It is October once again and our minds and hearts turn instinctively to Our Blessed Mother, especially under her title of Our Lady of the Rosary. In fact, we celebrated the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. On October 13 we shall observe the 89th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady to the three children at Fatima in 1917.
As we turn our minds and hearts to Our Blessed Mother, we recall how central a place she holds in our daily prayer. In His last day on earth, Jesus gave His mother to us: "When Jesus then saw his Mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his Mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!'" (Jn 19:26-27). Jesus gave His mother to us so that we could come to love her as He loved her. He can deny Mary nothing, so when we make our petitions to her, Jesus grants her requests.
Mary is our link to Jesus, and through prayer to Mary, we connect with Jesus in a whole new way. She has promised to carry our intentions to Him: "From the instant the Blessed Virgin gave her consent to the Incarnation of the Son of God within her, she contributed to the salvation of the elect. From that happy moment on, she has always carried them like a very good mother, that is within the depths of her heart" (St. John Eudes). Our Lady has given herself to us, as she gave herself to God, in loving service, and I urge you to take advantage of this beautiful approach to prayer: to God through Mary, the Mother of Jesus the Lord.
The rosary is a very privileged form of prayer and is, in fact, a very powerful prayer. "The rosary is a scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles' Creed, which is itself a summary of the great mysteries of the Catholic faith, based on Scripture, from creation through redemption and up to the Resurrection of the body and everlasting life. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is taken from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is composed from verses from the Gospel of Luke (1:29 and 1:42), the angel's words announcing Christ's birth and Elizabeth's greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part to the Hail Mary" (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, pg. 298).
As we reflect on the various mysteries, we relive significant events in the lives of Jesus and Mary and apply these events to our own lives now. We are encouraged to reflect on the Joyful Mysteries on Mondays and Saturdays, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Mysteries of Light on Thursdays, and the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesdays and Sundays. As we reflect on these mysteries, we are with Mary gazing upon the Face of Christ and are being transformed more and more into His image. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us: "The rosary contributes in a privileged way to prolong communion with Christ, and it educates us to live keeping our hearts' gaze fixed upon him to radiate on everyone and everything his merciful love."
I urge you to make the rosary part of your daily prayer. In doing so, you will be drawn more closely to Christ and to His Holy Mother, who is our Mother as well. Untold graces will be given to you as more and more you are remade into the image of Jesus the Lord. Our Lady of the rosary, pray for us!