A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious

Posted on: October 7, 2013

According to the Wikipedia, people will observe a wide range of events this month, from Leif Erikson Day to Thanksgiving and from National Fire Prevention Week to Fair Trade Month.

For those of us who are relatively new to the Catholic Church and may not be aware of the fact, Catholics also observe the month of the Holy Rosary.

praying the rosary

Praying the rosary

In fact, today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Pope St. Pius V established this feast to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary for her intercession—prayed for through the rosary—that led to the Christian forces’ victory in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571.

If a little while (or maybe a long while…) has passed since you’ve prayed the rosary, this feast day is a great time to pick up your beads or rosary ring and say a decade or more. And during this 40 Days for Life campaign, you could pray the rosary using pro-life meditations, such as those available through Priests for Life or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But maybe you’ve never prayed the rosary. Maybe you’re a convert and the idea of praying the rosary is strange or uncomfortable for you; as Scott Hahn wrote in Rome Sweet Home, before he became a Catholic, he ripped up the rosary that had been his grandmother’s. But on his journey to the Catholic Church, Scott was given a rosary and began to pray the rosary regularly. He came to describe it as “a most powerful prayer—an incredible weapon” and found that meditating upon the mysteries deepened his understanding of Scripture.

If you’ve never tried to pray the rosary, I encourage you to give it a chance, whether you use a rosary you’ve made or been given. It does take a little time to learn the prayers and mysteries (which you can find on the Holy Rosary website, for example), but not long to pray through them; even a few minutes is enough time to recite a decade and think about some of the events in the life of Jesus.

As Pope Francis wrote this year in a message to the youth of Lithuania, this simple prayer brings us closer to God:

In the Rosary we turn to the Virgin Mary so that she may guide us to an ever closer union with her Son Jesus to bring us into conformity with him, to have his sentiments and to behave like him….The Rosary is an effective means for opening ourselves to God, for it helps us to overcome egotism and to bring peace to hearts, in the family, in society and in the world.


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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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