Catholic Review of: Praying the Rosary with St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate
By Breanne Clarke (CO) - See all my reviews
A rare artistic gem by one of the Church's greatest saints.
When I think of the "works" of saints I immediately think of books and letters. St. Alphonsus Liguori has a large catalog of books and is probably best known for his Way of the Cross or The Glories of Mary. What most people dont' realize is that in addition to being a prolific author, he was also a painter and a musician. His artistic works have recently been released by the Redemptorists in the CD Praying the Rosary with St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori.
This album is a 2-CD set with the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries. It begins with a nice introduction that sets the stage for this rosary by telling the story of how he gave up a promising legal career and his inheritance and dedicated his life to Our Lady.
Each mystery of the Rosary is prefaced with a hymn written by St. Alphonsus and a spoken meditation that is taken from The Glories of Mary and other works by the saint. The music is accompanied by a string quartet with occasional oboe, harpsichord and organ. Some of the singing is in parts, one song is sung by a male soloist and another sounds like it is done with a children's choir. The meditations are read by Rev. Peter Schavittz, C.Ss.R. in a semi-dramatic, but appealing manner. He also leads the prayers to St. Alphonsus' music in the background while a group of women say the responses.
Each mystery of the rosary is set to a different theme appropriate to the subject matter. The Sorrowful Mysteries have solemn music while the Glorious Mysteries are accompanied to a more uplifting theme. The Luminous Mysteries were not part of the Rosary when St. Alphonsus Liguori was living but this section also has its own theme. It makes me wonder if St. Alphonsus' music was specifically written for this purpose or if the Redemtorists fit it to the rosary.
The packaging for the CD sleeve is professionally printed and includes a short meditation for each decade as well as suggested Scripture readings. The picture on the front is an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the inside includes the meaning and history of the image. The real bonus found inside though is the artwork done by St. Alphonsus. He painted one image of Our Lady and one of the Crucifixion.
This CD is pleasant to listen to and of great devotional and historical value. The quality of the recording and packaging make it a good alternative to some of the other Rosary CDs available and it is worth having in your collection. If that isn't enough, proceeds from the purchase of this album go to building churches, clinics, and schools and provide medicine, food and clothing for the poor in Brazil and Nigeria.