Privileges of MembershipThe Confraternity of the Holy Rosary offers its members the following immense advantages:
- The special protection of the Mother of God.
- Participation during life, at the hour of death and after death in all the good works of the members of the Confraternity.
- A share in the Masses, Divine Offices and good works of the Fathers, Brothers, Contemplative Nuns, Sisters and Laity of the whole Dominican Order. This includes all the good works of all the saints and beati of the Order: martyrs, pastors, doctors and holy men and women (over 400 in number), including St. Dominic, St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Martin de Porres, the Vietnamese Martyrs, St. Rose of Lima and St. Catherine of Siena. This sharing continues after death.
- An immense treasure of indulgences which are applicable to the souls in Purgatory. The Rosary is the “Queen of indulgenced devotions,” and the Confraternity is the most indulgenced pious association of the faithful. This is what led St. Alphonsus to say: “After Holy Mass the best means of relieving the souls in Purgatory is to join the Confraternity.” Subject to the Church’s rules concerning indulgences, plenary indulgences are available to members on the day of enrollment and on the following feast days:
Christmas Day (December 25)
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 25)
Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas) (February 2)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)
Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7)
Immaculate Conception (December 8 )
How Membership Multiplies the Benefits of the Holy Rosary
Popes have described the Rosary Confraternity as the leading pious association of Catholics and have exhorted the members of the Church to encourage the growth of this association diligently and strenuously. They have granted its members many privileges and blessings down through the centuries.
Pope Leo XIII was a great enthusiast for the Rosary Confraternity. He pointed out that it multiplies the value of the Rosary because it involves praying the Rosary in a way which is: (i) public; (ii) communal; (iii) constant; and (iv) unanimous.
Rosarians, members of the Confraternity, often pray this prayer together and in public; but even when alone they pray the Rosary officially, on behalf of the Church, as members of a public association of Christ’s faithful. There is always a fellow Rosarian somewhere in the world praying the Rosary and, wherever they are, Rosarians are praying as of one heart and mind “like a single chorus of supplication” (cf. Acts 1:14).
As a public association in the Church, a Rosarian’s prayer has that special quality characteristic of Christian prayer, described by St. Cyprian: “Our prayer is public and in common; and when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, for we, the entire people, are one” (On the Lord’s Prayer). Historically the Church has often prayed this prayer publicly at times of need, such as at the time of the Battle of Lepanto (October 7, 1571) when St. Pius V called on all Christian people to pray that Christianity be saved from the onslaught of the Mohammedans. This is celebrated even today as the Feast of Our Lady of Victories or Our Lady of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII seems to have had in mind the value of human beings, who are social by nature, and Christians, who are communal by baptism and by spirituality, joining together when they pray. Older readers will remember a time when fraternities were like Christian trade unions, but with a different object. There were many of them around: the Holy Name Society, the Children of Mary, the Rosary Confraternity, and so on, each with its own particular ‘charism’, a God-given inspiration confirmed by the Church. In the case of the Rosary Confraternity the object is praying the Rosary for one’s own needs, those of the other members, and those of all God’s people. It is a ‘prayer club’ or ‘prayer group’.
But more than just a club for people with a common interest, the Rosary Confraternity has a mission, a special ‘office’, ministry or work for the Church. That is why until modern times popes were inclined to talk of Rosarians in almost military terms. They were, the army of prayer, conscripted by St. Dominic, marching under the banner of the Mother of God, united as comrades, the enemies of evil both within and without” (Pope Leo XIII in Lætitiæ Sanctæ and Augustissimæ Virginis Mariæ).
Put simply, once you enroll in the Confraternity it is no longer a matter of just saying the Rosary. A Rosarian has an official standing and has a new right to be heard! Our Lady asked St. Dominic not just to get people to say the Rosary, but to come together in a united prayer, and the prayers of Rosarians have this quality.
Duties of Members
- To say at least one complete Rosary of fifteen mysteries each week. This promise does not bind under the pain of sin. The fifteen decades may be said alone or with others, with or without Rosary beads. The fifteen decades may be spread over the week; for example, two decades each weekday and three on Saturday and Sunday. Of course five decades each day is preferable and is encouraged.
- To include in this Rosary the intentions of fellow members throughout the world.
- To have one’s name inscribed on the Register of a Confraternity.
How to join the Confraternity
The Rosary Center
PO Box 3617
Portland, OR 97208
What the Saints and Popes say about the Confraternity
St. Charles Borromeo esteemed the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary so highly that he ordered it to be erected in all parishes of his large Archdiocese of Milan.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori wrote on the usefulness of the Confraternity: “In the many missions I have preached, I have come to the conclusion that there are more sins in one single person who does not belong to the Confraternity of Mary than in twenty that do!”
The Curé of Ars said: “If anyone has the happiness of being in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, they have, in all corners of the globe, brethren who pray for them.” He added: “For a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary to succeed in losing their soul, they would have to do as much violence to themselves as the other faithful do to save their souls, so abundant are the graces of this Confraternity.”
Pope Innocent VIII called it “a most devout Confraternity” (Splendor Paternæ Gloriæ, 26 February 1491).
Pope Leo XIII insisted very much on the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, especially in the encyclicals Lætitiæ Sanctæ of 1893 and Augustissimæ Virginis Mariæ of 1897. Among the different associations,” he wrote in Augustissimæ Virginis Mariæ, we do not hesitate to give the place of honour to the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.” After explaining how the Confraternity multiplies the benefits of the Rosary, he appealed to priests: “You ought to apply yourselves with the greatest zeal to founding, developing and directing these Confraternities of the Holy Rosary. This appeal is not only addressed to the sons of St. Dominic, for whom this is an important duty of their state, but to all priests who have the care of souls. It is also our earnest desire that missionaries, those who take the Gospel to pagan lands and those who preach in Christian countries, give themselves with equal zeal to this activity.” These appeals are still applicable today.
[Source: A booklet on the Rosary Confraternity.]