What Is The Rosary?
MEANING OF ROSARY
The word rosary comes from Latin and refers to a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you had to ask what object is the most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say: "The rosary, of course."
We know the images well: the silent lips of the old woman who feverishly touches her pearls, the oversized rosary hanging from the waist of the curly nun or, more recently, the simply decorative rosary hanging from the rear-view mirror.
After Vatican II (Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, opened on 11 October 1962 and ended on 8 December 1965), the rosary fell into disuse. The same is true for Marian devotions as a whole. But in recent years, the rosary has made a comeback, and not only among Catholics. Many Protestants now recite the Rosary, recognizing it as a form of biblical prayer. After all, the prayers that compose it come mainly from the Bible.
The rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a defined number of specific prayers. First there are the introductory prayers: a symbol of the apostles (Creed), an our Father (Father Noster or the Lord's prayer), three Hail Mary's (Ave), a Glory Be (Gloria Patri). Rosary in hand.
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WHY PRAY THE ROSARY?
Many great popes, saints and Christian leaders recite the Rosary. It is a powerful prayer that can change your life, strengthen the family, bring peace and win the salvation of souls.
But how does the everyday citizen experience the rosary?
If the rosary is not part of your usual prayer life at the moment, it is easy to get your feet wet with this devotion. Here are five key elements you need to know to start praying the rosary.
First, we do not have to recite the rosary at the same time. Of course, some people could sit down and silently pray an entire rosary in one session. But we can also choose to divide it into two or three decades at a time: on the way to work, between races, between meetings, while folding laundry or washing dishes. Many holy men and women and even popes prayed the Rosary in this way and found it manageable and fruitful for their busy lives.
Second, we can pray anywhere! The rosary is like a portable chapel that we can keep in our pockets and go out at any time, anywhere. Whether we have a sudden and urgent situation to present to God in prayer or whether we simply want to fill part of our day with thoughts of God, all we have to do is touch the pearls of our rosary and turn to the Lord in this prayer. Indeed, the rosary is always accessible. We could pray to him in a church, in our room, in our office. Or we can pray in the car, on the gym, in grocery stores, or by cutting the grass or walking. Bringing our hearts to the rhythm of the rosary is something we can do intermittently throughout the day.
Third, we can pray the Rosary in different ways, customizing it to meet the needs of the moment. Sometimes we can focus on the words of prayer, thinking, for example, of Gabriel's salvation to Our Lady, while we say slowly and with great devotion: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you". The rosary makes us reflect on the mysteries of Christ's life, contemplating in prayer scenes such as his birth in Bethlehem, his transfiguration or his death on the cross, engraving the Gospel in our hearts. At other times still, we could concentrate by praying the rosary on the holy name of Jesus in the centre of each Hail Mary, pronouncing his name with tenderness, with love in the heart of our rosary.
TO WHOM SHOULD WE DIRECT OUR ROSARY PRAYERS?
You can direct your prayers in the rosary to different people, whether or not you know them directly:
- for a loved one (e. g. healing)
- a member of your family
- pastors and spiritual leaders
- the sick
- our enemies
Pray for yourself