Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The How to Book of the Rosary

This is what I'm currently working on in terms of new projects. If you have any great "rosary" stories from the saints, or tidbits please do comment as I would like to make sure that the finished book includes all the great trivia as well as solid facts about praying the rosary.

The last chapter of the book will be "How to hold the rosary in your coffin" in case anyone is dying to know what the contents of the book are.


  1. The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort (TAN Publishing, I believe; or check out http://www.rosary-center.org/secret.htm) has got great little stories and pious tales in it.
    Among those that stuck in my head...the story of a person who said their Rosary hastely and without much effort until the Virgin Mary appeared to him dressed shabbily in the poor prayers he had offered. To say the Rosary properly and prayerfully, Montfort insists, is to present the Virgin Mary with beautiful crown of roses. Lots of nice Catholic imagery.

  2. Michael,

    Any thought on a chapter for those of us who don't find the rosary helpful? I'm in that group and it isn't an easy place to be with respect to this more universal of Western Catholicism's devotions. On the one hand, I've yet to be aided in how to make the rosary more my own (which I wish I could). On the other, I often find that some look upon me as if I am less than Catholic because of my lack of the rosary in my devotional life.

  3. Dear Michael,

    You may find some useful material at my long-defunct "Rosary Blog" at http://members.wolfram.com/billw/rosary-blog/

    Cheers -


  4. There's the story (I don't know for certain the truth of the matter) of the Jesuits who survived the bombing of Hiroshima and attributed it to their practice of praying the rosary in this particular building (http://holysouls.com/sar/rosarymiracle.htm). I think Fr. Pedro Arrupe was also there at the time.

  5. Michael,
    I don't know if this qualifies, but there is the story of a famous Cuban physician, Dr. Carlos Finlay, who was the first to propose that yellow fever is transmitted by a mosquito bite. It is said that Dr. Finlay came to this realization while praying the Rosary, a devotion to which he was much attached.

    Mila Morales

  6. I'd be interested to know about the Eastern Catholics devotion to the rosary, how they adapted it, how they pray it, how they meditate on it. And maybe their reaction to the Luminous mysteries, which are clearly Eastern in flavor.

    While the Eastern Orthodox typically don't pray the rosary, the Ukrainian Catholics and Ruthenian Catholics do.

    I've seen pictures of rosaries made during Soviet occupation of Ukraine. Bits of bread pressed together to make beads. Common in prison and gulags I'm told.

    I've seen the official picture of this bishop, Yosyf Slipij (1892-1984), of the UGCC, with a rosary. I believe he's interred in Winapeg.

    What d'ya think?

  7. My seventh grade teacher told us that Knute Rockne died in a plane crash with the rosary entwined in his fingers. He died 3/31/1931 so this is, relatively speaking, a recent event.

    In his autobiography, Den of Lions, Terry Anderson describes creating a rosary from a knotted string while he was a hostage in Beruit in the 1980s. He was held captive with Fr. Lawrence Jenco who describes the same in his book "Bound to Forgive".

  8. An excellent book on the history of the rosary is STORIES OF THE ROSE by Anne Winston-Allen. (I trust you aren't going to be repeating that horay old fable about the Blessed Mother giving St. Dominic the Rosary?) For late medieval devotion to the rosary, see THE ART OF DEVOTION by Henk van Os, which is an exhibition catalog. And surely you'll want to mention that there are different kinds of rosaries besides the good old five-decades of Hail Marys kind.
    The Eastern Churches normally use knotted prayer ropes on which they recite short prayers. Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims also use kinds of rosary beads.

  9. I remember hearing Archbishop Tang, the then exiled Archbishop of Canton speak in Melbourne in the mid-1980s. He had not long been released after a long term of imprisonment under the Chinese Communist regime. He spent many years in solitary confinement with no books or litugical aids. He claimed that he retained his sanity by praying the Rosary - the Lord had given him 10 fingers which the Communists had not taken away.

    His full name was Archbishop Dominic Tang Yee-ming

  10. I suggest the story of Dr. Takashi Nagai, who was living with his wife Midori and working in Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped. Nagai worked until there was a pause in the casualties before trying to find his wife:

    On the 11th, work was a bit less hurried, and Takashi left to search for Midori, who had stayed at home while the children and their grandmother were safe in the mountains, since August 7. He found the site of his home with difficulty in an area of tiles and cinders. Suddenly, he came upon the carbonized remains of his wife. On his knees, he prayed and wept, then placed the bones in a container. Something shone weakly through the powder of the bones of her right hand: her Rosary!

    He bowed his head: "My God, I thank You for permitting her to die while she prayed. Mary, Mother of sorrows, thank you for having been with her at the hour of her death... Jesus, you carried the heavy Cross until you were crucified upon it. Now, You come to shed a light of peace on the mystery of suffering and death, Midori's and mine... Strange fate: I believed so strongly that it would be Midori that would lead me to the tomb... Now her poor remains are resting in my arms... Her voice seems to murmur: forgive, forgive."

  11. A friend of mine told me that she prays the rosary with all the mass cards from the funerals she has gone to and replaces the end of the Hail Mary with the names on the mass cards. ...Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for... the person's name. That is one way of making the rosaries personal.