The Power Of The Holy Rosary, Full of Mystery!
I remember in my earlier years when my childhood friends and I would pass around slum books (a.k.a. “slam book” or a “notebook” ) for it to be filled up and answered among friends. Does anyone of you remember this? For sure, millenials are still aware of this but the Generation Z may not. The said slum book, which is actually a notebook or a makeshift one, contains both profile and personal questions, one of which is: “What is Love? or How do you define Love?”. I recalled that one of the bestselling responses to the said query was: “Love is like a Rosary that is full of mystery”! Of course, as young girls then, we wouldn’t really know the deeper meaning and the rationale behind the said definition as we neither have any idea nor prior knowledge of what is it all about. But what we’ve learned from our religious nuns who normally were the religion teachers and catechists then was that the prayer of the Holy Rosary is composed of many mysteries and is one of the devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Like Love, the Holy Rosary prayer is indeed full of love and mysteries literally and figuratively! The said prayer is composed, principally and in substance, of four major “mysteries” (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous) involving the life, passion, death, resurrection and glory of Jesus Christ. It is basically a summary of our Catholic doctrine embodying the fundamental mysteries of our faith and the story behind God’s love for all of us. The Holy Rosary also encompasses the 6 Liturgical Seasons of the Catholic Church from Advent, Christmas, Lent, Triduum, Easter to Ordinary Time. That is the reason why the Blessed Mother, in most of her apparitions, encouraged everyone to pray the Holy Rosary. It is a very powerful prayer containing Christ’s prayer (Our Father) and the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary) that even our present and previous Holy Fathers acknowledged this and it has become their favorite prayer after the Holy Eucharist (Mass) and the Liturgy of the Hours. Pope Francis, himself, said that the Holy Rosary “sustains us in the battle against the evil one and his accomplices”.
The Catholic Church has approved the devotion of the Holy Rosary. The month of October (specificially October 7) has been dedicated to the feast day of the Holy Rosary, specifically to Our Blessed Mother being the Lady and Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. Based on accounts, the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Dominic and gave him a Rosary to protect him from harm against heretics and told him to spread and teach others to pray the same.
For us Catholics, we have been privileged to know the prayer of the Holy Rosary and its remarkable benefits. Unfortunately, some of our brothers and sisters consider this prayer boring, repetitious, meaningless, and a mere prayer to Mary who simply plays the role of a Mother of Jesus Christ on earth. They may have their own reasons but they have failed to recognize the essence and importance of the prayer to their Christian faith. Yes, the Holy Rosary prayer may seem long and repetitive (that is repeating the Hail Mary’s all over again) but if recited wholeheartedly contemplating and meditating on each of the mysteries, everyone would realize that it is the most beautiful, useful and tireless devotion that we could offer to God, the Blessed Mother and mankind.
Please allow me to reminisce about my mother, once again, because she truly influenced us on this matter. My mother was a devotee of the Holy Rosary. She would say the prayer devotedly including the Litany to the Blessed Mother and all of her children learned the prayer from her. She instilled in us her beliefs about the wonderful promises of Our Lady to all Christians who recite the Holy Rosary. My mother would want us to avail of the said promises too. Among others, the said promises of our Blessed Mother, are as follows:
“I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary;
I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary;
The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven;
Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.”
Aren’t the aforesaid promises amazing? Who would not want to avail some, if not all of the said promises? The modern world today which is being devastated by COVID-19 pandemic is in dire need of prayer and meditation. We need prayers for healing of our land and for all of us, for an end of this pandemic, for world peace and unity, for conversion of sinners and for the youth. It will be recalled that Saint John Paul II encouraged the youth to pray the Holy Rosary particularly “in public without shame”. He further suggested that everyone, even if alone, can recite the Rosary while going to work, school, at home or in any places.
On this month of October, we join the call of the Church to pray the Holy Rosary. Let us not forget to keep our rosaries with us wherever we go and if possible recite it every day. How nice it would be to see families, once again, gathered together, kneeling down and praying the Holy Rosary after the Angelus in the evenings. As Fr. Peyton, once said, “The family that prays together stays together.” In our case, whenever we pray the Holy Rosary, we offer each decade of a particular mystery of the rosary for a particular intention. In so doing, we could offer as many intentions as we want when praying the Holy Rosary. The prayer has been very effective and the Blessed Mother has helped us and we believe she was behind in all the answered prayers and favors granted. For me, that is the secret and mystery of the prayer of the Holy Rosary!
I would like to leave you this beautiful quotation from then Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He said: “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying more than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.”
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for us.