Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Monday, 27 December 2021

The Twenty Sixth Mystery of The Most Holy Rosary of The Blessed Virgin Mary. (“You can't call it that Dad, because it was the 4th Joyful Mystery in the past”)

On the Feast of the Epiphany 2021 while I was at Mass at Saint James is Spanish Place, I noticed in my Baronius Press Missal, that one of the prayers that is in the Ordinary of the [1962] Mass is different on the Epiphany. In fact there are only five times during the year when the Communicantes prayer changes, for Christmas, for Epiphany, for Easter, for the Ascension and for Whitsuntide/Pentecost. Four of these are Mysteries in the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but the Epiphany is not. So that evening while thinking about, meditating on the Gospel reading that day, St Matthew 2. 1-12, I said the prayers that make up a decade of the Rosary. 

The next day I took down my copy of Our Lady’s Dowry; How England Gained That Title, by the Reverend T.E. Bridgett CSSR. And leaving aside the controversy over the subtitle of this excellent book in its earlier editions, I went looking for these paragraphs which I found on pages 215-216;

“I have not been able to find in the authors who have treated of the Rosary any ancient documents showing the nature of the meditations attached to the decades from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, though they assert that such meditations were in use. I have gleaned, however, some evidence that, at least in the sixteenth century, the mysteries’ were not precisely those now universally adopted. Stapleton, a famous English theologian, writing in Louvain in 1589, happens to mention those in use in his time. The five joyful mysteries were: 1. the Annunciation; 2. the Visitation; 3. the Nativity; 4. the Adoration of the Magi; 5. the Confession of Simeon and Anna. The five sorrowful mysteries were: 1. the Circumcision; 2. the Flight into Egypt; 3. the Loss of our Lord when twelve years old 4. the Crucifixion and 5. the Burial. The five glorious were the same as at present. 

A Spanish writer, Father Arias S.J., writing towards the end of the sixteenth century, alludes to the ordinary Rosary as containing the following mysteries. The five joyful are: 1. the Annunciation; 2. the Incarnation; 3 the Visitation; 4. the Birth; 5. the Presentation. The sorrowful and the glorious are the same as those we now select.” 

I also remember Clare, my then fiancée traveling to Scotland with Father Morty O'Shea and some others, to visit the Pro-life Priest Fr Morrow, telling me that when they had finished saying the then 15 decades of the Rosary, Father suggested saying the miscellaneous mysteries of the Rosary. These consisted of someone in the car mentioning an event in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ and possibly saying a few words about it and then everyone saying the prayers that make up a decade of the Rosary while meditating upon the event.

As one of the main features of the Holy Rosary has been to meditate on the life of Christ while saying certain prayers, there seemed very little wrong in saying the ‘miscellaneous mysteries’. A few years after this journey, Saint Pope John Paul II added the five Luminous Mysteries to the fifteen mysteries that were then already in use for saying the Rosary. Whether he did so because he had heard about this famous journey to Scotland is unclear at this time. 

From all of this it would seem clear to me that what the mysteries of the Holy Rosary are may at times very. Adding the mystery of the Epiphany or the Adoration of the Magi as it was called, as an extra mystery is something that I will do myself from time to time and most surely on the 6th of January each year. This of course only gives us 21 mysteries to say. I'm pleased to say that in the last year I purchased two books for meditating on the Rosary compiled by Father Mark Higgins, the first has meditations taken from the writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich while the second has meditations from the Fathers of the Church. And now this year Father has published a third book of Rosary meditations from the writing of Saint Bridget of Sweden along with a forth book through the writings of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. Father added five Hopeful Mysteries to the 20 mysteries we already had, he was partly inspired to do this by the writings are Frank Duff the founder all the Legion of Mary.  

And so without further eloquence [watch The Quiet Man], here is the Gospel reading for The Feast of The Epiphany interspaced with the prayers to make it a decade of The Rosary.

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, 

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Saying: Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him. 

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen.


And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 

Hail Mary…


And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. 

Hail Mary…


But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the Prophet: 

Hail Mary…


And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. 

Hail Mary…


Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; 

Hail Mary…


And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him. 

Hail Mary…


Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 

Hail Mary…


And entering into the house, they found the Child with Mary His Mother, and falling down they adored Him: and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Hail Mary…


And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country. 

Hail Mary…


Glory be…


O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy Mercy

Friday, 20 August 2021

Feast of Saint Ronald


So for Christmas last year I made Saint badges for many of my family. I didn't know what to do for my Dad, as he only has Ronald for his name, there isn't a Saint Ronald is there? 

St. Ronald was born in Agdir Norway in 1100 AD. He was a talented and venturesome son of wealthy parents. As a young boy, his parents sent him to visit the Orkney Island in Northern Scotland. He was appointed Earl of the Orkney and Shetland Islands by King Sigurd I of Norway in 1129. St. Ronald had many close calls to losing his life including a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the Crusades. In gratitude for his life being spared, he built the Cathedral of St. Magnus in Kirkwall, Scotland. He was martyred in 1158 AD by a group of warriors rebelling against him, his rule and his religion and was buried at the Cathedral he had built. In 1192, Pope Celestine III moved St. Ronald's remains to Rome after St. Ronald's canonization. His feast day is August 20th. Two of the Orkney Islands are named after him, namely North Ronaldsay and South Ronaldsay.

So I made a badge for my Dad and the same one for myself, it's my middle name and will wear it today.

[ I sell some other badges here; ]

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Bishop to Preach on the Hundredth Anniversary of GK Chesterton's Conversion

Watch this very special announcement at the 11th Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage. Please Share. For next year's Pilgrimage details see;

In a letter from Bishop David Oakley, the new Bishop of Northampton, his Lordship said, “Please be assured of my support for the important work that you are engaged in. It is good that the [Catholic GK Chesterton] Society is promoting the work of this important contributor to Catholic thinking in the twentieth century. And of course, that you are engaged in the promotion of Chesterton’s Cause. Please know of my prayers for the Society and all you are doing at this time.

The date of Saturday, 30th July 2022 is now firmly in the diary here, and I would be delighted to preach at the Mass.”

For details of the Pilgrimage and for copies of the GK Chesterton Prayer see; Home (

Saturday 30th July 2022 will be the 100th Anniversary of the Conversion of GK Chesterton. The location was, "the Railway Hotel in Beaconsfield, the dance-room of which had been converted into a makeshift chapel in the absence of any Catholic church in the town. In truth it was little more than a shed with a corrugated-iron roof and wooden walls, fitted with chapel fixtures by Sir Philip Rose and made available by the hotel's Irish landlady, Mrs Borlase. However, if Father Rice had failed to persuade Chesterton to be received in more luxurious surroundings [Douai Abbey School where Father was headmaster], he was compensated amply when Gilbert requested that he be present with Father O'Connor at his reception on Sunday, 30th July. The two Priests breakfasted together at the inn at which Father O'Connor was staying before walking together to Top Meadow [GKC's house]. According to Father Rice, they found Gilbert in an armchair reading the catechism, 'pulling faces and making noises as he used to do when reading'. Greeting his two friends, he got up and stuffed the catechism in his pocket. At lunch he drank water and poured wine for everyone else, and at about three o'clock they set out for the church. While Gilbert was making his Confession to Father O'Connor, Frances [GK's Wife], who was weeping continually, was comforted by Father Rice."

From Wisdom and Innocence, A Life of GK Chesterton by Joseph Pearce.