TBHH7: Satanism, Pompeii and the Rosary – a bizarre tale surrounds Francis' next trip

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Satanism, Pompeii and the Rosary – a bizarre tale surrounds Francis’ next trip

By Elisa Harris | Catholic News Agency

.- Later this month Pope Francis will head to Pompeii: a city which lays claim to the curious story of a former Satanist priest – now on the way to sainthood – and his miracle-working Marian devotion.

pope-600Blessed Bartolo Longo is considered the founder of modern Pompeii, which was established in 1891 after he commissioned the building of the city’s sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary.

The sanctuary is home to a miraculous image of Our Lady of the Rosary, which was given to Longo by his confessor, Father Alberto Radente, in 1875.

Originally born into a devout Roman Catholic family, Longo fell away from his faith while studying law in Naples in the 1860s – a time when the Catholic Church faced opposition from a nationalist movement fighting for Italian unification, and which viewed the Pope as an antagonist to their cause.

In addition to political problems, the Church was also fighting against the growing popularity of involvement in the Occult, which at that time had a strong presence in Naples.

Longo himself became involved in a Satanist cult, and eventually claimed to have been ordained as a Satanist priest.

However, after struggling with anxiety and depression, at times even suicidal thoughts, over the next few years, a university professor from his hometown urged Longo to abandon Satanism and introduced him to his future confessor, Fr. Radente.

Under Fr. Radente’s guidance Longo began praying the rosary and converted back to Christianity.

He developed a great devotion to the rosary, and became a third order Dominican in 1871, working to restore the faith of the people in Pompeii by promoting Marian devotion, particularly to the rosary.

The image of Our Lady of the Rosary that hangs in the sanctuary at Pompeii is a work from the school of Luca Giordano in the 17th century. It portrays Mary seated on a throne holding the child Jesus and handing a rosary to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena, who are standing at her feet.

Originally an old, worn-out painting belonging to the Rosariello Convent in Naples, the image was delivered to Longo by way of a cart, which in those days were used to transport manure.

A few months after he received the image of Our Lady of the Rosary given to him by Fr. Radente, miracles started to happen.

The first miracle took place the same day Longo exposed the image to the public after scrounging funds for its restoration when 12-year-old Clorinda Lucarelli was completely healed of epileptic seizures, after being deemed incurable by distinguished doctors at the time.

Pope Paul VI later crowned the image in St. Peter’s Basilica, and it was restored again by the Vatican Museums in 2012.

Pompeii’s Archbishop, Tommaso Caputo, told CNA Feb. 28 that Longo “made an immense work of promoting devotion to the Virgin, inviting the faithful to pray to her so that she would spread her mercy.”

“And so it was. This is a testimony to the numerous offerings by faithful donors from the entire world in a sign of gratitude for received mercy.”

Longo died in Pompeii in 1926, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980. He is known as the “Apostle of the Rosary.” His last words were: “My only desire is to see Mary who saved me and who will save me from the clutches of Satan.”

Pope Francis visit to the sanctuary will mark the third time a Pope has stopped to pray there, the first being St. John Paul II in 1979, followed by Benedict XVI in 2008.

Francis’ decision to stop at Pompeii’s renowned Marian shrine ahead of his March visit to Naples is a move the archbishop said shows the Pope’s devotion to Mary, and will root the trip in prayer.

“This seems to be a unique pilgrimage, from which this city of Mary will lead through the gateway of prayer.”

“The road that leads to Mary is a fertile land for every pontificate,” he said, noting that this is all the more true for Francis, “the Pope who does not take a step of his travels in the world without first relying on Mary.”

It has become a habit for the Pope to entrust all of his apostolic and pastoral visits to Mary. Each time he goes on a trip, Francis stops and prays at his favorite Roman parish – the Basilica of St. Mary Major – when he returns, before heading to the Vatican.

Before heading to Naples March 21, where he is scheduled to meet with the sick, youth, prisoners, priests and religious of the diocese, Francis will spend an estimated 30 minutes in Pompeii in order to pray at the Marian shrine.

Archbishop Caputo said that it is “a great joy” to welcome Pope Francis to his city, particularly because the pontiff hails from Argentina, where devotion to the Virgin of Pompeii is “very vivid.”

“We all know (Francis’) personal devotion to Mary, which has been manifested from the first moments of his election,” the archbishop noted.

One of the Pope’s greatest strengths is his love of praying the rosary, he said, noting how Francis has often referred to it as “the prayer that always accompanies my life, also the prayer of simplicity and of the saints and the prayer of my heart.”




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7 Comments on “TBHH7: Satanism, Pompeii and the Rosary – a bizarre tale surrounds Francis' next trip”

  1. ‘My only desire is to see Mary who saved me’, I will never understand where the RCC got praying to Mary from. Hasn’t any Catholics ever questioned praying to Mary? How does that even sound right? I thought Jesus was the only name that saves? People of God, pray that Christ show himself to the Catholics and bring them out of that false religion!

    1. I grew up Catholic. Went through many years of religious schooling, and confirmed my faith in it. Though delivered from Catholicism now, and a born again believer. (Because ethnically thee is not a direct conversion to Christianity with Catholocism, but a Confirmation into the belief system) I can say it’s systematic brainwashing. The learn to defend it with many assumptions for Mary is their mother. They validate the reilgion with scripture instead of validate the scripture by the scripture. Mary was Jesus mother and they assume that she is their mother because he gave her to a disciple to take care of her after he passed. (Not understanding the law of what happens with widows in the Jewish communities in those days. The religion classes teach people how the defend Mary way more than how they proclaim Christ’s salvation. This makes it easy for them to be accepting of all religions because other pagan religions have the same statues. . . It’s a hot mess. Hosea 4:6 . . . My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

  2. Thank God, that we were born in a country where the name of Jesus is freely spoken and the Bible is readily accessible and education is free. Col. 3:15 says ” And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” Amplified. We have the ability of the Spirit to rightly divide Truth and not have to rely on men who stray from the Word.

  3. We don’t worship images,or men. We don’t pray to anyone but God, And God told us to not use vain repetitions when we pray. I almost payed for divinity school once, but my cheapness got the better of me. Thank God, for all
    we need is in the Bible. We just have to pray for understanding. This forum is like going to a seminary. Without that pesky tuition. Thanks EX

  4. If you type ( berean call free tracts) you will across six. One is called “A cult is a cult”a great read on the Catholic church..

  5. I read this article, shook my head, hit the comment button to add my little two cents worth and came up blank. I suspect when Jesus returns to this earth, millions of Catholics will be asking Him, ‘Where is Mary?’ Jesus will probably smile and say ‘A greater than Mary is here.’ They will be sorely disappointed. Deception is a serious thing folks…keep your eyes on Jesus.

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