Pope Francis, following in the footsteps of his venerable predecessors like Leo XIII, Pope St. Paul VI, and St. John Paul II, recently invited the Catholic faithful to recommit themselves to praying the rosary during the month of October. Hopefully though, as we pray it now, and going forward we will heed Our Lady’s request at Fatima to pray the rosary everyday, especially for peace in the world.
As some might be re-acquainting themselves with the rosary, others might be old pros, strong devotees of the rosary. No matter where we fall on the spectrum of the rosary, either as a skeptic or devotee, I believe we can always try to deepen our love and appreciation for the devotion by employing new methods.
As I have fallen in love with the rosary, I’ve shared tips that have enhanced my own prayer of the rosary. One such way was through a little devotional book called A Rosary Litany, recently re-released and now available from Our Sunday Visitor. In it, I shared a method proposed by St. Louis de Montfort, of inserting a phrase after the name of Jesus in the Hail Mary prayer, as a way to focus our minds and bring to our attention on each bead the mystery being contemplated. This method of praying the rosary has been helpful to me, my friends, and countless people throughout the world.
Often when we pray the rosary, we might do so with a special intention. I’ve heard from some elderly that they pray a rosary each day for their children. If they have five children, they pray five rosaries. That is incredible intercessory prayer! When I listen to Sirius XM’s Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd, once a month he prays what he calls an “Intentional Rosary,” inviting 50 callers to call in with their petitions for each Hail Mary. Relevant Radio’s newest addition, “Praying the Rosary Across America” takes a handful of callers who share their intentions during the recitation of the rosary.
Recently in my own rosary devotional practice, I have tied an intention to each mystery of the rosary, as a way to pray intently for certain people or groups of people. Doing so has made me more intentional about praying for others, and deepened my appreciation for the rosary as a tool of intercession. Here are a few intentions I use for each mystery.
Annunciation: For vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life
Visitation: That pregnant mothers will have a safe delivery. For all the sick and their caregivers.
Nativity: For those struggling with infertility. For an end to abortion.
Presentation: For the families of recently baptized children. That those who bring their children to the font will experience a re-awakening of their own faith and baptismal promises.
Finding in the Temple: For those who are searching for God in their life, may they find the one who is the fulfillment of all their desires.
Baptism in the Jordan: For all children who recently experienced their re-birth at the font.
Wedding at Cana: For engaged and newly married couples. For couples who are going through a difficult time and contemplating divorce.
Proclamation of the Kingdom: For those who need to hear the good news of the gospel.
Transfiguration: For your best friends.
Institution of the Eucharist: For those away from the Sunday Eucharist. For children who are preparing to receive their First Holy Communion.
Agony: For anyone making a tough decision, that they may pray as Christ did: not my will but yours be done.
Scourging: For those who suffer injustice, especially at the hands of the government.
Crowning with Thorns: For local, state, national, and world leaders.
Way of the Cross: For those suffering trials and difficulties whether it be health, faith, or any other trouble they may be facing.
Crucifixion: For the ability to forgive those who have wronged us.
Resurrection: For our loved ones who have died.
Ascension: That we might become disciples of the Lord and make disciples of all nations, starting first in our homes.
Pentecost: For a renewal of the Holy Spirit in my life and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruits.
Assumption: For the grace of a happy and holy death
Coronation: For those who struggle with devotion to Mary and a deepening of Marian piety among the faithful.
These are a few of my suggestions of how we can pray for others while we meditate on the life of Jesus and Mary through the rosary. Let us pray for each other, for our parishes, and the world. Allow the rosary to become a tool of intercession in your prayer life and you will begin to see the power of this prayer in your life.