“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.”
St. John Paul II
“Rosarium Virginis Maria”
“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin… If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary.
Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.”
-Pope Pius XI
October is Rosary Month. Devotion to the Holy Rosary has brought many wonderful blessings in my life. In gratitude to our Lord and Blessed Mother I share with you the following Rosary Challenges to bless the people around you as you reach out to them. The Rosary is a powerful prayer of intercession to our Blessed Mother. We ask her to bring our prayers to her Divine Son and plead for His aid. We bring our Rosary intentions to Mary with the hope that our prayer requests will be answered. While many of us want to spend more time praying the Rosary or learn how to pray it, it can sometimes be grueling to find that so-called “hard to pin down” time. Many of us also have a desire to be a blessing to more of our neighbors in need. But the same problem happens. What’s the solution? If, on one occasion, we combine both, we can honor Jesus through prayer and meditation, while doing some of the good work He calls us to do. Here are four Rosary challenges that can help us meet both goals:
Plant Seeds or Trees
While we’re aware that there are many people in the world who don’t have enough food to eat, we don’t always realize that hunger is a problem in our own communities. Because salaries have not increased as much as the cost of living, many of us still struggle to put food on our tables and keep as many roofs above our heads. If you have a patch of land or pots you can use, why not plant seeds to grow vegetables while listening to and praying along with your Rosary App or audio recording? Having a tree planting activity with your family, loved ones and friends while praying the Rosary is also a great idea and noteworthy endeavor. Whether you donate the harvest to a food bank or soup kitchen program or to people you know who don’t have easy access to nutritious crop, you can feel good about feeding the hungry, while feeding your soul and help save the environment.
Reason: Save Your Soul
“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins ‘you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.’ Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil … sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if– and mark well what I say– if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”
-St. Louis de Montfort from The Secret of the Rosary
Make or Donate a Rosary Apostolate
If you would like to try beading, you could make a rosary while praying the Rosary. There are many online video tutorials and documents that are available on how to make various kinds of rosaries, including the beaded and knotted ones. There are also kits you can purchase that have the supplies and instructions included. You may also wish to encourage children to join. They will surely enjoy it!
Reason: Blessings for Your Children
“Do not cease praying for your children; God’s grace can touch a hardened heart. Commend your children to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When parents pray the Rosary, at the end of each decade they should hold the Rosary aloft and say to her, ‘With these beads bind my children to your Immaculate Heart,’ she will attend to their souls.”
– St. Louise de Marillac
You could donate the rosaries you make to people in problematic situations. For instance, you might want to donate them to local shelters or nursing homes. Alternatively, you might wish to organize a group or join one that sends them to our troops overseas. Of course, you could also give it as a gift to a loved one. Make sure it’s blessed!
Reason: Solve Problems
“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
– Sister Lucia dos Santos, Fatima visionary
Walk For A Cause
We’re all aware of the positive effects that walking can generally have on our fitness and energy levels. At our churches and in our communities, there are several ways we can utilize that newly-found energy and fitness to help others through volunteering. And for this challenge, you can even pray the Rosary on your rosary beads. As long as you’re healthy enough to walk for about 20-30 minutes, pray as you walk. If you’re not sure of your ability, it might be best to consult your doctor. Use your rich energy to volunteer for a church ministry or a community group that helps people in need.
As you start your walk, I would like to suggest that aside from reciting the four mysteries, you may wish to include the Mysteries of Mission courtesy of The Society of the Divine Word (Latin: Societas Verbi Divini, abbreviated SVD), popularly called Verbites or the Divine Word Missionaries. It can be said any day of the week, particularly when we pray for our missionaries and celebrate World Mission Sunday.
The Mysteries of Mission:
- The Incarnation “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us and we saw His glory (John 1:1,14)
- The Epiphany “The Magi were overjoyed at seeing the star and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary His mother. They prostrated themselves and did Him homage.” (Matthew 2:10-11a)
- The Calling of the Twelve Apostles “He went up the mountains and summoned those whom He wanted and they came to Him. He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and He might send them forth to preach. (Mark 3:13-14)
- The Washing of the Feet “If I therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet you out to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should do also.” (John 13:14-15)
- The Mission-Sending of the Disciples to the Word “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Reason: Relaxation and Meditation
“By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life as grasped by the heart of her who was closer to the Lord than all others.”
– Pope Paul VI
Pray for People in Need
There are many groups of people in the world that are desperately in need of our prayers. Whether it’s the homeless, the abused or all those suffering from dire illnesses or injuries, praying the Rosary, especially for them, can make an amazing difference in their lives. While Saint Padre Pio called the Rosary “the weapon for these times,” Saint Josemaria Escriva declared that people who pray the Rosary with confidence will “be amazed at the results.” If we make the time to pray it for a group of strangers, we will be helping some of our neighbors who may not have friends or family who will pray it for them.
Reason: Therapeutic Benefits
“The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual, and in that order.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
While these four challenges and reasons may help us to meet our goals of praying the Rosary more and helping more of our neighbors in need, it’s important to remember that meditating on the mysteries and drawing closer to Jesus should come before even the most noble activities. As St. John Paul II reminded us, the Holy Rosary leads us to “contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love.” In doing so, we naturally bless others through His love.
Let me leave you with one more reason to pray the Rosary with fervor:
You Pray with Heaven
“When you pray ‘Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now…’ the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her. And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her. And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him. And where the Holy Trinity is all of creation is and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life.”
– Father Gabriel Amorith, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican
by Meanne M. Mijares