Thursday, October 07, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - click to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii

Today we remember and reflect on the conversion and works of charity of
Bl Bartolo Longo
and his devotion to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Above is the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Rosary that was given to Bl Bartolo by the nuns who were in custody of the image for some time. He restored the image and placed it in the Church built in the valley of Pompeii, the place where he built the shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii.

The story of Bl Bartolo may tell us a lot about grace of God and good work of one faithful friend. Bartolo was born into a wealthy middle class family and was trained to become a lawyer. He fall under the influence of bad companion, entered the satanic sect, became a satanic priest and staunch enemy of the Catholicism who would publicly ridicule Catholic religion. However, he had a good and devout friend who had not abandoned him in this misery but prayed for him and managed to help Bartolo to convert and return to Catholicism. He put Bartolo in touch with devout Dominican priest who was instrumental in helping Bartolo to develop deep devotion to Our Lady and the Holy Rosary. Bartolo entirely abandoned his past and decided to do all he could in reparation the sins he committed through good works with the poor living in the Valley of Pomepii, which was the place of utter desolation, crime and poverty. After many attempts he managed to convert people living there back to Catholicism, built the shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii and established Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. No need to say how much the lives of the Valley of Pompeii inhabitants was changed through the work of Bl Bartolo and his wife. 
There is a Petition Prayer composed by Bl Bartolo and I encourage all who have devotion to the Holy Rosary to pray this prayer.