The Catholic Church has been blessed with the intercession of the Mother of God through the Rosary since the early 13th century when, according to Catholic tradition, she appeared to St. Dominic (1170-1221) in 1214 offering him the idea of the Rosary prayers. There are various legends and stories regarding how the Rosary initially came to be but its current form of 15 Mysteries – five Joyful, five Sorrowful, five Glorious, called “decades”– was formally established by Pope Pius V (1504-72) in 1569. Pope St. John Paul II added five Luminous Mysteries to the decades of Rosary in 2002.
October is the month of the Holy Rosary. October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
This prayer is one of the most popular, meditative prayers of the Catholic Church. Seeking the intercession and help of the Blessed Mother Mary in our daily lives is understandably attractive, praying to her Divine Son through her.
The Mysteries of the Rosary are really contemplations of the whole life of the Lord Jesus – his life, death, and Resurrection – viewed in a real sense through Mary’s eyes. She was “there” after all, present throughout his life. The Rosary, like all Catholic prayer, should lead us to the Lord Jesus with Mary his Blessed Mother as our intercessor and guide. She brings our prayers to him through the Rosary. Would any loving son refuse the prayers of his mother?
I pray the Rosary daily. It gives me the chance to remember the many prayer intentions recommended to me as Bishop by the faithful I meet wherever I go. I recommend it, in turn, to all Catholics. It can be recited and prayed anywhere, anytime by anyone, young or old, saints as well as sinners. If you have not prayed the Rosary, give it a try. If you already do, teach and share it with others.
In this month of the Holy Rosary, which is also Respect Life Month, what better time could there be for praying the Rosary for the protection of human life in all its stages and for the conversion of hearts? As Bishop, I invite all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese to join together in praying the Rosary for this and all our special intentions.
Think of your loving mother, whether still with you or living in eternity. Is there anyone who would not want to reach out and hold her hand again? Reach out for the hand of your Blessed Mother in heaven and hold it through her Rosary.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners and for the unborn, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.