October is known as the month of the holy rosary. Today is traditionally the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
The Hindu form of the rosary is perhaps the oldest known form of the rosary, dating to the 8th century BCE. The Catholic rosary was formally requested by Mary in an appearance to St. Dominic in 1208. She later appeared to Blessed Alanus and gave him the now famous Fifteen Promises to those who were faithful to praying the daily rosary. Blessed Alanus was translated to Heaven on Our Lady’s birthday, Sept. 8th. Here is a concise history of the rosary showing how it took over a thousand years for the Catholic rosary to reach its final form.
The rosary has always been said to be the most powerful prayer after the liturgy. Madria Olga, of blessed memory, was a devotee of the rosary. Here are her thoughts on the rosary along with the instructions for the original Madrian rosary.
Before the disastrous aftermath of Vat. II, Catholics never left home without their rosary beads in purse or pocket. Families would pray the rosary, together. Praying the rosary kept us connected to her, like a ladder of roses reaching up to Heaven. When prayed properly, it brings us into Her Presence. Unfortunately, the younger generations have been raised in a Church which cares more about what other denominational Christians think rather than what is important to Our Lady and so the use of the rosary has declined in recent decades.
The rosary itself is symbolized by roses. As stated by St. Louis de Montfort in this book, The Secret of the Rosary, each bead is a rosebud and when we offer the rosary, we receive a mystical crown of roses. The word rosary means garland of roses and every time we pray Her rosary, we are offering Her living roses of prayer.
Far from being ‘useless repetition’, contemplating the Mysteries of each decade brings us in closer union with Her as we immerse ourselves in each Mystery. We follow the ‘Way’ of Our Lady.
Our Lady of the Rosary
In a majority of Her apparitions, Our Lady has requested the daily rosary (five decades.) It is hard to think of an apparition where She was not carrying Her rosary. Praying the rosary need not be difficult or time consuming. One decade a day takes minutes. Praying the mantra style as did the ancients by reciting just the first half of the Hail, Mary, takes about ten minutes out of our day. The full recitation takes about fifteen minutes. Can we take fifteen minutes out of our day to recite Mary’s prayer?
I realize that in this day and age, the rosary is not a practice for everyone. But if you have not tried it, today is the perfect day!
For our Christian readers, a good explanation of the rosary may be found on this Traditional Catholic website. You do have to scroll all the way down for accompanying scripture readings.