Praying the Rosary: Insights From the Saints

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By Brandon Schild, Catholic Stand

“Hail (Mary), full of grace! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)

One of our Church’s famous devotional prayers is the Rosary. I’ve collected some of the more insightful quotes from the saints to encourage you to pray the rosary, especially during October, the month of the rosary. The rosary is not  an outdated way of praying, for I believe Padre Pio was right on when he said:

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” -Saint Padre Pio

The Rosary is Boring?

However, the Rosary can feel monotonous and long which can be a problem for some people. St. Josemaria Escriva has a humorous insight for people who complain that the rosary is boring.

“Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!”-St. Josemaria Escriva

I pray the rosary when I drive to work. The drive gives me some quiet time being by myself for 15 minutes or so but you can also incorporate the prayer anywhere at any time during your day. As St. Josemaria Escriva reminds us:

“You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

You don’t need to pray the Rosary in one sitting. Try praying the just first decade when you are waking up in the morning and throughout your day incorporate other decades, saving the last decade right before you go to bed. There are books, audio, and even apps which can help us pray the Rosary.

I find that the prayer itself helps to bond with Jesus more and to relate to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she went through important events in Jesus’ life.

“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.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

When I find myself losing focus, I use each mystery and relate it to myself. For example: for the Joyful Mysteries; I could only imagine if I witnessed the Annunciation or what happens if I was to be the one visited. Would I be like Mary who said without reservation:

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38)

Perhaps I would be more doubtful like Zechariah (St. John the Baptist father)

“And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time” (Luke 1:20).

Discover the Face of Christ

Concerning with the Sorrowful Mysteries; you can place yourself at each mystery and imagine you are witnesses Jesus’s passion.

“In the spiritual journey of the Rosary, based on the constant contemplation – in Mary’s company – of the face of Christ, this demanding ideal of being conformed to him is pursued through an association which could be described in terms of friendship. We are thereby enabled to enter naturally into Christ’s life and as it were to share his deepest feelings. -St. John Paul II

For me, these mysteries are more of a condensed version of the Stations of the Cross (which is another great devotion).

“They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behaviour.” -Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

Each mystery is a devotion to our God, which it can even be a personal reflection of what we may even go through or would like to focus on throughout our day. So, pick up your Rosary and offer up a few minutes in prayer and pray just a decade of the Rosary for a loved one or someone who may be struggling with problems or even yourself.

 “If you wish to convert anyone to the fullness of the knowledge of Our Lord and of His Mystical Body, then teach him the Rosary. One of two things will happen. Either he will stop saying the Rosary — or he will get the gift of faith.” -Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen