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Why pray the rosary ?


Why should we pray the rosary? Does God hear our prayers?


The Holy Rosary: Satan’s Nemesis

rosary, prayer, devotion, marian, mary, jesus

October is known as the month of the Holy Rosary. In honor of this recognition, lets examine some of the history of the rosary, what it is and what it is not, how to say it, and answer some common objections to its use.

Rosary History

The origin of the Holy Rosary is somewhat cloudy.  Originally, monks recited all 150 psalms in prayer (how anyone could memorize all 150 psalms is a miracle!).  This proved to be very hard for most people to do, so eventually 150 “Hail Mary’s” were said instead, interspersed with the “Our Father” between every ten Hail Mary’s. Small pebbles were used as counters.  Over time, meditations on the life of Jesus and Mary were added to every five decades of the Hail Mary’s, and the pebbles were strung together.

Some say that the Virgin Mary Herself gave all of this to St. Dominic in the thirteenth Century, while others deny that assertion. But most certainly, St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominicans (the Order of Preachers), did preach the Holy Rosary, and he was very successful in overcoming the Albigensian heresy with it. After St. Dominic died, the use of the Rosary waned, but later on, Blessed Alan de la Roche, under the inspiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, rekindled the use of the Rosary.

The Rosary was instrumental in the defeat of the Muslims at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Muslims had already taken Constantinople, and were looking at taking over Italy and Austria as well. Pope St. Pius V asked the Holy Roman Empire to say the Holy Rosary to help defeat the Muslims. Even though the Catholic forces were outnumbered, the Muslims were defeated at the Battle of Lepanto, and driven out of Europe.  The next year, the Pope declared October 7 to be the Feast of the Holy Rosary, and this is still celebrated today in the Holy Catholic Church.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, at Fatima in 1917, told us all to say the Rosary daily, because Communism and the errors of Russia were about to spread worldwide.  In an ironic twist of fate, a 1917 godless workers’ revolt in the streets of Russia (Communist Bolsheviks) was overcome with a 1989 Catholic workers’ revolt in the streets of Poland (Solidarity).  The faithful in Poland said millions of rosaries during the fifty years that they were occupied by the Nazis and the Communists, and they thus helped to free the world from Russia’s errors! This fulfilled the Divine Mercy promise of Jesus to St. Faustina in the 1920’s:

“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary, 1732) ”.

The Jesuit priests in Hiroshima, Japan were living the message of Fatima during WWII. They said the rosary daily. When the US dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, none of the eight priests there were killed, nor did they have radiation poisoning, even though they were very close to ground zero. This medical miracle cannot be explained by modern science, but it can be explained by the power of the rosary. St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Franciscan Friary in Nagasaki also survived the atomic blast there as well. An interesting fact is that Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, in the US, but in Japan, across the international date line, it was December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. WWII officially ended on August 15, 1945 the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

What Is the Rosary?

The rosary is nothing more than vocal prayer mixed with the meditation on the 20 mysteries of sacred scripture.  These 20 mysteries are broken down into the subsets of the Joyful, the Luminous, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious mysteries. Each subset is usually said on a different day. It combines the physical movement of the beads as counters, with repetitive prayer out loud, along with silent meditative prayer. It takes some practice to get this done properly, but once it’s accomplished, the prayer of the rosary is, after the Eucharist, the most powerful force on earth.

How to Say the Rosary

You should offer up each rosary you say for somebody or something, like for your family, or to overcome a sinful addiction, or for an end to abortion, etc. The rosary prayers are simple – it starts out with the Apostles Creed on the Crucifix, then an “Our Father” on each large bead. Each small bead is a “Hail Mary.”  After meditation on each mystery on each decade (ten Hail Mary’s), a “Glory Be” and the Fatima prayer is said. It all ends with the “Hail Holy Queen.”  Five decades on one set of mysteries (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, or Glorious) is usually considered one rosary. The key to saying the rosary successfully is not to concentrate on the Hail Mary’s during your meditation on the mystery. Total meditation on each mystery is the key. It helps the meditation if you put yourself into the mystery, i.e., you are standing next to Mary watching Jesus being crucified, or you are at the Last Supper watching Jesus consecrate the bread and wine.  It also helps to personalize the mystery. For example, during the “Presentation of the Lord” mystery, you can ask yourself if you are ready to have Mary present you to the Lord to be admitted into Heaven.  During the “Finding in the Temple” mystery, you can meditate on finding Jesus on the altar in the Tabernacle or during Adoration, and ask yourself if He is teaching you anything.  During the “Crucifixion” mystery, you can think about which of your own sins helped to nail Jesus to that cross.  During the “Resurrection” mystery, you can ponder Jesus asking you three times if  you really love Him, like He asked Peter after he rose from the dead. The list is endless for personification of these mysteries, but it really is the key to unlocking the power of the rosary.

EWTN International Rosary