Pick up the Rosary: Rediscover its power during the Year of Faith Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Editor's View by Mary C. Uhler

We are beginning the Year of Faith in the Catholic  Church during October, the month traditionally dedicated to the Rosary.

Pope Benedict XVI formally entrusted the world Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith to Mary during an October 4 visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto in Italy.

It is interesting to recall that another pope visited this same Marian shrine 50 years ago.  Blessed John XXIII visited Loreto to entrust the Second Vatican Council to Mary’s care in 1962.

Praying for Mary’s intercession

In his visit this year, Catholic News Service reported that Pope Benedict turned to Our Lady of Loreto with several petitions. “I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace,” the pope said.
He prayed for Mary’s intercession in responding to the “problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future” and for young people just starting to build their adult lives. The pope prayed for the poor, lonely, and suffering.

And, finally, he returned to the Year of Faith and the synod on new evangelization, saying, “I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the Church, now opening up before us.”

When Blessed Pope John visited Loreto 50 years ago, he told people that the aim of the Second Vatican Council was to spread throughout the world the benefits and blessings of God having become human, suffering and dying to redeem humanity.

At a time when the world is struggling with a global financial crisis and crises in many spheres of social life, today, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us.” United in faith, he said, all men and women become brothers and sisters, caring for and supporting one another.

Just as God wanted Mary to agree to carry his son, “God asks for mankind’s ‘yes.’ He has created a free partner in dialogue, one from whom he requests a reply in complete liberty,” said the Holy Father.

The importance of praying the Rosary

One way we can say “yes” is by contemplating the events in Christ’s life by praying the Rosary.

The Rosary has always played an important role in my life, beginning in my childhood and continuing to this day. I can remember our family praying the Rosary together. My father always carried a Rosary with him and could often be seen fingering the beads in his pocket.

The Rosary I use today is special to me. It was blessed by Pope John Paul II when I visited Rome and features his papal cross with images of all five major basilicas in Rome between the decades of the Rosary.

I find peace in praying the Rosary, and I encourage people to pick up the Rosary — especially during this Year of Faith — if they haven’t prayed the Rosary for awhile.

Start with ourselves

A leading expert in Marian studies believes the Rosary can play a key role in strengthening and spreading the word of God during the Year of Faith. “This Year of Faith is a call for evangelization, a new evangelization that’s to start with ourselves” in reawakening one’s love for Christ and then reaching out to those who have become distanced from the Church, said Holy Cross Father James Phalan, director of Family Rosary International.

“During this Year of Faith we’re to take up the Rosary in our hands again,” Father Phalan told Catholic News Service. By praying the Rosary, people are led to listen more deeply to God’s word, to contemplate events in Christ’s life, to see what his life means, and to find Christ’s presence in one’s own life, Father Phalan said.

Praying the Rosary together, especially for a family, has added beauty and power, he said. When couples or families pray the Rosary together, “there’s a real intimacy that’s bonded in faith” that then fortifies relationships and solidifies the wider Christian community, he said.

“I’m convinced that when we talk about the new evangelization, we need to talk about evangelization in the home,” because unless one’s prayer life and faith are reignited there, “it ‘ain’t gonna’ work, frankly,” he said.

Family Rosary International was started by the late Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, who coined the phrase “A family that prays together stays together.” To find out more about the crusade, visit