In this book, Fr Gabriel Harty tells his story in relation to the Rosary, the cultivation of his lifelong devotion to it, and the healing and grace it holds for all who partake in it.
After serving as a chaplain and parish curate for some years, Gabriel M. Harty OP made the decision to devote his life to the service of the Mother of God in whatever way she wished. His search led him to the Dominican Order, and he was professed a friar of the Order of Preachers in 1950. Since then, Fr Gabriel has directed all his energies to the apostolate of the Rosary. This work is a wonderful testament to that apostolate.
Gabriel M. Harty OP was born in 1921 and ordained a secular priest for the Archdiocese of Dublin in 1945. Apart from his many preaching assignments, he has researched his subject in libraries and archives throughout Europe. He is especially interested in the healing power of the Rosary, and has established prayer groups and communities in every part of Ireland.
He has produced hundreds of booklets, pamphlets and CDs on every aspect of the Rosary.
Fr Gabriel Harty, the 'Irish Rosary Priest' will be in Veritas, Abbey Street next Monday to give a short talk and blessing of rosary beads. All welcome!
Having earned his title as `the Rosary Priest of Ireland', Fr Gabriel Harry or, having recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday, continues to preach the Rosary. In his latest book, Heaven Sent, Fr Gabriel reflects back on his early memories of growing up in Dublin and the many years of active service he gave as a Dominican Priest. It is clear that the Rosary has influenced every aspect of his life, but this book is more than just an autobiography. Although Fr Gabriel includes stories from his own life experiences along with reflections from his personal meditations, the focus of the book always remains centred on the importance of the Rosary as a prayer which invites us into the mysteries of Christ. The very title, Heaven Sent, reminds us that the Rosary was not created by any particular person, but truly a gift from God and his Blessed Mother.
Tracing back to the origins of the prayer, Heaven Sent outlines how the Rosary evolved over the centuries and grew in popularity through the preaching of the Dominican Friars. True to the spirit of St Dominic, Fr Gabriel teaches why this prayer is just as important today as it was when Christians first began to mediate on its mysteries. Fr Gabriel's description of the Rosary as `a prayer which is both simple and profound,' could equally be said of his latest work. It is a straightforward and very enjoyable book, and yet, it contains the profound insights of a priest who dedicated his life to putting into practice that which he preaches.
Colm Mannion OP, Spirituality, September/October 2012
Former director of the Rosary Apostolate in lreland, Fr Gabriel Harty has published in his 91st year a very personal and profound reflection on the prayer which has underpinned his life and spirituality. Few understand the long and complex history, use of and perhaps most importantly the healing power of the Rosary better than Fr Harty, who has spent a great part of his long life researching the prayer and establishing prayer groups the length and breadth of lreland to such a degree that he has become known as 'The Rosary Priest of lreland'.
ln Heaven Sent: My Life Through the Rosary he begins with his happy childhood memories of the prayer where even the family dog and cat settled down for the nightly recitation of the Rosary in the kitchen, in the dog's case lying across the back of young Gabriel's legs as the prayers proceeded. From homely reminiscing he moves swiftly and succinctly to the history and evolution of the Rosary, its place in the life of the people, its use as a teaching tool and as a corrective for deficient or dubious theology down the ages.
The important role played by various popes too in the development of the Rosary is noted, particularly that of John Paul II and his additional 'Mysteries of Light'. A line by line exegesis of the Hail Mary as well as a reflection on each Mystery provides further opportunities to appreciate the depth of the spiritual insights and communion offered by this ancient prayer which is used with true devotion beyond the Christian, Catholic tradition.
A moving and unique testament worthy of any spiritual library.
Fr Paul Clayton-Lea, Intercom, February 2013