Written by Marilyn Nash for Holyart.com
The word Rosary means “crown or garden of roses”. Legend tells that each time we pray a Hail Mary we are giving Our Blessed Mother a rose and each complete Rosary makes a crown of roses. So, in praying the Rosary, we are giving Mary a crown of roses.
In his writing, The Secret of the Rosary, Saint Louis De Montfort wrote, “every time people say the Rosary devoutly they place a crown of one hundred and fifty-three red roses and sixteen white roses upon the heads of Jesus and Mary. Being heavenly flowers these roses will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty.”
Why is the Rosary an Important Prayer?
When asked why we place so much importance on the Rosary, I usually begin my answer by placing a rosary on a flat surface. When looking at it in this way, you can see that its beads form a circle which is connected by and focused upon a crucifix. Simply said, the Rosary begins and ends with Christ.
Saint John Paul II wrote in his Apostolic Letter
ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE,
“The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.”
So, when praying the Rosary and meditating on its mysteries, we are walking through the life of Our Lord with his mother. We are hearing the Beatitudes, seeing the Transfiguration, experiencing His Agony in the Garden and the Alleluia of His Resurrection. In addition, we are given the gift of witnessing the Assumption and Crowning of the Blessed Virgin.
Meditating on these mysteries while reciting the Ave Marias will take us into a depth of prayer that will bring us to a closer union with Jesus.
“The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.” ~Archbishop Fulton Sheen~
What does the Rosary Offer?
With the recitation of each Hail Mary, we are brought closer to our Blessed Mother and, in this, we become enfolded in her love, protection and the confidence of her intercession. This fragrant prayer offers us comfort, joy and a clearer understanding of Our Lady and all that she is.
“I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, and of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes.”
~Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego~
Time it Takes to Pray
I often hear people say that the Rosary can be prayed in twenty minutes. Perhaps this is possible if it is prayed quickly and without depth of contemplation. I usually spend an hour praying the Rosary. That may be extreme but I believe that somewhere between my hour and another’s twenty minutes, there is a length of time that does not lose reverence and works for everyone.
So, the next time you take your rosary into your hands, please hold it as the precious gift that it is. Treat it tenderly and with gratitude for all the blessings it offers.
“Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!”
~Saint Josemaria Escriva~