Our Lady of the Rosary
27th Week in Ordinary Time
October 3, 2021
October 7 is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, not to mention that we hosted the Rosary Bowl here this Saturday. The rosary has a very interesting history that many of us are undoubtedly unaware. The rosary as we know it today has its origins in the 150 psalms of the bible. A complete rosary (15 decades) had exactly 150 Hail Marys until Jon Paul II expanded the Rosary by adding the five luminous mysteries. The connection began in the Middle Ages when monks who followed the rule of Saint Benedict would pray all 150 psalms every week in public choir. The lay brothers and other faithful, who in large part were unable to read, began to follow along by saying 150Our Fathers. Later, an early form of the Hail Mary was substituted, with an Our Father before each decade.
The secret to saying the rosary well lies in the mysteries, not in the mere repetition of words. We meditate or picture the scene of the mystery while praying the words. Think of the rosary as a spiritual journey through the Gospels, with Mary as our guide and companion. To journey through the mysteries of the rosary is to journey to and with Christ.
Mary's role in the plan of salvation is a very simple one: Mary leads us to Christ. Every mystery that includes Mary is really all about Jesus. Mary never points to herself, but always to her Son. In the gospel of John, Jesus, Mary and the disciples are attending a wedding when the host suddenly runs out of wine. Mary's recorded words in the gospels are few, but here in this passage Mary shows us the very essence of the spiritual journey and the best advice we could receive. Mary turns to the servants and says, “Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5), and this is the advice she still gives today. Like a good mother, Mary watches out for those who entrust themselves to her.
Our lives can resemble the mysteries of the rosary as well: in our times of great joy, in our intense experiences of sorrow and the glory that our faith promise in the kingdom of heaven. Here we learn that the highs and lows of our lives, the joys, sorrows and glories, when united with Christ, have great meaning indeed.
One of the best ways to pray the rosary while at the same time meditating on the mysteries is by using a Scriptural Rosary. Before each Hail Mary, we pray a small scripture verse to help focus our attention. This is a method that was used for centuries and can work quite well.
I would like to share with you two decades of the Scriptural Rosary that you may find helpful (on the other side of this insert). By opening to the appropriate scripture passage, you could create your own with the other mysteries. All of our lives, our goal is to grow in relationship with Jesus. In this month of October, which is especially dedicated to Mary, she can help us to draw nearer to her Son if only we allow her to do so.
The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Judah, and the woman's name was Mary (Hail Mary).
'Rejoice so highly favored, the Lord is with you!" (Hail Mary)
Mary was deeply disturbed by these words, and asked herself what this greeting could mean (Hail Mary)
The angel said to her, "Listen! Do not fear! You shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall name him ‘Jesus'"(Hail Mary)
He shall be great and called ''Son of the most High," and his reign will have no end
Mary said to the angel, "But how can this be, for I am a virgin?"(Hail Mary)
''The angel of the Lord will come upon you, and the power of the most high will cover you with its shadow.”(Hail Mary)
"And so the child shall be called 'Holy' and 'Son of God' (Hail Mary)
"Behold I am the Handmaid of the Lord," said Mary, "Let it be done unto me as you say." (Hail Mary)
And with that, the angel left her (Hail Mary) Glory be
(Scripture citations from Luke 1:26-35)
Jesus came with his disciples to Gethsemane, and sadness came over him, and great distress (Hail Mary)
“My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep awake with me." (Hail Mary)
Then Jesus withdrew from them, knelt down, and prayed (Hail Mary)
Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine." (Hail Mary)
Then an angel appeared before him, coming from heaven to give him strength." (Hail Mary)
In his anguish, Jesus prayed even more earnestly. (Hail Mary)
And his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood." (Hail Mary)
Then Jesus came back to his disciples, found them sleeping, and said, "So you did not have the strength to keep awake with me even one hour?'' (Hail Mary)
"You should be awake and praying not to be put to the test." (Hail Mary)
"For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Hail Mary) Glory be
(Scripture citations from Matthew 26:36-46)