It’s always a delight to talk with Fr. Donald Calloway, particularly when it’s about Our Lady! In “Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon”, Fr. Calloway proves once again to be one of the Blessed Mother’s great knights in our modern-day spiritual battle. His humble, joy-filled witness is inspiring! Along with the Sacraments of the Church and Sacred Scripture, Fr. Calloway knows exactly what we need to enhance and deepen our experience of grace in these crazy challenging times which we now live in – The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary! For the restless contemplative heart, there is no place better to ponder the presence and mysteries of God than in Our Lady’s “garden of prayer.” In that prayer, she will bring us to encounter Christ, and through Him, with Him, and in Him, the world will be transformed. This fantastic book is like a multi-faceted diamond. In its pages, Fr. Calloway shares the rich history of the Holy Rosary, beautifully pious devotional reflections (with stunning artwork as well), and the stories of those whose lives encourage us to become champions of this devotion as well! This is a must have in every Catholic home and parish!
“Champions of the Rosary is an encyclopedic and inspiring work on the rosary, the spiritual weapon that has been given to the Church. In a remarkable way, it presents the fascinating saga of the birth and development of the devotion so linked to the Dominican Order! This is a wonderful tool for better understanding the rosary, promoting its use, and championing it in our troubled world. I am certain that these pages will inspire us all to take up our rosary!” Fr. Louis-Marie Arino-Durand, OP. Promotor Generalis pro Rosario. Rome, Italy
“Champions of the Rosary is an extremely insightful, pious, and scholarly work on the rosary. Father Calloway’s insights and contributions into the history and heroes of the rosary will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.” — His Eminence Christoph Maria Cardinal Schonborn, OP, STD Archbishop of Vienna, Austria
I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in this body I live in faith: faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake. (Galatians 2:20)
I know the plans I have in mind for you – it is Yahweh who speaks – plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you. Then when you call to me, and come to plead with me, I will listen to you. When you seek me you shall find me, when you seek me with all your heart; I will let you find me. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)
Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Meanwhile, Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. (John 20:11-12)
They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognise him. (John 20:13-14)
Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him’.(John 20:15)
Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master.(John 20:16)
Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'(John 20:17)
So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.(John 20:18)
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’,(John 20:19)
The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ (John 20:20b-21)
After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22)
For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.'(John 20:23)
The Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven
Meanwhile, the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. (Matthew 28:16-17)
Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:19)
Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit(Matthew 28:19)
and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'(Matthew 28:20)
And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. (Mark 16:15)
There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, (John 14:2)
Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. (Luke 25:50-51)
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. (Acts 1:9)
They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’ (Acts 1:10-11)
He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty. (Hebrews 1:3)
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
When they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. All these joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:13-14)
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; (Acts 2:1-2)
and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. (Acts 2:3-4)
and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? (Acts 2:6-7)
Everyone was amazed and unable to explain it; they asked one another what it all meant. Some, however, laughed it off. ‘They have been drinking too much new wine’ they said.(Acts 2:12-13)
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice: ‘Men of Judaea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, make no mistake about this, but listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you imagine; why, it is only the third hour of the day. (Acts 2:14-15)
‘You must repent,’ Peter answered ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God will call to himself.’ He spoke to them for a long time using many arguments, and he urged them, ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation’. (Acts 2:39-40)
They were convinced by his arguments, and they accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number. These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. (Acts 2:41-42)
The many miracles and signs worked through the apostles made a deep impression on everyone. The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; (Acts 2:43-44)
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel’. (Genesis 3:15)
I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. (John 14:2-3)
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)
And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my saviour; (Luke 1:46-47)
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, (Luke 1:48)
for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name, (Luke 1:49)
So my heart exults, my very soul rejoices, my body, too, will rest securely, for you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor allow the one you love to see the Pit; (Psalms 16:9-10)
My Beloved lifts up his voice, he says to me, ‘Come then, my love, my lovely one, come. For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Songs 2:10-12)
You are wholly beautiful, my love, and without a blemish. (Song of Songs 4:7)
Who is this arising like the dawn, fair as the moon, resplendent as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?’ (Song of Songs 6:10)
The Coronation of Mary Queen of Heaven
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. (Revelation 12:1)
The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron scepter, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, (Revelation 12:5)
Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus (Revelation 12:17)
Daughters of kings are among your maids of honour; on your right stands the queen, in gold from Ophir. (Psalm 45:10)
On coming to her house they blessed her with one accord, saying: ‘You are the glory of Jerusalem! You are the great pride of Israel! You are the highest honour of our race! (Judith 15:9)
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end.’ (Luke 1:32-33)
The king rose to meet her and bowed before her; he then sat down on his throne; a seat was brought for the mother of the king, and she sat down at his right hand. (1 King 2:19)
She opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High, she glories in herself in the presence of the Mighty One; (Sirach 24:2)
Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life for your prize. (Revelation 2:10)
Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.
“Behold Your Mother – A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines”, by Catholic apologist Tim Staples, is outstanding! For those who are unfamiliar or even unsure what the Church teaches about the Mother of God, this is a tremendous entry point for your study. For all who have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, this is the book to have in order to help articulate the truths of Marian Dogma clearly to others! Director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, Tim Staples, has authored a work that is easy to navigate and filled with solid biblical and historical reasons for what we as Catholics believe about Mary. A must for the Catholic library in every parish and home! A GREAT book for Advent reflection and study, as well as a gift for family and friends!
Tim Staples respectfully but clearly answers every conceivable Protestant objection to Mary, the Mother of God. With the street cred of one who has been there, Tim backs up his words with Scripture every time. His answers are exhaustive but not exhausting! An invaluable book for thoughtful, truth-seeking Christians. —-Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., EWTN host and author of Mary: Virgin, Mother, and Queen
The greatest doctrinal obstacle to my return to the Catholic Church was fear that Catholics had no basis for or boundaries on the Marian dogmas. If only Tim Staples had written Behold Your Mother then! His presentation is fearless, precise, biblically wise, historically rooted, and popular in expression. He addresses objections I haven t seen addressed elsewhere. I can t think of a more insightful, comprehensive single volume that persuades so thoroughly. Great, truly great, piece of apologetics. — Al Kresta, president, Ave Maria Communications and host of Kresta in the Afternoon
Tim Staples presents a remarkable defense of the six major Marian doctrines, including a veritable compendium of source material from the Bible, Fathers, and Church documents. He gives clear presentations of the controversial issues surrounding each doctrine, makes careful definitions and distinctions, and thinks his way through each issue as if he were having a conversation with the reader. Even well-informed readers will benefit from this engaging book. – –Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., president, Magis Center of Reason and Faith
Mary’s name is from the root for myrrh, meaning bitter. The tree sap that produces myrrh gathers in “tears,” when the bark is deeply scored, which are cherished and collected for their extreme value. Myrrh is the balsam of suffering, purification, and death, as it was used as an opiate to deaden pain, an antiseptic, and in the embalming and preparation of bodies for burial.
See how your Mother loves you? She helps ease your suffering, and purify and prepare your soul for eternal life.
And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, 52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
1 Samuel 2:1-10, The Magnificat is based on the Song of Hannah.
Scriptural uses of myrrh
Song of Solomon 1:13, A bundle of myrrh [is] my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts.
Esther 2:12, Myrrh used in perfumes, cosmetics, and “purification.”
Exodus 30:22-38, myrrh used in the tabernacle anointing oil and incense
Matthew 2:11, Magi bring frankincense and myrrh to Baby Jesus.
Mark 15:23, Myrrh mixed with wine is offered to Jesus on the cross.
John 19:39, Myrrh included in burial spices.
Hebrews 5:8, Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.
Sonja Corbitt is the Bible Study Evangelista. She’s a Catholic Scripture teacher with a story teller’s gift – a Southern Belle with a warrior’s heart and a poet’s pen.
We’re all sweating and dirty with the effort to love and lift all He’s given to us – those people, duties, callings, and longings that break our hearts and make them sing, sometimes at the same time. But most times, we need to be loved and lifted ourselves.
So her Bible study media are created with you in mind, bites of spinach that taste like cake, to help you make space in your busy heart and schedule for God to love and lift you all the way up into His great lap, where all you’ve been given is loved and lifted too.
“But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness”: “What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the heart of The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.”– His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary
All Mary’s life—taken as a whole—may be summed up in this one word—adoration; for adoration is the perfect service of God, and it embraces all the duties of the creature toward the Creator. It was Mary who first adored the incarnate Word. He was in her womb, and no one on earth knew of it. Oh! How well was our Lord served in Mary’s virginal womb! Never has he found a ciborium, a golden vase more precious or purer than was Mary’s womb! . . .
Prayer: O Mary! Teach us the life of adoration. Teach us to see, as you did, all the mysteries and all the graces in the Eucharist.
Evil is crushed by the lowly! The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity.
Msgr. Esseff talks about the Blessed Virgin Mary and how a little girl named Marilee helped him come to a greater understanding of Our Lady. Our salvation came about because of obedience and humility; our Mother, Mary, was the exemplar of that submission. God has such a love for the humble and small. Msgr. Esseff recalls his past Christmas times with the poor in foreign lands and how they experienced such an extraordinary joy because of their simplicity. For us to experience that same type of simplicity and joy think of Mary. He looks at the Nativity scene in a the light of this simplicity and goodness.
Mother Teresa would say that those in prosperous lands are spiritually poor and those in third world lands are spiritual rich. Hopefully, our homes this Christmas will find our homes resplendent with the Christian virtues, especially those of humility and love.
Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'”First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed Mother Teresa. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Bl. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.
To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book by visiting here
“Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest” is fantastic! Fr. Donald Calloway’s books just keep getting better and better. In this work, he begins this journey with Our Lady, who then guides the reader through the rich treasures found in the Church established by her Son, Jesus Christ. Through the Sacraments, to the depth of devotion found in our spiritual practices, and then with a rich appreciation of what authentic manhood and femininity truly are, Fr. Calloway explores the many facets of our faith. This book is a book well suited for everyday mystagogia. Without ever dumbing down the content, Fr. Calloway’s writing style is engaging and designed for “joe or josephine” pew person. This book is perfect for those who are in the RCIA, for folks who have completed a consecration preparation to Our Lady, or for anyone just looking for a more penetrating study of the faith. You will not be disappointed! And what a beautiful tribute to Our Blessed Mother!
“We are living in an extraordinary time of grace and mercy. It is a time in which many people, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are experiencing a renewed appreciation for the sacred and unchanging truths of Catholicism. Though the vast majority of universities and colleges today indoctrinate their students into the dictatorship of moral relativism, the media puts forth an ideology of rampant secularism, and the political realm is filled with proponents of a culture of death, nevertheless, it is in these times that Jesus, through the Immaculata, is raising up a new generation of Catholics. In Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest, Fr. Calloway masterfully blends together aspects of his own conversion story with profound theological insights into Catholicism, presenting everyone from “Joe six-pack in the pew” to a seminary rector with incredibly vivid and thought-provoking analogies into why it is so important for a Christian to live under the mantle of Mary. I very highly recommend that everyone read this book! ”
-Very Rev. Douglas Mosey, C.S.B., Ph.D. President-Rector
Holy Apostles College & Seminary. Cromwell, CT
1. What makes Mary any different than you or me? What if Mary had said, “No”?
2. How did the tradition of there being three magi start up if Matthew:2 doesn’t give a number of Magi? How did they get named? Basically, I need some more information on how this Catholic tradition got started.
Mark Hart is an author, speaker, director and teacher, Mark’s work both written and spoken, is known across the country and world. While he serves as the Vice President of LIFE TEEN, he is known to tens of thousands simply as the “Bible Geek ®” Mark passionately echoes the gospel to all he encounters. He is as deep as he is funny, and his love for his wife and daughters is second only to his immense love for Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 12:
The Second Vatican Council remains us that Mary is a member of the Church who “occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and also closest to us” (LG, no. 54). She is the first and the greatest of all the disciples of Christ.
The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha.