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How the Rosary Saved a Former Satanist Priest


 
 
 Blessed Bartolo promoted the rosary until his death at age eighty-five.
Blessed Bartolo promoted the rosary until his death at age eighty-five.
PRLog - Jul. 7, 2014 - CLEVELAND -- It's not often when someone wanders into the devil's clutches, and then is rescued from them so magnificently. Here is the prayer of Pope Benedict XVI about Blessed Bartolo Longo, a most amazing modern-day saint.

"Before entering the Shrine to recite the Holy Rosary with you, I paused briefly before the tomb of Bl. Bartolo Longo and, praying, I asked myself: 'Where did this great apostle of Mary find the energy and perseverance he needed to bring such an impressive work, now known across the world, to completion? Was it not in the Rosary, which he accepted as a true gift from Our Lady's Heart?' Yes, that truly was how it happened!" - Pope Benedict XVI, October 2008

The tomb of Blessed Bartolo Longo can be found in Pompeii'sBasilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, a church - interestingly enough - built by a former Satanist.

In 1841, Bartolo Longo was born to wealthy parents in Latiano, Italy. His parents were devout Catholics, but after his mother's death in 1851, Bartolo began to let his Catholic faith fall away. While studying law at the University of Naples, he became involved with a New Age group, and began to dabble in the occult. The movement led him into a Satanic cult, and Bartolo was ordained a Satanic priest.

Lashing out at Catholics, Bartolo would publicly ridicule and attack the Church. However, his life was far from happy. Instead it was marked by extreme depression, paranoia, confusion, diabolic visions, and eventually a mental breakdown. In despair, Bartolo heard the voice of his father urging him to return to God, so he sought the advice of a friend who referred him to Fr. Alberto Radente. Through confession and spiritual direction, Bartolo renounced the all ties to the devil. He wrote,

"As I pondered over my condition, I experienced a deep sense of despair and almost committed suicide. Then I heard an echo in my ear of the voice of Friar Alberto repeating the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 'If you seek salvation, promulgate the rosary. This is Mary's own promise.' These words illumined my soul. I went on my knees. 'If it is true. I will not leave this valley until I have propagated your rosary.'"

His later writings also include this powerful quote:

"Just as two friends, frequently in each other's company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection"

In 1871, Blessed Bartolo joined the third order of the Dominicans as a layperson and continued to foster his devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the rosary. He eventually married Countess Mariana di Fusco who helped him found a confraternity of the rosary. Bartolo devoted his life to performing charitable works, teaching catechism to young people in particular, and promoting the rosary. Bartolo also had the Church of the Most Holy Rosary built, which he donated to the Holy See. He died in 1926, saying before he died, "My only desire is to see Mary, who has saved me and who will save me from the clutches of Satan."

Saint John Paul II wrote of Blessed Bartolo in his apostolic exhortation Rosarium Virginis Mariae:

"As a true apostle of the Rosary, Blessed Bartolo Longo had a special charism. His path to holiness rested on an inspiration heard in the depths of his heart: 'Whoever spreads the Rosary is saved!'"

On October 26, 1980, John Paul II beatified Blessed Bartolo Longo, giving him the titles "Man of the Madonna" and "Apostle of the Rosary". Like us Mercedarian Sisters, Blessed Bartolo Longo saw the inestimable value of devotion to Mary as a way to grow closer to Christ and achieve salvation!

***

If you think you may be called to become a Mercedarian Sister of the Blessed Sacrament, take our simple Test Your Call Survey at http://mercedariansisters.org/Formation/TestYourCall.aspx I'll write a personal response. Do you want to learn more about what life is like as a Mercedarian Sister? Women 18 - 35 can sign up for one of our upcoming retreats.

Come and See Retreats, Cleveland, OH
September 12-14, 2014
November 14-16, 2014
March 6-8, 2015
April 24-26, 2015

Discernment Retreat, Baton Rouge, LA
October 10-12, 2014

Visit our website, http://mercedariansisters.org/, for more information and be sure to like our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/mercedarians,

Yours in Christ,

Sr. Jeanette Marie, HMSS
Vocation Director

Photo:
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Source:Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
City/Town:Cleveland - Ohio - United States
Industry:Religion
Tags:catholic church, mercedarian
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