October–Month of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On autumn mornings as we conclude Lauds, the giant window of Our Lady is often blazing bright in the glow of the rising sun. Mary is illumined by the Radiant Dawn, the Sun of Justice, who is Jesus Christ her Son. Baptized into Christ Jesus our lives are meant to glow with his presence as well. One way we may grow closer to him is by praying the Rosary. October is the Month traditionally dedicated to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

What consolation the Rosary brings. Remembering the mysteries of Christ’s life and Our Lady’s life, we repeat Hail Mary after Hail Mary. Indeed, the mysteries of the Holy Rosary- joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous- are the mysteries of our own lives as well. As we pray the Rosary, we beg Our Lady to draw us closer to him who is our Light. We remember seeing parents and grandparents so often praying their rosaries, “telling their beads” as some referred to this devotion. We remember as well that for many saints the Rosary was an indispensable part of their daily prayer.

In his biography of Pope Francis, Austen Ivreigh recounts then Cardinal Bergoglio’s experience of praying with Saint John Paul:

One afternoon I went to pray the Holy Rosary that the Holy Father was leading. He was in front of us on his knees. With the Holy Father’s back to me, I entered into prayer. In the middle of the prayer, I became distracted looking at the pope, and time began to fade away. I began to imagine the young priest, the seminarian, the poet, the worker, the child from Wadowice in exactly the same posture as he was now, praying Hail Mary after Hail Mary. His witness struck me. I felt this man, chosen to guide the Church, was the summation of a path trod together with his Mother in heaven, a path that began in his childhood. And I suddenly realized the weight of the words spoken by the Mother of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego, “Do not be afraid. Am I not your mother?” I grasped the presence of Mary in the pope’s life. His witness did not get lost in memory. From that time onward I have prayed the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary every day. – Excerpts from The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, Austen Ivreigh, p.275