“You must know that when you ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many. On the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!”
~ St. Bernadine of Sienna
What do you think she would converse about? Just like a mother who is never tired speaking about her child, his likes and dislikes, his achievements and all those little details that only she knows about, Mary is eager to reveal her dear son Jesus to us.
St. John Paul II invoked our blessed Mother when he was shot on May 13, 1981, as he was passing through the crowd of St. Peter’s Square. Sustaining two gunshot wounds, St. John Paul II claimed, “One hand pulled the trigger, another guided the bullet.” For in everything that had happened to him on that day, he felt the extraordinary motherly affection and care which had turned out to be stronger than a deadly bullet. Like St. John Paul many holy saints greeted her through the beads of the rosary while she slowly unveiled to them the mysteries of our saviour’s life. Saint John Paul II did not hesitate to say that the rosary was his favourite prayer, a marvellous prayer. Marvellous in its simplicity and its depth, he said that the mysteries put us in living communion with Jesus through his Mother’s heart, thus expressing his love towards the rosary. For those of us who admire elegant simplicity, well, the rosary is all you need!
“Some days I say 40 rosaries, some other days 50. How do I do it? How do you manage to not say any?”
These lines of St. Padre Pio may get us thinking. How in the world was it possible to find the time and the desire to pray 40-50 rosaries each day? But if ‘lack‘ could become ‘abundance’, ‘water’ could become ‘wine’, then for those of us who keep moaning ‘no time’ could through our Mother’s intercession, be surprised to soon find ourselves saying ‘plenty of time’!
When St. Dominic, a Spanish priest travelled to France preaching against the Albigensian heresy, his efforts gained few conversions and even fewer followers. Disappointed, he turned to the mother of God for help who later appeared to him and told him to use her Psalter (the rosary of those times), as an instrument in combating the great heresy of his day. Thus praying the rosary led to overcoming the heresy. As in the words of Fr. Reginald LaGrange
“What the word of the preacher was unable to do, the sweet prayer of the Hail Mary did for hearts.”
So for those of us facing failures or very little success, this sweet prayer which came to be known as the rosary can help us move ahead triumphantly.
Let us then imitate these saints and also make the words of St. Teresa of Kolkata our own who said,
“Cling to the rosary as the creeper clings to the tree, for without Our Lady we cannot stand.”