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Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Mary Prayer Rosary

8 Reasons I {am trying to} Pray the Rosary Daily

I have one memory of praying the rosary as a child. I don’t know how old I was but I’m going to guess it was sometime around my confirmation (8th grade for me). The only thing I remember is being in the church with lots of other students, feeling bored, and wondering just how long this rosary thing was going to take. It made an impression on me. Unfortunately not a good one.

I don’t recall ever praying the rosary again until I was in my 20s. I was coming back to the church after a few years hiatus, and I was in a better place then because I was more interested in learning my faith and trying to find ways to connect to it. Group rosaries were a great introduction at the time and those times were wonderful ways to learn the rhythm of a rosary. I enjoyed praying it and could see the merit in making it a regular habit. For several years I had varying levels of success with keeping up a regular devotion to the rosary. Unfortunately, again, I never developed that daily habit.

Then last year, during late summer/early fall, I participated in a 54 Day Rosary Novena. I was impressed with myself for keeping up with it. I had some accountability, which helped, and when I did miss a day I would often find a way to “catch-up” by saying two rosaries the next day (or within a few days to eventually catch-up with the rest of the group). After 54 days I had hoped it would be a habit that would be easy to continue. But prayer is not easy, it’s a struggle at times due to distractions placed in front of us and the busyness of life. That’s when I decided that a daily rosary was going to become part of my Lenten promises this year.

8 Reasons I {am trying to} Pray the Rosary Daily
Photo Attribution: By Daniel Tibi (Dti) | daniel-tibi.de –  (own work), Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

 

I may not have a great track record, but I’m trying. If this is you too, maybe these reasons that I am trying to say a daily rosary will be encouragement to you too.

~1~ Deep Contemplation on the Gospels

If prayed rightly, the rosary should lead us into deep meditation and contemplation on the major events of Jesus’ life. The rhythm of the rosary is predictable, constant. While we say the prayers we should be reflecting on the mysteries, putting ourselves in Mary’s shoes as we watch Jesus carrying the cross or as she searches for him following their visit to Jerusalem. I feel like I have gained a lot more understanding of the Gospels from praying the rosary and that is a good reason to continue doing it.

~2~ The Perfect Companion on Long Car Rides

Or even short ones or any time we can pray while doing something else. My husband used to commute an hour each way to work before he finally moved to the city where we eventually met. During his car rides he would say a rosary. One time, on a drive down to visit my parents, 6 hours away, I put a rosary CD in my car and prayed all 20 mysteries on the ride. I also used to pray a rosary (with the help of a CD) while bottle feeding my twins. My hands were both occupied with bottles and I had nothing else to do at the time. I could have turned on the TV, but the length of their feeding actually worked out perfectly for praying a rosary. A Rosary app (there are lots of them out there) is a great way to say a rosary while taking a walk, on your commute to work, or any time that you have a free 10 minutes or so.

~3~ Powerful Intercessor for Souls

This is the biggest reason I decided on a daily rosary for Lent this year. This Lent I am praying a rosary specifically for those close to me whom I would like to see return to the Church and bring their families with them. The rosary is a powerful prayer!

~4~ Get on Mary’s Good Side, She’ll Nudge Jesus for you

He’s her son afterall! We all know that if you want to get an “in” with someone, befriending their mom is a great way to do it. Yes, we can go directly to Jesus, but why not also have his mother talking you up, too? Seriously though, Mary’s a powerful intercessor. Praying the rosary, something she often encourages and is seen with in reported apparitions around the world, makes us a friend of Mary’s. She’s our mother, too; get to know your mother, pray the rosary.

~5~ Mary said to

Related to #4, Mary has told us to say the rosary. Daily. So basically, mom said we should.

~6~ Great Way to Fall Asleep

The rosary should always be said with the right intention. As long as we intend to meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life and put forth that effort, it’s okay to use it at the end of our day even if we might fall asleep while doing so. The calming, meditative, consistent rhythm of the prayers can certainly cause you to nod off if you’re not careful. And that’s okay. If you think about, we usually fall asleep with some thoughts going through our heads, they might as well be centered on our Lord as we drift off to sleep at night. And I’ve heard that if you fall asleep while praying a rosary, your guardian angel picks it up where you left off and finishes it for you.

~7~ When You Don’t Know What Else to do

Are you mad and can’t think? Pray a rosary. Are you too upset to string your own words together to ask God for a special intention? Pray a rosary. Are you angry at someone or something and don’t know how to handle it? Pray a rosary. Do you need healing from hurts, mental, physical, or spiritual? Pray a rosary. Are you wired up from an exhilarating day and need a way to calm your body and mind? Pray a rosary.

~8~ I Can’t be More Busy Than Him!

Who? The Popes of recent memory (and I’m sure many, many others as well). Pope St. John Paul II was known for having a deep devotion to Mary and the rosary. He was a busy man! I may complain about my busy life, but if he can pray a rosary (or 3) every day, I can certain fit one in as well. Pope Francis also has a devotion to Mary and the rosary. Again, he’s a busy man. I really can’t hold a candle to the schedule of a world leader. So … I think I can do this!

More inspiring posts and resources on the rosary:

From the website The Most Holy Rosary.com: The Fifteen Promises Granted to those Who Recite the Rosary (also includes all the prayers you need, tons of other information, and so much more!)

From the website Spiritual Direction: My Message from Heaven to Stay Awake and Pray the Rosary by Patti Maguire Armstrong

From Young and Catholic: 5 Reasons Why Young Catholics Should Pray a Daily Rosary

From a blog, Held by His Pierced Hands: I Don’t Like the Rosary-6 Reasons I Pray it Anyway

And two posts from Catholic Sistas on the Rosary: Rosary Walk by Rachel M., and From Loathing to Loving the Rosary by Misty

8 Reasons I {am trying to} Pray the Rosary Daily

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7 Quick Takes Ink Slingers Kerri

7 Quick Takes Friday: Lesser Known Marian Titles

It’s May and that means it’s Mary’s month. Mary is so special to our Catholic faith that all around the world she has acquired a variety of titles and traditions. Whether her names are traditional, attributed to a Marian apparition or special devotion, or developed out of a specific culture, there’s probably at least one (if not more) for which we each have a particular fondness. In this post, I thought it would be fun to explore some Marian titles that are a little less well-known. So let’s have some fun and explore some new names for our Blessed Mother.

–1–

Our Lady of the Pillar

Feast Day: October 12

You may recognize this one if you are of Spanish descent; for the rest of us, this may be a totally new title for the Blessed Mother. It was new to me. This is a title for Mary attributed to an apparition said to have occurred in 40 A.D. This is the first apparition of Mary in recorded history and amazingly, she was still living in Palestine at the time. As tradition has it, Mary appeared to a discouraged St. James in what is now Zaragoza, Spain. He was about to give up on his attempts to convert the pagans of the Iberian Peninsula when Mary appeared. Today a huge shrine has been built on the site. To read more about this apparition, check out this article: Our Lady of the Pillar.

–2–

La Madonna del Parto

Feast day: October 9

Jacopo Sansovino - Madonna del Parto (Roma, Sant'Agostino)

Also known as Our Lady of Childbirth or our Lady of Smooth Delivery, this is a Marian title many of us may want to learn more about. If I ever get the chance to go to Rome again I’m definitely going to go look for this sculpture. Carved in 1521 by the sculptor Jacopo Tatti, it is housed in a special niche in the back of the Church of Sant’ Agostino near the Piazza Navona. For some five hundred years, Roman women have prayed to la Madonna del Parto for a child, for a healthy pregnancy, and safe childbirth. The statue is surrounded by offerings from parents on the successful births of their children, including pictures, birth announcements, and pink and blue bows. Read more about this Marian title at this page: Tell us About Our Lady of Smooth Delivery.

–3–

Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto

Feast day: October 11

In the United States, many of us may be familiar with Mary under the title of Our Lady of La Leche, whose shrine is located in St, Augustine, FL. The history of this title may actually go back to 4th century Bethleham. To this day, a Franciscan community maintains the grotto there known as the Milk Grotto; its centerpiece is the Virgin Mary nursing the infant Jesus. Crusaders in the Middle Ages most likely brought this devotion to Europe. The image became popular in Spain under the title Nuestra Señora de la Leche Y Buen Parto (in English: Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery) after a woman and her baby, both expected to die in childbirth, lived through the intercession of Mary under this title. Devotion spread and Spanish settlers brought that devotion to the New World where they built the first Marian shrine in what is now the United States. Read more about Our Lady of La Leche:

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche (St. Augustine, FL) (Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto)

Our Lady of La Leche’s History

–4–

Our Lady of Einsiedeln

Feast Day: July 16

Our Lady of Einsiedeln is named for a statue of Mary said to work miracles and located in a chapel 20 miles southeast of Zurich, Switzerland. In the late 9th century, St. Meinrad (a Benedictine monk) received the statue from Abbess Hildegard of Zurich and brought it with him into the wilderness. He built a hermitage and eventually a small chapel for Our Lady. The site of St. Meinrad’s hermitage became Einsiedeln and developed into a popular pilgrimage site, receiving about 50,000 pilgrims during the middle ages and continues to receive about 200,000 a year.

The statue is a Black Madonna, her color being attributed to the smoke of the votive candles surrounding her. Her popularity is mostly known in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. More on the Black Madonna, Our Lady of Einsiedeln here and here.

–5–

Our Lady of Good Help (WI, USA)

On December 8, 2010, Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, WI approved the apparitions of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI as worthy of belief by the faithful. Our Lady of Good Help appeared to Sr. Adele Brise in October of 1859 with a message to teach the faith to the children. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help has been a center for prayer for the past 150 years and many miracles have been attributed to Our Lady’s intercession. This is the first approved Marian apparition in the United States. To learn more about the Shrine and Sister Adele visit the Shrine’s website here. Visit this link to read more about the approval of the apparition.

–6–

Mary, Undoer of Knots

Feast Day: September 28

Mary, Undoer of Knots is a devotion to the Blessed Mother that developed in Germany in the 1700s. The reference to Mary as one who can untie the difficult knots of our lives goes as far back as St. Irenaeus in the second century. In 1700 the artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner, painted the image that is still revered today based on a story of a couple whose marriage was saved after the husband and their priest prayed together for the marriage and a miracle occurred with the couple’s wedding ribbon. The painting now hangs in the Church of St. Peter in Perlach am Augsburg (Germany). Not a very well-known devotion, it was brought to Argentina in the 1980’s by Archbishop Bergolio (now Pope Francis) and continues to be popular today. After his election as Pope, Pope Francis presented Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a print of Mary, Undoer of Knots thus sparking further interest and popularity in the image over the last year. Read more about the story of Mary, Undoer of Knots here.

–7–

The Kitchen Madonna, or the Madonna of the Kitchen

Kitchen Madonna

This one is not so much a title for Mary as it is a tradition of the faithful. Keeping an image of the Virgin Mary in the kitchen is supposedly an old tradition, although information to support this claim is scarce. At any rate, in more modern times small statues and other images have been created showing Mary in contemporary dress often holding a broom or a loaf of bread and sometimes depicted with the child Jesus at her side. My own mother has always had a “Kitchen Madonna” in her kitchen, so I grew up with the custom, but never gave it much thought. More recently I have seen some interest in images of the Virgin Mary holding a broom and that sparked my interest in learning more. The image is a relatively new idea of the 19th and 20th centuries. These images are meant as historical representations to make Mary more relatable to our day. The images of the Kitchen Madonna vary a lot. Since the kitchen is often the heart of the home, it makes sense that a depiction of Mary would find a place there. Even before specific images of Mary in front of a hearth or holding a broom became popular, it seems that an icon or other image of Mary was often kept in the kitchen as a reminder that Mary too was a housekeeper and the heart of her home.

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