Praying the Rosary daily in October: a request by Pope Francis

Rosary beads lead from Christ and back to Christ.

PRAYING THE ROSARY DAILY THROUGH THE MONTH OF OCTOBER:  This Request has been sent out to all the faithful of all the world by Pope Francis: (Holy See Press Office Communiqué, 29.09.2018)

The Holy Father has decided to invite all the faithful, of all the world, to pray the Holy Rosary every day, during the entire Marian month of October, and thus to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.

The Invitation: Prayer the Rosary daily: recite this prayer to Mary, Mother of God,  and recite the prayer to St. Michael, for protection from the powers of evil:

The oldest known prayer to Mary, Mother of God:

The invocation “Sub tuum praesídium” is recited as follows:

We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

The prayer to St. Michael, Archangel: from Pope Leo XIII:

Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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In recent days, before his departure for the Baltic States, the Holy Father met with Fr. Fréderic Fornos, S.J., international director of Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and asked him to spread this appeal to all the faithful throughout the world, inviting them to conclude the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation “Sub tuum praesídium”, and with the prayer to Saint Michael Archangelthat he protect us and help us in the struggle against evil (cf. Revelation 12, 7-12).

The prayer – the Pontiff affirmed a few days ago, on 11 September, in a homily at Santa Marta, citing the first chapter of the Book of Job – is the weapon against the Great Accuser who “goes around the world seeking to accuse”. Only prayer can defeat him.  The Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God pronouncing the invocation “Sub tuum praesídium”.

The invocation “Sub tuum praesídium” is recited as follows:

We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

With this request for intercession the Holy Father asks the faithful of all the world to pray that the Holy Mother of God place the Church beneath her protective mantle: to preserve her from the attacks by the devil, the great accuser, and at the same time to make her more aware of the faults, the errors and the abuses committed in the present and in the past, and committed to combating without any hesitation, so that evil may not prevail.

The Holy Father has also asked that the recitation of the Holy Rosary during the month of October conclude with the prayer written by Leo XIII:

Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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Where did the prayer ‘We fly to thy protection’ come from?

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.’

This prayer, also known in Latin as ‘Sub Tuum Praesidium’, is  the most ancient known prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Church. It is found on an Egyptian papyrus from the 3rd century. It is used as a  Night Prayer, and is a prayer on the lips of many, over the generations.

The Greek word (*see below)  for patronage, used in the original, refers to the intestines, entrails of compassion, a visceral response,  which causes someone to run and help another in distress.

The same word is used in the Gospels when the Good Samaritan ‘was moved with compassion’, or Jesus ‘was moved with compassion’ towards the woman in the synagogue bent over for many years. It means a stomach-churning response.

The word in Greek is also used when an army is in distress and re-enforcements are sent forward immediately and powerfully. One’s whole inside responds powerfully to another’s need.

The other title ‘Mother of Perpetual Help’ (Mater de Perpetuo Succursu ) likewise means ‘always running to catch someone falling or in distress’ – from the Latin words  sub & currere, beneath and to run)

*(εὐσπλαγχνίαν – pronounced   eu -splangthnian –   having a good stomach or visceral response for someone or ones)

 

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