A longtime pastor of my parish, Louis Schumacher, died
several years ago. His tombstone reads, “To Jesus through Mary.” The last thing
he is known to have done was to pray the rosary before falling asleep. He died sometime
during the night.
In his apostolic letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium
Virgini Mariae) Pope John Paul II wrote, “The Rosary, though clearly Marian
in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer” (1) and “To recite the
Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ” (3).
Father Schumacher understood that and used the rosary as a way to unite his life with
the life of Christ.
October is celebrated as the month of the Holy Rosary. In addition,
this year marks the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Sister Lucy,
the final survivor of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, said the following in an interview
“[T]here is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal
or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the
families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples
and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary.”
The rosary is not a magical talisman; it is through our lifting of
our heart’s joys, sorrow, glories and moments of enlightenment to God that we are
given the grace and wisdom to manage the difficulties of life.
I’ve selected a clip from the DVD Mary:
to share with you. The clip is from the program We Pray
With Mary: The Cloak of Many Colors (Windows
and gives a brief and simple introduction to the rosary.
It’s important to pass on to our children and new members of
our faith communities the meaning and message of the rosary. As Pope John Paul II said
on October 29, 1978, scarcely two weeks after his election as pope, “[o]ur heart
can embrace in the decades of the Rosary all the events that make up the lives of individuals,
families, nations, the Church, and all mankind. Our personal concerns and those of our
neighbor, especially those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus the simple
prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life” (RVM, 2).
I hope that you will find time within the rhythm of your own life
to pray the rosary and to share its richness with others.