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Rosary Resources

Rosary Resources

“I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May.”

– Pope Francis 

As an aid to the prayerful recitation of the holy Rosary throughout the month of May – and preferably well beyond then – I have included below some of the articles I have written previously on the Rosary. I hope you might find them useful.

Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.

Rosary Resources

Rosary Resources

“I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May.” – Pope Francis  As an aid to the prayerful recitation of the holy Rosary throughout the month of May - and preferably well beyond then - I have included below...

A Scriptural Rosary

A Scriptural Rosary

“.. a Gospel prayer ..” - Pope St Paul VI, ‘Marialis Cultus’ The Rosary is a deeply Scriptural prayer and it has been referred to as ‘theologically rich in Biblical content’ (Pope St John Paul II) – indeed, it is the Gospel in bead form. The prayers of the Rosary come...

Mysteries of Light

Mysteries of Light

"This addition of these new mysteries.. is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary's place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ" - Pope St John Paul IIWriting his Apostolic Letter on...

Papal Rosary Prayers

Papal Rosary Prayers

"I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May." - Pope Francis  Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the faithful for the month of May 2020   Dear Brothers and Sisters, The month of May is approaching, a...

Meditations on Mary

Meditations on Mary

"I myself have often encouraged the frequent recitation of the Rosary. From my youthful years, this prayer has held an important place in my spiritual life.. The Rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it, I have entrusted any...

Model of the Church

Model of the Church

"Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from Her union with Christ and flows directly from it.. After Her Son's Ascension, Mary 'aided the beginnings of the Church by Her prayers'. In Her association with the Apostles and several women, 'we also see Mary by Her...

Treasure of the Heart

Treasure of the Heart

"His Mother treasured all these things, pondering them in Her Heart." (Luke 2:19)In Saint Matthew's Gospel, the Lord tells us clearly - "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.. but store up treasures in Heaven.." (cf.Mt.6:19-20). Our treasures, then,...

Entrusting It All To Mary

Entrusting It All To Mary

"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...

The Daily Rosary

The Daily Rosary

"But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery .. it is more urgent than ever that our...

In Prayer With Mary

In Prayer With Mary

"The Rosary of the Virgin Mary.. is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. It...

A Eucharistic Rosary

A Eucharistic Rosary

"The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium." -  'Rosarium Virginis Mariae', St John Paul...

The Power Of This Prayer

The Power Of This Prayer

"The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary, to it's choral recitation and to it's constant practice, the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, it's deliverance was attributed...

A Beautiful Monotony

A Beautiful Monotony

Anyone who has ever been in love will have experienced that moment when the heart feels the urge to say ‘I love you’ over and over again. In many senses, it is exactly the same with the Rosary.

Walk With Mary

Walk With Mary

Ever faithful to Her task, the Blessed Virgin offers us ways of vanquishing the three great enemies which pursue us in life – greatest amongst Her Sacramentals is the holy Rosary.

A Lenten Rosary

A Lenten Rosary

Praying a daily Rosary is an excellent way of coming to know and serve the Lord better, following the example of His Mother. Lent is the perfect time to begin this practice.

The Secret Of The Rosary

The Secret Of The Rosary

"Say the Rosary often with faith, humility, confidence and perseverance." - St Louis Marie de Montfort “A prayer so easy and yet so rich..” – Pope St John Paul IIAlthough it may be the most popular of all Catholic devotions and even the one most associated with being...

Men And The Rosary

Men And The Rosary

"Get a Rosary, have it blessed by a Catholic Priest, carry it with you always and - above all - pray the Rosary, every single day."In January of this year, I wrote about The Rosary Revival and in that post, I said this – “In ‘Marialis Cultus’, Pope Paul gives a hint...

The Rosary Revival

The Rosary Revival

"A prayer so easy and yet so rich.." - Pope St John Paul II At the present time, it seems there is something of a resurgence in the praying of the holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are new books on the subject, renewed calls to it's prayerful recitation,...

Learning Christ From Mary

Learning Christ From Mary

"They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the bloodstained 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." -...

Merciful Reparation – the five first Saturdays

Merciful Reparation – the five first Saturdays

"Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation." - Our Lord to Sister Lucia The theme of reparation as a means of obtaining...

The Gift Of The Rosary

The Gift Of The Rosary

Thank You, heavenly Mother, for the precious gift of Your most holy Rosary. You know, dear Mother, that these beads are always in my pocket. From my earliest days, there they have been, a constant reminder of You, a tangible sign of Your motherly protection and love;...

A Scriptural Rosary

A Scriptural Rosary

“.. a Gospel prayer ..”

– Pope St Paul VI, ‘Marialis Cultus’

The Rosary is a deeply Scriptural prayer and it has been referred to as ‘theologically rich in Biblical content’ (Pope St John Paul II) – indeed, it is the Gospel in bead form.

The prayers of the Rosary come from the Gospels – the ‘Our Father’ is the prayer of Christ Himself, taken from the Gospel of St Matthew; and the ‘Hail Mary’ is comprised of the message of the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation and the salutation of Elizabeth at the Visitation, from the Gospel of St Luke. The ‘Glory Be’ comes from the command of the Lord prior to His Ascension, recounted in Matthew 28:19, and gives glory to the Most Holy Trinity. We always begin the Rosary with the Apostles Creed, reminding ourselves of what we actually believe as Catholics, and we conclude each decade of the Rosary with the little prayer, ‘O Jesus’, given us by Our Lady at Fatima, who asked that we ‘pray the Rosary every day’. We end the Rosary with the beautiful ‘Hail Holy Queen’ or ‘Salve Regina’, one of the four great antiphons in honour of the Blessed Virgin, and one which links us to the official prayer of the Church, as it is always prayed at the end of Night Prayer of the Divine Office.

The late Archbishop Fulton J Sheen spoke beautifully on the value of the Rosary when he said –

“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.”

St John Paul spoke about the Rosary as a spiritual journey we make in the company of the Mother of God and through which, we become true friends with her Son –

“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.”

The Catechism echoes this sentiment when it reminds us that ‘Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the Rosary’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para.2708).

In his wonderful book ‘The Secret Of The Rosary’, the great Marian Saint, Louis Marie de Montfort, reminded us that ‘Rosary’ means ‘crown of roses’ – a spiritual bouquet which we lay at the feet of the Mother of God every time we pray it devoutly.

But it is more than this. The Rosary, when prayed well, is also a spiritual garden of roses; each time we pray the Rosary, we walk through this heavenly garden in the company of Mary, who gently leads us ever closer to Her Son – and as we do so, we are covered in something of the fragrance of this exquisite garden, a fragrance which clings to us and remains with us after the last echoes of the vocal prayers have died away. The more we walk in this garden, the stronger the fragrance becomes.

There are many ways in which to pray the Rosary; what matters most of all, of course, is that we do actually pray it – the precise manner of doing so matters a little less. I gave some broad suggestions in a recent post called The Secret Of The Rosary. In that post, I said –

‘Above all, I would heartily recommend reading – and becoming deeply familiar with – the Gospel passages relevant to each of the Mysteries. The Rosary is a Gospel prayer and so it is important that we become familiar with the source material.. You will never reach the bottom of this well – there is always something new to be found there.’

There are various forms of praying the Rosary along with Scripture; but for the sake of this post, I would like merely to suggest a very simple one, perhaps the most simple way.

When you go to your quiet place to pray the Rosary, first ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you with His divine grace, and ask the Blessed Virgin to pray with you and help you, for She is the exemplar in Christian prayer. And then, as you begin each decade, start by reading the passage of Scripture to which it relates. The Joyful Mysteries, for example, are all recounted within the first few chapters of the Gospel of St Luke.

Now, as you pray, don’t concentrate on the vocal prayers you are praying with your lips; instead, focus on the Scriptural passages, and pray these with your heart. You know the vocal prayers intimately well and do not need to focus on them consciously to pray them, so let them sink into your soul as you continue to pray them. Your mind and memory will take care of these and free you to do the next step. Focus your conscious attention on the passage from Scripture. As your lips repeat the vocal prayers, let your mind engage with the Scriptures as you silently read the passage. Read it slowly as you pray, then read it again. Meditate on it, become part of it, even if only for those couple of minutes.

Although this may sound like an odd way to do things, and perhaps even impossible – as I am asking you to do two things at once – trust me, it is perfectly possible to do so. It is not beyond your ability to keep going with the recitation of the vocal prayer, while your eyes and mind focus on the Scriptures and contemplate these.

Try it, even once. You may be surprised.

 

Mysteries of Light

Mysteries of Light

“This addition of these new mysteries.. is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary’s place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ”

– Pope St John Paul II

Writing his Apostolic Letter on the Holy Rosary, ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’, back in October 2002, the Holy Father Pope John Paul offered us a new set of Mysteries to contemplate in the praying of the ancient devotion of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

While this might, on the face of it, seem an astonishing move – to change the Rosary – it is, in fact, not at all new.

The Rosary is a prayer that gradually developed over centuries, before slowly taking on the form in which we recognise it today. There were a number of significant changes over those centuries.

It took a long time for the actual Mysteries themselves to become formalised – initally there was much variation regarding precisely what the Mysteries were.

Equally, the structure of the prayer changed, too. For example, Saint Louis de Montfort added the ‘Glory Be’ at the end of each decade – and this was only three hundred years ago.

And one hundred years ago, the Blessed Virgin Herself asked for a further addition – the little ‘O Jesus’ prayer we are now accustomed to say after evey decade. So changes to the Rosary are nothing new.

Pope John Paul saw the Rosary very much as ‘a compendium of the Gospel’ and ‘a way of contemplating Christ with Mary’. But he noted this –

“I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which.. could broaden it to include the Mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between His Baptism and Passion.. it is during the years of His public ministry that the mystery of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light.. each of these Mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very Person of Christ.”

Bearing all this in mind, and notwithstanding the meditations offered by the Holy Father himself on these Mysteries, it may be worth taking a few moments to think a little about each of the Mysteries of Light, or Luminous Mysteries.

The Baptism of Christ – a mystery of revelation

Light reveals to us what is true. In this first Mystery, divine light is thrown on the very Person of Christ, Who is affirmed by the Eternal Father and the Holy Spirit as the true Son of God – “this is My Son, the Beloved” (Mt.4:17). And so with this divine seal of approval, the Lord will begin His earthly mission, to establish the Kingdom of God in the world and in the hearts of men. Into those hearts, He will pour His own divine light.

The Wedding Feast at Cana – a mystery of supplication

Although He is the Christ, He desires that we who follow Him take an active part in His mission. In a sense, we will become ‘co-redeemers’ with Him. Mary, His Mother, is the ‘co-redeemer’ without compare and She is the example for us and for the Church herself, pleading with the Lord – “they have no wine” (Jn.2:3). In simplicity, She reminds us of what our task consists, and it is this – that we “do whatever He tells you” (Jn.2:5).

The Proclamation of the Kingdom – a mystery of acclamation

The Gospel is a proclamation of the establishing of the Kingdom of God. The Lord tells us – “the time has come, and the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Good News” (Mk.1:15). And if we do believe this, our very lives will likewise proclaim this truth and our joy will witness to what we believe. Jesus, “the Light of the World” (Jn.8:12) promises we will never walk in darkness but “will have the Light of life”.

The Transfiguration – a mystery of illumination

Alone with some of the Apostles, the Lord is transfigured “and His face shone like the sun” (Mt.17:2); the Apostles are reminded that “this is My Son, the Beloved.. listen to Him”. He is truly the Son of God. In every moment of darkness in our lives, He is with us and His divine light will shine, to the glory of God the Father. We just need to listen to Him.

The Institution of the Eucharist – a mystery of presence

Jesus is the Word and “through Him all things came to be” (Jn.1:3). His own words have great power – of revelation, and also of bringing about what they describe. Such is the case here – in saying “This is My Body.. this is My Blood” (Mt.26:26-28), the Lord brings into existence what His words describe. And in this Sacrament, the Lord remains ever present “so that I may be in them” (Jn.17:26).

 

 

Papal Rosary Prayers

Papal Rosary Prayers

“I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May.”

– Pope Francis 

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis
to the faithful for the month of May 2020  

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.

For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.

I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

Pope Francis


First Prayer

 

O Mary,
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.
Amen.

We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.


Second Prayer

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

 

Meditations on Mary

Meditations on Mary

“I myself have often encouraged the frequent recitation of the Rosary. From my youthful years, this prayer has held an important place in my spiritual life.. The Rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it, I have entrusted any number of concerns; in it, I have always found comfort.

– Pope John Paul II, ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’

Saint John Paul spoke often about the prayer of the Rosary and went to great lengths to encourage it’s recitation, often referring to it in speeches and addresses, as well as writing very beautifully about it in documents such as his Apostolic Letter ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae (2002). In this, he begins by explaining the simple mystery at the heart of the Rosary –

“With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love. Through the Rosary, the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.”

And as the Letter concludes, he implores us explicitly –

“A prayer so easy and yet so rich truly deserves to be rediscovered by the Christian community.. I look to all of you, brothers and sisters of every state of life.. confidently take up the Rosary once again.”

I think sometimes we can look across – rather than into – the Rosary. Imagine a well; simply looking at the surface gives no real idea of what might lie beneath, nor of the depth or quality of the water within. To discover these things, we really need to get into the water. And the deeper we go, the more we are likely to discover. In other words, we need to persevere. Perseverance brings it’s own rewards – and as humans, we tend to place greater value on those things we had to work harder to gain.

Regarding the Rosary, there are a number of ways of really getting into this beautifully cool and limpid water.

One way is to use different methods of praying the Rosary – Saint Louis de Montfort speaks about this in his writings and gives various examples to illustrate what he means.

Another way is to consider different meditations during our prayer – those meditations are very much the secret at the heart of a truly prayerful Rosary. This is the way I wish to focus on here, and so to this end, here are some brief meditations on the Joyful Mysteries, which consider what those Mysteries tell us about the person of Blessed Virgin.

 

The Annunciation – Mary as the Immaculate Conception

Through the Angel Gabriel, the Most High sends His love song to the Blessed Virgin. Gabriel salutes Her as ‘full of grace’ (Lk.1:28) – an understatement, as the original Greek word actually means ‘overflowing with grace’ and extends across three tenses of the verb. Every possible divine grace, She has been given abundantly, in it’s fullness. For Her, nothing is lacking. First amongst these graces is that of the Immculate Conception. In anticipation of Her divine maternity, the Lord has preserved Her from every stain of original sin. And so truly She is, as Gabriel calls Her, ‘full of grace’.

The Visitation – Mary as the Model of Charity

Despite learning She is to become the Mother of the Promised Redeemer, Mary’s first response is to serve. Note the Gospel tells us that She went “with haste” (Lk.1:39) to visit Her cousin Elizabeth in order to help her in her time of need. This immediate charity then become the setting for two things – Elizabeth’s confession of faith, calling Mary “the Mother of my Lord”; and Mary’s exquisite ‘Magnificat’. The Most High has already sung His lovesong to the Blessed Virgin – now, She responds in kind.

The Nativity – Mary as the Mother of God

The Virgin and Child is the sign of a new beginning (Lk.2:12), the cause of great joy in Heaven and to all people of good will. Fulfilling the ancient prophecies, the moment has finally come when God is truly with us – Christ the Lord. Mary is the new Eve, bringing spiritual life where the first Eve brought death. She is the ‘Theotokos’ (the ‘God-Bearer’) – bringing the Redeemer to mankind. This little Child is indeed both God and Man. Truly then, Mary is the Mother of God.

The Presentation in the Temple – Mary as the Obedient Handmaiden

Mary will later teach Her Son much about humility and obedience, and He will have much to say on it to us. And the lesson begins here in this moment; although Mother of God, She remains the ever-obedient Handmaiden who fulfils exactly what is required of Her, “observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord” (Lk.2:23). Also much later, that obedience will cost Her dearly, as Simeon foretells here in the Temple. And yet knowing this, She continues to offer to the Most High, Her never-ending ‘fiat’.

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple – Mary as the Mother of the Church

Mary is the supreme contemplative, the one who “treasured all these things and pondered them in Her Heart” (Lk.2:51). This is the antidote to our drive to action, to ‘doing’. Mary teaches us that what is most important is the relationship we have with God – from this foundation, all else follows. To help us maintain that foundation, She gives us the example of Her own contemplative prayer. The Church reminds us that We have here the prayerful presence of Mary in the early Church and in the Church throughout all ages” (‘Marialis Cultus’, Pope Paul VI) and asks us to follow Her example, as the Church herself does.

 

Model of the Church

Model of the Church

“Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from Her union with Christ and flows directly from it.. After Her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by Her prayers’. In Her association with the Apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by Her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, Who had already overshadowed Her in the Annunciation.”

– Catechism of the Catholic Church, para.964-965

 

It is a beautiful scene to contemplate – the beginnings of the early Church being supported by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Apostles are gathered around Her and they are all united in prayer, this union giving great efficacy to the prayers they are offering, for they are one single body – the Mystical Body of Christ. They are asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit – He is the movement and power behind the Church, His breath it’s very life. And He comes. For Mary, this descent of the Holy Spirit has already happened previously – He has overshadowed Her at the moment of the Annunciation.

Mary is the ‘lightning rod’ of the Holy Spirit.

When Mary and the Holy Spirit are intimately uinited, miracles take place; on the first occasion, at the Annunciation, the Christ Child was conceived; and now, in prayer at the Cenacle, the Spirit will descend once more – and this time, the Church will be born. In this way, Mary is both Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.

Beautiful though this scene, occurring two thousand years ago, certainly is, we should remember that the same scene is, in a sense, re-enacted every time the Church prays; the Mother of the Lord is still with us, uniting Her prayers with ours and giving them great efficacy. The Catechism tells us –

“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which She loyally gave at the Annunciation and which She sustained without wavering beneath the Cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to Heaven She did not lay aside this saving office but by Her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” (para.969)

This good Mother hears the prayer of the Church and adds Her own supplication to ours. This ‘saving office’, as the Church refers to it, will continue until the last day.

To have prayed in the company of the Blessed Virgin was most certainly a great joy for the Apostles in those early days. And yet, we share the same joy, even though we do not physically see the Mother of the Lord, whenever we pray. Perhaps this is especially so in the praying of Her holy Rosary, that prayer so greatly loved by Her, and for which She often asks us, promising great graces to those who embrace this devotion.

When we take up our beads, even though we might be physically alone, still the Mother of God is with us and is listening to us. Our concerns are Her concerns – and above all, She is concerned with obtaining for us the great grace of eternal salvation once this life is complete for us.

In ‘Christi Matri’, Pope St Paul VI encourages us to weave the prayers of the Rosary into mystical garlands for the Mother of Christ”. He goes on to write –

“Nothing seems more appropriate and valuable to us than to have the prayers of the whole Christian family rise to the Mother of God, who is invoked as the Queen of Peace, begging Her to pour forth abundant gifts of Her maternal goodness in midst of so many great trials and hardships. We want constant and devout prayers to be offered to Her whom we declared Mother of the Church..” (CM, para.8)

 In praying our beads, let us join with the supplication of Pope Paul – “look down with clemency, Most Blessed Virgin, upon all Your children”.