By: Deacon Marques Silva
My paternal grandmother converted from Buddhism to Catholicism at the young age of 13. As the story is told, she was passing by St. Theresa’s Church in Honolulu one day and heard the music from within the Church. She walked in, talked to the priest, and was received into the Church after a short period of catechesis. As I think back on my childhood, I have no memory of her ever going to bed without the Sacred Scripture in one hand and a Rosary in the other. She was fiercely loyal to Our Lady and devoured Scripture. Happily, she passed on the fervor of both to me.
Considering October is the Month of the Rosary and October 7 was the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, once known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, which was erected as a universal feast by Pope Clement XI in honor of her miraculous intercession and intervention during the Battle of Lepanto, I think that I wouldn’t be alone in saying that the Rosary is one of the most intriguing and distinctively Catholic sacramentals that non-Catholics notice. The Order of Preachers (Dominicans) has long promoted its recitation and the signal graces one may receive through this time-honored devotion.
The Rosary is also known as the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is considered one of “the most excellent prayers to the Mother of God.” In fact, we find in the Congregation for Divine Worship:
“The Roman Pontiffs have repeatedly exhorted the faithful to the frequent recitation of this biblically inspired prayer that is centered on contemplation of the salvific events of Christ’s life, and their close association with his Virgin Mother. The value and efficacy of this prayer have often been attested to by saintly Bishops and those advanced in holiness of life…”
Did you know there are 15 promises attributed to St. Dominic Guzman (my patron) and Bl. Alan de la Roche for those who faithfully pray the Rosary?
- Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
- I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
- The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
- The Rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.
- Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
- Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenititude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
- 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.
- You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
- All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
- All who recite the Rosary are my sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters of my only Son Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Let’s be honest, the list is pretty cool and deserves consideration. That being said, I love to pray the Rosary because it transports me into the Gospel narrative and allows me to not only consider the mystery that is being presented, but to “relive” the scene with my Lord and Lady. The recitation causes me to slow down and spent quality time with the scriptural mysteries of our faith.
There have been seasons in my life that have made it difficult to pray the Rosary, but I always come back to it in the end. I have found that if you set aside some time to “waste” with Our Lady and commit yourself to praying this ancient prayer, her intercession never disappoints. We could discuss a lot of techniques to pray the Rosary or how to get the most out of it. But the most important best practice to be successful is to just do it! More prayer, less talk. With that…
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary… ora pro nobis.
 “Directory on Popular Piety and The Liturgy: Principals and Guidelines.” par. 197. December 2001. Accessed October 7, 2014. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20020513_vers-direttorio_en.html.
 “Regarding indulgences cf. EI,” Aliae concessiones, 17, p. 62. For a commentary on the Ave maria cf. CCC 2676-2677.
 Congregation For Divine Worship, Circular Letter Guidelines and proposals for the celebration of the Marian Year, 62.