Wednesday, October 18, 2006


October is the Month of the Rosary. Saint Dominic received the Rosary directly from the hands of Our Lady. She commissioned him to spread this devotion throughout the world. By a plan formed in heaven, the Virgin Mother desired to lead all mankind to her divine Son through the Mysteries of the Rosary. Centuries later in 1917, Mary appeared to the three children of Fatima. She identified herself as: “The Lady of the Rosary.”

The Rosary is a Gospel Prayer. Pope Pius XII called the Rosary, “A Compendium of the Gospels.” Pope Paul VI taught us that the Rosary is a Gospel Prayer that focuses our thoughts on the redemptive Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross of Calvary. The Holy Father presented it as an excellent preparation for the celebration of Mass and the devout reception of Holy Communion.

What better act of thanksgiving can we pray after Mass than the Rosary even if the constraints of time limit one to merely a decade? Surely, she who stood at the foot of the Cross will enrich our devotion to the Eucharistic.

Our Lady’s Rosary is a perfect prayer for holy hours and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II said that as we pray the Rosary, “We contemplate the face of Christ with Mary.”

The Rosary is a completely Catholic prayer. It begins with the Apostle's Creed by which we affirm our fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church. We attend the School of Mary as we contemplate the reality of the Gospel events. Our Lady of the Rosary is the Supreme Catechist who reveals to us the riches of Catholic faith.

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary highlight the rapture of the Annunciation scene and Our Lady’s unique role in our Redemption. The Mysteries of Light reveal that the Kingdom of God is now present among us in the very person of Jesus Christ. The Fifth Mystery of Light can be said to be the high point of Sacred Scripture as we contemplate the Institution of the Eucharist on the night of the Last Supper.

We relive Our Divine Savior’s Passion and Death by praying The Sorrowful Mysteries. Jesus redeems us by His sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary. Finally, we meditate on Our Lord’s complete triumph over sin, Satan and eternal death in The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

“The contemplation of Christ’s face,” Pope John Paul II said, “cannot stop at the image of the Crucified One. He is the Risen One!” Jesus, the Risen Christ, is present among us until the end of time in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori tells us that when Jesus said to His mother: “Woman behold thy son,” Mary became the Mother of Mercy. We know that Our Blessed Mother will never rest while her children are in danger of eternal destruction from the world, the flesh and the devil. She instructed the Fatima children to pray for the salvation of souls at the end of each mystery of the Rosary. “O my Jesus! Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell, especially those who are most in need of thy mercy.”

My dear friends, we have absolute need of the infinite mercy of Jesus Christ. Mary, the Mother of Mercy, leads us to Jesus as we pray the Rosary. She is the Woman of the Eucharist who guides us to her divine Son, really, truly and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist.

She unites with us as we pray: Oh Sacrament most holy! Oh Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


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