Simply stated: to encourage people to pray the Rosary. And to pray the Rosary for a very specific group of intentions. For the five great Sees of the Catholic Church lost to Islam so long ago. Fourteen centuries ago the Catholic Church covered the entire Mediterranean basin and the True Faith was spread and gaining adherents from Scotland to the Euphrates river and beyond. Then Islam came out of the desert and shattered the old, if by that point strained, unity. Immediately they took the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean and cast a veil between Rome and the great and ancient Christian Sees of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Carthage while greatly weakening the power and influence of Constantinople which the Muslim armies continually preyed upon for the next eight centuries until it finally fell to the Turks in 1453.
While the Catholic Church has gained large numbers of adherents in the Americas, Asia, and sub Saharan Africa over the last half millennium it has not penetrated a jot into our ancient heartland in all of the centuries since this was lost to us. A small number of Catholics remain there, and there are still a decent number of adherents to the ancient apostolic churches unfortunately separated from Rome by schism, but their number is rapidly shrinking due to the convulsions of the Middle East over the last century and particularly over this last decade. Islam seeks now to cement its domination and control won first a millennium and a half ago and sees within its grasp a final victory over the Catholic Church in the land of its birth.
We must now call upon the Mother of God, the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Victory to come to our aid and to the aid of the Church founded by her son Our Lord Jesus Christ. No weapon of war will return the Church to its birthplace; the Crusades failed because they were in the end only a military adventure. Let us use then a far more powerful weapon than guns or bombs: the Rosary. Pray the Rosary Monday for Constantinople, Tuesday for Antioch, Wednesday for Jerusalem, Thursday for Alexandria, and Friday for Carthage. And along with this intention let us beseech the Lord God the conversion of the Muslim peoples: Jesus Christ shed his blood for them too. All of the great accomplishments of the Church have begun with prayer. The life of Our Lord as passed down to us by the Evangelists shows this to be the case. Pray the Rosary and meditate on its Mysteries. Our Lady has proclaimed at all of her apparitions that this will change the world. The time is now.
In the fifth chapter of St. Luke’s (a native of Antioch) Gospel the Evangelist narrates an episode where Our Lord enters Peter’s boat to teach the multitude and, when finished, he tells St. Peter to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. (Lk. 5: 4)” After protesting that he had been fishing all night and catching nothing the Apostle does as commanded, and the haul of fish is so large that his net breaks and he has to call on the other boats for aid. They are so full of fish that they almost sink before reaching the shore. The prophetic aspects of these events, from the perspective of someone living 2,000 years after the fact, seems to refer to the first great conversion that brought the Roman Empire into the Church’s net. The net was broken however by schism and discord which continues down to our own day.
But there is a second miraculous draught of fishes. At the conclusion of the Gospel of St. John the beloved disciple relates to us an event which he himself took part in. After Our Lord’s Resurrection some (not all) of the Apostles venture out on the Lake of Galilee with St. Peter to fish. After fishing all night and again catching nothing they are approaching the shore at first light when they catch sight of Our Lord standing on the shoreline. He tells them to cast their nets over the right side of the boat and the haul was the miraculous number of 153 (symbolic of all the species of fish known to the ancient world) fish. The Prince of Apostles then himself hauls the net full of fish ashore and “although there were so many, the net was not broken. (Jn. 21: 11)” This seems to indicate that near the end of time approaching the end of the Church’s journey there will be another and greater mass conversion that will not be broken apart as of old. This must begin with the five great Sees. This region forms the geographic heart of the world, and it was in the part of the world where Our Lord chose to reveal Himself. I am no prophet and do not claim that the end is upon us, that is not the point of this effort, but we must begin to repair the saving net of the Church. And prayer is the place to start, is it not? The aim of this effort is to establish a confraternity of sorts, informal and very unofficial, to pray for these intentions. I personally would also like to recommend to all who pray the Rosary to join the Rosary Confraternity watched over by the Dominicans, to join our intentions to those of all of the other members of the Confraternity and to gain the immense spiritual benefits available to its members.
This site becomes active on Wednesday of the 30th week of Ordinary Time, October 30, of the first year Francis’ pontificate, and in the year MMXIII of the Incarnation. I will attempt to post here with the greatest frequency I can muster some reminder of the lost world of the five great Sees. I beg Our Lady of Victory her bountiful aid in attracting visitors to this site that we may together beseech her most powerful assistance in repairing the Church’s broken net.