By Marlene Villanueva
The Block Rosary is a devotion wherein an image or statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary visits the home of each family for a week or so. It encourages the family to pray the Rosary everyday not only for their own intentions but for the intentions of the whole community.
Members of the Block Rosary Crusade are usually the most ardent devotees of our Blessed Mother. The Block Rosary Crusade was established in different parishes to promote the neighborhood Rosary prayer.
In subdivisions, it is not uncommon for neighbors to get to know each other better through the Block Rosary. The Block Rosary then fosters not only common prayer but friendships and goodwill as well. (During some visits, inquiries on parish activities like the schedule of Masses, Holy Week services, and the like, are also frequently received, making the Block Rosary an informal and traveling “parish bulletin board” of sorts.)
Pope Gregory XIII in his book on the Rosary wrote:
We must believe (in pious faith) that the public prayer and processions of the members of the confraternity of the holy rosary were largely responsible for the great victory over the Turkish Navy at Lepanto, which the Almighty God granted to Christians on the First Sunday of October 1519.
Many miracles continue to this day through the Block Rosary…
The Block Rosary has proven to be a living apostolate for the return of the wanderer – a family who accepted our Blessed Mother in their home eventually returned to the Catholic Faith after Our Lady’s visitation. A lady initiated the Block Rosary when her family transferred to a new place because “my family was so accustomed to the visitation of Mama Mary in our former neighborhood”.
Furthermore, the Block Rosary devotion has enriched the lives of all those who take a sincere part in it – they request our Blessed Mother’s visit to their homes during wedding anniversaries, birthdays, when a family member is sick, or on the death anniversary of a family member or relative. Requests for prayers abound, like passing the board exam, processing a US visa, or a safe trip. The evidence of miracles through answered prayers has happened over and over in the different homes where our Blessed Mother came to visit. Requests to extend Our Lady’s visit are common.
Through the Block Rosary, we hope to build and strengthen the family’s faith, the “little Church” which relives the gospel story of joy, sorrow, light and glory that make up the mysteries of the Rosary. The family is the hope of the Church and the Block Rosary is one of the great family traditions of the Catholic Church that we can pass on to our children as an inheritance.
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