07 October 2008

A Guide to the Rosary from the Faroe Islands

Kirkjubøur spiritual and cultural centre of the Faroe Islands
from time of the first settlers to the Reformation.
Buildings included several churches, a bishop´s residence and seminary.

In the summer of 2000 I spent nearly six weeks in the Faroe Islands in the north Atlantic after having given a retreat in Cebuano to the Filipinos in Reykjavík, Iceland, and travelling around that country meeting the Filipinos living there and celebrating Mass with them in their homes, since there are very few Catholic churches there.

The Faroe Islands are under the sovereignty of Denmark but have some autonomy. They are not part of the European Union and have their own language of which they are very proud, but not in an ‘over and against others’ way. There are very few Catholics among the population of about 45,000. There is a community of six Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in the capital, Torshavn, from Belgium, Ireland, Korea and Malta. There is no resident priest but the parish is administered from Copenhagen. The Diocese of Copenhagen covers Denmark, the Faroes and Greenland. Most of the time there is a priest but last year, for example, priests were there for 15 different ‘slots’, three of them filled by the parish priest, Fr Lars Messerschmidt. However, there is a permanent deacon, the Reverend Christian Gabrielsen, a Dane.



1) The Annunciation
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord”
(Luke 1: 26-38; Isaiah 7:14)
2) The Visitation
“Blessed are you among women”
(Luke 1: 39-56)
3) The Birth of Jesus
“A Saviour has been born to you”
(Luke 2: 1-20; John 1: 14)
4) The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
“Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord”
(Luke 2: 22-35; John 1: 9-11)
5) The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“”Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father´s affairs?”
(Luke 2: 41-52)

The carving of Our Lady of Kirkjubøur is a copy of the original carving
which is to be found on one of the Kirkjubøur benches,
and currently on display in the National Museum.
This carving is the handwork of parishioner, Ole Jacob Nielsen,
and is carved in Faroese wood.


1) The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased”
(Luke 3: 15-22)
2) The Miracle at the Marriage Feast in Cana
“They have no wine”
(John 2: 1-11)
3) The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the Call to Conversion
“Repent and believe in the Good News”
(Mark 1: 14-15; Matthew 4:23)
4) The Transfiguration of Jesus
“There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzingly white,
whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them”
(Mark 9: 2-9)

5) The Institution of the Eucharist
“Do this as a memorial of me”
(1 Corinthians 11: 23-27; John 13: 2-20)


1) The Agony in the Garden
“Let your will be done, not mine”
(Luke 22: 39-53)
2) The Scourging at the Pillar
“He ordered Jesus to be first scourged and then handed over to be crucified”
(Matthew 27: 11-26)
3) The Crowning of Jesus with Thorns
“Having twisted some thorns into a crown they put this on his head”
(Matthew 27: 27 -31)
4) The Carrying of the Cross
“Carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull”
(John 19: 17-22; Luke 23: 26-32)
5) The Crucifixion
“It is accomplished”
(Luke 23: 33-46; John 19: 23-37)

Stained glass window located at the church entrance, Mariukirkjan, Torshavn, the only Catholic chapel in the Islands,
is the work of Danish artist, Sven Havsteen Mikkelsen.

A great portent appeared in heaven:
a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

(Revelation 12: 1)


1) The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead
“He is not here; he has risen”
(Luke 24: 1-8; John 20: 11-18)
2) The Ascension into Heaven
“he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight”
(Acts 1: 3-11: Matthew 28: 18-20)
3) The Descent of the Holy Spirit
“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit”
(Acts 2: 1-13; John 14: 16-21)
4) The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven
“all men will be brought to life in Christ”
(1 Corinthians 15: 20-23; Ephesians 2:4-10, Luke 1: 46-55)

5) The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven
“a great sign appeared in heaven”
(Revelation 12: 1-10; John 19: 25-27)

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