By: Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation
One of the most beautiful books I’ve read about devotion to the Blessed Mother is “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis de Montfort. Although it was written over 300 years ago, de Montfort’s accessible prose explains why we should entrust our prayers to Our Lady. He uses powerful visuals that stay with you long after you close the cover of the book. Did you know that rosary literally means “crown of roses?” Every time you pray the Rosary, with each “ave” you say, you offer Our Blessed Mother’s tender heart a fragrant, incorruptible rose. Our words are powerful and can build up or tear down people. It is beautiful to ponder gentle, loving words flowing from our mouths and encircling the head of Our Lady. With each prayer, we recognize her gentle strength and powerful intercession for those we love and for those with whom we struggle.
The Illuminated Rosary
A beautiful way to experience this devotion is through MCCW’s signature program, the Illuminated Rosary. You might have prayed the Illuminated Rosary at a regional retreat, Forum, or our online Day of Reflection in April. An illuminated rosary is one prayed with the accompanying visual of lit candles formed into the shape of a rosary.
Learn how to pray the Illuminated Rosary in your home or introduce this practice to your chapel group by consulting MCCW’s devotion guide HERE.
Additionally, you can pray along with MCCW Forum liturgist Kristin Foss in this archived clip from our online Day of Reflection HERE.
The Rosary for Warriors
“The Rosary for Warriors began out of grief and concern for the families of deceased Soldiers,” says MCCW member Lynda MacFarland. Although she had never been drawn to this devotion, she began to cling to the rosary as an expression of hope and trust in the Lord in the face of despair. In this Month of the Most Holy Rosary, join with your MCCW sisters to pray this special devotion and entrust the needs of our nation’s warriors and their families to Our Lady, who will undoubtedly bring them to her Son.
The Rosary for Warriors is prayed by remembering a specific intention through each decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries:
- Agony in the garden: For deployed soldiers and their safety;
- Scourging at the pillar: For wounded soldiers and for their healing;
- Crowning with thorns: For deceased soldiers and repose of their souls;
- Carrying of the cross: For families of deployed, wounded, and deceased soldiers, and for strength and comfort;
- Crucifixion: For our nation, for the victims of war, and for peace in the world.
To learn more about the events that inspired Lynda’s intense prayers, consult her blog, Drowning in Lemonade HERE.