The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each “Hail Mary”. – Pope Benedict XVI My dear people of God, in a special way, we thank God for the gift of his mother to the Church and the world. For truly, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the help of Christians. We rejoice in her unfailing help as we call upon God to continually heal us and our world of our pain and distress. As clearly deduced from the Fatima event, the dominant message is “Pray the Rosary daily”. A call that unites us with the action of Jesus himself who was always in communication and communion with God the Father throughout his public ministry. If a mother echoes to her child a mandate sundry times, it is because she is convinced from the depths of her heart, that what she is commanding or requesting with great fervour is of great importance. Similarly, the Mother of God and our Mother, Mary most Holy, instructed the children at Fatima, as well as the world at large, six times to pray the Rosary daily.
The emphasis cannot be overlooked. Also, following from the demand to obey our earthly mothers as contained in the 4th Commandment, how much more should we obey our Heavenly Mother? In essence, this is a message that although counts for the world, it is first to be internalized by every dedicated heart. We should form the most important habit of praying the Rosary, not sometimes or simply upon an impulse. Rather, we should form the habit of praying the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary every day; if possible, we could even pray the Rosary more than once a day, as was often the habit in the lives of many of the saints. But how can this happen if a number of reasons that will militate or impede our love for the Rosary abound? A simple attitude of having ‘my Rosary’ in my bag, purse, pocket, around my neck is something that is losing grip among a great majority of Catholics. When the praying of the Rosary is spoken of, it is conceived under the guise of a communal prayer, which in itself is not wrong, but the personal and private meditative praying of the Rosary by individual hearts meets little love and understanding.
• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.