By Joshua Mazrin, Special to the Florida Catholic
“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times” (St. Padre Pio).
To utilize this weapon for our times, the Diocese of Venice is hosting a traveling Rosary Congress at nine different Parishes beginning the evening of Sept. 30, 2021 and concluding on the evening of Oct. 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. A Rosary Congress is a prolonged time of Eucharistic Adoration during which time the Rosary is recited every hour.
In the Diocese of Venice, the Rosary Congress will spend one day at each of the nine Parishes, beginning at 6 p.m. with an opening Mass followed by Perpetual Adoration throughout the night and the following day. Each hour the Rosary will be said for intentions such as the Church, the Faithful of the Diocese of Venice, our country, and difficulties for all throughout the world. This year we especially pray to renew our own consecration of ourselves and our Church to the Blessed Mother and for a renewed love for Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. At the end of each day (following the night and day long Perpetual Adoration), a closing Mass, 24 hours later will be held at 6 p.m.
The Rosary Congress will begin at both Incarnation Parish in Sarasota and St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral on Sept. 30. It will then move to St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples, St. Martha Parish in Sarasota, Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch, Christ the King Parish in Sarasota, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Parrish, and will then conclude at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Bishop Frank J. Dewane will be celebrating the closing Mass at 6 p.m., Oct. 7. (See complete schedule below.)
As one of the seven last things Jesus Christ said to us from the Cross, “Behold your mother” turning our gaze toward the Mother of God, who is our Mother. “Behold your son” spoken to Our Lady shows the maternal care into which we are placed from then and through all eternity. These messages were amongst the most important things Jesus had to say to us regarding our earthly pilgrimage toward heaven, namely, that Our Lady looks out for Her children, that Her intercession is powerful, and that we need Her.
The Diocese of Venice has continued to foster its devotion to the Blessed Mother. Our Lady of Mercy is the Patroness of the Diocese. Under this patronage, the Diocese was formally consecrated to Our Lady during Advent of 2017. The fruits of this consecration have been tremendous as Our Lady offers her special care through her powerful intercession. With these past years dedicated to St. Joseph, beginning with the Diocese of Venice’s Year of St. Joseph (March 19, 2020), and now in the Universal Church’s year dedicated to St. Joseph (Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021), the Rosary Congress is a time to set the Holy Family as an example for all families.
With the many difficulties in the world today, whether they be hardships of antiquity or new troubles, the Rosary Congress presents a unique opportunity to place all prayer intentions and the needs of all the Faithful into the loving arms of the Mother of God.
To offer these intentions to Mary in the presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar serves to open the gates of heaven for the maximum grace possible. There is no better time spent, besides time at the Holy Mass, than time spent before Jesus in the Eucharist. Being in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is so powerful it prompted St. Alphonsus Liguori to say, “Know also that you will probably gain more by praying 15 minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day” and, “Certainly amongst all devotions, after that of receiving the sacraments, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament holds first place, is most pleasing to God, and most useful to ourselves.”
During the Rosary Congress, all are afforded the blessed opportunity to present their petitions to Mary as they come to the foot of her Son, adoring Him just as the shepherds did at His Nativity. In the presence of Jesus and Mary, the Rosary is the unsheathed sword by which the prayers of the faithful will prompt Jesus and Mary to overcome the evils of today. In short, if there are any prayers you need answered, any at all, you can rest assured that Jesus and Mary will hear you, and the Rosary Congress is an impactful and unique opportunity to avail yourself to that grace.
More information regarding the Diocesan Rosary Congress may be found at www.dioceseofvenice.org.
Joshua Mazrin is the Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization and can be reached at 941-484-9543 or Mazrin@dioceseofvenice.org.
Diocese of Venice Travelling Rosary Congress
Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, 2021
Opening Mass at 6 p.m.
Adoration with Rosary each hour from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Closing Mass 6 p.m. to conclude the 24 hours.
Thursday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m.
Incarnation Parish, 1901 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 1922 S.W. 20th Ave., Cape Coral
Friday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m.
St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th Ave. N., Naples
St. Martha Parish, 200 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota (modified schedule 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Scriptural Rosary.)
Saturday, Oct. 2, 6 p.m.
Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 12905 E. SR 70, Lakewood Ranch
Sunday Oct. 3, 6 p.m.
Christ the King Parish, 1900 Meadowood St., Sarasota
Monday, Oct. 4, 6 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish, 12001 69th St. E., Parrish
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 6 p.m.
Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave., Venice
Closing Mass, 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7,
Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave., Venice, celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane.