27th Friday in Ordinary Time, year 2, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
Gal 3:7-14, Ps 111:1b-6; Lk 11:15-26
The Rosary is one of the most misunderstood prayers by our non-Catholic friends. Yet, the Rosary, in its current form, reminds us of all the important events in Christ’s life and His Mother’s life. Starting with the Annunciation and ending with the Coronation of Mary in heaven. All the mysteries, as they are called, of the rosary are taken from Scripture. While a devotion to the Virgin Mary, they are based on events so we can remember them easily. The exact beginning of the Rosary is not known for sure, but we know it was derived from when Monks began reciting all 150 psalms on a regular basis. To do this, the monks used a rope with knots to count the Psalms on. The word, rosary, comes from Latin and means “a garland of roses.” Since the Rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary, the smaller knotted rope used to say the rosary, became known as a rosary.
So that laypeople could also participate in prayers, and given they were generally illiterate at that time, a collection of prayers was brought together that could easily be memorized and said. Grouped in a series of 10s, with a single knot to represent the end and beginning of each mystery, the rosary as we know it, was formed. This helped the laypeople remember where they were and allowed them to recite the prayers by memory.
So why do we pray it? First and foremost, it is because the Blessed Virgin Mary asked us to during several of her apparitions. She asked that we continue to pray the rosary because it always leads us to her Son. And, when we are led to her Son, great things will happen. The other great reason we pray the Rosary, is that it is a great meditative prayer. As I mentioned earlier, all of the mysteries point to Jesus. Praying the rosary keeps those events in mind so we can always be in tune with our Lord. As in all Christian prayer, the goal is to be one with Christ. By meditating on the mysteries of Christ, either through Lectio Divina (meditative prayer) or through the rosary, our faith will deepen, our hearts will be converted, and we will have more strength to follow Christ.