Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by other priests, presented blessed rosaries to students of Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota on Aug. 16. The rosaries were blessed and given to the the school students as well as to students in religious education programs in the area.

First of 20,000 blessed rosaries distributed

Naples | On the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it was appropriate that rosaries to be distributed across the Diocese were blessed by Bishop Frank J. Dewane in Naples following two Catholic school Masses.

Approximately 20,000 rosaries will be blessed and distributed to each Catholic school and religious education student within the Diocese of Venice. Bishop Dewane kicked off the initiative in July with the blessing of the initial rosaries. Going forward, the Bishop opted to bless rosaries at each of the Catholic school Masses he will celebrate during the first month of the new academic year.

The first of these Masses was at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples Aug. 15. Being the Feast of the Assumption, the Bishop told the students that each needed to develop a special connection with the Blessed Virgin in their lives. The rosaries blessed at that Mass were distributed to Parishes throughout Collier County.

“Mary is the person who knows the Lord the best. She is our channel to the Lord in heaven as this feast day tells us,” Bishop Dewane said. “Praying the rosary needs to be more than a rote recitation. It is about a deep contemplation. The rosary is a tool that helps each of us grow closer to the Lord through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady brings us closer to Jesus through the meditation of the mysteries of Christ’s life, which is our life, because through this act, we walk with the Lord.”

Later the same day, Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass for the students at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples and again blessed rosaries for the students there.

“These rosaries are a gift from me to you students and students like you across the Diocese,” Bishop Dewane said. “They are something to treasure and care for. Some of the younger ones may not know how to pray the rosary, but I ask the teachers to help each of you learn to do so throughout the course of the year.”

Along with each rosary, the young people received a card “How to Pray the Rosary.” This is so they can carry it with them and learn the prayers properly. The Bishop encouraged the students to bring their rosary home, so they can share this important prayer with their family.

As part of the blessing, the Bishop says: “For those who pray the rosary through their lips and hearts, it is to give honor to the Mother of Your Son. Grant that they may be filled with an enduring devotion and at the end of their days be led into Your presence by the Virgin Mary.”

Rosaries were also blessed at school Masses in Sarasota and Venice on Aug. 16 and 17, with rosaries distributed to parishes across much of Sarasota County and parts of Charlotte County for students in Parish religious education programs.

A project of the Diocese of Venice, it is an outreach to the young people in the Diocese and follows the December 2017 Consecration of the Diocese to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Through the Act of Consecration by Bishop Dewane, the faithful confide the Diocese, and all its good works, to Our Lady to fulfill more readily the will of her Divine Son for His Church.