The Rosary

 Although Catholics pray the rosary all the year round, the month of October is especially devoted to this prayer.

The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer by which we give thanks to our God and ask Him for favors through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We know that the rosary is a contemplative prayer on Jesus’ life. By saying “Hail Mary”, which is based also on the Scripture, we approach Jesus through Mary.

St. Joseph and the Rosary

According to the Scripture, a pious Hebrew prays several times a day (Daniel 7:11). St. Joseph belonged among these pious praying Hebrews. Surely, he did not pray the rosary, because it originated in the second millennium. Yet by taking Mary, Mother of Jesus, “into his home” (cf. Mt 2:24), he approached Jesus through Mary and lived in the presence of God the rest of his life. He was the one, who, after Mary, lived fully the mysteries of the Rosary.
Father Dominic De Domenico, O.P. writes, “… One of the best means of practicing this perfect devotion to St. Joseph will be through the Rosary, in which are all the chief devotions. It should be no surprise then that in showing three visions at Fatima, representing the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries, our Lady included St. Joseph with the Child Jesus… In this way our Lady implied that our devotion to St. Joseph should be inseparable from the Rosary and vice versa. In this way our Blessed Mother also implied that St. Joseph is a very important part of her Fatima message” (True Devotion to St. Joseph and the Church, pp. 206-207).

➢ Joseph joyfully did as the angel of the Lord told him, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home” (Mt 2:20), and opened his house for Mary, who was with a child, the Son of God.
➢ He joyfully listened to the words of the messenger of the Lord, saying, “For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (Mt 2:20).
➢ On the night in Bethlehem, when Mary gave birth to her Son, Mary and Joseph contemplated God’s presence on earth. When shepherds “found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger” (Lk 2:16), Mary and Joseph listened to their message with joy.
➢ While presenting Jesus in the temple, “the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about Him” (Lk 2:33).
➢ What a great joy it was, when Mary and Joseph found the twelve year old boy Jesus in the temple “sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Lk 3:46).
➢ During the circumcision, Joseph saw the shedding of Jesus’ blood, which was a foretaste of the future, beginning in the Garden of Olives, where Jesus was “in s
uch agony … that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground” (Lk 22:44) and continuing with scourging, mockery with the crown of thorns, and leading Him to Calvary, where He was crucified.
➢ Simeon’s prophesy, that the child would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the Mother’s soul, pierced Joseph’s heart.

Joseph was asked to consent to taking up his office as a husband to Mary and as a father to Jesus with all its trials and duties. One immediate duty requested by the angel was to name Him Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). Joseph was asked to cooperate consciously in the salvation of the people. And he did. He truly acted as a servant to the redemption of the human race (cf. Dominic De Domenico, O.P.: True Devotion to St. Joseph and the Church).

Bl. Alphonse Marie and the Rosary

Reading the “Biography” of Blessed Alphonse Marie, we find that as a little child, she was able to say, “My parents had the laudable custom of praying the rosary and the litany of the Blessed Virgin each evening… During this time I learned the ejaculation: ‘Holy Mary, pray for us’; they were words that I often repeated during the day” (The Life of Mother Alphonse Marie, pp. 5, 14). Later, as a teenager, she was often seen walking silently behind the wagon that her father drove, praying the rosary. If, during the day, time did not permit her to say this prayer so dear to her, she would recite it in the evening to Mary.
One day the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and told her to go to the priest in Niederbronn and tell him that the rosary should be recited each evening in the church. “Through this, the whole region would receive many graces.” Father Reichard did not believe her and harshly repulsed her. She was disappointed. “On another day, on the same road, the Blessed Virgin again appeared to her and insisted that she go to him again and repeat the request. A second time she was repulsed by Pastor. She had to go a third time to him and the Blessed Virgin assured her that this time she would get a hearing. And indeed, Father Reichard now consented and allowed the Rosary to be prayed in the church each evening” (The Life of Mother Alphonse Marie, p. 26).


➢ She could hardly talk yet, but she experienced great joy in pronouncing the first words of the angelic salutation “Hail Mary”, the only words she was able to remember.
➢ With joy, she greeted the Blessed Virgin by Elizabeth’s words, “blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
➢ Very early she was attracted to the suffering and passion of Jesus Christ.
➢ She meditated on the scourging of Jesus, seeing Him covered with wounds, torn by lashes, streaming with blood, yet silent, uttering no complaint, shedding no tears, quiet, submissive, and praying for those who were beating Him.
➢ She contemplated the cruel coronation in all its details and the reason why Jesus endured this cruel coronation.
➢ She often placed herself before a cross or took one into her hands and she meditated on Jesus crucified. Her soul was so deeply moved that she felt the pains of the passion;
they became her own pains.
➢ Asking the Lord how she could make atonement for insults which people make on Sundays, she had the thought that praying the rosary together in the church on Sundays and holy days would keep many souls from sins.  

The contemplation of the cross taught Alphonse Marie that God in His infinite love has taken the risk to reveal Himself in Jesus and that the Passion has been the consequence of this love which goes to the end. By accepting this love for herself, she let herself be redeemed and be healed from her weaknesses; she opened herself to the life of the risen Jesus in whom human life gets its meaning: love, toil, joy and pain, suffering and death. Her wish to take part in the suffering of the cross expressed her desire to respond more and more to the love of God which has been revealed in Jesus Christ.

“Place all your confidence in the divine mercy and only and exclusively in the merits of Jesus Christ, our Divine Redeemer.”
“How many graces one receives through the rosary. At each Hail Mary, we greet her with a double greeting, and receive a jewel in our crown each time.”
Blessed Alphonse Marie
We Remember
Merciful Jesus, grant them eternal rest.
13Sister M. Calasantia Wegerbauer 1969
19Sister M. Sebastian Laub 1992
25Sister M. Ancilla Verosto 2008
28Sister M. Cecilia Hogya 2008
30Sister M. Angela Kun 1997

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