Ladies of the diocese's Vietnamese community walk with an umbrella and process with other faithful participating at the Marian Rosary Festival.

Faithful pray as one, honor Mary at festival

DELRAY BEACH | Pilgrim parishioners travel to Emmanuel Parish every year for the Marian Rosary Festival, bringing with them personal intentions and their favorite images of Mary, the Mother of all.
This year’s Marian Rosary Festival is May 6 and the theme for the spiritual event is “Mary, Mother of the Church.”

“All are invited to attend and participate,” said Linda Coz, an event organizer. “The Marian title of ‘Mother of the Church’ was given to the Blessed Mother by Blessed Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council.”

No matter what title the event carries, year after year the gathering is a beautiful tribute to the Blessed Mother. The wonderful attendance is always a witness of the great love that the faithful of the Diocese of Palm Beach have for Mary. Traditionally, organizations, ministry and prayer groups, priests, religious sisters, families, and students from the Catholic schools and parishes attend with rosary beads in hand and prayers in their heart.

“We come to every festival,” said Rosemary Xavier, a parishioner of St. Clare in North Palm Beach, who dresses in clothing of her homeland, India. She has faithfully attended the prayer gathering for many years with family members and friends.

“We want to promote Our Lady of Vailankanni,” she said about the image she and her group display at the festival, which represents Mary’s appearance in India to a crippled boy. “Many people do not know that she is the Mother of Good Health.”

There have been as many as 40 various images of Mary displayed during the festival that includes a procession, blessing, crowning of Mary, recitation of the rosary in different languages and Benediction.

Over the years, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito has participated. Traditionally, he welcomes all and presents a message, a highlight of the event. He also leads prayer of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, giving participants the opportunity to dedicate and consecrate themselves to Mary.

“These festivities allow participants an opportunity to experience the wide variety of diverse cultures that form the mosaic of the Catholic members of our diocese,” said Coz, hoping for a big turnout of faithful. “It is nice to see people of different countries of origin and various languages praying and honoring our Blessed Mother.”

Marian Rosary Festival: May 6, 2 p.m., Emmanuel Parish, 15700 S. Military Trail, Delray Beach. Theme: “Mary, Mother of the Church.” Procession of dozens of Marian images on the parish grounds by people representing various countries of the world, parishes and groups. Welcome and presentation by Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, rosary in various languages, crowning of Mary, music and Benediction. All are welcome. 561-496-2480,