The word Rosary means “Crown of Roses”. Our Lady has revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of all devotions and it is, therefore, the most important one.
With the Rosary in fact we meditate the mysteries of joy, of sorrow, and of the glory of Jesus and Mary. The Holy Rosary is a biblical prayer par excellence. It is nothing more than to meditate on the Gospel, with the Hail Mary as background music.
It is a simple prayer, humble much like Mary. It is a prayer we can all say together with her, the Mother of God. With the Hail Mary we invite her to pray for us. Our Lady always grants our request. She joins her prayer to ours. Therefore, it becomes ever more useful, because what Mary asks she always receives, Jesus can never say no to whatever His Mother asks for. In every apparition, the heavenly Mother has invited us to pray the Rosary as a powerful weapon against evil that brings us to true peace.
The History of the Holy Rosary
The Rosary probably began as a practice by the laity to imitate the monastic Divine Office (Breviary or Liturgy of the Hours), during the course of which the monks daily prayed the 150 Psalms. The laity, many of whom could not read, substituted 50, or even 150, Hail Mary’s for the Psalms. In order to count the Hail Mary’s as they prayed they made knots on a chord.
In the thirteenth century, Dominic Guzman, a holy priest, struggling to convert those who had separated themselves from the Church by the heresy of the Albigensians- who taught that Jesus is not God, denied the sacraments and the truth that Mary is Mother of God- worked for years in the midst of these unfortunates. Through his preaching, prayers and sacrifices he managed to convert a few, but quickly the conversions faded.
The Virgin came to the aid of Saint Dominic. She appeared to him in 1208. She held in her hand a Rosary and taught him how to recite it. She commissioned him to preach this devotion throughout the world. The Virgin also told him to use the Rosary as a powerful weapon against the enemies of the faith. She promised him that many sinners will convert and obtain abundant graces. Saint Dominic left the place full of zeal, with Rosary in hand. Indeed, he preached, and with great success. Many of the Albigensians returned to the Catholic faith. The Rosary remained a favorite prayer for nearly two centuries. When the devotion began to decline, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Blessed Alan de la Roche. She told him to revive this devotion. The Virgin also told him that immense volumes would be required to record all the miracles achieved by the Rosary. She reiterated the promises given to St. Dominic concerning the Rosary
The 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary
- Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive powerful 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.
- It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire of 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 plentitude 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 children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Objections and Answers about the Rosary
First Objection: “The Rosary is not in the Bible.”
Answer: The Rosary is a biblical prayer par excellence. Therein all the mysteries of Christ’s life are contemplated, one by one. From His childhood (Joyful Mysteries), through His public life (Luminous Mysteries), to His passion and death (Sorrowful Mysteries). The Rosary is a compendium of the Gospel. It is a biblical and Christocentric prayer par excellence.
The Hail Mary in in the bible. It is composed by God (Lk 1:28;39). The Our Father is in the bible (Mt 6:8). Each of the contemplated mysteries belong to passages of the Gospel.
Second Objection: “The Rosary is too repetitious.”
Answer: The Rosary more than a prayer is a meditation. It has a positive effect in Christians, when performed with a deep spirit of meditation in the mysteries of faith.
The repetition of vocal prayers only marks the time of meditation. Jesus himself (says the Bible) prayed saying the same words (Mk 14:39). In the heavenly liturgy described in Revelations, the “four living creatures” who were in the throne of God “day and night they never stopped singing: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty; who was, and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8).
Our Protestant brothers repeat again and again words such as “Hallelujah,” “Glory to God”, “Amen”, among others.
The vast majority of things we do in a day are repetitious: What is walking? Is to repeat steps. What is breathing? It is repeated inhalations and exhalations. What is the beating of the heart? Repeated and tireless systole and diastole to the rhythm of “bang”, “bang” … We have breakfast, lunch, we eat every day. We clean ourselves every day … that is repetitive. Moreover, we all like to be told we are loved; but if we are told 50 times, even better. When things are repeated with a new intention, each repetition is like the first time.
Third objection: “I only do it when I feel like it.”
Answer: As we know, love more than a feeling, it is a decision. A mother not only cares for her newborn baby when she feels like it. Certainly, if the child cries in the morning she is not at all happy at having to get up and take care of him. His mother loves him above her own feelings. Such is the love we must profess to God and His Holy Mother. It has to be a strong conviction. Also, knowing that God does not need my prayer, but it is I who need it. If I stop praying, God does not lose anything, but it is I who lose His graces.