necessary to recite it for a whole week without changing it, if not, the Rosary would be incomplete as none of the other people in the group meditate on this mystery.

With the daily chapelet, the mysteries are normally changed from one day to the other, so as to recite two full Rosaries in the week.  This is therefore incompatible with the living rosary where the same mystery is meditated for seven days running and where to say a full chapelet entails reciting the same mysteries (be they Joyful, Sorrowful or Glorious) for five consecutive weeks.

The solution is therefore to disassociate the two:  pray the chapelet every day allowing two full Rosaries to be said in the week;  in addition, say the decade of the living rosary, and benefit every day from the graces attached to praying the full Rosary.  It’s not so difficult:  if we say our chapelet with our family every evening, it’s easy to add on a decade of chapelet in the morning, for example, on our way to work.

Texts for meditation

It will probably be useful for certain people to have access to texts which help with meditating the different mysteries.  We will try to put some on this website.  If you know of texts which are free of publication rights and which we can put on the Cap Fatima website, don’t hesitate to send them to us.

It would also be good to take advantage of the fact of having only one mystery to meditate for a whole week by thinking about this mystery during the day, and also by trying to discover texts able to help us better understand it so that, each day, whilst reciting your decade, your meditation becomes a little deeper.  And if, during your researches, you find a text which has pleased you or helped you, don’t hesitate to send it to us.

Visibility of the community

In order to show the living nature of our community, each rosary created will be posted on this website with the date it began, the date it ends as well as the surname and initial of each of its fifteen participants, with the two-fold aim of showing the concrete existence of the little community, as well as confirming that your participation has been duly taken into account.  If you notice any oversights, please let us know.

To register with a living rosary, click HERE.

To reply to this letter or leave us a message, click HERE.

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