The Most Holy Rosary of Our Lady

*Re-printed with permission from marianapostolate.com; Authored by Jayson M. Brunelle.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Crown of Roses About Her Most Immaculate Heart

Second only to the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Rosary of our Blessed Lady is, without question, the “highest” and “most exalted” form of Catholic prayer, and this due to the fact that we meditate on the central mysteries of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, through, with and in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she who “ kept all these [mysteries], pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19).  Moreover, it appears as though this exalted form of Christian prayer was prophetically announced in the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiasticus (or Sirach), Chapter 24, Verse 18, where “Created Wisdom,” a figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, states the following of herself: “I am the mother of fair love, and fear, and knowledge, and holy hope.”  This single passage certainly seems to be a most appropriate description of each of the four sets of mysteries, as the Joyful Mysteries can be characterized as expressive of the fair love of our Lord and our Lady; the Sorrowful Mysteries teach us to fear the re-crucifixion of Christ through the commission of sin; the Luminous Mysteries shed the light of knowledge on the public mysteries of Christ’s three-year ministry; and, finally, the Glorious mysteries teach us to hold onto the holy hope that this set of mysteries sets before the eyes of our soul.

Certainly, saints, popes and mystics have all spoken as highly as possible of this most salutary form of prayer.  We do well to briefly examine just a few of the many wonderous things that have been said of the Holy Rosary, by some of the greatest popes, clergy, religious and laity alike, who, through their devotion to this most holy prayer, were capable of attaining, for themselves and others, great and lofty degrees of holiness and  sanctification:

“Continue to pray the Rosary every day.”
Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.”
Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”
Pope Blessed Pius IX

“If you persevere in reciting the Rosary, this will be a most probable sign of your eternal salvation.”
Blessed Alan de la Roche

“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.”
Saint Francis de Sales

“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessing.”
Blessed Alan de la Roche

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
Saint Dominic

“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“You must know that when you ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many—on the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!”
Saint Bernardine of Siena

“Recite your Rosary with faith, with humility, with confidence, and with perseverance.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.”
Pope Saint Pius X

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day become a formal heretic or be led astray by the devil.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“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 do 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 Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Sister Lucia dos Santos, Fatima seer

“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

“‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!’ No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more.”
Our Lady to Saint Mechtilde

(Source: http://bit.ly/RFfOWx)

In each well-prayed Rosary, the Mother truly unites her most beautiful and all-powerful voice to ours, making of our prayer a truly pleasing and fragrant offering unto each of the persons of the Most Holy Trinity.  In it, the Father rejoices in receiving sublime consolation from His creation through the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of His Son; the Son eagerly presses to His Most Sacred Heart all hearts that have been entrusted and offered to Him by His Most Holy Mother; the Spirit, or the Divine Advocate, is irresistibly drawn to each soul in whom His well-beloved spouse, the created Advocate – Mary – has made her dwelling.  Finally, it goes without saying that our Spiritual Mother leaps with joy each and every time she is greeted, by one of her many beloved children, in the same manner that she was greeted by St. Gabriel, who, in announcing to her the exalted vocation to which she had been called by God, greeted her with that sweet “Ave.”  Thus, after the supremely perfect glory and honor offered to God in the Liturgical celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it would not be an exaggeration to state that the Holy Trinity receives its greatest adoration, glorification, gratitude, supplication and expiation from those individuals who, through, with and in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the masterpiece of God’s creation and the treasury of God’s greatest graces, allow themselves to be transformed ever more perfectly into Christ’s image and likeness through their meditation on the Salvific mysteries of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, as they repeat the words of the Angelic Salutation.

The Rosary involves both meditative and vocal prayer, and quite often leads one into a passive state of contemplation, whereby the soul ceases to be active and rather rests in the peace, love and presence of God Himself.  We must understand the distinction between meditation and contemplation.  The former involves activity on our part; that is, as we meditate on any of the 20 mysteries of the Rosary, we simultaneously pray out loud to Our Lady, rendering unto her the praise and veneration that is Her due, and asking her to exercise her maternal mediation on our behalf. Contemplative prayer, on the other hand, is a free gift bestowed upon an individual who is properly disposed to receive this gift.  We prepare ourselves precisely by performing the activities of both vocal and meditative prayer.  Contemplation can be defined as the passive, phenomenological experience of the soul resting in the presence of God.  Moreover, it should be noted that we do not pray in order to receive this free gift of contemplative prayer; God may or may not choose to impart this gift upon a soul, knowing, in His perfect Wisdom, precisely what each individual soul needs at any given time.  Rather, we, having committed ourselves to the Blessed Virgin, have promised to stay united to her Most Immaculate Heart, and this is accomplished through, with and in the recitation of her prayer, the Most Holy Rosary, and active meditation on the sacred mysteries of our salvation.

As we read above, countless saints, mystics and popes have hailed the Rosary of our Blessed Mother the single most salutary and efficacious of devotions after Holy Mass, and the Mother of God herself has come from heaven to reveal the treasures of grace hidden in the Rosary.  In every single Church-approved apparition of Our Lady during the 20th Century, she admonishes us to pray this, her prayer.  Despite what has already been stated, we might still be wondering why the Rosary, in particular, is so powerful.  The answer is quite simple: not unlike our mysterious Lord, Who is, simultaneously, profoundly simple and infinitely profound, so too is the prayer of the Holy Rosary.  It is so simple that the youngest of children can be taught to pray it; yet the mysteries that are meditated upon are, in all truth and without the least exaggeration, “mysteries” in the strictest sense of the word; that is, they are truths belonging to the Sacred Deposit of Faith that surpass the finite, limited human mind’s ability to grasp their full import.  In truth, these mysteries are literally inexhaustible.  It is precisely for this reason that such brilliant minds as those of Aquinas and John Paul II were capable of speaking of the inestimable value the repeated recitation of the ”Angelic Salutation” while meditating upon the mysteries of God’s salvific plan for humanity.

As Catholic Christians, the Most Holy Rosary of Our Lady truly is among the most powerful of weapons we possess as we wage war with Satan for souls.  The prayer of the Rosary can, quite literally, alter world events:  it can prevent world wars, put an end to the silent holocaust of abortion, bring about the conversion of even the most hardened of sinners and enemies of Holy Mother Church, and, most importantly, hasten the promised “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” in the world, thereby ushering in the new era, the new springtime for the Church and the world, with all of creation returning to the perfect glorification of the Lord, its creator.

Moreover, the daily prayer of the Holy Rosary is absolutely integral to the living of one’s total consecration to Mary, as is the wearing of Our Lady’s religious habit or garment of the Brown Scapular (truly the “religious habit” of those souls consecrated to Our Lady and her service) for it is simultaneously the chain that (1) binds us to Mary’s Most Immaculate Heart, whose Heart beats in a perfect union of love with the Sacred Heart of Christ Jesus, her Son and her God; (2) and it is additionally the chain that shall forever bind Satan, or Lucifer, in the everlasting lake of fire, thereby preventing him from prowling throughout the world in his endless effort to bring souls created by God and for God to ultimate ruin.   Thus, the Rosary can be thought of as the “key” that unlocks the door of and gains us entrance into the glorious temple and refuge of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. One who is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary should, in keeping with one’s total dedication and gift of self to Mary Immaculate through their solemn act of consecration, commit him/herself to the praying of at least five decades of the Rosary daily.  Ideally, we should strive to pray an entire 15 or 20 decade Rosary daily.

Finally, the Rosary holds a place of particular importance in these most difficult times through which we are living; specifically, that period of time spoken of in the last book of Sacred Scripture, the Book of Revelation.  For, as the Eternal Father’s demand for Divine Justice escalates, and chastisements increase in frequency, duration and intensity, the Holy Rosary shall become our only refuge and our sole source of strength, endurance and survival.

The Traditional Dominican Rosary

The traditional Dominican Rosary of Our Lady is composed of five sets of ten small beads, separated by 5 large beads.  Each bead on the small set of 10 represents one “Hail Mary.”  The “Our Father” is prayed on the large beads.

Meditation on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary constitute the “heart” of this devotion.  Traditionally, there were three sets of Mysteries; the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious.  Toward the end of his pontificate, Blessed Pope John Paul II made a marvelous contribution to the history of the Rosary by adding a fourth set of mysteries, the “Mysteries of Light,” or the “Luminous Mysteries.”

 The five Joyful Mysteries, traditionally prayed on Monday and Saturday:

 1. The Annunciation; 2. The Visitation; 3. The Nativity; 4. The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple; 5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple. 

 The five Sorrowful Mysteries, traditionally prayed on Tuesday and Friday:

 1. The Agony in the Garden; 2. The Scourging at the Pillar; 3. The Crowning with Thorns; 4. The Carrying of the Cross; 5. The Crucifixion. 

The five Glorious Mysteries, traditionally prayed on Wednesday and Sunday:

1. The Resurrection; 2. The Ascension; 3. The Decent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; 4. The Assumption of Mary, Body and Soul, into Heaven; 5. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. 

The five Luminous Mysteries, now prayed on Thursday: 

1. The Baptism of Jesus; 2. The Wedding at Cana; 3. Proclaiming the Kingdom of God; 4. The Transfiguration; 5. The Eucharist.

How To Pray The Rosary

(1) Begin by making the “Sign of the Cross” with the Crucifix in hand. While holding the Crucifix, recite the Apostles Creed: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”

(2) On the first bead recite the Our Father: “Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

(3) On the three small beads recite the Hail Mary for an increase in the supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

(4) Recite the Glory Be: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

(5) Call to mind the Mystery, then on the large bead recite the Our Father.

(6) On the ten small beads recite the Hail Mary while meditating on the mystery.

(7) Recite the Glory Be.

(8) After the Glory Be, recite the Fatima Prayer: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.”

(9) Repeat steps 5-8 until you have completed the five decades of the Rosary.

(10) Conclude the Rosary by praying the Salve Regina: “Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope; to Thee do we come, poor banished children of Eve; to Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.  Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the most blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.”

 

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