The Rosary: Fairest Flower of the Order

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“When a Dominican is clothed with the habit, he is invested with large rosary beads to hang from his belt. He is like an army officer commissioned with a sword of office, as was David when given the very sword with which he had slain Goliath: ‘There is no other sword like that; give it to me.’ Any good preacher of the rosary is meant to use it not only for his own private prayer, but to use it as an instrument of his missionary work and as a weapon for salvation. There is none like it.”

Fr. Gabriel Harty, O.P.

At 91 years old and in the “late evening of life” as he describes it, this “Rosary Priest of Ireland” wishes to share his wisdom about the Rosary.  Fr. Harty “crossed over” from the diocesan priesthood to the Dominicans in 1949.  His mission from that year until now continues to be preaching of the immeasurable treasure contained in the Holy Rosary.

The Order of Preachers has a special attachment to the Rosary since it was a gift to St. Dominic by Mary in 1206.  St. Dominic was lamenting the fact that he seemed to be making little progress in winning over the Albigensians, heretics who denied the sacraments and the reality of Jesus’ Incarnation.  Mary’s response was the Rosary, urging him to use it as a spiritual weapon in defense of the Church, and to preach it to others.

In describing this uniquely Dominican charism, Fr. Gabriel quotes Antonio de Monroy, a previous Master of the Order:

“The Holy Rosary is the fairest flower of our Order. Should it come to pass that this flower withers, simultaneously the beauty and lustre of our Institute is seen to fade and disappear. And on the other hand, when that flower revives, forthwith it draws down on us the heavenly dew, imparts to our stem an aroma of grace and causes it to bring forth, as from a root of piety, fruits of virtue and of honour.”

October 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the Church encourages her members to pray the Rosary more fervently during this month.  If you are interested in learning more about the Rosary, and its spiritual benefits please visit: http://rosaryconfraternity.org/the-rosary/

Fr Kevin Gabriel Gillen, OP