In honor of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the most Holy Rosary, we have composed a very simple list of 25 things that we should know about the most Holy Rosary. Hopefully upon reading this short list you will be motivated to get to know the Rosary better. Better yet we hope that you will be motivated to pray the Rosary all the days of your life. Follow the style of Saint Pope John Paul II: “To contemplate the Face of Jesus through the eyes and heart of Our Lady.
1. Name Given in Fatima. Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal, six times beginning in 1917 and the last Apparition was the tremendous Miracle of the Sun. She revealed her identity: “Our Lady of the Rosary.”
2. Fatima Again. Our Lady appeared six times in Fatima, Portugal. Every time she appeared she insisted on the praying of the Rosary.
3. Priests are there to help you. The Rosary priest? What was his name? Father Patrick Peyton!
4. Fr Peyton on the Rosary. Two immortal sayings to memorize from Fr. Patrick Peyton: “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” Then the most famous: “The family that prays together, stays together.” How these resound as true, today now than ever!
5. A Pope’s Favorite Prayer. Early in his pontificate, Pope St. John Paul II said that the Rosary was his favorite prayer.
6. The Pope Even Wrote on the Rosary. Saint Pope John Paul II penned a spiritual masterpiece on the topic of the Rosary: The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
7. The Luminous Mysteries. In the above cited document, St. John Paul II added, what we might call a “Missing-link” to the series of mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries.
8. The names of the Luminous Mysteries. Can you name in order the Luminous mysteries and the day that Saint Pope John Paul II suggested that they be prayed? The Baptism of Jesus, the Wedding Feast of Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom and call to conversion, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. The day the Pope suggests: Thursday!
9. Other Recent Popes Loved the Rosary. Saint Pope John XXIII—who was recently canonized with Saint Pope John Paul II—usually prayed the fifteen decades every day. The good St. John XXIII called the Holy Rosary: “A summary of the whole Gospel.”
10. It’s a Biblical Prayer. The Rosary is a Biblical prayer with each prayer and meditation having its source in the Bible. Perhaps Protestants, many of whom love the Bible, can pray it too.
11. Biblical Composition. The vocal prayers are the Our Father, which is prayed six times and the Hail Mary, which is prayed at least fifty-three times. Both the Our Father and Hail Mary have their origin in the Bible.
12. The Mysteries. Nearly all of the twenty Mysteries of the most Holy Rosary are taken from some Biblical passage or Biblical scene.
13. The Rosary Pope. Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), among other titles, is known as the “Rosary Pope”. In the month of September, for six years, this great Pontiff wrote a short encyclical on the most Holy Rosary—how much he loved the Rosary and encouraged people to pray it!
14. The Rosary Compared to a Human Person. Saint Louis de Montfort compares the Rosary to the composite nature of a human person. The human person has both soul and body; so does the Holy Rosary. The body of the Rosary is made up of the vocal prayers; the soul of the rosary is the contemplation of the mysteries of the Rosary. If prayed and contemplated, the Rosary is a prayer of monumental importance and strength.
15. It’s also Mary’s Favorite Prayer. The favorite prayer of Our Lady is the Hail Mary. Better yet! The favorite prayer of Our Lady is the most Holy Rosary—a bouquet of fifty roses offered to the Heart of our Heavenly Queen.
16. The Rosary and a Naval Victory. The Battle of Lepanto, that famous naval victory of the 16 century, is attributed to the supplication of Saint Pope Pius V to the faithful Catholics to pray the Rosary. Indeed the winds changed and the tide turned and the Catholic fleets crushed the Muslim fleet—a huge victory that changed the course of history! October 7th is the Liturgical Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary—commemorating the Rosary victory of Lepanto.
17. The Time Factor. Many complain that they have no time to pray and, much less, time to pray the Holy Rosary. Priorities! In the time of one soap-opera or a prime-time drama (60 minutes) four Rosaries could be prayed, 15 minutes apiece. Let us put Jesus, Mary and prayer in the center of our lives!
18. St. John Paul II’s Formula. This great Marian Pope and Saint gives us the key to praying the Rosary: “To contemplate the face of Jesus through the eyes and heart of Mary.” St. Luke the Evangelist reminds us of Our Lady as contemplative: “Our Lady for her part pondered all of these things in her heart.”
19. The Rosary Classic. One of the greatest spiritual masterpieces written on the topic of the most Holy Rosary is The Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis de Montfort. This same saint wrote the masterpiece of consecration to Mary: True Devotion of Mary. Both are a “must read” to get to know and love Our Lady and Jesus all the more!
20. The Month of the Holy Rosary. Did you know that June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, July the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus; May is the month of Mary? But also, October is the month of the most Holy Rosary. Therefore we should pray the Rosary every day, but especially in the month of October.
21. St. Padre Pio. This great modern saint insisted that his spiritual children should have the habit of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Let us try to follow the advice of the great saints; this will help us to get to heaven to be with Our Lady as Queen and Jesus as King.
22. From Satanic Priest to Saint. In the document of Saint Pope John Paul II “Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary” the pontiff mentions several times a man that many have never before heard of: Bartolo Longo. This man fell into satanic practices and was even consecrated as a priest of Satan. However he was converted by praying the Holy Rosary and propagating the Holy Rosary. Now he is Blessed Bartolo Longo—from priest of Satan to Catholic saint! Our Lady’s power is limitless if we entrust ourselves to her especially through the Holy Rosary!
23. Save the Family. Every family should set aside a time, a place and form the habit of praying the most Holy Rosary every day. Let us pray that the father of the family (the priest of the family) would take the initiative to lead his family in the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary for their eternal salvation! Indeed, how true it is: “The family that prays together stays together.”
24. The Mystical Rose. The Poet Dante depicts Our Lady as the “Mystical Rose”. Saint Juan Diego gathers roses that Our Lady ordered with her own hands. The most precious rose that we can give Our Lady is The Rosary. Every Hail Mary is a rose sent up to heaven that fills Our Lady with immense joy!
25. May 13, 1981 and May 13, 1982. These are dates never to be forgotten. The first was when Saint Pope John Paul II was shot and almost killed. The following year the same pontiff was kneeling with his Rosary in his hand, before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima thanking her for intervening to save his life. He deposited the bullet that was in his body in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. May 13 was the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children: Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia.
May Our Lady of the Rosary bless you, your family, your loved ones and the whole world with her loving maternal gaze and burning Immaculate Heart!