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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
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A story for every day...

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Rosary of Saint Francis Xavier

A merchant who was about to embark for Malaca went to take leave of St. Francis Xavier. On receiving his blessing, he asked him for some small token of friendship. The Father, who was very poor, found nothing to give him but the rosary which he wore around his neck. “This rosary, he said, will not be useless to you, provided that you have confidence in Mary.”

The merchant set out with great confidence in the protection of heaven, and without fear of pirates, winds, or reefs. But God wanted to test his faith. The vessel had already almost crossed the gulf which is between Meliapur and Malaca, when suddenly a furious storm arose. The sails, the mast, the rudder broke, and the ship was immediately pushed against the reefs where it was completely destroyed. Most of the sailors and passengers perished; some clung to the rocks against which they had failed. The merchantman was one of them.

But as they were on the high seas and could not remain there without exposing themselves to starvation, they took a desperate resolution. Having collected some of the debris of the ship, and having joined them together as best they could, they threw themselves on it and abandoned themselves to the mercy of the waves.

Our merchant, always full of confidence in Mary, was holding Xavier’s rosary, and was not afraid of perishing as long as he had the good fortune to keep it. Suddenly, he felt as if he were taken out of himself and imagined he was in the Meliapur with Father Francis. When he came back from this kind of fainting spell, he was very surprised to find himself on an unknown beach, and to see neither the companions of his misfortune, nor the planks to which he had entrusted his life. He soon learned that he was on the land of Negapatan, and, with a heart full of joy, he recounted the miracle which had just happened to him, and which had saved him from certain death.

How many souls, on the turbulent ocean of this world, owe their salvation to the devotion of the Rosary! Exposed to so many storms, surrounded by so many reefs and often attacked by powerful and cunning enemies, how could they escape the shipwreck of sin and damnation without the spiritual resources provided by the recitation of the Rosary? They draw from it light, strength, and courage to flee from evil, avoid dangers, and practice good.

What a relief it is to shut oneself away with the Holy Family in the house of Nazareth and to meditate there, in prayer, on the hidden and humiliated life of the Savior! In tribulations, who has not felt his heart strengthened, and even consoled, after meditating on the sorrowful mysteries, and implored the assistance of the Mother of Mercy, so compassionate towards us? Is it prosperity that tempts us? For success often contains many dangers. What could be more capable of raising us then to the search for a solid glory and felicity, than the pious consideration of the glorious mysteries, where we see Jesus and Mary triumph and receive Their immeasurable reward, after so much work, suffering and opprobrium? Our Rosary, our well recited rosary, is therefore one of the best weapons we have in the struggles that our sanctification and perseverance require.

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