Dear St Michael Family,
October is the Month of the Rosary, and the Rosary is an integral part of our Catholic identity and a path to holiness.
The development of the Rosary has a long history. The earliest devotion dates to the 3rd century as a practice of praying 150 “Our Fathers” in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Later, a parallel practice developed of praying the “Hail Mary” 150 times. Soon a mystery of Jesus' life to meditate upon was attached to each “Hail Mary”.
Though Mary's giving of the rosary to Saint Dominic in 1208 is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as “The Apostle of the Rosary.” He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century.
In the 16th century the Rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious. In 2002, Saint John Paul II added the Mysteries of Light - or the Luminous Mysteries - to this devotion.
Why Pray the Rosary?
In “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” Saint John Paul II eloquently shared his thoughts and feelings about the beautiful, holy devotion known as the Rosary. “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer..."
The repetition of prayers assists our minds to focus and meditate on the life of Jesus and the mysteries of our Christian Faith. It is a means towards knowing Jesus more, and Mary's mission is to open our entire being and our hearts to Jesus.
Though it is not a Sacrament for the giving of sanctifying Grace, it is a sacramental or a form of Catholic prayer that is so powerful that it leads many people to sanctifying grace, to sainthood and holiness. Without question, the Rosary is the greatest of all sacramentals. It is rare to find a saint after 13th century that did not have a devotion to the Most Holy Rosary!
Praying the Rosary has been a marker of Catholic identity for centuries. Devotion to Mary is intimately tied with being Catholic. Catholic communities that remove veneration to Mother Mary, discount the Rosary, and give no importance to her feast days and memorials are communities displaying signs of the invasion of protestant elements in the Catholic Church.
This may sound like a strong statement, but I am convinced that by removing or downplaying the role of Mary in the Life of the Catholic Church - especially the praying of the Most Holy Rosary – leads to the demise of our identity as Catholics.
We are so blessed in this parish with opportunities to pray the Holy Rosary publicly together. In our chapel every day, in our church before every Sunday Mass, and in many languages with our cultural groups. I hope this prayer will be prayed as well in our school every week and in our homes.
If you are new to the Rosary, or if you would like to grow deeper in your Rosary practice, please visit our Rosary page for resources for you and your family.
May Our Lady of Most Holy Rosary, pray for us and lead us closer to her Most Precious Son, Our Lord Jesus.