The publication date of this issue of Catholic New York happens to be October 7, which is the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
The older I get— and I’m catching up with you!—the more I depend on the powerful prayer of the Rosary: The one wrapped around my hands in the casket will be well-used!
Usually I “toll the” beads in bed before I fall asleep. Yes, at times I might “nod off” before I reach the “Hail Holy Queen” but, as Archbishop Fulton Sheen consoled, not to worry, because the angels will complete it!
It’s a potent prayer to Jesus, because we recite it in great company, as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is there with us.
Not only that, but, while whispering the Pater, Ave and Gloria, we meditate upon the most epic events ever: the birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection of the Savior of the world.
If our children know and understand the Rosary, they grasp the fundamentals of our Catholic faith: the important prayers—the sign of the cross, the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be—and the saving mysteries of the life of Christ. Plus, they sense a connection to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
So many of you told me you picked up your rosary again, hidden in the corner of the nightstand, during Covid. It was great company in a dark time, you observed.
I see the rosary hanging from rearview mirrors in cars, and around the necks of many people. Great! But, I’d rather see it in your hands as you pray it!
During this month dedicated to the Rosary, pick it up again.
And, a favor: might you pray it for me, my brother bishops, and your priests who, this week, and in two more weeks to come, will be in prayer on retreat. Like all of you, we priests have been through a lot. We’re stewing over decreasing numbers, scandals, worries about you, our beloved people, and tossing—and turning about the woes of our bride, the Church.
Like those first apostles, we’ve decided the best move we can make is to gather in prayer, with Mary, the Mother of the first, the eternal high priest, Jesus!
(Enjoy this drawing of the rosary by Christopher Grissom, first grade, Our Lady of Lourdes School, Washington, Missouri—my grand-nephew!)
The Mysteries of the Rosary
The Five Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity of Christ
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding of the Christ Child
in the Temple
The Five Luminous Mysteries
1. Baptism of Jesus
2. Wedding at Cana
3. Proclaiming The Kingdom of God
5. Institution of The Eucharist
The Five Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
The Five Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
on the Apostles
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation of Mary as Queen