NEWS: Blessed Bartolo Longo, the ex-Satanist Who Was Freed Through the Rosary! Bartolo Longo was born in the small town of Latiano, in Italy on February 10, 1841. His parents, Dr. Bartolomeo Longo and Antonina Luparelli, were wealthy and devout Catholics who prayed the Rosary together daily. Longo became alienated from the Church when his mother died in 1851. Being far from his family when he left to study law at the University of Naples, he drifted further away. The final coup de grâce occurred when he fell in with a pagan group which “ordained” him as a Satanist priest. He participated in séances, fortune telling and orgies. He felt motivated to publicly ridicule Christianity at every turn and did everything within his power to subvert Catholic influence in society and culture. He even convinced many other Catholics to leave the Church and participate in occult rites. But the more he experimented with dark forces, the deeper he sank into depression and demonic obsession. Joy, like God, was far from him. In their stead, his life was marked with extreme depression, paranoia, hatred, confusion and nervousness. He was horribly afflicted by dark diabolical visions which frightened him and threw him into a cycle of ever declining health. He ultimately experienced a mental breakdown. In his darkest moments, he heard his deceased father begging him to: “Return to God! Return to God!” greatly moved by this vision, Longo turned to his old friend Professor Vincenzo Pepe. Vincenzo convinced Longo to abandon Satan and introduced him to Fr. Alberto Radente, a Dominican priest. He heard Longo’s confession and brought him back to God and His Church. One evening, as he walked near chapel at Pompeii, Longo had a profound mystical experience about which he wrote later: “As I pondered over my condition, I experienced a deep sense of despair and almost committed suicide. Then I heard an echo in my ear of the voice of Friar Alberto repeating the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary: ‘If you seek salvation, promulgate the Rosary. This is Mary’s own promise.’ These words illuminated my soul. I went on my knees. ‘If it is true … I will not leave this valley until I have propagated your Rosary.’ On March 25, 1871, Longo became a Third Order Dominican and took the name Br. Rosario in honor of the Rosary. He joined a charitable group in Pompeii and worked with Countess Mariana di Fusco, a wealthy local widow who he married a year later at Pope Leo XIII’s recommendation. The devout couple started a confraternity of the Rosary and searched for a painting of the Blessed Virgin to serve as a spiritual focus for the group. Sister Maria Concetta de Litala of the Monastery of the Rosary at Porta Medina gave one which she found at a Neapolitan junk shop. The painting portrayed Our Lady of the Rosary with Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena, but only barely. It was poorly executed and in miserable condition but he viewed it as a divine gift. He later described it in his journal: “Not only was it worm-eaten, but the face of the Madonna was that of a coarse, rough country-woman … a piece of canvas was missing just above her head … her mantle was cracked. St. Dominic looked like a street idiot. To Our Lady’s left was St. Rose. This I had changed later into a St. Catherine of Siena … I hesitated whether to refuse the gift or to accept …” He repaired it and had a more competent artist touch it up and had it installed at a ramshackle church which he also repaired in October, 1873. Miracles were reported within hours of its installation. Seeing the devotion of the pilgrims, the bishop of Nola encouraged Bartolo to construct a larger church. The born-again Catholic approached architect Giovanni Rispoli to build, saying: “In this place selected for its prodigies, we wish to leave to present and future generations a monument to the Queen of Victories that will be less unworthy of her greatness but more worthy of our faith and love.” construction began on May 8, 1876. Cardinal La Valetta consecrated the church in May, 1891. In 1906, Bartolo and his wife donated the Pompeii shrine to the Holy See. Bartolo continued to promote the Rosary until his death on October 5, 1926, at the age of 75. He tirelessly evangelized young people at parties and in local cafes, explaining the dangers of occultism to them. In 1939, the church Bartolo and his wife built was enlarged and reconsecrated as a basilica. It was officially renamed the Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii. It soon became a focus of pilgrimages for more than a century. Apparently, most Catholics and non-Catholics found the church built by an ex-Satanist to be devilishly irresistible. When Bartolo died, the call for his canonization was immediate. Pope St. John Paul II beatified him on October 26, 1980 calling him the “Apostle of the Rosary.” More than 30,000 people attended the ceremony. Every school student in Christendom knows what happened to the city of Pompeii on August 24, AD 79 — most people don’t realize that the “new” Pompeii rose from the destroyed city’s ashes 1,796 years later because of Our Lady of the Rosary and her devotee. In his “The History of the Shrine of Pompeii,” Bartolo wrote:
“Next to a land of dead appeared, quite suddenly, a land of resurrection and life: next to a shattered amphitheater soiled with blood, there is a living Temple of faith and love, a sacred Temple to the Virgin Mary; from a town buried in the filth of gentilism, arises a town full of life, drawing its origins from a new civilization brought by Christianity: The New Pompeii!… It is the new civilization that openly appears beside the old; the new art next to the old; Christianity full of life in juxtaposition to long surpassed paganism.” The newly constructed Basilica attracted new families, a railway station, postal and telegraph services, the police, roads, water, electricity, hotels, restaurants and shops. About three million pilgrims come to the Basilica every year thus bringing new life to the long-dead city of Pompeii. Thus, the resurrection and salvation of Pompeii is now eternally linked with the resurrection and salvation of Blessed Bartolo Longo―the once demonic prodigal son returned home to the embrace of Holy Mother Church.
The truly wonderful thing about Bartolo Longo becoming a saint in the very Church he had worked so hard to destroy is that if God could work through him, there’s still hope for the rest of us … including myself. (It’s really such devilish irony.) In God, all things are possible. Angelo Stagnaro
“pray the rosary everyday for the conversion of sinners.”
May 6th: The First Saturday will be held at 9:00 am at the Fatima Shrine Boston. The Most Rev. Anthony Michalik CSSR will preside, following mass, we will recite the rosary, and have coffee.
May 6th: There will be a rosary , music and fellowship at the Fatima Shrine Boston starting at 3:00 pm. This event is sponsored by the Spanish Community from St. Columbkilles.
May 13th: Saturday May 13th the feast of our Lady of Fatima we are planning day long event starting with Mass in the morning at 10:am followed by adoration all day and then a 7:00 pm, we will have our Candlelight Procession beginning at St. Columbkills church processing from there to the shrine where we will end with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
May 20th: The Pro-life Mass will be held at 10:30 am at the Fatima Shrine Boston.
May 27: The next Marian Movement of Priest prayer Cenacles will be held on Saturday May 27nd at the shrine at 9:00 am. Rev. Andre Feain F.I will lead us
On all Sunday’s: The Crusaders of Fatima will meet at the shrine at 2:00 pm for the rosary for peace.