The Order of Preachers celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in Yamoussoukro

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feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in Yamoussoukro
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On the night of 7 to 8 October 2016, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace at Yamoussoukro (Ivory Coast) was the "centre of the world of the Dominicans," in the words of Brother Louis-Marie ARIÑO DURAND, Promoter General of the Rosary. Indeed, it was in this splendid basilica, in the heart of Africa, that the Order of Preachers chose to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, as part of the 800-year Jubilee of the confirmation of the Order of Preachers. The Master of the Order, Brother Bruno Cadoré, the General Promoter of the Rosary, the Socius of the Master of the Order for Africa, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ivory Coast, the Socius of the Provincial of Nigeria and Ghana, the Vice provincial of the Vice province of St. Augustine in West Africa, graced this colourful celebration. Also present were the formators of Inter-Africa (IAOP) who had just had their workshop, as well as brothers, sisters and lay people of the Dominican Family.

The celebration was a truly international pilgrimage of the Rosary Teams that had mobilized massively and had carefully prepared this event. There were about five thousand pilgrims from all over Ivory Coast and other countries in the West African sub-region, including Benin Republic and Nigeria. They were dressed in uniform made of an African fabric produced especially for this occasion. The celebration was held all night through a programme built around the meditation of the mysteries of the Rosary, confessions, Mass, teachings, praise and worship. The welcome from the huge crowd of pilgrims started from 16.00 at the gate of the Basilica. After the opening prayer and blessing of the pilgrims, the torchlight procession was started, with the meditation of the Joyful Mysteries.

The Mass, highpoint of this gathering, took place at 21:30. It was presided over by Monsignor Joseph SPITERI, Apostolic Nuncio in Ivory Coast, and concelebrated by about fifty priests. The homily, meanwhile, was given by the Master of the Order. Brother Bruno Cadoré noted that God in Mary always precedes us. Certainly, we left our houses to come to this meeting with the Son of Mary. But, like Elizabeth, we are invited to this exclamation: "What do I owe this happiness that the mother of my saviour come to me!" When we meet Mary, the mother of the Savior, she says, "Do whatever He tells you." She shows us her Son, and assures us of his presence in our lives, concluded the MO.

At the offertory, offerings were brought by lay people who, through their attire, represented the five continents. Before the end of the Mass, all the priests and eighty children with lighted candles, symbolizing the 800 years of the Order, headed in procession before the statue of the Blessed Virgin, to recite the prayer of consecration to the Virgin Mary.

The second highlight of this prayer vigil dedicated to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary was the teachings. The teaching of the Master of the Order was on "Our Lady of the Rosary, Mother of Mercy and Queen of Peace," the one given by the Promoter the Rosary was on "The Rosary and Evangelization." Finally, the national chaplain of the Rosary, brother Paul DAGO, spoke of "Dominicans in West Africa." All these teachings helped the participants to discover and rediscover the place of the Rosary in the life of the Church, of the Order and of each of Christ’s faithful. Meditated every day, it allows the mysteries of Christ's life to pass through our lives. Thus, although the Rosary is a powerful means of evangelization to win souls to Christ, this work begins not in the other, but in the heart of the one who prays with faith.

The last highlight of the pilgrimage was the adoration animated by Brother Joachim SOMÉ, coordinator of the pilgrimage and responsible for the Jubilee commission in Abidjan. With the blessing of Jesus in the Eucharist the pilgrims departed joyously home, taking the graces of God to be witnesses to mercy and to the goodness of God. Now as apostles of the Rosary, they have been sent to bring a word of hope and peace to the world. Having started at 18:00 on Friday 7 October, the international pilgrimage of the Rosary was completed on Saturday 8 October at 6:00 am.

On the sidelines of the pilgrimage, during the day on 8 October and at St Thomas Aquinas convent in Yamoussoukro, the Master of the Order met members of the board of the Rosary Teams, and the different branches of the Dominican family, without forgetting his meeting with the Dominican student brothers.

frs Joël-Hermann KOTY, op and Valentin ADJROKOÉ, op.

 

(27 October 2016)