Saturday, October 31, 2009


If one carefully reads the encyclicals of the Holy Pontiffs on the Rosary and, in particular, those of Leo XIII (Octobri Mense) and his successors, one is struck by the insistence with which they like to emphasize the value of the Rosary for Christian formation. If, for them, the Rosary is an excellent prayer, a commendable devotion in many respects, it seems that its most eminent title in their eyes, the one which gives it exceptional value, is that it is not only a privileged prayer, nor even in the words of Pope Leo XIII, the highest Marian devotion that seems to condense in itself all the cult we owe to Mary, but it is a true method of Christian initiation and formation, a school which trains the mind and manners, a divine method, a very efficient school of Christian life. If we had to synthesize the thoughts of the popes in a concise manner on the remarkable pedagogical value of the Rosary, we could condense them this way: It is the role of the mother to form and educate her children. Now the chief mission of Mary is to be a mother, the Mother of Jesus Christ, but also the mother of mankind. The Rosary is precisely the privileged way by which Mary initiates and forms her children to the Christian life. (Benoit Thierry D'Argenlieu "The Theology of the Rosary" - after 'A Moment with Mary)
Please visit also the Holy Cross Family Ministries and read Holy Rosary Daily Reflection both for today and from the archives.

Information on the Indulgences attached to Recitation of the Holy Rosary according to the "Enchiridion on Indulgences (1968)"

Our Lady with Dominican Saints - photo by Fr Lawrence of 'Godz Godz - English Dominican Studentate' blog

Thus saith the Lord to me: Make thee bands and chains: and thou shalt put them on thy neck (Jer 27:2)
Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains. Bow down thy shoulder and bear her, and be not grieved with her bands. Come to her with all thy mind, and keep her ways with all thy power. Search for her and she shall be made known to thee, and when thou hast gotten her let her not go; for in the latter end thou shalt find rest in her, and she shall be turned to thy joy. The shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee and a frim foundation, and her chains a robe of glory, for in her is the beauty of life, and her bands are a healthful binding. (Ecclus 6:25-31)

Why does our Lady so love the Rosary? Because in it we call to mind the greatest things her divine Son has done for her and for mankind. How disappointing when we receive a signal kindness from any one to find that others do not seem to appreciate or value it at its true worth! How our hearts, overflowing with gratitude, are burning that all should recognize the generosity of the act, the thoughtfulness that prompted it, the delicacy with which it has been carried out, etc; and when we find some sympathizing friend who seems to grasp the matter in all its bearing, and proportionately to praise our benefactors, do we not rejoice as if we had found a treasure? So does Mary watch with loving gratitude her children who ponder over the mysteries of the Rosary, seeking to understand them and finding, ever more and more, cause for wonder, praise and thankfulness. In the Annunciation we turn over in our minds that most astonishing proof of God's love for man, the incarnation, and His wonderful condescension in choosing to have a Mother. In the Visitation we see Him selecting that mother's salutation as an instrument for working miracles of grace in the soul of the Baptist, and we re-echo Mary's cry that He hath done great things for her, thereby giving unspeakable joy to her heart. In the third mystery we bend lovingly over her infant Son, praising, loving, consoling Him by our presence and sympathy. The sorrowful decades bring before us the excess to which her divine Offspring carried His generosity and burning love for man, and the glorious ones record His victory over death and the honours He bestowed the Mother who had been so true to Him in life. What wonder that Mary loves the Rosary, and obtains such striking graces for those who say it with devotion! What marvel that our Holy Father the Pope holds it in such esteem! It is a summary of God's goodness to us, and makes us bear in mind the great things He has done in order to win our love and save us from eternal ruin. "Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all He hath done for thee," might be our cry after telling our beads: "For He that is mighty hath done great things for me, and holy is His name."
Then, apart from the considerations that occupy chief thoughts during its recitation and supply the colouring to the words we say, there are words themselves, than which we can scarce conceive any more pleasing to God. The "Our Father," given by our Lord Himself to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray. The "Hail Mary," said in the first place by an archangel, that archangel having been sent on a special mission by God, and therefore delivering the message with which he had been charged by the Almighty, and to whose words we add those of St Elizabeth, uttered when the Lord had just worked a miracle of grace within her. If, in the Rosary, we did nothing else but say fifty, as we do: "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus," we could understand it filling the heart of Mary with exultation and gratitude. For if there are few sorrows greater than hearing those we love reviled and maligned - and in her case there could have been none greater,for Him whom she loved with her whole being was her God - so she can have no higher joy than listening to His praises. Willingly, then, does she hearken to the last part of the "Hail Mary," when the first has been said with reverence, and many are the graces she will obtain for us, now and at the hour of our death, if we are constant and faithful in the use of the devotion. The "Gloria," with which each decade ends, is a reminder that the chief duty of a creature towards Creator is praise; and if we have pondered well the mystery we have been contemplating, we shall not be at loss for motives to excite ourselves to the spirit of praise in the highest degree.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!