Compiled by Tu’uu Mata’afā Tiufea Mulipola Peato Mikaele
First of all, congratulations Samoa for your 55th Anniversary of Independence. Thank God for being present with our leaders and guiding Samoa through many trials, afflictions, natural disasters and many challenges we faced both pre and post-independence politically, socially and religiously. God prevails through our journey and we should persist in prayers for our country’s unity at all levels, a harmonious living and a life of belongingness.
Today is Pentecost Sunday; being ten  days after the Ascension last Sunday. It is the Birthday of the Church when the Holy Spirit as promised by our Lord descended from heaven 2,000 years ago to help with the Apostles and their Successors whom Jesus Christ himself blessed and successively ordained to ‘’spread the Gospel to the ends of the world and to forgive’’ sins with the Holy Spirit. May the Holy Spirit transform Samoa as a whole into a new people?
The Story and Publication
This Story was initially published in the Sunday Samoan Editions commencing Sunday May 14th page 20 Part I, Sunday May 21st page 21 Part II and Sunday May 28th pages 22, 27 and 84 Part III. The purpose of re-telling this story through the Observer Newspaper; is for those interested readers and fans of Marian Apparitions to refresh memories of this grace-filled true story of Faith.
Its publication also coincides with the universal church theme; whereby the Church is dedicating this year 2017 to Mary the Mother of God. So in that respect, it would be amiss for me if I did not acknowledge with spirit and heartfelt gratitude the work of the Editor and staff of this renowned newspaper - the Samoa Observer; for publishing this story as requested. Your work is a great Honor to our Mother and I believe so unquestionably, our Mother is interceding for your work. Every good deed we do is for us sinners but for the ‘’Glory of God’’. GOD Bless.
To refresh your memories from the previous parts; the story all began in a small village named Fatima in Portugal where three children namely Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia were so eternally privileged to see, talk and receive messages for heaven via Mary the Mother of our Lord. The Moors once occupied Portugal. The village of Fatima was given the Islamic name of the well-loved Princess of the nearby Castle of Ourem.
She died at an early age after marrying the Count of Ourem and converting to Catholicism. Baptized with the Christian name of Oureana, she was named at birth “Fatima,” like many other Moslem girls, in honor of the daughter of Mohammed. Of his daughter, Fatima, the founder of Islam, Mohammed, said: “She has the highest place in heaven after the Virgin Mary.”
It is a fact that Moslems from various nations, especially from the Middle East, make so many pilgrimages to Our Lady of Fatima’s Shrine in Portugal that Portuguese officials have expressed concern. The combination of an Islamic name and Islamic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a great attraction to Moslems. God is writing straight with crooked lines, as we will see. Fatima is a part of Heaven’s Peace Plan. It is hope for the world.
Why the Rosary? The Church has heaps of wealthy documents and writings about the Rosary; most of them written by Saints and Doctors of the Church. The Rosary as Saint Alan de la Roache put it, is ‘Heavenly Crown of Roses’.
Our Lady’s First Apparition on May 13th 1917 and her conversation with the children ended with this last sentence; “Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”
After saying this she rose up in the air moving east and very slowly she disappeared. Mary insisted to pray the Rosary and she continued asking the same thing over and over again to the three children. We can see Our Lady was so direct and clear; her Rosary is a powerful prayer and a weapon to fight against Satan.
In the year 1,214 Saint Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, a priest was in anguish because he was failing in his attempt to convert the Albigensian Cathar heretics. St Dominic was fighting against the devil by preaching the Church doctrine on the Trinity. Satan entered into these people’s heart and brought about a new very stupid heresy from their mouths and spreading so rapidly.
The heresy asserted and I summarize ‘’the co-existence of two mutually opposed principles of God, one good, the other evil……’’ This heresy is completely against the principle teaching and doctrine of the Catholic Church; what the Church taught and upheld right from the beginning concerning the ‘’Holy Trinity’’ especially in similar heresies already been addressed and resolved at previous Church Councils.
And Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people’s sins hindered the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights.
During this time he did nothing but weeping and performing harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God with this heresy. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.
At this point, our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, “Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?” Answered Saint Dominic, “Oh, my Lady, you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.”
Then our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament.
Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter. “Angelic Salutation” is the “Hail Mary” prayer of the Angel and the Psalter is the 150 Psalms. Thus, she wanted 150 Hail Mary’s – which is what the Holy Rosary is – 20 decades of Hail Mary’s with 20 corresponding mysteries including the new Luminous Mystery by St Pope John Paul II to contemplate.
At the start of each decade we pray the ‘’Our Father’’ and at the end we say ‘’Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy Mercy’’.
So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district, he made straight for the Cathedral. At once, unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together, and Saint Dominic began to preach. At the very beginning of his sermon, an appalling storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid.
Even greater was their fear when, looking at a picture of our Lady exposed in a prominent place, they saw her raised her arms to heaven three times to call down God’s vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the holy Mother of God.
God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the holy Rosary and to make it more widely known. At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching.
So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs? In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics. The heresy faded; the spiritually renewed bundle of people returning to the Church.
The Rosary may be the most beloved devotion of the Catholic faith.
In essence, it’s Catholic and the beads upon which the prayers are tracked are themselves a symbol of the Church.
A Bible, a Rosary, the Medal of a Saint, a Statue of our Lord or his Mother or a Saint; these are the material hallmarks of a Catholic. Combined with faith, prayer and action, the Rosary lies at the heart of who we are.
The Rosary is more than a devotion to our Lady. The beads and chain of the Rosary itself are often a reflection of our character and out hope. Catholics are buried with Rosaries; they carry them in their pockets, wear around their necks, hanging in their cars, in their bags, at their office draws …. Even if they just do not pray it, they carry it with faith that the Holy Trinity, our Lord and his Mother are present with them. St Pope John Paul II once said; ‘’When you carry a Rosary on your body, Satan has a headache, when you use it, he collapses, but when you pray it, Satan faints’’.
Wow… No wonder why Our Mother Mary asked these three children to become devoted lovers of her Rosary. There is no greater symbol than this; of the primacy the Rosary has in the canon of Catholic devotion.
As Catholics, we know - we do not merely believe – but we know, that the Rosary is the most powerful recitation we can make when we desire a miracle or some other grace from God. By reflecting on Our Most Holy Mother’s experiences and the life of Jesus, we become more like the woman who bore all things for the sake of obedience to God’s will; Mary.
Our brothers and sisters who have gone before us who lived in holiness and become saints are now enjoying with the angels the Heavenly Banquet with the Holy Trinity. They devoted their lives in Rosary praying and in their memoirs I find out the following commentary pertaining to their faith in the Rosary. St Pope John Paul II called the Rosary; ‘his favorite prayer’ after the Mass and the Liturgy of hours. Blessed Paul VI said; ‘’The Rosary is the compendium of the entire Gospel. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary can be an excellent preparation for the celebration of the same mysteries in the liturgical action that is the Mass; and also become a continuing echo thereof.’’ St Pope John XXIII said ‘’the Rosary is a magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nations and the entire world.’’ St Pius XII during WWI said; ‘’we do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that we put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for healing the evils of our times’’ St Louis de Montfort said; ‘’The Rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother.’’ St John Vianney always had a Rosary with him. Blessed Bartolo Longo said; ‘’ O blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death; yours our final kiss as life ebbs away’ St Mother Theresa of Calcutta said; ‘’The most beautiful thing about our Lady was that when Jesus came into her life, immediately, in haste, she went to St Elizabeth’s place to give Jesus to her and her son. And we read the gospel that the child St John the Baptist ‘’ leapt with joy’’ at his first contact with Christ’’
The Rosary on the other hand is the story of the New Testament and simply put; it’s the Salvation Story that Satan never wanted to hear. Satan knows that each decade of the Rosary is recited in honor of a Mystery in our Lord’s Life [the promised Savior in Genesis] and that of His Blessed Mother.
The Rosary is a reminder to Satan of the fall of man in the Book of Genesis which Satan has caused and the Eternal Plan of rescue revealed. The Almighty God puts ‘enmity’ between Satan and the woman and that ‘enmity’ continues unendingly but according with God’s words the woman’s offspring will strike Satan’s head and Satan will strike at the woman’s offspring’s heel.
The eventual defeat of Satan seems implied in the contrast between head and heel. So praying the Rosary threatens Satan as it is reminding Satan of the ‘’Salvation Promise’’ of God. The offspring of the woman is Jesus Christ our Savior.
Our Lady knows very well that if her Rosary will be said with devotion daily; Satan will leave. Satan was definitely present when the angel announced the start of the Salvation Plan of God through the ‘’Incarnation’’ or simply put the ‘’Word made Flesh’’. Satan heard the angel saying to Mary ‘Hail Mary, full of grace….. ‘’. Satan does not want to hear this phrase anymore.
Pray your Rosary daily and Satan and its associates who prowl through the world seeking the ruins of souls will depart from you.
Mary; intercede for us sinners.
To be continued……