Epiphany Message: Feed your Family through Family Rosary Prayer

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On Epiphany Sunday and the outset of a new calendar year, there is every reason for joy among all who celebrate the family as ‘God’s masterpiece,’ and the ‘Domestic Church’ as the essential building block of both the Church and civil society. Indeed, the Church is frequently described as a family of families. Remember, it was in the Mystery of the Epiphany that God first showed himself as a baby child in his family with Mary and Joseph. The Magi came to worship the child in his family, the Holy Family.

Providentially, on December 18, 2017, Pope Francis declared Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. {1909-1992} Venerable and a hero of the faith. What a manifestation of God’s grace and presence for all families and especially those connected with Father Peyton’s ongoing ministry to families.

One of the great epiphanies of my life took place in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on October 7, 1995, when Saint John Paul II led a packed cathedral in praying the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a special treat to hear the Holy Father mention by name the late Father Patrick Peyton, who said: “The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together.” Then, as Pope John Paul II progressed down the aisle following the Rosary, he paused at the pew where I was standing at the aisle seat. I mentioned to the Holy Father that he had just quoted Holy Cross Father Peyton and my pew-mates and I were members of Holy Cross. He waved his hand over us and exclaimed, “Oh, Holy Cross, a big blessing on you!” It was then that the power of the Family Rosary was renewed in my heart. Now that he has been hailed officially by the Church as Venerable, it is my fervent hope that a whole new generation of millennial Catholics can come to discover as something new, fresh and powerful the Family Rosary preached with such passion by Father Peyton.

Apart from the Holy Eucharist, it is hard to imagine a richer prayer than the Family Rosary. Through the Rosary the family finds the surest path to becoming the “Domestic Church {LG 11};” Through the Rosary the family is led to a school of deeper humanity{GS 52}.” Through the Rosary the unbreakable bonds of love and unity with God and the family grow daily. Through sustained meditative and contemplative prayer of the Rosary, the family achieves the full flowering of its life and mission. Through the Rosary the family as a unit breaches the walls separating it from the heart of a profound mystery; this profound mystery is experienced in the Family Rosary when Mary leads the family by the hand to an encounter with her Son Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Once in Bogota, Columbia, as he had completed a Rosary rally and was mingling with the crowd-a young priest laughed at him. He cried out, “Father Pat, the people need bread and meat, and you give them the Rosary!” Father Pat’s response was gentle, but firm. “Son, they need both–yes, bread for the body–and bread for the soul.”

Our families need bread for the soul and I believe, other than the Eucharist, there is no better way to feed your family than through family Rosary prayer. I wish to encourage you to promote the Family Rosary. If you already pray the family Rosary, you know what a blessing it is to you and your family. You know first-hand how it increases harmony and unity in the home. Through your witness, please encourage families around you to take up this practice to enhance their family’s spiritual life. If you don’t currently pray the family Rosary, please consider it. Start slow and don’t expect perfection. Start with one decade. You will find many free resources on CatholicMom.com as well as on FamilyRosary.org. Take a look at them and just start. Perhaps your children will go forth from your home and do amazing things just as our founder Venerable Patrick Peyton did.

Father Peyton had a second phrase that he used around the world: “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” As we celebrate the Epiphany, let us consider that we are all called, as Pope Benedict XVI liked to say, to be “a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.” Your baptismal vocation is an honor to receive and a mission to accomplish. As you carry out your vocation in your home, the domestic church, may God continue to bless you and your family.

May our Blessed Mother Mary keep us all close to her Divine Son.


Copyright 2018 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

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Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC, is a Catholic Priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and President of Holy Cross Family Ministries.

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