The month of October is the month of the most Holy Rosary. We would warmly encourage all to pray the most Holy Rosary. This article presents the sayings of the saints—Jesus and Mary’s dearest friends. Then we will present twenty aids or helps to motivate you to take in your hands your spiritual slingshot so that you can conquer the many enemies that are in the pursuit of your soul, the soul of your children and the soul of the family. Therefore, let us meditate on the wisdom of the saints and then follow this timely advice on the recitation of the most Holy Rosary.
WHAT THE SAINTS SAY ABOUT THE MOST HOLY ROSARY OF THE VIRGIN MARY:
1. The Rosary is the weapon for these times. (Saint Padre Pio)
2. Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world. (Blessed Pope Pius IX)
3. The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary. (Saint Francis de Sales)
4. The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results. (Saint Jose Maria Escriva)
5. The Rosary is the most excellent of prayers and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying. (Pope Leo XIII)
6. No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or give up the Rosary. (Bishop Huge Doyle)
7. There is no problem, I tell you no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. (Sister Lucia of Fatima)
8. One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world. (Saint Dominic)
9. If you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Rosary. (Our Lady to Saint Dominic)
10. Never will anyone who says the Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood. (Saint Louis de Montfort)
11. If you wish to convert anyone to the fullness of the knowledge of Our Lord and His Mystical Body, then teach him how to pray the Rosary. One of two things will happen. Either he will stop saying the Rosary—or he will get the gift of faith. (Venerable Fulton Sheen)
12. The Rosary is a Bible on a String. (Father Ronan Murphy)
13. The Rosary is a magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nations and the entire world. (Saint Pope John XXIII)
14. When people love and recite the Rosary they find it makes them better. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret)
15. The Rosary is a school for learning true Christian perfection. (Saint Pope John XXIII)
Now we would like to launch into outlining a list of twenty concrete suggestions to encourage us and to motivate us to pray the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary all the days of our lives. And it is our hope that many will become fiery and fervent Apostles of the most Holy Rosary.
1. TIME. Set aside a set time to pray the Rosary every day. In other words, try to form the habit of praying the most Holy Rosary. Habits are formed by repetition of the same action. A bad habit is a vice; a good habit is a virtue. All should form the virtue, the good habit of praying the Rosary every day.
2. PARENTS. The family is the Domestic Church—a sanctuary of prayer. Parents must be the first teachers and transmitters of the Catholic faith. Therefore, being teachers of prayer is a primary obligation of both Mom and Dad. Find a special place for prayer, the family oratory.
3. NOISE. Being bombarded by constant noise militates against the spiritual life and this includes the prayer life. Prayer time should be silent time. God spoke to the Prophet Elijah in the gentle and silent breeze; so God speaks best in silence.
4. HOLY IMAGES. As human persons we are composed of a composite nature—both body and soul. For us to arrive at the spiritual realm it is very useful to utilize images—statues, icons, paintings, stain-glass windows. We do not adore these images, but love who they represent.
5. MARIAN IMAGES. Of course, praying before a Marian image—painting, statue, icon, stain-glass window—is of immense value in lifting our minds and our hearts to God.
6. CANDLES AND INCENSE. To enhance the atmosphere or spiritual milieu, why not light a couple of candles and burn some aromatic incense. The incense ascending on high of course is symbolic of our prayers rising to the throne of the Almighty One.
7. FAMILY TIME: FAMILY PRAYER. All of us have heard the famous phrase coined by the Rosary-priest Father Patrick Peyton: The family that prays together stays together. How true! Bring all the family members together to pray together, to pray the most Holy Rosary together. How pleasing this is to God and to the Mother of God, the Queen of the most Holy Rosary.
8. GET ALL INVOLVED. Have each member of the family pray a decade of the Rosary. The more all are engaged, the more fruitful, the more efficacious the prayer. Little ones, if trained, can lead a decade of the Rosary. Jesus said: “Let the little ones come to me… Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of God…”
9. FRUITS OF THE MYSTERY. Each and every one of the mysteries in the life of Jesus and Mary as depicted in the Rosary presents an admirable virtue to be admired, emulated, and practiced. Therefore, before reciting the mystery, it is very useful to beg for the grace, fruit, or virtue presented in the Mystery or scene. For example, in the Mystery of the Visitation, we admire the great love that Mary had for God, but also for her neighbor, her elderly cousin Elizabeth who was with child.
10. IMITATE MARY. It necessarily flows from the contemplation of the virtue and holiness of Mary—in this case her fraternal charity—that we are motivated in our own lives to be more loving, kind, compassionate, and ready to serve our brothers and sisters in their need.
11. OTHER INTENTIONS. Furthermore, why not place specific intentions in the hands and Heart of Mary in every Rosary that is recited.
12. POPE SAINT PAUL II’S INTENTIONS! In his document on the Rosary, Blessed Virgen Mary and the Rosary, Pope Saint John Paul II, in the wake of the the terrorism of Sept 11, 2001, exhorted the daily recitation of the most Holy Rosary, but for two specific intentions: for world peace and for the future of the family. May these be two intentions that are never lacking in the recitation of the most Holy Rosary.
13. SCRIPTURAL ROSARY. Another beautiful and deep way that the Rosary can be prayed is what is called the Scriptural Rosary. By this we mean acquiring a booklet that has the scriptural passage—related to the Mystery that is read in between each Hail Mary. Obviously, the recitation will be longer, but the meditation/contemplation will be deeply rich and profound.
14. SONG AND ROSARY. Another embellishment in the family Rosary could be to start with singing a Marian hymn at the start of the Rosary and its conclusion. Saint Augustine reminds us: He who sings well, prays twice.
15. DISTRACTED? Distractions are part of life, and even in prayer-times. Beg the assistance of your Guardian Angel to help you to focus in your recitation of the most Holy Rosary. The devil wants to distract us from deep prayer; our Guardian angel is always ready to assist us.
16. DO NOT FEEL LIKE PRAYING THE ROSARY? Due to the presence of the devil and due to our own laziness, the temptation might be to skip praying the Rosary. This is indeed an often subtle temptation of the devil. Even if you do not feel like praying the Rosary, pray it anyway out of love for Jesus and Mary. In the Garden, Jesus suffered a most intense desolation, still Jesus prayed all the more fervently, all the more intensely. May Jesus be our model in all!
17. TRAVELING WITH MARY. Families travel together and for many different reasons. If the family is in the car together for twenty minutes or more, why not use the time well and pray the Rosary together. No doubt, this is time well spent! Invite Mary to travel with you on the Highway to Heaven. In Spanish: Santa Maria del Camino—Our Lady of the Way.
18. OUR LADY OF FATIMA MOVIE AND LITERATURE. Of immense help in motivating all to pray the most Holy Rosary is to study and become more familiar with Our Lady of Fatima. That is to say reading the Memoirs of Lucia, Our Lady of of Fatima, by William Walsh, as well as viewing a good movie or DVD on Fatima can be a very strong motivation to pray the Rosary.
19. OBEY YOUR HEAVENLY MOTHER. In Our Lady’s six apparitions in Fatima (1917—May through October), in every apparition she insisted on praying the most Holy Rosary. Let us obey our Heavenly Mother and pray for world peace and the safeguarding of the family—the basic cell or building block of society.
20. BE AN APOSTLE OF MARY. If we love someone then we want to make that person known and loved! Even more should this be the case with respect to Our Lady of the Rosary, the Queen of the most holy Rosary. Purchase Rosaries! Purchase pamphlets! Give them free of charge! Form Rosary groups—in families, the Block Rosary, and in all of the Parishes throughout the world. By becoming an ardent Apostle of the Holy Rosary, you fill the Immaculate Heart of Mary with immense joy, and one day you will rest forever in the most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in heaven.
Father Ed Broom, OMV, is Associate Pastor of St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, California. He is a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and was ordained by Saint John Paul II on May 25, 1986. Fr. Ed teaches Catholic Ignatian Marian Spirituality through articles, podcasts, a radio show, retreats and spiritual direction.