Nancy Bongsiysi Nyuydzefon, on internship
It has been observed for some time now, that some non-Catholic Christians pray with the Holy Rosary. In some of their rooms, pictures of the Virgin Mary are seen.
When asked why they pray the rosary many of them give one common
reply, “I just like it,” some also have testified that when they pray
with this Blessed model they are saved from the hands of the devil and
receive true peace.
There has been a long standing contention between Catholics and non-Catholics regarding the place the Blessed Virgin Mary should occupy in the Church. The special treatment given to her and most of all the prayers said to Her are considered by non-Catholics as a form of worship which to them is not bible-based and therefore wrong.
Today, it has been observed that many Protestants pray the Rosary. Talking to the press on this observation, the Vicar General of the Arch Diocese of Douala, Mgr Paul Nyaga said he had made the same observation even with Moslems. During the two years spent in Lebanon, he saw a beautiful shrine of the Virgin Mary, called "Our Lady of Lebanon".
There, he said, he saw Christians and non-Christians alike including Moslems, come to pray to Our Lady with the Holy rosary, especially in the month of May. He said, "more Moslems come to pray the rosary in the month of May than Christians, it is what I saw".
Still talking to the Press he asked, "is there any link between Moslems, Protestants, and Catholics?", and affirmed that there is a link between them. Mgr Paul Nyaga, Vicar General of Douala Diocese, said that this link is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord and the mother of all mankind.
He also said that non-Catholic Christians and Moslems have come to understand the meaning and the place of the Virgin Mary in their lives; that Catholics can pray to Jesus through her and meditate the mysteries of Jesus' life by praying the rosary. An elder of the Mosque in Bonaberi, Al el Yusuf, said Mary is the mother of a great prophet called Jesus and that she was chosen by God to be the blessed amongst women.
He said according to their doctrine, prayers to any other person apart from Allah are not allowed. A converted Moslem who changed his name from Njoro to Emmanuel said he prays the rosary and believes in it. In a chat with L'Effort camerounais, Bonde and Cecile, a Baptist and Presbyterian respectively, both admitted praying the Rosary from time to time.
Reverend Sisters Mary and Quinta of the St Theresa Congregation told L'Effort camerounais that in Sabongari and Douala where their congregation is found, many non-Catholics often come to them with their problems, especially those of a spiritual nature. In many cases, they said, they offer these people Holy Water and the Holy Rosary to pray.
The Sisters said these people always return to thank them for the peace they got by praying the Holy Rosary. Through such experiences, many now believe in praying with the Rosary. According to the Pastor of the main Presbyterian Church Molyko-Buea, Christians should be reminded to be faithful to the religion they profess as individuals.
He also told L’Effort, that praying the Holy Rosary is not part of the Presbyterian doctrine but that if any Presbyterian prays with the rosary, then he\she is doing it as an individual and that if truly any Christian feels; as a non-Catholic Christian that he\she can get to Christ through Mary, then let him\her go ahead. Nevertheless he reiterated and emphasized that, we who worship God as our Father, should not lose hold of our proper identities.
We should be faithful to the religion we all profess. It is thus clear how, inspired by this Holy Model of prayer, the love for the world shone through Pope John Paul II’s words and actions. He could not resist the abundant graces it had and kept dedicating our world to God through Mary by praying the Holy Rosary everyday.
Meanwhile, the Pope never stopped reminding us that we all belong to the same God, irrespective of the different religions we profess. It is fast becoming evident that through the Blessed Virgin Mary ,mother of our Lord Jesus and mother of the whole world, all Gods children will come together as one.
Surely we could never have anymore clear example of how powerful the love of a mother could be than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mgr Paul Nyaga notes that it is our responsibility, to welcome and teach anybody who comes to us willing to learn how to pray the Rosary. He kept on saying that many non-Catholics pray with the Rosary and do not pray the Rosary; so if they are willing the are very much welcome to come and learn how to pray the Rosary.
During this festive period, we also beg Our Lady of Lebanon to intercede for her children, that peace may reign between Israel and Iran.