Catholic Teaching

The Holy Rosary

The Holy Rosary


Down through the ages the months of May and October have been traditionally dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary by Catholics all over the world. There are days dedicated to Mary in other months, but traditionally May and October were especially dedicated to Mary.

The Rosary was given to Saint Dominic in 1214 by Our Blessed Mother when he was praying for her help in overcoming the heresies of the Albigensians, who among other heresies, rejected the authority of the Church in faith and morals. (Sound familiar?) After her appearance to him, he went to the cathedral, where angels had assembled the people by ringing the bells. During his preaching there was a great storm and in a painting of Our Blessed Mother she raised her arms three times to call vengeance down on the people for their sins and for them to seek the protection of the Holy Mother of God. The people reformed their lives. We Catholics have been using the Rosary ever since that day to pray for her intercession with her Son on our behalf, and will continue to do so in spite of the attempts by some 'theologians' and lay people to downgrade it's power.

Pope Leo Xlll addressed the Catholic world on several occasions when the month of October (the month traditionally devoted to the recitation of the Rosary) was imminent. He exhorted the faithful to the pious practice of saying the Holy Rosary. "The Rosary, as is known to all, is in fact a very excellent means of prayer and meditation in the form of a mystical crown in which the prayers 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary' and 'Glory be to the Father' are intertwined with meditation on the greatest mysteries of our faith. They present to the mind, like many pictures, the drama of the incarnation of Our Lord and the Redemption." Pope Leo Xll was very dedicated to Mary and the Holy Rosary

The following quotations are all from the encyclical Grata Reccordatio from His Holiness Pope John XXlll in the first year of his pontificate:

"We never fail to recite in its entirety every day, an act of Marian piety which above all we desire to perform with particular fervor in the month of October."

"Always turn with ever increasing confidence to the Virgin Mother of God, to whom Christians have always and principally resorted in adversity, in as much as she was constituted the source of salvation for the whole human race."

"So that this hope may be fulfilled in the most comforting manner-that is to say with the triumphant of the reign of truth, justice, peace and charity. We ardently desire that all our sons may form 'one heart and one soul' and raise comment and fervent prayers to the heavenly Queen and our beloved Mother during the month of October."

Our Lady of Fatima entreats us to "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world." Pope Paul Vl put emphasis on saying the Rosary when he called it, "The prayer so dear to Our Lady and so highly recommended by the supreme pontiffs.' (note the emphasis of the plural.) and in his encyclical, Mense Maio (Month of May), he urged Christians, "to pray to Our Lady Queen of Peace for world peace." (Note; excepts from Mense Maio are reprinted at the end of this commentary.)

Pope Pius Xll said, "There is no surer means of calling down God's blessings upon the family than the daily recitation of the Rosary."

Pope Leo Xlll said, "...a powerful means of renewing our courage will undoubtedly be found in the Holy Rosary."

Pope Leo Xlll also said, "We have elsewhere brought it to the attention of the devout Christians that not least among the advantages of the Rosary is the ready means it puts in his hands to nurture his faith, and to keep him from ignorance of his religion and the danger of error."

POPES JOHN XXlll, Paul Vl and John Paul ll have publicly avowed that they recite the complete Rosary every day of their lives - should we do less? This is an up to date devotion to the Mother of God, NOT A 'QUAINT PRACTICE', as so many modern theologians would like to make us believe.

Frederick Paschall

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