Dear Rosarians of the Rosary Apostolate.
Dominicans throughout the world have begun to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the founding of our Order in 1216. We have proclaimed a Jubilee Year, which is in thanksgiving for eight centuries of preaching the Incarnation of Christ and his love for us in the world, first begun in the man whom we call our father, St. Dominic De Guzman.
Dominic was a priest totally immersed in the person of the living Christ. He was an Icon of the Word made Flesh, in the midst of a darkened world. It was in this world that a light appeared and set fire to Europe with his preaching for the salvation of souls. This preacher of grace, aflame with the Holy Spirit and under the protection of the Blessed Virgin preached the mysteries of Christ which we to this day contemplate in the Holy Rosary. It is a celebration not only of the founding of such a great Order but also a Jubilee of the Rosary meditated, recited and preached by Dominicans for 800 years.
Early Dominicans referred to the Blessed Virgin as the Mother of Mercy, and so it is very fitting that the Church around the world has begun a Jubilee Year of Mercy. It is to Mary we return in order to learn of Christ and his Incarnation. It is to the Mother of Mercy that we turn that she may pray with us and intercede for us while we meditate on the mysteries of her Son, which so preoccupied her heart. St. Dominic De Guzman the great preacher of mercy and grace found solace and strength in the company of the Virgin of the Rosary, may we too in this double Jubilee year find that same solace and strenght while meditating on Christ, the merciful Redeemer who came to save souls.
Fr. John Hyacinth Walsh, O.P.