Tuesday 2 August 2022

Praying the Rosary with the Martyrs - Nick Donnelly - CTS Devotions

Praying the Rosary with the Martyrs 
Nick Donnelly
Catholic Truth Society
CTS Booklet D670

This is the eleventh title from the pen of Deacon Nick Donnelly that I have read over the last three years. Most of them I have read more than once, I have read his books a total of 15 times. This booklet is a great offering from his pen. I read it over 5 days, doing a set of mysteries each of the first four and then the biographies of the saints quoted on the fifth. This is a companion volume to Praying the Rosary with the Saints, which has both physical and electronic editions. However this one is only available as a physical book and is currently out of print. I know this is a way of praying the rosary I will return to often. I have read 300 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society over the last several years. Several of them penned by Deacon Nick Donnelly. The description of this volume is:

“With over 26 million Christians martyred during the 20th century - the greatest number in the Church’s history - Pope John Paul II remarked that ‘the Church has once again become a Church of Martyrs’. As the most authentic witnesses to the truth about our lives, the martyrs provide evidence of a Jove that has no need of lengthy arguments in order to convince. In their personalities and actions we see a reflection of Christ himself. In their words we hear his voice speaking to us. This booklet enables us to pray with them to Jesus, with Mary.”

The chapters in this small volume are:

How to use this book
The Joyful Mysteries 
The Mysteries of Light 
The Sorrowful Mysteries 
The Glorious Mysteries 
Lives of the Martyrs and Confessors 

The book is split almost exactly at 50 percent the rosary and 50 percent on the biographies. This volume was first published in 2005. This is a great method of praying the Rosary either personally or corporately. It is excellent for home devotion, prayer group or in the parish. I have used many different ‘Scriptural Rosaries’ over the years, but this volume with Quotes from Martyrs and Confessors is a little different. Deacon Nick states in the Acknowledgements:

“This form of scriptural rosary is inspired by Peter Huyck’s A Scriptural Rosary - 1596, itself based on Henry Garnet’s The Societie of the Rosarie, composed during Penal times when possession of a rosary was illegal, under pain of death. The bible quotations are taken from the NRSV and King James Version translations. Quotations from the saints and others have, where it facilitates ease of reading, been edited or abbreviated, without prejudice to the original meaning.”

And in the beginning of the introduction, he states:

“It has been estimated that over 26 million Christians were martyred during the 20th century, the greatest number in the whole history of the Church. It is, as Pope John Paul II describes it a time when ‘the Church has once again become a Church of martyrs’. It is both a time of sorrow, that man can do such things, but also a time of joy, that man can remain true to Christ. The ‘Light shines in darkness, and darkness
could not overpower it’ (Joh11 I :5).”

I highlighted a few other passages in the Introduction they were:

“During the celebrations of the Great Jubilee in 2000 at the Colosseum in Rome, the Holy rather commemorated with Christians of various churches and communities, the witness of 12,600 women and men who died for the faith throughout the 20th century.”

“The 20th century also witnessed an unprecedented attempt to completely destroy the Church in many countries. In the l 960's, both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China boasted of being close to eradicating the Church.”

“Tenullian, a Father of' the early Church, wrote during the Roman persecution. 'The blood of martyrs is the seed or Christians. ‘Let the blood of the 20th century martyrs be the precious seed to re-unite Christians. May their witness to Christ be the common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants. Towards this end, this rosary meditation contain the wisdom of martyrs and confessors from these churches. Christians united in following in the foot reps of the martyrs cannot remain divided.”

“Pope John Paul encourages us to pray the rosary, knowing it will give us the certainty of God's help, and that it will also nurture the firm intention of bearing witness, like the martyrs and confessors of the 20th century, to the power of love. Through praying the rosary we join Jesus and Mary in transforming the culture of death into a communion of love.”

A sample of one of the mysteries in this format is:

The Third Sorrowful Mystery - The Crowning with Thorns

Intention: may we be given the grace to see that in the figure of Jesus. before Pilate the secret of the world is laid bare. That in Christ there is revealed the secret of God -
the lived love of God in Jesus Christ. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

1. "Everyone who belongs to the truth listen to my voice." Pilate asked him, ·'What is truth?" (John 18:37-38)

2. The truth is left alone. His own followers have been afraid. Truth is fearfully daring, and only heroes can follow the truth. (Oscar Romero)

3. [f we don’t tell them the truth. we commit the worst sin: betraying the truth and betraying the people. (Oscar Romero)

4. The Church must suffer for speaking the truth, for pointing out sin, for uprooting sin. (Oscar Romero)

5. Truth makes it possible for us to break this cycle of death and violence and to open ourselve to a future of hope and light for all. (Juan Jose Gerardi)

6. One must not forget that Christian faith is not a human invention, but rather the word of God that cannot be changed. (Vladimir of Kiev)

7. Which side will you take? The side of good or the side of evil? Truth or falsehood? Love or hatred? (Jerzy Popieluszko)

8. This Behold the man! This love of God experiences and suffers the reality of the world in its hardness. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

9. The trial or Jesus  goes on forever. Christ is being tried in the person of His brothers. (Jerzy Popieluszko)

10. The world exhausts its fury against the body of Christ. But tormented, He forgives the world it sin. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

And the list of martyrs and confessors he draws from is:

Adele Dirsyte (1909-1955)
Alfred Delp (1907- 1945)
Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944)
Benjamin of Petrograd (Orthodox Saint) (1874-1922)
Charles de Foucauld (Saint) (1858-1 916)
Christophe Lebreton (1950-1996)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
Dorothy Kazel (1939-1981)
Edith Stein (Saint) (1891-1942)
Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002)
Francis Xavier Cai (1907-1997)
Franz Jagerstatter (1907-1943)
Ignacio Ellacuria (1930-1989)
Ignatius Kung (1901-2000)
Ita Ford (1940-1981)
Janani Luwum (1922-1977)
Jean Donovan (1953-1981)
Jerzy Popieluszko (1947-1984)
Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve (1916-1989)
John Bradburne (1921-1979)
Joseph Mindszcnty (1892-1975)
Josyf Slipyj (1892-1984)
Juan Gerardi Conedera (1922-1998)
Karl Leisner (Blessed) (1915-1945)
Marcel Callo (Blessed) (1921-1945)
Maria Skobtsova (Orthodox Saint ) (1891-1945)
Maura Clarke (1931-1981)
Maximilian Kolbe (Saint) (1894-1941)
Miguel Pro (189 I-1927)
Oscar Romero (1917-1980)
Paul Schneider (1897-1 939)
Pierre Claverie (1938-1996)
Rupert Mayer (Blessed) (1876-1945)
Rutilio Grande (1928- 1977)
Tikhon of Moscow (Orthodox Saint ) (1865-1925)
Titus Brandsma (Blessed) (1881-1942)
Vladimir of Kiev (Orthodox Saint ) (1848-1918)
Walter J. Ciszck (1904-1984)

This is a book that I greatly benefited from praying through I wish there was an eBook edition available. I loved praying the rosary reflecting on the quotes from the martyrs for each of the Hail Mary’s. I know I will use this book often both it and the companion volume are great resources. This is a booklet I am guarantee readers would benefit from. I continue to try and tracked down some of Deacon Nick’s other older works that are out of print. I look forward to reading more from his pen. A great read from the CTS, and the pen of Deacon Nick Donnelly. This book is very much worth tracking down, and hopefully it will be back in print soon, and also have an electronic edition.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Nick Donnelly:
Finding God Series:

Finding God in Anger and Bitterness
Finding God in Doubt and Disbelief
Finding God When Prayer Doesn't Work
Finding God When a Loved One Loses Faith

Other Books by Nick Donelly:
Living with Illness and Suffering
Hope and Healing: Living with Illness and Suffering
Prayers for Grieving Parents: Help After a Miscarriage or Still Birth
Praying the Rosary with the Martyrs
Praying The Creed In The Year Of Faith
Praying the Rosary with the Saints

With Pope Francis Series:
Loving Mary: What Pope Francis Says
Finding Forgiveness with Pope Francis
Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis
Who Is the Devil? What Pope Francis Says
Our Journey to Christmas: With Pope Francis

Fiction by Nick Donnelly:
Ben Armstrong Adventure Series Series:
Curse of the Seawolf
Snare of the Demons
Faith of the Armstrong
Fury of the Dragons

Unattributed books cowritten\ghost written by Nick Donnelly:
Priesthood Today
Fit for Mission? Church
Fit for Mission? Schools
Fit for Mission? Marriage
Fit for Mission? A Guide

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