The Rosary as Christ Centered Prayer

Last Monday, October 7, was the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly titled Our Lady of Victory. This annual celebration harkens back to the 1571 victory of Christian forces over the Ottoman navy.  Dominican tradition claims that the rosary was given to Saint Dominic by the Blessed Virgin Mary; but some form of praying the beads had already been in use among Catholics for centuries. In fact praying the beads in different ways is practiced by various religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity (The Jesus Prayer), Islam, Sikhism and the Bahá’í Faith. The practice consists in the repetition of prayers, chants or devotions which center the focus of the mind on prayer of the heart. Catholics focus each decade (ten repetitions of the Hail Mary) of the rosary on one of twenty mysteries of the Christ event.                                                                                                                                        

In October 2002, Pope St. John Paul II reaffirmed that the rosary is a Christ-centered prayer and, to emphasize this, he added the Luminous Mysteries to the already existing and widely known fifteen Glorious, Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. The Luminous Mysteries are: The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom, The Transfiguration and The Institution of the Eucharist.

Rev. Andrew D. Ciferni, O. Praem.