When you think of the Rosary, you might think of that prayer you prayed with your family every night that felt like an eternity, but in reality, only took 20 minutes.
Maybe you think of that set of beads around your rearview mirror in your parents’ car. As for me, the rosary was not prayed daily as a family. We did not even have one hanging on our rearview mirror.
My first memory of memorizing the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer was when I was 10 years old. Little did I know, that was the beginning of what would eventually lead me to know and love my favorite prayer. I grew up in a very lukewarm faith filled family. My dad did not grow up Catholic and when he converted, it was primarily to join the rest of the family. My mom was Catholic and raised my younger sister and I Catholic (Baptism, first communion/reconciliation, confirmation, etc.…), but I didn’t take the faith seriously. I did not understand the necessity of having a relationship with God, so by the time I was 14, I decided for myself that God would not be a part of my life once I became an adult.
I then went on a retreat when I was 15 and God radically changed my life. I only wanted to dive deeper into the faith and love Jesus and make Him known. Throughout High School, I was involved in my youth group leading as many retreats as I could. This sparked the desire to be a missionary. Throughout this time, I started to pray the rosary more, but unfortunately, I prayed them faster than the superhero The Flash could run. They were just another check on the list of ‘Things Catholics do’.
After my freshman year of college, I decided to serve with NET Ministries (National Evangelization Teams). I served 2 years with this ministry and it was serving with NET that gave me the desire to know Mary and her role in the Church more. It was beautiful learning how Mary is my Mother and that she loves me and wants me to know Jesus more. I consecrated myself to Mary through St. Louis de Montfort’s book, ‘True Devotion to Mary’. I was now beginning to understand the importance of the Rosary, especially when it comes to knowing Mary more.
Fast forward to the Fall of 2016. I transferred to Franciscan University of Steubenville to study Theology and Youth Ministry. I already had a list of things to do and ministries to get involved with before my first day at the University. One of the things on this list was to join a household. There was one that caught my eye. Some friends of mine from NET were a part of the household called The Knights of the Holy Queen. It was a men’s Marian focused household. There was something so awesome about a bunch of men who love Mary and want to give her everything.
Every Tuesday night, the Knights prayed a rosary together. Upon receiving an invitation to join, I went. The feeling I felt that night is incomparable. The rosary was prayed in a way I had never experienced before. It was prayed with such devotion and love for Our Lady. It was more than just a check on a list of things to do as a Catholic for these men. The rosary is a sword made by God for His Queen who then gave it to the world to vanquish the enemy. St. Maximilian Kolbe says, “A prayer both simple and sublime that the Immaculata herself indicated when she appeared in Lourdes is the Holy Rosary. May it become the sword of each knight of the Immaculata, just as the Miraculous Medal is the bullet that strikes down evil!”
But after fully becoming a part of the household, I felt a huge target was now on my back. I now had to keep my weapon sharpened. How do I do that? By praying the rosary every day. St. John Paul II said that the rosary was his favorite prayer and he was rarely seen without his rosary beads in his hands. If I want to be a Saint, I must pray the rosary with the intentions of growing closer to Mary who will then teach me to be more like her Son! I love the Rosary- I love entrusting my intentions to Mary because I know she will place them at the feet of Christ Jesus. My friends, make sure to “call your mom” regularly. She wants to hear from you. She loves you.