In Latin, the rosary means, “garland of roses.” The rose is associated with the Blessed Mother, and some people pray at the beginning of it, “May we place these roses so gently at our Mother’s feet and tell her that we love her.”
Many Catholics already make this a daily devotion, but I would like to address those who may not be in the habit of praying the rosary to encourage them to do so.
During the month of May, which is dedicated to Mary, it is appropriate that we say this prayer because she requested it at Fatima and at Lourdes. It is part of her Divine Son’s plan for obtaining the conversion of sinners and for world peace. This is especially needed in now.
For those not accustomed to praying it, there are many ways to learn the rosary. It’s actually a very simple prayer, the recitation of one Our Father followed by ten Hail Mary’s and a Glory Be, repeated five times. That marks one mystery of the rosary and there are five: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. But the true richness of this ancient prayer lies in meditating on what is happening during each mystery. During the First Glorious Mystery, for instance, we contemplate Christ’s resurrection. You can imagine Mary Magdalen’s encounter with Jesus at the tomb or the beloved apostle, John, and Peter racing to the grave. The fruit of the mystery is faith. This is appropriate for the Easter season that we are now celebrating.
Pope Saint John Paul II was known as “the Pope of the Rosary.” He had a great love for this devotion and had taken Mary as his Mother after his natural mother died when he was nine years old. His birthday is in May and it was he who added the Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of Light to the saying of the rosary. These mysteries flesh out more of the events of Jesus’ life which are found in the Gospels. The rosary is really a way of entering more deeply into His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Mary’s life is touched upon, too, but as is always the case with a good Jewish mother, she points us to her Son. His life is what takes precedence because His sacrifice obtained salvation for us through the plan of God the Father by the working of the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is divine with Jesus possessing both human and divine natures, while Mary is human.
It doesn’t take long to pray five decades, twenty minutes or so, but think how happy you are making your Mother. You can also come to her with your troubles and requests and be comforted. She will take your tears and petitions to Jesus.
During Ordinary Time, the Joyful Mysteries are to be said on Mondays and Saturdays; the Luminous Mysteries on Thursdays; the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays; and the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The Internet has many free videos of the rosary being said. Some are simple with just the prayers; others quote Scripture at the beginning of each decade. EWTN offers beautiful videos of the rosary with divine art and classical devout music.
May we, like Pope Saint John Paul II, also take Mary as our Mother and please her with this devotion while honoring her Son, Jesus. Let us pray the rosary during her month of May and continue to pray it throughout the year. She will return our roses with showers of blessings from her Son.