Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Month of the Most Holy Rosary

October is the month of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Mother. I love the rosary. For many years I saw my maternal grandmother praying the rosary. She would sit in her rocking chair, often with her apron on, and pull the rosary out of a front pocket and begin to quietly pray. She had a couple of rosaries that stand out in my mind. For years she prayed on a beautiful, glass cut rosary. At some point she must have lost it, perhaps it broke or maybe another was given to her, because I no longer saw her use that rosary. Instead she began praying on a sturdy, green stone rosary brought to her by her second oldest daughter, Marjorie, from Ireland. Gram used that rosary until she died. The rosary is still in the family and I am fortunate enough to call it my own now.

I have read a number of books about the rosary, and they are helpful for gaining an understanding of the origins of this prayer. There are some beautiful books of meditations on the rosary, which are great aids in praying the mysteries. A recent book on this vocal and meditative prayer by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon is an excellent compendium of history, saint stories and prayers. Published very recently it is well-researched and offers many accounts of miracles attained by praying the rosary that have not been told to a wide audience before. Here is a link to view this recently published book on the rosary,

Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, Washington, D.C.
The Hail Mary is the staple of the rosary. The rosary itself begins with the Apostles' Creed followed by the Our Father and three Hail Marys. The Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer are prayed afterwards, then the five decades of the rosary follow each with its own mystery. The Hail Mary by far is the most recited prayer of the rosary. Above is a picture of the archway at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C. It is a frequent site of pilgrimage for Catholics and others who are visiting the nation's capital. I point it out to you because contained within and inscribed on the walls of the archway are Hail Mary's written in 150 different languages and, as you can imagine, many different alphabets! If you have a chance and are visiting Washington, D.C. be sure to visit the Franciscan Monastery. It is only a short distance from the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the national shrine of the Catholic Church. Here are two links which will give you more information on the Franciscan Monastery.  and There are many promises attached to those who pray the rosary, It is a powerful weapon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one in which both both mind, heart and lips take part.