Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
The month of October is dedicated to growing in devotion to the Holy Rosary. The Rosary may be the most popular devotion for Catholics. However, there are still many Catholics who either do not know how to pray the Rosary or pray it infrequently.
In 1917 our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to the three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. During her apparitions she repeated asked that the Rosary be prayed for peace. Do you know how to pray the Rosary? If not, I encourage you to learn the Rosary. Do you pray the Rosary very rarely or not at all? If so, I encourage you to begin praying the Rosary every day!
It has long been held in the Church that Our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche in the 13th century to give the prayer devotion of the Rosary. Monks of that era were already accustomed to the habit of praying all 150 Psalms as found in the Book of Psalms daily from memory. Our Blessed Mother gave the Rosary to these two holy men to pro-mote a daily habit of prayer that could be easily done by all the faithful, not just those in the religious life.
Mary offers Promises to those who pray the Rosary daily.
Our Blessed Mother made 15 promises to those who recite it daily. These are big promises and the graces we can receive through a prayerful recitation of the Rosary can help any Catholic live a holy life. Here are the promises of our Blessed Mother:
1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces.
3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy.
4. The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men 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.
5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an un-provided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
9. I will deliver promptly from Purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in Heaven.
11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.
Regarding the Rosary, Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "The Rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the Rosary is beyond description."
Finally, if the promises of our Blessed Mother were not enough to demonstrate the goodness of praying the Rosary, here are seven reasons from St. Louis deMontfort on why to pray the Rosary, as found in his book ‘The Secret of the Rosary’:
1) It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ
2) It purifies our souls, washing away sin
3) It gives us victory over all our enemies
4) It makes it easy for us to practice virtue
5) It sets us on fire with love of Our Blessed Lord
6) It enriches us with graces and merits
7) It supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men, and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God
Through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may God bless you, our families, parishes, our Archdiocese and the whole Church!
In Christ through Mary,