Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, Grand Prior and Protodeacon of the Holy Roman Church, reminds everyone of the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii, Patroness of the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies and of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. The memory is celebrated in the two Marian months of 8 May and 7 October. On the first Sunday of October, the prayer of Supplication is said to the Virgin Mary in the sanctuary of Pompeii and in all churches at 12 :00 am. The devotion to the Virgin of the Rosary dates back to the 13th century, when the Dominican order was founded. In fact, the disciples of St Dominic spread the practice of the Rosary. The depictions showing the Virgin giving the Rosary to St Dominic and St Catherine are a reference. New impetus was given to the pious practice in the second half of the 16th century, when Pope Pius V attributed the victory of the Christian fleet against the Turks at Lepanto to the intercession of the Virgin of the Rosary. A third and definitive impetus came in the second half of the 19th century when Blessed Bartolo Longo decided to build a church in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Pompeii valley. The religious purpose of the initiative was part of the broader intent to offer civil and moral redemption to populations abandoned for centuries in their misery. For this reason, the sanctuary was completed by a veritable “city of charity”, made up of kindergartens, orphanages and hospices for the children of prisoners. Bartolo Longo wanted to elevate culturally and spiritually the peasants of the Pompeii valley. At the same time, as the supplication says, his work opened up to the universal dimension, because all Christians, all people need God’s mercy invoked through Mary, Mother of Mercy. “Pietà vi prenda, o Madre buona, pietà di noi, delle anime nostre, delle nostre famiglie, dei nostri parenti, dei nostri amici, dei nostri fratelli estinti, e soprattutto dei nostri nemici. Misericordia per tutti, o Madre di Misericordia.” The Grand Prior invites all Knights of Ecclesiastical Grace, Brothers and Sisters to celebrate with true devotion the Patroness Marian Feast of the Constantinian Order, praying for the Grand Master and the Royal Family and imploring peace, goodness and brotherhood among peoples and nations.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii, pray for us.