There once was a man who was a Satanic priest who became a Christian. That man’s name was Bartolo Longo. I read about Bl. Bartolo Longo about a month ago and was fascinated. This man was aware of the evil he had been involved with, and he was repentant, but unsure of whether God would accept that repentance or not. He was afraid that even though he knew he was wrong, that he was going to go to hell because of the things he had done.
He knew that in the Catholic Church, the calling of the priesthood was considered to be permanent, and he believed that. His fear, then, was that since he had been consecrated as a priest for Satan, and because he had mocked the Church, that he was forever consecrated to Satan and therefore would go to hell based on that.
The thing about him is that despite this, he became a Christian anyway. One day, Blessed Bartolo Longo learned about the rosary, and it changed everything. He realized that he was forgiven, and he was a devoted Christian, and he made it his mission to share the rosary with all who would hear him. This once Satanic priest, a man who had ridiculed the Church of his birth, once he returned to the church, embraced the rosary as part of his spirituality, and it changed him.
The rosary is a weapon for spiritual warfare. I love the rosary, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever been blessed to come across. It seems that those of us who have walked in darkness and seen and done things that we should not have, have found it a powerful tool in warfare with the devil. I’ve gotten tangled up in many evil things, but Jesus Christ himself kept calling me to him, he never did let me out of sight, for which I am incredibly grateful. Once I became absolutely committed to walking in the light of Christ, all hell broke loose, as it does.
While I struggled along, determined to keep walking in the light and with the Light, Mary told me the story of her son via the rosary. The rosary is a living spiritual tool, there is always something new to discover about Jesus in it’s mysteries. I once asked why the rosary was so important to people since it is about Mary. I was told that it wasn’t necessarily about Mary, it was Mary showing us her son. By this time I was beginning to have a relationship with Jesus’ mother, and she has become my mother also, but I was still not sure about the rosary. Thankfully, I started connecting deeply with Jesus through the rosary.
I saw Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, slumped over into the dirt, sweating drops of blood, begging the Father to let him out of this. I saw Jesus being whipped, I saw the people jam that crown of thorns upon his head, I heard them mock him. I saw Simon of Cyrene become part of the passion story by carrying the cross when Jesus fell, and I saw them crucify Jesus. I saw Mary Magdalene holding Jesus’ inconsolable, grieving mother, while she herself also grieved. If anything ever taught me the cruelty and evil of people drunk on power, it was seeing these mysteries happen right before my eyes. It made me realize the path that I had been on, the person I had been hell-bent on becoming, and I wept in repentance and sorrow. I needed to see it, and I’m thankful that I did, but damn, those were hard things to see.
It seems like both Bl. Bartolo Longo and I discovered that Satan hates the rosary because it connects us so deeply to Jesus. It’s a powerful weapon against the wickedness and snares of the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking souls to devour. When Satan comes knocking at my door, I can tell him to fuck off, pick up my rosary, and connect with Jesus and Mary to re-center. Thanks be to God.