Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October, 7th, 2021

Courtesy of the author

Courtesy of the authorThe devotional prayer, the Rosary, has been a part of the Church prayer life for centuries.  And it perdures to today.  My introduction to it was in my childhood.  It was part of our parish life particularly because in 1917 the people of St Peter’s Colony in Saskatchewan with their pastor, Father Metzger, built a replica shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Through more than a hundred years pilgrims have visited the shrine.  One essential part of the official August pilgrimage day was reciting the rosary together.  When I was very young, after the evening supper, with dishes and food still on the table, my dad would kneel down and begin the rosary.  My mum, sisters, and I followed suit kneeling and, leaning elbows on the seat of our chairs, answered each invocation with ‘holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.’  The rosary continued to be an integral personal devotion in my early Jesuit formation.

Although through the years it became less part of my personal prayer, just recently that has changed.  I was struck by how consoling  praying of the rosary was to a young married man who endured a lingering dying this past spring and how the Knights of Columbus of his Council here at St Ignatius Parish have taken to praying the rosary regularly together virtually!  Also during this fall the students and staff at St Paul’s High School created an outdoor Rosary Garden around a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes just beside their multiplex.  I was touched by this gesture of devotion.

Consequently the rosary is once again regular in my daily schedule.  I’ve been struck how each of the Glorious, Joyful, Sorrowful, and Luminous events prayed about, are truly mysteries, ‘known unknowns’ as one commentator has dubbed them.  It is easy to be lost in wonder at each.  One of my sisters in Regina, Marlene, confided to me three weeks ago that she too has taken up the rosary in a new and regular way, praying for specific intentions.  I kidded her that we, in our elder years, may be imitating Simeon and Anna in St Luke’s Gospel, doing the most important thing we can, praying for people.

But one doesn’t have to be old to pray the rosary.  For anyone of any age it is an easy peaceful powerful prayer.  If it isn’t already in your daily routine, as the old adage goes ‘try it; you’ll like it’.

Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ, is pastor of St. Ignatius parish in Winnipeg.

  • Susan Mary Garbett-Snidal
    Posted at 03:06h, 17 December Reply

    FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY, OCTOBER, 7TH, 2021, this was the day before my husband, Sandy, died. I think this was a message to us to take heart and to pray the rosary too. My heart was gladdened to read of St. Paul’s High School’s creating a Rosary Garden. My sons, Sebastian and Christopher, went to St. Paul’s and SPHS had a Mass for Sandy’s soul a bit ago. Yet another thing to make my heart more glad. It is these “ordinary graces” that can mean so much as we go through life and its trials. So, thank you Father Frank for this article and for the visits you made to Sandy in hospital and to both of us at home. They were moments of grace in our journey. Your support was important.

  • Bernice Khan
    Posted at 06:04h, 17 December Reply

    Beautiful sharing Father on the power and peace that can reach one’s heart and soul from praying and meditating on the of the mysteries of the rosary.
    In gratitude.
    God bless.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 13:19h, 17 December Reply

    Thank you Frank!

  • Connie Shaw
    Posted at 20:44h, 18 December Reply

    A few years ago I went with a friend to visit her elderly dying Mother. My friend took to arranging and clearing her things talking the whole time to her mother, who neither heard nor understood what she was saying. I sat on her other side and observed that her lips were moving as she simply stared ahead. I leaned in and listened. There was a rhythm to what she was saying. I asked my friend who acknowledged that her mother was Catholic. In awe I exclaimed she is saying her Hail Mary’s, she is praying her rosary !
    What a blessing.

  • Dee Sproule
    Posted at 08:07h, 21 December Reply

    Thank you, Fr. Frank, for this simple, touching reminder.
    Thank you to those who shared their beautiful stories.
    May God bless you all.

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