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Santa Maria Novella

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THE ASSOCIATION OF THE PERPETUAL ROSARY

In 1630, while plague raged throughout Italy, fr Timoteo de' Ricci, a florentine dominican, founded the Perpetual Rosary and so established in the Church an unceasing hymn of praise offered to the Blessed Virgin Mary by members of the faithful who generously dedicated themselves to a Rosary Holy Hour each month. The addition of four special intentions soon endowed the Perpetual Rosary with a distinctive apostolic character. Thus, the joyful mysteries are offered for the conversion of sinners; the mysteries of light for the perseverance in the faith; the sorrowful mysteries for the eternal salvation of the dying; and the glorious mysteries for the souls in Purgatory.

Approved and enriched with indulgences by various popes, the Perpetual Rosary became widely diffused among the faithful throughout the world. After a certain decline, this beautiful devotion flourished in october 1900, through the work of another dominican from Florence: fr Costanzo Becchi, and the Association of the Perpetual Rosary received official approval from pope Leo XIII, on 28 march 1901. Today it's many thousands of members still dedicate themselves to the continuous recitation of the rosary in honour of Our Lady, one after the other, hour by hour, day and night, throughout each month. Members of the Association commit themselves to making a holy hour each month in honour of the Blessed Virgin at a time arranged with the direction of the Association.

The monthly hour is not a duty of conscience nor is it in any way a vow: failure to make the holy hour is not a sin. The holy hour must always keep its character of a free act of love and filial devotion to the Mother of God. Members can make the holy hour alone, in any place, whether at home or in a church or while travelling. The ideal is, for each person, to have a fixed hour each month, but with the freedom to change the hour if sometimes the need arise. While helping members keep their commitment to the holy hour, this also provides more effectively for the continuity of the rosary at different times of the day and the night.

Sometimes members of the Association from the same area or parish make the holy hour together in the parish church or elsewhere. The direction encourages this public holy hour as it sets a good example and can be an effective reminder to those who do not belong to the Association to foster devotion to the Virgin Mary and the rosary. Therefore, in places where such a public holy hour doesn't exist, the direction encorauges members to organize one, especially in the months of may and october. This should be done with the permission or under the guidance of the pastor and all faithful should be invited to participate. Any individual member remain free, in order to acquire further merits and indulgences, to choose their own time distinct from any public holy hour.

Although the Association of the Perpetual Rosary is widespread it is not an organization which aims to impinge upon public opinion. Rather the holy hour of the Association is an invitation to prayerful reflection in a confused and often agitated world. The spiritual life and activity of the Association is discrete and is not unlike underground springs which water the earth and render in fertile without being noticed. The members of the Association are motivated principally by spiritual concerns. Together with many unseen brothers and sisters they offer a chorus of praise to the Mother of God and, through her to the Most Holy Trinity. In this way the rosary is "perpetual" and unites the members of the Association in a truly living rosary. It is the communion of saints in prayer.

On 28 march 1901 pope Leo XIII wrote to fr Costanzo Becchi concerning the Association of the Perpetual Rosary as follows:
"Already day and night, trough the constant praise and supplication of the rosary, thousands more catholics succeed each other in imploring the favours of the divine Mother upon themselves and on the Church in her trials. For us this is a great joy as from Our childhood we have dearly loved the Mother of God and have always experienced the usefulness of placing Our hopes under her patronage. We exhort the faithful to enrol in this prayerful association under the standard of Mary, and to be unhesitating in their devotion".



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Rosario Perpetuo

Direzione: Piazza S. Maria Novella, n. 18 – 50123 FIRENZE
Tel: 055 239 60 34 - 055 265 64 53

Segreteria: Via Cittadella, n. 39 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. 055 35 56 80 - CCP n. 304501 int. a "Rosario Perpetuo – FI".

Orario di apertura (solo i giorni feriali).
Direzione: ore 11,00-13,00; 14,30-17,00.
Segreteria ore 8,30 -12,30.

Centro del Rosario Perpetuo
P.za S. Maria Novella, 18 -
50123 FIRENZE
tel. 055 35 56 80
e-mail: rosario.perpetuo@tiscali.it

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