"Whoever spreads the Rosary is saved!" These were the words that Blessed Bartolo Longo felt resonate in the depths of his soul in October of 1872 and which earned him the name "Apostle of the Rosary" through the works that he felt called upon to accomplish.
In the footsteps of this Blessed Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, on October 15 members of the Order from the Italian Lieutenancies and whoever wants to join, will go on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Pompeii led by the Grand Master of the Order, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien. This Jubilee pilgrimage will take place a few days before the feast of the Order so dear to all the Knights and Dames, that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine.
Everything brings us back to the sweet figure of Mary, the one who teaches us how to contemplate the face of her son. During his visit to Pompeii on October 7, 2003, St. John Paul II reminded everyone what the Rosary is: "A compendium of the Gospel. It brings us back again and again to the most important scenes of Christ's life, almost as if to let us "breathe" his mystery. The Rosary is the privileged path to contemplation. It is, so to speak, Mary's way. Is there anyone who knows and loves Christ better than she?".
This is why experiencing the Jubilee in the company of Mary allows us to place ourselves in the hands of the mother who knows and guides us to the mercy of God which we often find hard to accept and recognize.
This recourse to Mary also helps us become part of a profound dynamic of openness and vocation for peace, with special attention to the land where the Mother of God and our mother lived. In the apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae of 2002, in which St. John Paul II often recalled the figure of Blessed Bartolo Longo, the Holy Father said, "consequently, one cannot recite the Rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace, especially in the land of Jesus, still so sorely afflicted and so close to the heart of every Christian".
(September 30, 2016)