Page 6, 29th July 1938

29th July 1938
Page 6
Page 6, 29th July 1938 — DOMINICAIVS AND THE ROSARY

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Organisations: University of Munster
Locations: Lyon


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Stit.—In reply to the Dominican Fathers, may I first say I am most willing to believe in the tradition they affirm. so lovely is it, but ministering in a nonCatholic country I know only too well the widespread suspicion we fake history and are out to " edify " at the expense of strict truth. We dare not, then, offer as fact an alleged origin of the Rosary of the most astounding character unless ample proof is forthcoming.

So far as my reading goes, historical evidence is negative as to the legend about Our Lady and St. Dominic and positive In providing a complete account of the origin and growth of that devotion we know and love as the Rosary.

I have not read Pere Gorce's book, but I note Fr. Hogan can say no more than its author " finds support " for the legend

in a MSS. a 1328. I ask, do scholars accept this evidence as having any weight? Surely, something more is required to explain the silence of alt Dominican annals for a full hundred years after the death of St. Dominic concerning what would have been the supreme event in their founder's life and their Order's history. Both my Dominican critics refer roe to Papal oh tier dicta or various dates, but have they considered the far more revealing fact that no Papal document refers to the supposed marvel till 15201 (so Fr. Thurston states in the Catholic Encyclopedia). That is to say, the true Papal tradition from Dominic's time till Leo X's assertion, a period of 286 years, covering the reigns of 43 Popes, is silence as to the supposed revelation. Will my Dominican brethren in the priesthood explain that silence?

Fr. Hogan calls the legend " the tradi tion of the Church." If that is correct, then how comes it that Cardinal Schuster writes: "The early biographers of St. Dominic do not attribute to him the institution of the Rosary, for this devotion was a tradition of Catholic piety long before his time." So also Fr. Beier, 0.F.M., Professor of Liturgy at the University of Munster, who writes in his Vth revised edition (1931) of " Catholic liturgies" (English trans., 1935, imprimaturcd by Cardinal Hayes): " The Rosary developed from the popular practice of reciting 150 Ayes . . . St. Dominic knew nothing of the Rosary in its present form . . . The custom of joining meditation with the vocal prayer is supposed to have first been promoted by the Carthusian Dominic Pruteus (Treves, 1461)".

Are we to understand a famous Cardinal denies " the tradition of the Church," and also do many Professors, heads of Seminaries, as Pourrat of the Grande Serninaire of Lyon, and do so without rebuke? Further, what is the revelation, please? The chaplet of 150 Ayes was in use before St. Dominic was born; the present division with 15 Mysteries is as late as the 15th century. What, then, was revealed? Fr. Hogan resents my suggestion that had there been the revelation there would have been a liturgical feast to honour it. I would instance again Lourdes. Not only is there a feast of St. Bernadette but a feast in honour of the apparition. There is a feast of the Rosary, but none of the apparition to St. Dominic. and indeed even the sixteenth century feast almost ignores the supposed miraculous origin. Fr. Ciumbley has quoted from our present Holy Father; will he kindly add to that quotation any evidence that His Holiness has ever made a special study of this matter and given proof of scholarship on it? And the words quoted are far short of the familiar assertion: " Our Lady revealed the Rosary to St. Dominic."


[The above letter. together with the two

letters from I >am in i correspondents printed July 15, seem to give the full pros

a tot cons. Wil IL them the correspondence may cease.—Enrroa.]

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