Perpetual Angelus: As the Saints Pray the Rosary


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To pray the rosary as it ought to be prayed means living out the mystery of Christ under the sign of the Blessed Mother. As Mother of the Church, she challenges each of us to become ‘perpetual angelus.” Such a bold undertaking in faith, however, requires the direction of experts, those whom we recognize as saints. Through their example and prayer, they lead us into a deeper understanding of the principal mysteries that we associate with the Lord. We learn much then from the witness, the prayer, and the exuberance of such saints as Therese of Lisieux, Elizabeth of Dijon, John Marie Vianney, Bernadette Soubirous, and Charles de Foucauld along with many others. While their thoughts have helped to develop these meditations, three saints in particular structure this thoughtful and prayerful work: St Benedict, St Francis, and St Dominic. Each in its own way offers us special insights into the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of the rosary. Their insistence on the importance of grayer, silence, and discipline as elements essential to cultivate the recollection required by our deepening relationship with the Lord permeates these reflections. In short, the author hopes that his text will enable prayerful readers to follow the exhortation of St Dominic: ‘Find everything in God, and then share it with others. ” After completing his doctoral studies at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), Father Cessario served as Academic Dean at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, where he now teaches Christology and moral theology. Recently, he has written The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethics (Notre Dame/London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991) and Le Virtu (Milan: Editorial Jaca Book, 1994), one of the volumes in the new Amateca Series in Theology. Illustrations for this work come from the pen of Sister Mary Grace, OP, an acclaimed artist from St Dominic’s Monastery, Washington, DC. The calligraphy is the work of Dominic.