Today we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of the Rosary. Each year we renew the prayer that has been such a large part of the spiritual life of believers for many centuries.
When we pray the Rosary, we are following the example that Our Lady herself gave us. We all remember the story Saint Luke tells in his gospel about the Passover trip to Jerusalem that the Holy Family took when Our Lord was twelve years old. How he astonished Mary and Joseph by staying behind in the Temple with the teachers and doctors of the Law. St. Luke tells us that Mary treasured all these things in her heart (Luke 2:41-52). And not just that one incident, but many of the things Our Lord did and said were part of his mother’s memory. Those incidents, and Our Lady’s observations of them, surely came up in her conversations with God in her prayer.
Our Lady saw her son grow in wisdom, age and grace. When Our Lord began his public life, she saw him leave home and travel about the Judean countryside, attracting a group of followers. She saw him heal the sick, give sight to the blind, and even raise the dead to life. She heard him speak about his Father and about the Kingdom that was not of this world. She also heard what others were saying about him, that he was a troublemaker and that he deserved to die. She saw him die; she stood there beneath the Cross with him at the end of his earthly life, just as she had been there at the beginning. Throughout it all, Mary treasured all these things in her heart, pondered them, and prayed over them. What she witnessed over the course of her son’s life on earth prompted her prayer, her conversation with the God who had chosen her as mother.
When we pray the Rosary, we follow Our Lady’s example. We consider the mysteries, the great events of Our Lord’s life that mark the dawn of our salvation. We ponder these events, treasuring them in our hearts, allowing them to encourage us to thank God who has redeemed us in his Son. And we ask Our Lady to help us as we ponder the events of her son’s life, asking her to make those events more vivid in our own hearts and minds.
Through it all we ask: Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.