On the Mother of God and Grace

Talk for the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Stone by Fr Benedict Jonak o.p.


We say this prayer many times every day. In fact, for many of us who say the Rosary regularly, it is the prayer that we say most often: ‘Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mather of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death. Amen.Why do we have such a great devotion to the Mother of God? Is it simply a matter of a well established Catholic sentiment?

I'd like to explore with you today what it means for us to say that 'Mary is full of grace'.Let us do it by considering the life of the Mother of God in its three crucial stages:

The first stage is from her Immaculate Conception in the womb of St Anne to the moment of Annunciation: when Christ, the Word of God, the Son of God, begins His Incarnate life in the womb of His mother. 

Second, from the moment of Christ's incarnation to His Ascension to the right hand of the Father.  And third stage of Mary's life: from Christ's Ascension until now.

 Let us begin then. 

Continue Reading

St. Dominic and friendship....

by Sr M. Jadwiga

 I call you friends not servants because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father. 

This, of course, is a passage from John, but in the passage which Sr M. Joanna read to us the other evening, Simon Tugwell says that Dominic did not found the Order, rather he friended it: he was the friend of those who joined him in preaching, and gave them an Order to found.  The note of friendship is, indeed, one that sounds throughout Dominic’s life.  We are told that he was a friend of Simon de Montfort – an unlikely person, one would have thought, for Dominic to be friend to; even more famous, perhaps, and the subject of a number of pictures  is his friendship with Francis; - a prayer attributed to Bl. Jordan (Dominic’s successor as Master of the Order) talks of Dominic’s friendship with Christ.


Continue Reading

Aquinas and The Mysteries of Light

On Saturday 25th March the Rosary Shrine hosted its first day conference in Blackfriars Hall. Four talks were given on the insights into the mysteries we contemplate in the Rosary which are found in the works of the great Dominican theologian St Thomas Aquinas.  The following is Sr Ann's talk.

The other talks at the conference may be found at the following link: http://rosaryshrine.co.uk/conference-talks/

"Et in mundo conversatus, sparso verbi semini" St Thomas on the Mysteries of Christ's Ministry, and on the lessons of His lifestyle. by Sr Ann Swailes o.p.


photo by Lawrence Lew o.p.

The eagle eyed among you will recognise that, in the way today's conference has been structured, the four papers correspond to the four chaplets of the rosary, the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.

This is both obviously and deeply appropriate in this place, where the rosary is literally built into the fabric of the church next door, but at first sight, perhaps I could be forgiven for thinking that, in being asked to speak here, of all places,  about the mysteries of light, the mysteries, as my title puts it, of Christ's ministry, I've drawn something of a short straw compared with my three dear brothers in St. Dominic

Continue Reading

To Praise, To Bless, To Preach.