The Power of the Rosary

Oct. 21-27, 2004
The Power of the Rosary
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
Dr. Pat Iannola Gives Rosary and Marian Apparitions Talk

PHOENIX — Those waiting in anticipation in the church hall of St. Stephen’s Church on Oct. 12 to hear Dr. Pat Iannola’s speech on the Rosary and Marian Apparitions weren’t disappointed. Dr. Iannola spoke about the power of the rosary as a weapon against modern day problems of terror and violence. He also gave the history of the rosary and talked about its many appearances and messages.

Pat Paver, president of the Altar and Rosary Society, addressed the audience to introduce Iannola. “He is very learned on the subject of Mary,” said Paver. The church hall was filled to capacity with 62 people in attendance. A four-member committee from the Altar and Rosary Society headed by Mary Anthony had beautifully decorated the church hall beautifully with fall flowers. Members of the society served coffee, apple cider, and pie. Iannola’s appearance was to enhance devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the rosary. John Paul II has designated the year 2004 beginning in October to be a time to renew true devotion and understanding of the real presence of Jesus Christ, on all the altars of the world through the Blessed Mother. “October is the month of the Blessed Mother. I wanted to use this month to expand the knowledge of our members,” said Paver.

Iannola is a medical practitioner, medical director of Oswego Hospital and a teacher on the staff at Upstate Medical Center. He has extensive speaking experience on the topics of Marian apparitions and miracles, the spiritual aspects of the crucifixion from a physician’s point of view and on Pro-Life issues. Iannola began his presentation by explaining the history and origin of the rosary. “The rosary is chiefly a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Son,” said Iannolo. It is an opportunity for many people who don’t have another form of prayer to be able to pray. The rosary is a link to other Catholics throughout the world. It is enduring, lifelong and improves with time. Terrance Cardinal Cooke once said “For centuries the rosary has been the privileged prayer of Catholics. Although it is addressed to the Blessed Lady, it is chiefly a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Son…it offers God a song of perpetual homage for the divine mercy shown to His mother.” The origin of the rosary can be traced back to 1208 A.D., when St. Dominic had an apparition of the Blessed Mother in which she taught him the prayers and format of the rosary and urged him to promote it to the people. In the apparition Mary said “One day through the rosary and scapular I will save the world.” He was admonished by the Blessed Virgin to preach the rosary to the people as a singular remedy against heresy and sin.

When St. Dominic had his apparition, he was preaching in France against the Albigensian heresy. He established an order of friars, ststers and schools based in Prouille, France called the Dominicans. In 1203 AD, while preaching against the heretics, he wrote a treatise about the truth of the Catholic faith. During an argument with a heretic, St. Dominic threw his treatise into a fire, but it didn’t burn. He continued to promote the rosary against heresy and sin. “It can follow us through our spiritual life, allowing us to find our spirituality on our level,” said Iannola. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII said, “The belief that to this form of prayer a special power has been accorded by the Queen of Heaven is justified, because by her instigation and under her patronage it was introduced by the holy Father Dominic, and it was spread in a time hostile to everything Catholic, much like our own, and as a powerful means of opposing the enemies of the faith effectually.”

Over the centuries, many have chosen to expand the breadth and depth of the spirituality of praying the rosary. The first way in which this has been done is by enhancing the insight and meaning of the mysteries. The second is through insights gained from Our Lady’s apparitions that she actually joins the recitation as a prayer partner. Dr. Iannola then discussed the Marian apparitions. The apparitions have many different characteristics. They can be either speaking or non-speaking. The apparition could be either quiet or dramatic. They are usually seen by one or more visionaries – usually children, the uneducated or poor.

The more prominent apparitions all seem to have an emphasis on the rosary. Each apparition contains a message from the Blessed Mother. The Lourdes apparition message is, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” The Fatima apparition’s message is, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” The Medjugorje apparition’s message is, “I am the Queen of Peace.” At the conclusion of Dr. Iannola’s talk, Paver noticed that the crowd was inspired. “I was favorably impressed with the content of the talk and by the ease with which he presented it,” said Paver.

St. Stephen’s parishioner Marie Allen was also impressed with the talk. “Dr. Iannolo was very thorough in explaining the origin of the rosary and Marian apparitions,” said Allen. Dr. Iannola and his wife Nancy are the initiators of the CNY Marian Center. They were inspired to build the Center in 1990 after a pilgrimage to Medjagoria. A chapel is housed within the center. A newsletter is published every month and videos are available at the center. More information about the center is available by calling (315) 452-4698.

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