Rosary Markings

  Year of the Rosary, October 2002 - October 2003

The Year of the Rosary...
The Era of Fatima...
The Role of the Blue Army

In a historic Apostolic Letter by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, issued on October 16, 2002, the beginning of the twenty-fifth year of his pontificate, the Holy Father proclaimed October 2002 to October 2003 as the "Year of the Rosary" and proposed five new "Mysteries of Light" to add to the Holy Rosary.  The blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima received this news with great joy.

Our Lady of the Rosary

At Fatima, the Mother of God identified herself as "The Lady of the Rosary."  Our Lady of Fatima came to earth to give us a Message of peace and hope for the world, which included the directive: "Pray the Rosary every day."  As a part of our Blue Army Pledge to Our Lady of Fatima, we promise to pray five decades of the Rosary each day.

Year of the Rosary

At the Blue Army, we have been at the forefront of promoting the Holy Rosary with National Rosary Novenas, National Rosary Congresses and programs such as the "National Rosary Crusade for America" and the "Little shepherds Program."  During this special "Year of the Rosary" we intend to increase our efforts and distribute more rosaries than we ever have before.

Era of Fatima

The Vicar of Christ on earth has made it abundantly clear that the Message of Fatima is a message for our times.  During the Jubilee Year, the Holy Father entrusted the Third Millennium to Mary Most Holy before the image of Our Lady of Fatima flown in from the site of the apparitions in Portugal.  He could have chosen any other representation of Our Blessed Mother from around the world, but he chose to draw attention to Our Lady of Fatima in reference to the next one thousand years.  The Message of Fatima is an urgent message for our times and for the generations yet to come.  The new Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II is further evidence of the importance of the Message of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Fatima is more relevant now than it ever has been before.

The Rosary is the Weapon

Canonized on Father's Day of this past year, the Spiritual Father of the Blue Army, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, was known to have said, "The Rosary is the weapon!"  During the "Year of the Rosary" we will celebrate the 120th Anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical, Supremi Apostolatus Officio, in which Pope John Paul II noted that this "Pope of the Rosary" proposed the Rosary as "an effective spiritual weapon against the evils afflicting society."  In the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, the frontpage headline of the year's October 2' edition was: "Pray the Rosary as a Weapon of Peace."

Mysteries of Light

The five new "Mysteries of Light" proposed by the Holy Father in Rosarium Virginis Mariae include the: 1) Baptism in the Jordan; 2) Wedding Feast at Cana; 3) Proclamation of the Kingdom of God; 4) Transfiguration; and 5) Institution of the Eucharist.  This issue of Soul (page 14) reflects upon the new Luminous Mysteries as seen in the light of Fatima.

Bishop Serafim of Fatima

Closely allied with the Pope in the promotion and safeguarding of the Fatima Message is the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Most Reverend Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva.  The Blue Army USA was pleased to have had Bishop Serafim come to the Nation Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 2002.  In addition, we accompanied Bishop Serafim, along with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, to "Ground Zero" and to the Vatican Mission to the United States in New York City.  The full account of this historic visit is on page 4, of Soul Magazine, November-December 2002 issue.

Role of the Blue Army

Each and every member of the Blue Army must answer this call and "set out into the deep" to get others to pray the Rosary.  We at the National Office, the volunteers, staff, Handmaids of Mary Immaculate and priests, stand by to assist you in your efforts and to pray for your success.

Written by Father Ladis J. Cizik
Executive Director and Editor of Soul Magazine

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