“If you pray the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory. Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if — and mark well what I say– if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”
~Saint Louis de Montfort~
The Queen of all Devotions
Saint Louis de Montfort’s insight in praying the Rosary, exceeded most others’. In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, he explains, “The word Rosary means “crown or garden of roses.” It is believed that each time we pray a Hail Mary we are giving Our Blessed Mother a rose and each complete Rosary makes a crown of roses. So, in praying the Rosary, we are giving Mary a crown of roses.” He offers detailed meanings and prayers on every bead and tells us that the Rosary is the queen of all devotions.
In addition to Saint de Montfort’s account, many saints have spoken of the importance of praying the Rosary. It is protection against evil. It pleases Our Lady and gives to us abundant graces. Many Catholics and non-Catholics, as well, pray the Rosary faithfully each day; sometimes alone, sometimes in a group, and at times, together with family. We know the importance of this prayer but do we understand it?
Is the Rosary a Marian Prayer?
Many people believe that the Rosary is a Marian prayer but it is, in fact, a Christocentric prayer. If you lay your rosary in a circle, you will see that it begins and ends with the crucifix. From the Annunciation to the Crucifixion, Ascension, and Resurrection, the Rosary is a walk with Our Lady, through the life of her Son and she asks that we pray it because it will bring us closer to Him. With Mary at our side, we walk through the events of Jesus’ life seeing them through her eyes, and, in this, we are brought to contemplation that unites us to Jesus.
The Rosary is a contemplative prayer
“Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ.”
~Pope Paul VI~
Countless books have been written to aid us in contemplating the mysteries of the Rosary. Some can transport us to each mystery; to bring us from the joy of the Nativity to weeping with Mary at the crucifixion, while others simply do not offer this depth of contemplation. I, personally, like looking at art by the great masters and envisioning myself in the scene. Some people have been blessed with the grace of a depth of prayer which needs no aids.
I often hear people say that they pray the Rosary in twenty minutes. Although I don’t criticize this, I have never been able to pray the Rosary in such a short time. I feel that to deeply meditate on each mystery, we need more time. I usually offer each decade and sometimes, each bead for a particular intention, so I spend about an hour praying my rosary. Many people do not have an hour in their busy day, to pray the Rosary along with other devotions. I do feel, however, that we should pray our rosary as slowly as we are able. By taking a little more time, we are giving ourselves the gift of spending more time with Our Lady and each moment with her is a moment closer to her son.
“When you say your Rosary, the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary.”
~Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche~
Marilyn Nash for Holyart.com