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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Some years ago, in a village in Tonkin, twenty-five neophytes were arrested. Before they were taken to the place of execution, the leader of the Christian community asked and obtained for all of them the favor of making a last visit to the chapel where they were meeting to recite the rosary. There they prostrated themselves to pray, but after a few moments the executioners forced them to walk. “Let me take Christ from the altar,” cried the leader of the Christians, “I will carry him to the place of torture; the sight of him will help us to die as true disciples of our adorable Master.” The persecutors allowed him to do so. So he led the way carrying the image of the divine Crucified One high up, so that his companions could see it perfectly, and draw from this sight the noble courage which was to animate them until the moment of the sacrifice. The Christians followed, their eyes fixed on their model. They recited the rosary with inexpressible unction. They walked along their painful path, meditating on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, and considering the glory of Jesus and Mary, whose beauty they would soon contemplate. They did not cease to pray and meditate until they ceased to live; and the angels who came to gather their souls transfigured by the radiance of martyrdom, took to heaven the blushing roses that the Rosary had made bloom on their lips.
Here we see the Rosary and the Crucifix united together, to give our martyrs the faith, hope and courage to sacrifice their lives to the glory of Jesus Christ. The Rosary, like the Crucifix, is a mysterious book which teaches us to BELIEVE, to HOPE, and to PRACTICE.