Grant Our Lady’s heart’s desire — give her Rosaries
Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces! — St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
When we love and honor Mary, Jesus is delighted. She is His gift to us. The rosary is our Mother’s gift to us — a gift she knows we desperately need. When we use her gift daily, appreciating and benefiting from it, we bring joy to our loving Mother.
Loving our spiritual Mother amplifies rather than diminishes our love and awe of Jesus and the Trinity. Loving her doesn’t offend Jesus, it delights Him. Knowing and loving the people my husband knows and loves makes him happy. It both increases my knowledge of and deepens my love for him. — Mary is our spiritual Mother.
Don’t just “say” the rosary. PRAY it!
Anyone who arrives early to a weekday Mass will observe groups praying the rosary. I cringe whenever I hear the rosary recited at a speed that would arouse the envy of an auctioneer. No wonder many Protestants condemn the rosary as “babbling like the pagans”. This atrocious example causes them to entirely miss the point and purpose of the rosary or any repetitive form of vocal prayer.
For St. Teresa of Avila, vocal prayer is verbalized mental prayer. This is poles apart from rote recitation. As a result, vocal prayer should prepare the soul for contemplation. — St. Teresa of Avila’s Tips on Vocal Prayer
Don’t let perfectionism make you procrastinate praying
A perfectionist or an “all-or-nothing” approach prevents me from maintaining a faithful daily rosary practice. The devil wrongly suggests that a poorly prayed rosary is worse than not praying one at all. Because of my life experience and my temperament, I fall for this every time. If I can’t get 20 minutes of uninterrupted time, I’ll do other types of prayer. Even when I pray it, while finding it impossible to stay focused on the mysteries, I feel that I’ve offended Mary. Even when I follow one of my many rosary books, I can be very distracted and feel like I’ve disappointed her.
Whether prayed with perfect attention or utter distraction, the words of the Hail Mary delight her heart.
‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!’ No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more.” — Our Lady to Saint Mechtilde
In both Portugal and in Poland, Mary requested the daily rosary. Anticipating our reluctance and the devil’s disruptions, she encouraged us with the 15 Promises imparted to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche.
What Mary’s done in my life through the rosary
I grew up in a nominally Catholic family. As a child, Mass bored me since I couldn’t see what was happening so far away. Hating to be bored, I had zero interest in Church. When I was 14, I wanted to attend Mass, having no idea why. In the new town we’d just moved to, I found a Catholic Church near the library where Dad dropped me off. Next door, there was a convent. Too shy to knock, I lingered outside, waiting for a sister to come out. I approached her with the plastic rosary I’d received for my first Communion in my hand. Showing it to her, I asked: “Can you show me what to do with this?”
I remember praying it, riding the city bus, and wondering why tears were running down my cheeks. There was inner healing happening I wasn’t conscious of. When I review my life, I could easily detect Mary’s intervention. She guided me to people and places where I could learn about the Catholic faith. Through the several decades that followed, she provided opportunities for me to get to know and love Jesus more than I imagined. Her most recent interventions in my life were to bring me to the Secular Order of Carmel and to invite me to cover my head full-time.
When I’m in the habit of praying it daily, my soul is more interiorly silent and recollected. My hunger for spiritual things (reading and podcasts during lockdown) increases and I’m more focused and attentive during my devotional time. I’m more patient with interruptions and the multitude of minor sufferings that manifest on any given day.
Besides the many spiritual benefits to praying the rosary, there are also many physical and mental benefits. The physical ones include increased energy and serotonin, termination of physical addictions, lower blood pressure, restful sleep, and it boosts the immune system. The mental benefits include mental clarity, better thought control and focus, improved memory, stress reduction, decreased anxiety, and a better outlook on life.
From her, as from an abundant spring, are derived the streams of heavenly graces. “In her hand are the treasures of the mercies of the Lord”. — St. John-Damascene, Sermon I. on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
1st Reason: Expression and evidence of our love for Mary
Obedience is evidence of love
Our response when someone asks us to do something that requires a significant sacrifice of time, energy, effort and attention says a lot about how important that person is to us. It’s our compliance or resistance, not our words, that expresses our devotion or indifference.
Right after promising to do whatever we ask in His name in John 14:13–14, Jesus tells us that obedience equals love when He said in John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments”. He repeats this more forcefully a few verses later with the promise that God will make His home with those who love Him:
Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. — John 14:23–24 NRSV
Devotion expressed through attention
When my husband takes the time to listen to me with his entire attention, I feel loved. I know that what I say is important. I know he respects and cherishes me. Physical affection is my primary “love language”. Human nature, being what it is, I assume it’s my husband’s too. Not so. He told me that when I stop what I’m doing, turn and look at him while he speaks, he feels more loved than when I hug and kiss him.
That’s what we do for Mary when we pray the rosary. We give her “quality time”, even if we’re distracted and can’t focus on the mysteries. What mother is not delighted when her child crawls into her lap to be cuddled, content in that moment to just be with her?
When we spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we receive divine “radiation therapy”. To a lesser degree, the same is true when we spend time with Mary in praying the rosary.
Expressing and experiencing love
Praying the rosary expresses both our confidence in her powerful intercession and our humble recognition of how desperately we need her help.
We can easily see with what benevolence the Queen of Heaven has come to Our aid when We prayed to her; and We express the confident conviction that she will continue to stand at Our side to lighten the burdens and the afflictions which the days to come will bring. —Pope Leo XIII in Adiutricem (On The Rosary), 1895
Praying the rosary well is an act of sacrificial love. We strive to overcome spiritual sloth each time we devote time to prayer when there are so many other things we need or want to do instead. The time left after meeting the demands of life is short and precious. Choosing prayer instead of play is a sacrifice and sacrifice is an act of love.
Some days when I feel anxious or exhausted, or just can’t focus my attention, I simply pray scattered decades where I don’t think about any of the mysteries. I imagine myself as a young child in Mary’s lap with a slightly older Jesus standing by her side, looking down at me. Many of these times it would take me over half an hour to pray half a decade — but the number of Hail Marys is irrelevant in those moments when we receive the gift of contemplation.
Expression of consecration to Mary
Giving Mary a daily rosary is an integral part of living out our consecration to her. I made my first formal consecration to Mary on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel a few years ago.
The deacon assigned to our parish led the 33 Days to Morning Glory program. I renewed it again this year.
Consecration to Mary is simply a furthering and deepening of our devotion to and relationship with Jesus through Our Lady. If you already have an affection for Mary and talk to her often, consecration is a natural next step. But even you don’t really know Our Lady yet and aren’t convinced of the hype, Marian consecration can be that bridge that unites you to her more deeply. When we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we give her our entire lives and selves as well as the merits of all our prayers and works in order to belong more fully to Our Lord. We give Mary everything we are and do to present to the Lord and use at her disposal. — What is Marian Consecration?
2nd Reason: Support for our spiritual life
The Rosary is a school for learning true Christian perfection.” — Pope John XXII
Promotes growth in holiness
St. Louis de Montfort listed seven blessings of the rosary which includes purifying our souls, enriching us with grace and making it easier to practice virtue. Praying the rosary daily helps us to overcome sin and to resist temptation.
If a particular sin plagues you and steals your joy, strike a fateful first blow against it with a faithful recitation of the Rosary. Even if you are a skeptic, take a leap of faith! Commit to pray the Rosary daily. If you do it, you will witness the manifold power of God transforming your life. — How the Most Holy Rosary Can Kill Your Sin
When we pray the rosary, we spend time holding Mary’s hand while watching Jesus. This helps us to know the gospel and gives us the grace to live a dynamic Catholic life.
With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives.” — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
We become more like Jesus when we spend time with his mother. She helps us to know Him as we reflect on the gospel through the rosary. We become like those we spend the most time with. We listen to His words and follow His example. The more time we spend “holding Mary’s hand while gazing at Jesus”, the more we are healed of inner wounds and filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
As we reflect on the events of the mysteries, or when we let the words bring us to an inner silence, she brings us to Jesus who heals and transforms us. Romans 12:2 says “renew your mind and be transformed”. In meditation, we renew our minds and are imperceptibly transformed.
Deepens prayer life
We become better at prayer when we combine vocal and mental prayer. St. Teresa of Avila explains how they come together. If we’re speaking without thinking about what we’re saying, we’re babbling, not praying.
You must know that whether or not you are practicing mental prayer has nothing to do with keeping your lips closed. If, while I am speaking with God, I am fully conscious of doing so, and if this is more real to me than the words I am uttering, then I am combining mental and vocal prayer. I am amazed when people tell me that you are speaking with God by reciting the Paternoster even while you are thinking of worldly things. When you speak with a Lord so great, you should think of Who it is you are addressing and what you yourself are, if only that you may speak to Him with proper respect. How can you address a king with the reverence he deserves unless you are clearly conscious of his position and yours?” ― Saint Teresa of Avila in The Way of Perfection
Praying the rosary with our minds as well as with our mouths prepares us to receive the gift of contemplation when God chooses to give it. One of my favourite rosary resources is The Contemplative Rosary by Connie Rossini and Dan Burke, available from Sophia Institute Press. There’s also an app for it on both the Android and Apple platforms.
3rd Reason: Preferred and Powerful Prayer
The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth. One end of it is in our hands and the other end is in the hands of the Holy Virgin…The Rosary prayer rises like incense to the feet of the Almighty. Mary responds at once like a beneficial dew, bringing new life to human hearts.” — St. Therese of Lisieux
Recommended by saints
“You must know that when you ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many — on the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!” — Saint Bernardine of Siena
“Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” — St. Padre Pio
“Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” — St. Josemaria Escriva
Promoted by Popes
Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI says that in praying the rosary, we’re allowing Mary to guide us and that over time we are helped to assimilate the gospel so it shapes our lives. Pope Leo XIII called the rosary a “school for learning true Christian perfection”.
“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” — Blessed Pope Pius IX
“It remains to be added that great value and utility accrue to the Rosary from the abundance of privileges and favours which adorn it, and more particularly from the rich treasures of indulgences attached to it. It is evident how greatly to the advantage of all who are solicitous for their eternal salvation is the obtaining of these benefits. For it is a question of obtaining either totally or partially a remission of the debt of temporal punishment which, even after guilt has been forgiven, must be paid either in this life or in the next.” — Pope Leo XIII in Diuturni Temporis, 1898
Mary unravels our tangled lives
Turn often to Mary, the Undoer of Knots. Appeal with simple trust to the one who can unravel the most complex and impossible problems. No effort of humankind will eradicate COVID. If every Catholic prayed a daily rosary for this intention, how long do you think it would persist? — The Remarkable Story Behind Mary, Undoer of Knots Will Give You Faith Through the Impossible
Promise of signal graces
The first of Mary’s 15 promises is that those who pray the rosary faithfully would receive “signal graces”.
God gives us signal graces to prepare us for the new phase in life, and it usually comes as subtle hints to guide us on the right path. Signal graces not only keep us in the right direction but also build up our trust and faith in the Lord. … In exchange for praying the holy rosary, Our Blessed Mother Virgin Mary asks our Lord on our behalf to give us the signal graces that we need. The daily recitation of the sacred rosary allows you to be more conscious in a way that God helps you by communicating with you every day. — Signal Graces: What They Are and How To Spot Them
Rosaries make reparation for sin
Our Lady of Fatima told the young seers in 1917 that prayer and acts of reparation were needed to console Jesus for the sins of the world. She said: “Pray, pray very much, make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to offer prayers and sacrifices for them.”
What Our Lady is asking for in this plea is reparation on behalf of sinners. She is asking that we do for them what her Son did for us. Our Blessed Lord took upon His shoulders the burden of our sins, and paid the price for them. We are not able to shoulder the whole burden, pay the whole price for the sins of others; but what little we can do when placed in the hands of the Blessed Mother of us all, can accomplish much towards lessening their debt of punishment, and opening their hearts to the healing and strengthening grace of God. — Reparation for Sin by Father Paul A. Duffner
Our Lady of Akita said to Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in 1973: “Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates.
“Finally, when people say the Rosary together it is far more formidable to the devil than one said privately, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking him. He can often overcome the prayer of an individual, but if this prayer is joined to that of other Christians, the devil has much more trouble in getting the best of it.” — St. Louis De Monfort
4th Reason: Effective weapon against the enemy
Guided, in fact, by divine inspiration and grace, he [Saint Dominic] foresaw that this devotion, like a most powerful warlike weapon, would be the means of putting the enemy to flight, and of confounding their audacity and mad impiety.” — Pope Leo XIII
When we pray the rosary, Mary comes to us with choirs of angels. Heaven rejoices. The rosary has the power to bring peace, to unify Christians, to defeat heresy, and to rain blows on Satan’s head.
Know it or not, we’re at war
We don’t have to agree about something, or even to believe it, for it to be true. Satan is real. Satan is personal. Know it or not, believe it or not, like it or not, we’re in a war. Pretend that you’re not and you’ve already lost more than you realize. Our enemy is cunning and has abundant resources at his disposal. He’s come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and will devour us (1 Peter 5:8) if we don’t resist him.
We’re equipped for victory
The armour of God that St. Paul describes only mentions one weapon: the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The rosary is both a shield and a weapon.
Mary is a warrior opposed by the dragon and she commands this impossibly powerful army of angels. … The ‘Hail Mary’ calls upon the Warrior Queen, the Commander of the angels.” — Bishop Robert Barron
According to the Vatican’s chief exorcist, the rosary could be the utter defeat of Satan if enough people knew how powerful it is and prayed it often.
One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism, “Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.” Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan.” Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others? — Vatican Exorcist And Rosary
If we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we become instruments she uses to defeat Satan. The Immaculate alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. She seeks souls that will consecrate themselves entirely to her, that will become in her hands forceful instruments for the defeat of satan and the spread of God’s kingdom.” — St. Maximilian Kolbe
The devil fears Mary
Even the mention of her name makes the demons cower.
It seems the demons particularly hate and fear the Madonna. In fact, the exorcists I know told me that bringing Mary into the equation is a form of test to see whether it’s a true case of demonic oppression or possession or merely a spiritual or psychological disturbance. — Mary: The Name that Satan Fears
According to the testimonies of exorcists, Mary strikes fear in demonic beings.
Father Chad Ripperger, has validated that in his own experience. He has said there is no other saint, no other mention of a name besides that of Jesus, that evokes instant fear and recoil from diabolic influences. — What these 4 Saints said about Spiritual Warfare and the Rosary
The rosary even hurts them!
According to priests fighting with personified evil, Satan explicitly says that the Rosary burns him, crushes him. Thousands of similar testimonies can be found and each of them proves that the Rosary is the mightiest weapon against the forces of evil.
Jesus has made His bride, the Church, (that means us) partners in his redemptive work. According to James 5:18, “the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” Just because we don’t see anything changing does not mean that nothing is happening. Mary is the most “righteous” creature God ever made.
One of the most promising ways to win in spiritual warfare is to develop and keep a close relationship with Our Lady. The devil fears her and he flees from those who are consecrated to her. Keeping a close relationship with her is an easy thing to do because once we come to know her, our love for her continues to grow. She is our mother. — Why Does the Devil Fear Mary?
5th Reason: Source of blessings and grace
The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary. — Pope Saint Pius X
Honouring Mary by praying the rosary brings abundant blessings.
The abundant blessings, infinitely varied and constantly multiplying, which flow from her all over the whole world for the common benefit of mankind, add fresh motives for invoking and honoring her. — Adiutricem (On The Rosary), 1895
This is because God has given to Mary the power and privilege to dispense His graces to souls.
Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” — Saint Padre Pio
Praying the rosary protects families from the evil influences in our culture.
The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin . . . if you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” — Pope Pius XI
When enough people pray the rosary, miracles happen for a nation as it did in the Battle of Lepanto. If this battle had been lost in 1571, we’d all be Muslim.
She works miracles and intervenes in the lives of those who love her. Be encouraged when you read the accounts in 101 Inspirational Stories Of The Rosary and when you listen to episodes of the Mary’s Touch podcast.
Rosaries are not just beads or a prayer that we recite during the month of October. Many spiritual battles have been won because of this symbolic act. Many hearts have been touched and many discouraged people have been uplifted because of the Rosary. — What is the Purpose of the Rosary in Catholic Life?
I knew I needed to make the rosary as big a part of my life as it used to be before COVID. This was why my guardian angel “lit a fire in me” when I saw this idea on the list of proposed articles for the Catholicism Coffee forum on Discord. Doing the research for this article is exactly what I needed.
Now I pray a full rosary most mornings with a meditation book after the Liturgy of the Hours or while walking on my treadmill, along with the audio version on Discerning Hearts. I also pray a few Hail Mary’s while waiting for stuff to happen rather than reading or playing puzzle games on my phone.
Prayer to Mary
Blessed Mother, I welcome you into my home, into the details of my daily life, into my heart and soul. You are my mentor in virtue, my strength for self-denial, my refuge in suffering, my shield against the temptation-arrows of enemy, and my merciful loving Mother. With you, I can triumph over temptation, concupiscence, apathy and selfishness, replacing these with a passion to pursue perfection through persistent prayer and penance.
I renew my consecration to you. Increase my love for you, for St. Joseph and especially for your Son, Jesus, my Saviour, my Healer, my Redeemer, my beloved Bridegroom, my Lord and King.