‘My Rosary Story in Rome': A Diary & Memoir [Authored by: Karen Rocha on 4 January 2023]. RHP Team Member shares a personal tale while on pilgrimage at the Vatican.
Notes from Italy the evening before the recitation of the Rosary & Solemn Requiem Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from 07:40 a.m. onward. Several links for 5 January, 2023 livestream included.
THE ROSARY HOUR PODCAST NEWSLETTER [3rd EDITION: ROME, ITALY]
“MY ROSARY STORY IN ROME”
by: Karen Rocha
January 4th, 2023: It is ‘Day 3’ of my trip to Rome, Italy with with my son, Luca. We spent the first two days exploring the top tourist attractions: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Yesterday we visited the Vatican museums and St. Peter's Square and several other grand churches and Basilicas.
As it turns out, we are here at an historical moment: the late Pope Benedict XVI is lying-in-state while Vatican City & those gathering here prepare for his funeral tomorrow, Thursday, January 5, 2023.
It was not possible for us to visit St. Peter's Basilica due to the extraordinarily long line up and crowds of people waiting to pay their respects to the late Pope Emeritus. And neither of us tolerate crowds very well.
I have to confess that I felt a sense of disappointment. I was visiting one of the holiest places in Christendom, and yet being there in Rome during this historic moment felt, mostly, like I was caught up in the tourism trap.
And though I don’t like to go on ‘feeling’, nothing about my visit to the Vatican felt ‘holy’ when I saw hordes of people being ushered through the exhibits and into the Sacellum Sixtinum before being released into St. Peter's Square. There was just no time to stop and appreciate the art or to pause and worship. (Honestly, I could not wait to get out of that busy environment.)
Today, Luca was feeling a bit under the weather. He wanted to stay in bed and relax. So, I traversed the antique & modern city by myself with the intention of visiting the churches of St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Louis of the French as well as revisiting the Trevi Fountain to partake in throwing some three coins in the fountain, as tradition would subscribe one to "make a wish".
As I walked to my first tourist stop, I noticed a plaque of Our Lady on the corner of one of the buildings. In my heart, I thought I said to her, “I see you everywhere in Rome, but I don't feel your presence”.
As I came closer to the Trevi Fountain, I noticed a church directly across from it and I decided to enter into it first. As it turns out, the Holy Mass was being offered, so I decided to stay for the liturgical celebration and then planned to ‘look around’ afterwards.
Then a really strange thing happened: during Holy communion, there were two separate individuals who went up to receive the host, but did not consume the Body of Christ. Thankfully, one of the sisters responsible for maintaining the Church was on alert and stopped both of these people, and she told them that they had either to consume the consecrated host or to give it back. I'd never witnessed this sort of thing before, but I wondered, how many consecrated hosts must be desecrated on a regular basis, even back home in Canada? When the religious sister and I made eye contact, we smiled at one another, like we both knew what these individuals were up to.
At the end of Holy Mass, the sister distributed flowers to the lay people as an offering to Our Lady in preparation for the upcoming Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. She ran out of flowers just before she got to me. I was very disappointed, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this wasn't a message from Our Lady telling me I am ‘undeserving’.
I stood in line to receive a blessing, and as I made my way up to the image of Our Lady, that same sister came back up to me with a flower — and handed it to me to give to Our Lady as an offering. I felt a sense of great relief and my body began to tingle all over.
I made my offering and whispered my petition; then I made my way over to a statue of Our Lady. As I took out my chaplet beads and prepared to recite the Rosary, I looked up and noticed that the display before me was actually a statue of Our Lady of Fátima. (Fátima was the place to which I felt called to pilgrimage to in Portugal a few years ago, and the Holy place where I began the journey of my reversion back to Catholicism.) Next to that lovely image in Rome, stood a painting of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, my ‘confirmation Saint’. I took both signs as a signal grace that Our Lady was telling me: "I am here, and I am with you".
There I prayed the Rosary.
Today, I was the last person to remain at the church, so the sister on duty who had given me that beautiful flower, approached me and she asked politely that I please depart so that they could close up for lunch.
I went outside to witness the throngs of people in the colourful backdrop of Rome. Gone for now, but feeling more peaceful and at ease.
COPYRIGHT © Travessa Da Senra House Press - The Rosary Hour Podcast Memoir Corner. ‘My Rosary Story in Rome’, [written in ROME, ITALY by: Karen Rocha, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR THE ROSARY HOUR PODCAST (4 January 2023)]. EDITED BY THE ROSARY HOUR PODCAST WRITING & EDITING TEAM (IN / CH).
5 January 2023 - REQUIEM MASS for Supreme Pontiff Emeritus Benedict XVI
We invite you to join the Recitation of the Rosary & Solemn Requiem Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from 07:40 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. from the Sagrato of Saint Peter's Basilica presided over by Pope Francis. EN - Chronicle in English
Bookmark — Vatican News — via YouTube here (also on Facebook)
CHANNEL LINK: https://www.youtube.com/@VaticanNews
NOTE: Live coverage begins at 8:40 a.m. CET via
BISHOP BARRON’S Videos & Audio Resources on POPE BENEDICT XVI
CLICK HERE: https://www.wordonfire.org/benedict-resources/?vgo_ee=HZogyTKIozJbg9DXZKHIMisw4MwQAgAFFItO96KxYa0%3D
REFLECT ON BXVI’s SPIRITUAL TESTAMENT HERE: TE DEUM
When, at this late hour of my life, I look back on the decades I have wandered through, I see first of all how much reason I have to give thanks. Above all, I thank God Himself, the giver of all good gifts, who has given me life and guided me through all kinds of confusion; who has always picked me up when I began to slip, who has always given me anew the light of his countenance. In retrospect, I see and understand that even the dark and arduous stretches of this path were for my salvation and that He guided me well in those very stretches.
How to Recite the Chaplet on Rosary Beads for POPE BENEDICT XVI and the Holy Souls in Purgatory [Repost from thedivinemercy.org] :
The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary Rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and followed by a closing prayer.
1. Make the Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. Optional Opening Prayers
St. Faustina’s Prayer for Sinners
O Jesus, eternal Truth, our Life, I call upon You and I beg Your mercy for poor sinners. O sweetest Heart of my Lord, full of pity and unfathomable mercy, I plead with You for poor sinners. O Most Sacred Heart, Fount of Mercy from which gush forth rays of inconceivable graces upon the entire human race, I beg of You light for poor sinners. O Jesus, be mindful of Your own bitter Passion and do not permit the loss of souls redeemed at so dear a price of Your most precious Blood. O Jesus, when I consider the great price of Your Blood, I rejoice at its immensity, for one drop alone would have been enough for the salvation of all sinners. Although sin is an abyss of wickedness and ingratitude, the price paid for us can never be equalled. Therefore, let every soul trust in the Passion of the Lord, and place its hope in His mercy. God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God's mercy will never be exhausted. Oh, what immense joy burns in my heart when I contemplate Your incomprehensible goodness, O Jesus! I desire to bring all sinners to Your feet that they may glorify Your mercy throughout endless ages (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 72).
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
3. Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
4. Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
5. The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
6. The Eternal Father
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
7. On the 10 Small Beads of Each Decade
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
8. Repeat for the remaining decades
Saying the "Eternal Father" (6) on the "Our Father" bead and then 10 "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" (7) on the following "Hail Mary" beads.
9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
10. Optional Closing Prayers
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
O Greatly Merciful God, Infinite Goodness, today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery to Your mercy — to Your compassion, O God; and it is with its mighty voice of misery that it cries out. Gracious God, do not reject the prayer of this earth's exiles! O Lord, Goodness beyond our understanding, Who are acquainted with our misery through and through, and know that by our own power we cannot ascend to You, we implore You: anticipate us with Your grace and keep on increasing Your mercy in us, that we may faithfully do Your holy will all through our life and at death's hour. Let the omnipotence of Your mercy shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies, that we may with confidence, as Your children, await Your [Son’s] final coming — that day known to You alone. And we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus in spite of all our wretchedness. For Jesus is our Hope: through His merciful Heart, as through an open gate, we pass through to heaven (Diary, 1570).