“In times of darkness, holding the Rosary is like holding your Blessed Mother’s hand. Pray the Rosary every day. Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you.. love Our Lady and make Her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.“
– Padre Pio
Little children always run to their mother in all their needs. Whether they are frightened, unsure, sad, lonely, or simply want a little solace, a mother is always the first port of call. So it is in the order of nature.
And so it is, too, in the order of grace; when we have any similar needs, we should do as those little children do and run to our heavenly Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Throughout the centuries of the life of the Church, the Saints and the Holy Fathers have always encouraged us to go to the Blessed Virgin Mary in every need. Indeed, the Church herself goes to the the Mother of God in every need, repeatedly handing over to Her all that threatens the Church, the common good of poor humanity, and the world and her nations. It is for this very reason that so many nations are consecrated specifically to the Mother of God.
Saint Pio, in the words quoted at the top of this page, encourages us to place everything in the hands of Mary, particularly through the devout recitation of the holy Rosary. For Saint Pio, these were not mere words – rather, they were the lesson he lived out every day of his (very holy) life; so much so that he had a Rosary in his hand almost constantly.
Saint John Macias, living several centuries ago, did similarly. He gave absolutely everything over to the Blessed Virgin, placing all his causes in Her hands. She never failed him. And Saint Louis de Montfort, a great Marian Priest and scholar, wrote so muchn and so often about giving everything to the Mother of God and what would result from doing so. He wrote –
“Being the sure means and the straight and immaculate way to go to Jesus Christ, and to find Him perfectly, it is by Her that the holy souls, who are to shine forth especially in sanctity, have to find Our Lord. He who shall find Mary shall find life; that is, Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.. they will know the grandeurs of that Queen, will consecrate themselves entirely to Her service, as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience Her sweetness and Her maternal goodness, and they will love Her tenderly like well-beloved children. They will know the mercies of which She is full, and the need they have of Her succour; and they will have recourse to Her in all things, as to their dear advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ.. and they will deliver themselves to Mary, body and soul, without reserve, that they may thus be all for Jesus Christ.” (‘Treatise On The True Devotion’, n.50 and 55)
The great Marian Pope of our times, Saint John Paul II, had much to say on this theme of giving everything to Mary – he referred to it as ‘entrustment’ to Her. And our present Holy Father, Pope Francis, spoke about this sense of entrustment yesterday, on the feast of Mary, Mother of God. He said –
“Woman of salvation, to You we entrust this year. Keep it in Your Heart. We acclaim You, the Holy Mother of God.”
The prayer of the Rosary is a great means of giving everything that is important to us, to Mary – whether our joys, our sorrows, our hopes, our fears, those dearest to us, or our very selves; in short, our lives and all they contain.
In this quiet and repetitive praying of the Rosary, we lose ourselves to some extent, since we focus our mind and our heart on the Mother of God and Her Son, by looking carefully and prayerfully at the events of Their lives. In these events, we see that Our Lady shared so very many of the concerns which presently concern us; we see Her life of complete trust in the mercy and the grace of God, from the Crib to the Cross and beyond. And in our prayer, we follow closely the example of this Woman who “treasured all these things and pondered them in Her Heart” (Lk.2:19).
Pope Saint Paul VI said that “true devotion to the Most Holy Mary reflects Her virtues” – and in praying the Rosary, this becomes easier, since we are prayerfully examining those very virtues. And not only once, but day after day after day, until the lessons of the Mysteries of the Rosary take firm root within us, that we might begin to live them out and ever more perfectly reflect those virtues of Our Lady.
In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord enjoins us to “be perfect, as your Father in Heaven in perfect” (Mt.5:48). The greatest Saints of the Church have told us, over and over, that a marvellous way to do this is by following the example of the Mother of God – after all, none has ever achieved such a degree of sanctity as the Immaculate Virgin – this is what the poet William Wordsworth described when he called Her “our tainted nature’s solitary boast”.
Over these past twenty centuries, the Popes and the Saints have constantly pointed us to Mary as our way of salvation, Her sole task being to bring us to Her Divine Son; and She herself constantly points us to the praying of Her Rosary, and for precisely the same reason.
Let us, then, take careful note of the clear direction being given to us; and through our praying of the holy Rosary, let us give and entrust ourselves to the holy Mother of God, that She might give us to Her Son, Our Lord.