“Never Stop Saying the Holy Rosary. I am always with you to help you”
Virgin of Revelation, 1947, Rome.
With these words, in 1947 at Tre Fontane Rome, Our Lady, under the title of Virgin of Revelation, taught the then anti-clerical Protestant, Bruno Cornacchiola, the importance of praying the Holy Rosary assuring us of her constant help and protection. It is the same advice she has repeated throughout the centuries of many Marian apparitions. We may even say that the greatest advocate of the Holy Rosary is the Virgin Mary herself.
In 2015, National Geographic published an article entitled, Mary: the world’s most powerful woman which cited interesting data on all the Marian apparitions since the 16th century at various stages of formal approval by the Church. Amazingly, we see that in this last century the number of apparitions has increased to such an extent that the number dramatically outstretches those in the preceding centuries. This is accompanied by Our Lady’s call to pray the Holy Rosary. It is as if Our Lady is crying out to the world to take up the Holy Rosary.
In 1475, Our Lady revealed 15 promises to Blessed Alan de la Roche in order to encourage us to pray the Holy Rosary. These graces cover all forms of spiritual and material wellbeing and assure us of Our Lady’s help at every stage of our lives. At Lourdes in 1858 she appeared with the Holy Rosary. During every apparition at Fatima, Our Blessed Mother told the shepherd children to pray the Holy Rosary for peace. Therefore, Our Lady’s request is clear: pray the Holy Rosary.
The recitation of the Holy Rosary is a great means of obtaining spiritual and temporal benefits.
The Rosary is a great contemplative prayer and St John Paul II said that to recite the Rosary is to enter the School of Mary. Accompanied by her, we hear the proclamation of the Gospel as we ‘enter’ each mystery of the Rosary. With Mary we learn how to ponder in our hearts the Gospel message just as She did (cfr. Lk 2:19; 51). Our Lady leads us as we embark on a journey of spiritual growth by coming to know Jesus better through the meditation on His Word. The Rosary beads mark the progress of the prayer that has for its natural rhythm the angelic salutation of the Angel Gabriel and the plea for Our Blessed Mother to ‘pray for us’ in our needs.
Blessed Bartolo Longo called the Rosary the ‘sweet chain that links us to God’. The Rosary is the most powerful prayer of intercession. It reminds us that we are God’s children, giving us the courage to look heavenwards by casting our burdens on the heart of Jesus through the intercession of His Blessed Mother. Throughout the centuries, the Rosary has worked in the defence of the faith, as a protection in times of war and for the help of Christians. For example, St Dominic, used the Rosary to fight against the heretics of his time. Before the great Christian battles of Lepanto (1571) and Vienna (1683) the troops sought the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Rosary and miraculously saved Christendom from invasion. Indeed, all devotees of the Rosary can recount the ordinary, or rather ‘extraordinary’, single graces obtained through this great prayer.
To those who might object that the Rosary is a monotonous prayer, St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort suggests that with each mystery we request a particular grace or virtue to hone our attention to the mystery.
Our Lady told Bruno that ‘the Hail Marys that are said with faith and love are like golden arrows to the heart of my Son.’ Therefore, Our Blessed Mother has given us the answer to all our difficulties in life, the Church and the world: recite the Holy Rosary daily. Will you respond to Our Lady’s plea?
God Bless Us
And the Virgin Protect Us
This article was originally published in Edition 8 of the Irish Catholic Magazine Totus Tuus. It is republished here with kind permission.