Let's spread the Good Seed!
By Sr. Moira Debono, RSM
“If there were one million families praying the
Rosary every day,
the entire world would be saved.”
above has been attributed to our parish’s patron, St Pius X. We’ve
heard of the Million Man March, but what is this about “one million
families?” Since his Feastday (and parish picnic) is this
weekend, let’s consider the power of praying one million rosaries.
The rosary seems to be a practice of
multiplying prayers over and over again that has gone on for
centuries. What possible spiritual benefits does it have? We
have some clues in its ending prayer:
O God, whose only-begotten
Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection
has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life;
grant, we beseech You, that, meditating on these mysteries
of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Just considering the five decades (5 sets of 10 beads,
not years), we have five sets of ten beads (the word “bead” has roots
in Old English for prayer). Each of those decades is dedicated to a
particular mystery of the life of Our Lord shared by Mary in some
way. What does “mystery” mean? This is really a term of faith. Its
roots are theological: when the awesomeness of God is encountered and
we realize we really have no idea how wonderful and marvelous He is,
we’re astounded. For example, the First Joyful Mystery is the
Annunciation of Our Lord. The scenario is from Luke’s gospel
when the angel Gabriel comes to the maiden Mary and asks if she will
be the Mother of the Messiah, of her Lord. It is for us to consider
the bowing down of the Creator to become one of His own creatures—by
allowing Himself to be confined to the womb of Mary—or whatever
aspect we take to heart.
During the recitation of
the ten Hail Mary’s, we allow this reality of our faith to envelop us
and it gives us space to receive insights and to give praise, thanks
and to intercede for the needs of the world. And we move on to the
Second Joyful Mystery.
As we move through all the
mysteries (which would require a longer article!), it becomes clear
that we are contemplating the Paschal Mystery of Christ which is His
life, Passion, Death and Resurrection. It is for us to consider how
do we allow those realities to penetrate and become real in our lives
(“imitate what they contain”) so that the salvation the Lord promised
will be ours. Isn’t that the reality of the Mass? We are not only
contemplating his Paschal Mystery, but we are entering into it during
the liturgy. Praying the rosary helps us to understand this more
deeply and the repetition of the prayers helps us to appreciate the
ritual aspect of the Mass. Isn’t that brilliant?
Many saints have encouraged
the prayer of the rosary, not the least of which was St Pius X and St
John Paul II. To this fervent prayer, Mary adds her own and directs
it to the Most Holy Trinity. Considering the words of St Pius
X, I think he was showing us the significance of the communion of
family members (the foundation of society and image of the Trinity)
involved in the most important activity of that communion, praying
So, in a special way this
weekend, pray as a family, pray for the needs of the world which is
suffering in so many ways and unite that prayer to every other
St Pius X, pray for us!
For more information on the
rosary, go to: The Most Holy Rosary and St John
Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the Rosary: Rosarium Virginis Mariae on the Most Holy
Rosary (October 16, 2002) | John Paul II (vatican.va)