The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a prayer given to St. Dominic in 1214 by Mary, and today this is said by saying certain prayers typically kept track by using Rosary beads. Here is how to say the Rosary:
Why pray the Rosary?
It's a very valid question that should be addressed. First, the Rosary is a devotion of prayers that allow us to contemplate on the life of Christ and Mary and join in more mystical union with God through prayer. Why the Rosary? Because the Rosary is everything: It praises God through the Our Father, contemplates the life of Jesus and Mary, and seeks Mary's motherly intercession and guidance. Through the Rosary meditations, we grow closer to Jesus.
Can I just pray a prayer to God instead of Mary? Sure, but why would you want to. If you were in need wouldn't you want another to pray for you as well? All of us are certainly in Communion with the saints and through this communion, the saints can pray for us. This is a part of our faith stated in the Nicene and Apostles Creed. Mary is a great advocate and mother who prays for us and cares for us immensely; She loves us very much. Our Lord gave her to us as a mother from the Cross:
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. (John 19:25-27, Douay Rheims)
Mary is not God. Worship belongs to the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) alone! However, Mary is an important advocate. She was saved by God from falling into original sin before her birth. We therefore believe and profess without doubt that Mary was without sin, a Dogma known as the Immaculate Conception.
Above all, the Holy Trinity is the Lord alone; He is the One and Only God. We as Catholics don't worship Mary at all but ask her to pray for us as I would ask a friend to pray for me. We honor saints as holy people, but we never adore them as Christ alone is to be adored. Devotion to Mary and the saints is very important.
Also, Mary has promised 15 specific promises for those devoted to the Rosary that she told St. Dominic when she gave us the Rosary to lead us closer to God.
- Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.
- I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
- The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
- It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.
- Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
- Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise.
- I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
- The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
- You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
- All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
- All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
- Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
In a series of apparitions that have been proven as authentic, Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima. These three shepherd children were given messages and a miracle was even performed there that was witnessed by thousands. In the miracle on Oct 13, 1917, the sun danced, changed colors, and was hurled towards earth as if to destroy it. The sun then rose again in its original position. This event was witnessed be 70,000 thousands of people! It's been called, the Miracle of the Sun.
Before this on May 13, 1917, Our Lady told the 3 children (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco): "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war." In an apparition on July 13, she requested devotion to her Immaculate Heart and Communions of reparation on the first Saturday of each month. In a September 13th apparition, she stressed the importance of the daily Rosary, and in her final apparition, she said, "I am the Lady of the Rosary."
Source: Theotokos Catholic Books
Why pray to Mary and the Saints?
I was researching Rosary miracles and found this site on a variety of Rosary miracles.
The first major Rosary miracle, and one of the most impressive, is the one that occurred at the Battle of Lepanto:In 1571 the Christian army, after intense devotion with the Rosary, succeeded in one of the greatest naval victories in the Battle of Lepanto against the powerful Turks. The sixty-five thousand men prayed the Rosary for three hours. Finally, after these devotions, the men were given absolution (forgiveness of their sins). The Turks had nearly three times more troops. The winds were against the Christians and the conditions were poor, but after the devotions ended, the winds, at the very start of battle, aided the Christians to a colossal victory against the Turks. This was one of the greatest naval upsets in history, from this, the Turks never fully recovered and their threat in the Mediterranean Sea ended.Following this victory, Pope Pius V established the Feast of Our Lady of Victories on October 7th. The name was later changed to its present form - the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote: "The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who loves His Mother." There are many other miracles included one attributed to Hiroshima. The reason why the Russians pulled out of Austria in 1948 is also attributed to the Rosary Campaign there where 1/10 of the population prayed the Rosary daily for the withdrawl; it came on May 13, 1955, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, when the Russians signed the accord to leave Austria, and no one was injured at all.
St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote: "The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who loves His Mother."
Supremi Apostolatus Officio:
It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God. And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man's salvation, has a favor and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII SEPTEMBER 1, 1883
At the coming of the month of October, dedicated and consecrated as it is to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, we recall with satisfaction the instant exhortations which in preceding years We addressed to you, venerable brethren, desiring, as We did, that the faithful, urged by your authority and by your zeal, should redouble their piety towards the august Mother of God, the mighty helper of Christians, and should pray to her throughout the month, invoking her by that most holy rite of the Rosary which the Church, especially in the passage of difficult times, has ever used for the accomplishment of all desires. This year once again do We publish Our wishes, once again do We encourage you by the same exhortations. We are persuaded to this in love for the Church, whose sufferings, far from mitigating, increase daily in number and in gravity. Universal and well-known are the evils we deplore: war made upon the sacred dogmas which the Church holds and transmits; derision cast upon the integrity of that Christian morality which she has in keeping; enmity declared, with the impudence of audacity and with criminal malice, against the very Christ, as though the Divine work of Redemption itself were to be destroyed from its foundation -- that work which, indeed, no adverse power shall ever utterly abolish or destroy.Laetitiae Sanctae:
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 22, 1891.
For We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large.
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1893.
IUCUNDA SEMPER EXPECTATIONE:
It is always with joyful expectation and inspired hope that We look forward to the return of the month of October. At Our exhortation and by Our express order this month has been consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, during which for some years now the devotion of her Rosary has been practiced by Catholic nations throughout the world with sedulous earnestness. Our reasons for making this exhortation We have made known more than once. For as the disastrous condition of the Church and of Society proved to Us the extreme necessity for signal aid from God, it was manifest to Us that that aid should be sought through the intercession of His Mother, and by the express means of the Rosary, which Christians have ever found to be of marvelous avail. This indeed has been well proved since the very institution of the devotion, both in the vindication of Holy Faith against the furious attacks of heresy, and in restoring to honor the virtues, which by reason of the Age's corruption, required to be rekindled and sustained.
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1894.
The mightiest helper of the Christian people, and the most merciful, is the Virgin Mother of God. How fitting it is to accord her honors ever increasing in splendor, and call upon her aid with a confidence daily growing more ardent. The abundant blessings, infinitely varied and constantly multiplying, which flow from her all over the whole world for the common benefit of mankind, add fresh motives for invoking and honoring her.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE ROSARY SEPTEMBER 5, 1895
FIDENTEM PIUMQUE ANIMUM:
We have already had the opportunity on several occasions during Our Pontificate of bearing public testimony to that confidence and devotion towards the Blessed Virgin which We imbibed in Our tenderest years, and have endeavoured to cherish and develop all our life long.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE ROSARY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1896