Friday, 4 December 2015

From the Apostle Andrew to the Queen of the Rosary (1)

(text by courtesy of "Królowa Różańca Świętego" ("Queen of the Holy Rosary") magazine)

 Cross of Apostle Andrew
 The region around Pompeii is very fertile in terms of sites of religious devotion and ones associated with various saints. One such is Amalfi, lying off the most beautiful road in Europe, as many term the ‘Costiere Amalfitana’.

 Relics of the St. Andrew the Apostle have been found there for the last 804 years. They were initially transferred from Patras in Greece, where the apostle was crucified, to Constantinople (present day Istanbul, Turkey). The relics of the first of the apostles (John 1:40) reached there on 3 March 357, and were laid in the Church of the Holy Apostles. The Emperor desired to himself be laid to rest among the apostles. The relics of St. Andrew remained there for the next 850 years. During the IV Crusade (1203-1204), Cardinal Petrus von Capua transferred them to Amalfi, then a significant part of the maritime Republic. Naples, with its’ many secrets and saints, lies to the North-West of Amalfi, with Salerno, with the tomb of St. Matthew the Apostle, to the North-East. A few kilometres from Naples, in the direction of Amalfi, lies New Pompeii, a town which was granted a new spirit, thanks to Bartolomeo Longo, who also gifted the beautiful Basilica of the Queen of the Holy Rosary.

 My road to discovery of the charism of that place led through Amalfi, that is, through St. Andrew the Apostle, whose relics I received on 30th of November 2008, for which I was granted the grace allowing me to build an altar in my present parish in Kopfing-im-Innkreis, Austria. The words of St. John the Evangelist, when he said of St. Andrew, that he brought his brother Peter to Jesus, were again fulfilled. I myself experienced this mission of being brought to Jesus.


 Many tourists visiting the ruins of Pompeii are entirely unaware that they have entirely ignored the most precious pearl of this city and of the Church, of Blessed Bartolomeo and of his efforts to bring everyone to the Rosary and to Divine Mercy, of the existence of the new town, its’ history and structure, and, above all else, of the wonderful basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.

I am one of those tourists, who, having visited Pompeii several times, was unaware that its’ greatest pearl lay 500 metres from the ruins covered in dust from the volcano. I even admit that I once looked into the basilica when looking to buy something to drink. I was drawn to this church and its’ beautiful façade, although as it was not yet time for me to receive this grace, I then left Pompeii, in ignorance of the charism of this area.

I was to receive this particular grace through the Apostle Andrew, thanks to whom I was to see the Amalfi region with new eyes, made aware of its’ existence thanks to information circulating around Poland, thanks to the apostolate of friends of Our Lady Of the Rosary and Blessed Bartolomeo. In the second part of this article, I intend to reveal the surprising ‘path of grace’ which led me to the moment when I received the relics of St. Andrew and realised that it is this very apostle who is the most suitable patron of the new Evangelisation, as his very first achievement was to bring his brother Peter to Jesus. (John, 1:42), with whom Our Lord made the rock on which His Church was built (Matthew, 16:18).

Fr. Andrzej Skoblicki

(translation into English: Joanna Jabłońska)

Original Article - Divine Mercy Group - Edinburgh