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"The Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet put an incredible peace in my life that I hadn't had before," says Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC. He is shown above in the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, where he serves as rector.

Meet Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC

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By Dan Valenti (Apr 9, 2008)
Father Anthony Gramlich, MIC, rector of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., finds devotion to Mary automatic, as natural as breathing. It's one of the fulfillments of living in community with fellow priests and brothers of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

"We encourage each other to stay close to Mary, because she is our lifeline to Jesus," Fr. Anthony says. "It's our charism as Marians. It's our life, something so entrenched that we don't even have to think about it. The presence of Mary is there on our Marian seal, our statues, our pictures, and our architecture. It's there at evening prayer when we sing the "Salve Regina," and it's there after the Liturgy of the Hours, which we pray as a community every evening and morning. She's always there."

Our Lady became an integral part of Fr. Anthony's life as a young man growing up in New Jersey, when he discovered the Mother of Divine Mercy Prayer Group at his church. He learned how to pray the Rosary and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. He says he had a conversion experience "where God touched my life. The Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet put an incredible peace in my life that I hadn't had before."

This led to a love of Mary, a call to the priesthood, and seeking a religious order with a Marian emphasis.

"I chose the Marians of the Immaculate Conception because of my devotion to the Blessed Mother," Fr. Anthony says. "That has now become the central focus of my spirituality. I go to Jesus through Mary. She is my mother, my help, my guardian, and the one who leads me in my spiritual life and guides me every day."

Marians are obliged to pray the Rosary every day, but Fr. Anthony says "it's not an obligation for me. The Rosary is my favorite prayer. It's easy and simple to pray, a meditation on the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of Mary. If you want to know the Son, you go through the mother. That's why I love it, because through the Rosary, the Blessed Mother gives me tremendous insight on how I can lead a better life."

Father Anthony likes to recite the Rosary in the evening after dinner or exercise, though, depending on his schedule, he may pray it during the day or alone in his room. When he can, he likes to stroll the Shrine grounds and pray while he's walking.

When praying the Rosary, Fr. Anthony says he often uses picture books, using the images to keep his mind focused on the mysteries. This helps his meditations. He also asks for a specific virtue with each mystery, for example, seeking humility while reciting the Annunciation decade or charity during the Visitation.

Before he prays the Rosary, he seeks the Holy Spirit's guidance and offers to the Blessed Mother "any petitions or intercessions from any people who have asked me to pray for them during the day."

Sometimes, Fr. Anthony admits, the Rosary "gets repetitious, and you have to psyche yourself up to pray it." But, he says, "I think there's even more merit when you don't feel like praying the Rosary and you do it anyway. That's showing your fidelity and love for God through the Blessed Mother."

As his devotion to Mary deepens, Fr. Anthony finds that God graces his priesthood with more of an ability to share the Blessed Mother with other people through homilies, in confessions, and in counseling and prayer.

"The grace is not just for me but for others. What I say to people is just experience it. Experience the love of your mother."

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Jeannie - Apr 11, 2008

Experience the love of YOUR mother! What a great article and so much love for Mary our Mother! Jesus said from the Cross ..to St. John..behold your Mother ..and he says that to ALL humanity even NOW...Mary , MY Mother!

Virginia Counard - Aug 13, 2008

Father Anthony,

What a beautiful story. I was browsing the web and came across your story. I was named after the Virgin Mary. That is how my mom got the name Virginia. I, myself, say the rosary every day and have for some time now. I plan on using your beautiful story for my CCD/RE students here in New Jersey.

May God continue to bless and guide you.

THADEUS - Oct 29, 2008

As my name, i love my patron saint because he died for Christ.For that reason I to him and he provides whatever I want. PRAY THROUGH HIM YOU WILL PROVE

Chris McLaughlin - Apr 30, 2009

Keep up the great work. What a blessing you have been given. Please remember me in your prayers. My father Michael knew you some years ago at Holy Name. Please e-mail me at the contact email provided sometime.

Kathleen - Jan 7, 2010

God Bless you, Father Anthony.
Thanks for your inspiring words about going to MARY FOR HELP.
I pray to the Blessed Mother, that I will grow in holiness, each and every day. I offer my life to help her bring peace to this world and to help save the suffering souls in purgatory.
Keep up the great work. May Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament be adored in Every tabernacle of the world. Let us bow our knees here on earth, in humble adoration.

Lisa Eichelser - Feb 1, 2010

God Bless you Father Anthony for touching my life. I had the divine privilege of meeting you at the top of the drive, for last Thursday evenings Madugorje Healing Mass. I am a 42 year old mother of 3. I am currently in remission with Lung Cancer and offer prayers of thanks to Jesus each day. I have many questions that I seek answers to and feel spiritually driven toward seeking a more intimate relationship with Jesus through the Blessed Mother. I thank you for your Healing and praying over me through the laying of hands I received. I look forward to walking the path that Jesus now is guiding me in. I truly thank You for sharing the Blessed Mother with me through my first experience at The Shrine of Divine Mercy.

Handmaiden-Praying-4-U - Oct 11, 2011

I thought of you today because last night I dreamt that you accompanied me on a bus to mentor me on my journey, and you consoled me by your priestly conversation. Maybe the bus aspect was in my mind because of that Marian video of the guy reading the prayerbook on the bus/subway, or maybe because I was recently writing with a sister about whether I had to take a bus to get to their retreat location. But anyway, while I was dreaming this your face was familiar, but it wasn't till I woke up and searched my memory to realize that I'd seen you before in real life at a Franciscan University mass in which you told your vocation story about someone predicting you'd be a priest while praying over you - also I'd seen your face on the Marian website. But why were you in my dream of all faces, I don't know - I can only imagine that you needed my prayers, and I will be praying for you more beginning today. I don't think it's a good idea to place too much emphasis on dreams, but another MIC has also directed me through a dream before. Perhaps because I am praying for the MIC's so much and maybe your spirits actually are reaching out asking for my prayers? I'm not normally a mystical person nor a visionary, but I take dreams as a sign to pray for the people in my dreams...the people are so real like I really saw them, y'know? It is a mystery, but the point is that I will be praying for you in case you need more prayers for some reason. Hang in there brother, persevere with your holy vocation!