English - Speaking Pastoral Committee
Address： 125 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
Tsim Sha Tsui
Rosary Church in Tsim Sha Tsui was built in 1905 with a generous donation from a Portuguese Catholic, Antonio Simplicio Gomes, M.D. His wish was to commemorate his parents by offering this church to Our Lady of Pompeii.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town situated near Naples, Italy. With the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. the then 600-year-old town with its 20,000 inhabitants was buried under thick volcano ash and forgotten for about 1700 years. Upon excavation in 1748, two-thirds of the town emerged as a witness to the light and shadows of the Roman civilization.
The statue of Our Lady of Pompeii, also known as Queen
of the Rosary, which graces the sanctuary is one meter
wide and 1.2 meters high and had previously been kept in
a monastery in
Naples. It portrays Mary holding
Baby Jesus in her right arm while He is giving a rosary
to St. Dominic.
Mary's left hand, pointing downwards, is giving St.
Catherine of Siena a rosary.
A Sister of the monastery gave this picture to a
young Italian lawyer, Bartolo Longo (1841-1926), who had
visited Pompeii to promote the
recitation of the rosary. Later Longo built a church to
house the picture which attracted pilgrims from all over
the world who said prayers before this picture. Many of
them claimed to have witnessed miracles. Longo was
beatified in 1980 and was called a "Man of Mary".
He held that
popular piety speaks the language of theologians in the
The beginning of the rosary prayer, composed of 150
Angelic salutations and 15 Our Fathers, was accredited
to St. Dominic (1170-1221) in the time of the
Albigensian heresy. Thereafter, the rosary became
inseparable from the devotion to Mary.
Pope Gregory XIII
(1572-1585) established 7th October as the Feast of the
Rosary. Pope Leo
XIII (1878-1903) dedicated the month of October to the
Holy Rosary. Pope
John Paul II (1978-2005) proclaimed 2002 as the "Year of
the Rosary". In
that year he also added the "Mysteries of Light" to form
the fourth chaplet in addition to the traditional three
chaplets. In that year, the icon of Our Lady of Pompeii
was at St. Peter's Basilica,
Vatican, by the
explicit order of the Pope.