The months of October and May are often set aside as times to reflect on and honor the role Mary, the Mother of God, plays in our life as Catholic Christians. One of our many titles for Mary is Theotokos meaning “God-Bearer”. Mary brought to us God in the flesh. All of our honor and devotion to Mary leads us to a deeper understanding of and love for Christ Jesus. One concrete way we honor Mary is by praying the rosary. People, mainly non-Catholics, often ask me the origins of the rosary. Long ago when the church prayed the 150 Psalms (often as penance) illiterate people substituted the Psalms by praying 150 Our Fathers on beads. Many of them were afraid if they missed one prayer their sins would not be forgiven so they kept track of them on beads! In the twelfth century, when the Hail Mary was formulated, people began praying this prayer instead. Eventually the beads were grouped into sets of ten and a bead to separate each set was added. Then, as each decade was prayed a mystery was reflected upon. Eventually there were the three sets of mysteries, Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious. In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the Luminous Mysteries or the events from Jesus’ public life. The children at ASCS are learning about and praying the rosary at school. Each family at ASCS was given a World Mission Rosary. Thank you to Kathy DelConte for the gift of these rosaries and to the many people who worked hard to make them for us.
Why is the World Mission Rosary different?
Below is an excerpt I took from the Pontifical Mission Societies website: www.onefamilyinmission.org. “In February of 1951, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1950 to 1966), in a radio address (The Catholic Hour), inaugurated that World Mission Rosary. He saw the need for us to pray not just for ourselves, but for the whole world, and especially for those who are poor and vulnerable at home and around the world.
What do the colors signify?
Each decade of that World Mission Rosary calls to mind an area where the Church continues her evangelizing mission: green for the forests and grasslands of Africa; blue for the ocean surrounding the islands of the Pacific; white symbolizing Europe, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; red calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the Americas and yellow, the morning light of the East, for Asia. Archbishop Sheen himself linked this Rosary to the missionary work of the Church and to the Holy Father. Praying this Rosary, he explained in that radio broadcast, would “aid the Holy Father and his Society for the Propagation of the Faith by supplying him with practical support, as well as prayers, for the poor mission territories of the world.” “When the Rosary is completed, one has…embraced all continents, all people in prayer,” he added. “Won’t you please make a tour of the world on your World Mission Rosary?”
Please take some time to pray the World Mission Rosary together as a family.