Why is it important to pray the rosary? What is the rosary’s
connection to the Blessed Mother?
The image of “Catholic” as an old woman clutching her rosary beads is so ingrained in the mind of our culture that it may surprise you to learn that the rosary is a private devotion. That means—among other things— that while Catholics are required to do things like go to mass every Sunday, make a good confession/receive the Eucharist at least once a year, and learn their Catechism, Catholics are not actually required by the Church to pray the rosary.
But don’t get me wrong here. A Catholic who chooses not to pray the rosary makes a pretty foolish decision—and that’s not just the opinion of some random Catholic blogger. Many, if not most, of the Church’s greatest saints have preached the importance of praying the rosary as a means of drawing close to Jesus.
“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
(For a brief historical look into how the rosary was developed, I recommend checking out this article from EWTN: ‘History Of The Rosary.’)
The Rosary Is “the Bible on a String”
In the rosary, we pray the Scriptures. We pray the Our Father as our Savior instructed us. Again and again we repeat the Angelic Salutation of Gabriel to Mary, “Hail, Full of Grace! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28) And we echo Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, [Jesus]” (Luke 1:42). As we pray these words we meditate upon the works accomplished by Christ for the sake of our salvation. We meditate on His birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His first miracle (—accomplished at the request of His Blessed Mother), His Passion, Death, and Resurrection (to name just a few). In praying the rosary, we meditate upon the Word of God in our hearts while uttering the Word of God on our lips.
And in all of this, recitation of the rosary reminds us that while God most certainly could have accomplished our salvation and manifested His glory by some other means, he chose to give Himself to us through Mary.
If this is not enough, there is another reason to pray the rosary surely worth mentioning today. Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady Of Fatima, because it was beginning on this day in 1917 when Our Lady visited three Portugese children in the small village of Fatima, asking them to pray the rosary and perform acts of penance for world peace. The apparitions culminated in what is now known as “The Miracle of the Sun,” on October 13, 1917—during which tens of thousands of eyewitnesses (many of them non-believers) reported seeing the sun “dance” before their eyes.
One secular newspaper reported:
“…the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws – the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.”
To me, the events of Fatima help to convince that God honors those who pray the rosary. The sun doesn’t dance without God moving it! Of course, we don’t need events like Fatima in order to know that honoring Mary is important. It was God Himself who first honored Mary by choosing her to bear His only Son. It was Jesus who instructed us with John at the foot of the Cross to honor Mary as our own Mother (John 19:27). The rosary is a beautiful and powerful way to obey the words of God.
I’ve visited this topic in a previous post, “5 Reasons Why Young Catholics Should Pray A Daily Rosary.” Check it out by clicking the image below: