Why Say The Rosary

I recently heard of a Catholic pastor who criticized his parishioners because of their strong devotion to Mary. What bothered him was the reason people gave for praying the devotions was that we had always done it this way. People were unable to articulate why they say the rosary. The inability to articulate why we do things like saying the rosary is not good especially in a predominately non-Catholic section of the Bible Belt.
We should be able to explain ourselves to others. Otherwise we contribute to the misconceptions about Catholics that exist among other Christians. We need better reasons than that is the way we’ve always done it.
The rosary has been recommended to the faithful by many popes. Pope Leo XIII wrote many encyclicals promoting the rosary. Pope Adrian VI called the rosary “the scourge of the devil”. Pope John XXIII spoke repeatedly about the rosary and prayed all fifteen decades on a daily basis. Pope Paul V called the rosary “a treasure of graces”. John Paul II was so dedicated to the rosary that He composed the Mysteries of Light. There is also available a CD of John Paul II leading the rosary.
The rosary is a prayer that has been said and promoted by many popes but also by many saints. St. Louis de Montfort was devoted to the rosary and wrote a book on the rosary. He said that “The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother.” St. John Vianney, known as the patron of parish priests, was frequently seen saying the rosary. St. Frances de Sales called the rosary the “greatest method of praying” outside of the mass of course. Padre Pio called the rosary”the weapon” against Satan. St. Maximilian Kolbe also said the rosary daily. In fact the rosary was said daily in a mission house established by Kolbe at Nagasaki. The house and all its occupants survived the dropping of the atomic bomb with only minor damage.
Many priests and bishops have encouraged people to say the rosary. Fulton Sheen called it the perfect prayer because its length corresponds to the average attention span. Father Peyton dedicated years of his life to promoting the family rosary. In his meditation on the Coronation of Mary he wrote that “with the Hail Mary we proclaim to heaven and earth that the son she bore is our redeemer, our savior and our Lord.” What more can we say in prayer?
The rosary has been said for around seven hundred years. Many of the great saints of the church, popes, cardinals, bishops and priests have said this prayer. We are privileged to say the same prayer as so many of the saints, popes and bishops. This prayer along with the mass and Adoration join us with the Communion of Saints in a special way because we repeat the prayer of the saints.
All of these are good reasons to say the rosary but more importantly the Blessed Virgin Mary has asked Catholics to say it. Now there are people who disagree with Medjugorje but it was at Fatima, an apparition approved by the Church, that Mary asked people to say the rosary for the conversion of Russia and the conversion of sinners. Fatima was not only approved by the Church but thousands were there to witness the Miracle of the Sun. Fatima has also been visited by John Paul II. What other evidence do you need to believe that Mary appeared at Fatima? When we look at the world today who in their right mind would question the need to pray for the conversion of sinners?
Mary has also promised great graces to those who say the Rosary. There is a prayer-book called the Pieta which lists the “Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians who recite the Rosary” as well as many of the facts listed above. When you read the promises and think about them the question becomes why one wouldn’t say the rosary daily. The seventh promise alone makes it worthwhile. “Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church? Basically she is promising the grace to get to heaven. What more could we want?
To me as good as all these reasons are there is still one more important. God has placed it in my heart to say the rosary. I did not say the rosary everyday of my life. I don’t remember saying it between my grammar school graduation in 1965 until I was looking for a teaching job in 1977. Then I said it for a month. Sometime during the mid eighties I felt drawn to the rosary. I don’t know why. I just decided to say it for either the month of May or October and never stopped.
I can’t imagine not saying the rosary. The rosary fills me with a sense of peace. It helps me quiet my mind so I can hear what God has to say to me. Reflecting on the mysteries opens my mind to God’s truth about my life and things I need to do or think about.
The rosary is also a prayer that I can say in community or alone. I can say it as I drive, as I wait during a job interview or at a doctor’s office. I can say the rosary in a hospital room with the sick. I don’t need to be in a church or have someone else with me. Every time I say the rosary I ask Mary to pray for me now and at the hour of my death fifty-three times. Think how many times over the years we’ve asked Mary to pray for us! Do you really think our Mother Mary would ignore those prayers?


Author: ronquinlan

To me the message is what is important. Feel free to copy and use anything on this blog. Some pieces were originally published by Catholic Lane so please give them credit. I am a charismatic Roman Catholic and former Social Studies teacher in Catholic Schools. Pieces I've written have been published on Catholi Lane, Catholic Exchange and the Women of Grace blog.

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