There is power in praying the rosary. Just ask some of those who attended the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s rosary devotion Oct. 7, the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
Father Kenneth C. Brabazon, parochial vicar at the cathedral, presided.
Invitations went out to those in various parishes who wanted to pray the holy rosary and ask the Blessed Mother for her heavenly help in their many intentions. The program was held before the basilica’s 6:30 Sunday evening Mass, and there were opportunities for the sacrament of penance before and after the rosary.
“I love praying the holy rosary,” said Santos Flores, who regularly attends Mass at the basilica. Though he already went to Mass on Sunday morning, he returned for the 5:30 p.m. communal rosary devotion. God has brought many blessings to Flores and his family for the more than 35 years he has been regularly praying the rosary.
“I learned a lot about praying the rosary from (St.) John Paul II,” Flores said. “When you are praying the rosary, your mind is (focused). You contemplate on Jesus and Mary. I tend to get excited about things, so the rosary calms me down. After I pray it I look at life in a different light, and that is why I can say that praying the rosary has saved my life.”
The participants prayed the five glorious mysteries of the rosary after the program opened with the singing of “Humbly We Adore You.”
Father Brabazon gave many anecdotes about the blessings people have received from praying the rosary. He also attributed some of the wording in the rosary to scriptural passages spoken by St. Gabriel and St. Elizabeth.
Amy Chang prayed the rosary at the end of one of the rear pews. She often comes to the basilica whenever she visits Philadelphia friends at area colleges. When one of her friends mentioned they were praying the rosary at the basilica she made it a point to add this to her to-do-list of places to go.
“I am just overwhelmed by the cathedral and those praying the rosary,” Chang said. “In my family, many of us pray it because it has helped as through difficult times. As a young adult, I am in a world that is not as secure as the world my parents lived in at my age.
“Coming here was peaceful for me,” Chang added. “The rosary centers you. There is so much going on in the news, on social media, among friends and families — sometimes having heated arguments about different things. But, when you come here you put that aside and just focus on Our Lady. I am glad I came.”
For Kathleen Scarduzio, a member of SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, the holy rosary prayer was a family affair. Joining her at the event were relatives Kathleen Fitzgerald and Margy Bott from St. Eugene Parish in Primos as well as Mary Canze of St. Mary Magdalen in Media and Liz Reichert of St. Anastasia in Newtown Square.
Scarduzio said 12 members of her family pray the rosary avidly.
“This is a good thing to have this at the cathedral,” she said. “I prayed for many issues that are going on in the world. My whole family knows the power of the rosary as Catholics. My mom and dad gave us the gifts of praying the rosary, so that is why we are all here.”
As people were entering and leaving the basilica, a man on 18th Street was shouting loudly why Catholicism was a false religion. That did not phase Mary Oliver, who attends St. Rita Church in South Philadelphia.
“People like that do not bother me because I just pray the rosary for their conversion. Many (times) I’ve prayed rosaries for those who have joined the church,” Oliver said.
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