Remembering the Rosary - Rich in Graces

by Val Conlon

Appreciating the importance of the Holy Rosary

Many people have, since taking up devotion to Divine Mercy, forgotten to appreciate the importance of the Rosary prayer, and fail to say it on any continuous basis. The Chaplet has become their Rosary. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is an intercessory prayer to bring God’s mercy to mankind. The Rosary is Our Lady’s gift to you, which should be used for the wellbeing of your daily life and your eternal salvation.

St. Francisco of Fatima

Remember what Mary said in Fatima, when asked by Lucy, if little Francesco, who was only seven years old, would go to Heaven? The extraordinary answer was that he would have to say many Rosaries first. Francisco said the Rosary every day thereafter and became a saint.

Past Generations Understood the Power of the Rosary

The greatest well-being you will feel in your life is with continuous recitation of the Rosary. Say it as often as you can. It was this prayer that kept our forbearers alive into old age, during the terrible poverty of life in times past. I can remember my parents, and probably every Irish family reciting the Rosary regularly and giving it credit for the family’s continuous health. This was in a time when doctors were too expensive for the ordinary family, and daily tablets for every little ache and pain were non-existent.

The Mother of Jesus

The Rosary is a prayer to the mother of Our Saviour and is a very important intercessory means for communication with the Divine, through the person closest to Jesus, and the one He could not refuse any request. Even before it was time to begin His earthly mission, He performed His first miracle at Cana, at Mary’s request.

The Saints Understood the Power of the Rosary

You can be sure that you get results when the prayer goes through someone so pure and so dedicated to her children, that she speaks directly to the Trinity with your plea. When you think of all the great people who have chosen to speak to the Almighty through Mary, most, if not all of the saints have had a great devotion to Mary and the Rosary during their earthly life. 

St. Pope John Paul II

One of our latest saints, Pope John Paul II was devoted daily to the Rosary. He even attributed his devotion to the Rosary for the miraculous intervention that saved his life when he was shot. And in memory he put the bullet that he was shot with, in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, on May 13, 1981, the Feast of Fatima. The suffering in the final part of his life he was thankful for, and offered it through Our Lady to God, for the sins of the Church.

The History of the Rosary

Recent enlightenments have made me look at the origin of this wonderful prayer and the tradition that goes back many centuries. The Rosary beginning came about at a time when a great deviating doctrine was doing a lot of damage to the Catholic Church, particularly in France during the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries.

The founder of the Dominican order, Saint Dominic, who had great devotion to our Lady, turned to the Mother of God pleading with her for help. Our Lady appeared to him and told him to use her Psalter, (a practice of saying continuous prayers to Mary on a string of knots, made of cord) along with preaching the mysteries of salvation, as an instrument to fight the evil of this heresy.

Our Lady said to St. Dominic

Our Lady said to St. Dominic, "My son, prayer and penance are the only way to win souls and defeat heresy. Pray my Psalter and teach it to your people. This prayer will never fail. At the same time make clear to them the mysteries of their religion, the divine truths that God has revealed but maybe they do not understand. Teach them to picture in their minds the events of my Sons life. Teach them to see as I saw the joys that came into the world with the Annunciation, the words of the Angel Gabriel when he announced to me, that I was to be Mother to God incarnate. ‘Hail, full of grace. The Lord God is with thee’.

Let them journey with me to my cousin where I hear the words, ‘blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb’. Tell them that the Holy Spirit had let me know that the Child in me would be the One who would be man’s salvation and redeem him from death into resurrection.

Teach them to picture the stable in Bethlehem where Christ was born. Let them walk with Joseph and me when we take the Baby to the great Temple in Jerusalem to receive the blessing of Almighty God. Make them rejoice with us when we find the Holy Child who was lost for three long days.

Let them think of all the sorrows I have suffered with my Son. I suffered thinking of the Garden of Gethsemane. I wept as I pictured the beads of blood and sweat on my son’s face when He contemplated the future sins of the world. I wept at Jesus being tied to a pillar and scourged until the skin peeled off his back, and evil men pressing down a crown of thorns upon his head, the heavy beams of wood He was forced to carry up the steep hill to Calvary. Let people visualise all that Jesus did for them, in order to beg the Almighty to have mercy on a sinful humanity”.

At the time of Saint Dominic, there was a custom of praying to Mary on Our Lady's Psalter, this practice existed long before the time of St. Dominic. The Marian Psalter passed down to St. Dominic was 150 prayers to Mary on a string of beads made of knots, not exactly like the Rosary today but which developed into the Rosary that we say today. What Our Lady asked of St. Dominic was, that praying to her as the Mother of Jesus, would be much more meaningful joined with reflection on Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion for our salvation.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

It was Saint Dominic who then made up the Hail Marys separated by the Our Fathers, and make up each decade of the Rosary. It is not known how long it took to gather together the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries into the fifteen decades of the entire Rosary. It is known that Saint Dominic began to preach and teach the Incarnation and the Redemption as he had been directed to by the Blessed Mother.

It was the month of May that Saint Dominic became filled with new zeal and began to teach people to picture the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as they prayed to Mary on their beads of knots. He taught them to recite our Lord's own prayer, the Our Father, and then repeat over and over again the Angel Gabriel's words to the Virgin when he announced that she was to be the Mother of God's Son. He told them that as they said the Our Fathers and Hail Marys, they should see in their own mind that part of Jesus life they mentioned as they began each decade.

Today we put tablets into our body as medication for all our illnesses, but the greatest medication of all, are the tablets you put through your hands in the recitation of the Rosary.

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