The Holy Rosary
As Catholics, we have recourse to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is most loving and consoling to those who ask for her intercession. God has given her great power in Heaven, and it is through her that he desires to bestow gifts on His beloved people. Just as Mary formed Jesus Christ in her womb through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, so also, she produces great fruit for those who allow her to work in their lives. According to St. Louis De Montfort, when the Blessed Virgin reigns as Queen of someone’s soul, the Holy Spirit comes to join His beloved spouse: “When the Holy Ghost, her Spouse, has found Mary in a soul, He flies there. He enters there in His fullness; He communicates Himself to that soul abundantly, and to the full extent to which it makes room for His spouse.” There is great merit found in devotion to Our Lady, and just as she was the means by which Jesus came into the world, she most effectively allows Christ to live and grow in our souls.
In order to cultivate our relationship with The Blessed Virgin, we must visit and converse with her daily, and what better way than the recitation of that which Therese of Lisieux called “the long chain that links heaven and earth,” the Rosary. According to St. Louis De Montfort, Mary is most pleased by those who give her this crown of roses: “It would hardly be possible for me to put into words how much Our Lady thinks of the Holy Rosary and of how she vastly prefers it to all other devotions.”
When praying the rosary, we unite ourselves with Mary, contemplating the face of Christ, and Mary is the most perfect guide for our contemplation. For, according to Pope Saint John Paul II, “Among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his Mother.” Therefore, the Rosary becomes what John Paul calls the “school of Mary.” We witness the life of Christ through the eyes of his loving Mother, and she teaches us to love and imitate Christ and herself. Blessed Bartolo Longo understands the contemplation of the Rosary as a relationship, explaining, “Just as two friends, frequently in each other's company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection.”
In the time that we live in, it is even more necessary that we take up this powerful weapon and fight back against the evils of hell. Satan is powerless in the face of the Blessed Virgin; let us crown her with roses and ask for her protection and love. John Paul II concludes his encyclical letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariea” with this exhortation: “I look to all of you, brothers and sisters of every state of life, to you, Christian families, to you, the sick and elderly, and to you, young people: confidently take up the Rosary once again. Rediscover the Rosary in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the Liturgy, and in the context of your daily lives.”