“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” Revelation 12:1
Mary’s Rose Garden – The Rosary. October – Month of the Holy Rosary.
This scripture quotation comes at the end of the Bible in the book of Revelation or the Apocalypse. It is describing in vivid detail what Mary, the Mother of Jesus looks like and what she will look like at the end of all things. It can seem quite scary to picture our Lady in this way but it is a beautiful symbol of what she became because of her “Yes” to God in choosing to become the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God Himself Incarnate in flesh.
Mary is an inspiration to us because she too was human and her example and faithfulness to God in giving Him the whole of her life and all that it would entail shows us the way to live our lives courageously and with faith in God’s promises.
So now, as we are in the Month of October, we think about Our Lady and we dedicate this month to Her as Queen of the Holy Rosary.
Rosary means simply ‘rose garden’. As we say each Hail Mary prayer and the prayers of the Rosary with love and concentration, focussing on the words and asking Our Lady to pray for us, it’s like us giving Her a beautiful rose. The more we pray the Rosary, the bigger Her rose garden will be!
The Rosary is a beautiful and special prayer to Mary, and it is the story of the New Testament. Through the Rosary beads and the prayers, we follow the life of Jesus and Mary. There are four Mysteries to be prayed. The joyful mysteries recall those times in Mary’s life spent with Jesus and St Joseph in happy times. Jesus’ coming, his birth, his infancy and childhood are all recorded for us to ponder and meditate on.
The Luminous or Mysteries of Light were introduced by St John Paul II, Pope, in 2002. They tell the story of Jesus’ public life and ministry in the three years before His Passion, Death and Resurrection. They include the wedding feast at Cana and the Institution of the Eucharist (the First Mass which was the Last Supper) where Jesus changed bread and wine into His Body and Blood which all Christians have in common today.
The Sorrowful Mysteries help us to ponder the depth of God Our Father’s love for us and for the whole world as Jesus, the Son of God suffered for us and died on the Cross to redeem us and bring us back into relationship with the Father. They include the agony in the garden and the Crucifixion.
The Glorious Mysteries recall those times of glory and revelation from the Lord in the Life of Jesus and tell the story of the early Church and point to future times. They include the Resurrection of Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the crowning of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven. Her crowning points to us as we too will one day be seated in heaven in glory and will reign with Christ. This is our destiny thanks to the merits of Jesus in dying for us and bringing us back to the Father. If we are baptised, we have been anointed with Chrism which signifies our role in Christ as a prophet, priest and king. We become like Jesus in our baptism for Jesus is Our Prophet, Our Great High Priest and Our King of kings.
Each beautiful rose given to Mary as we pray the Rosary with concentration, faith, love and affection replaces each one of the thorns from the cruel Crown of Thorns which Jesus wore during His suffering and death and which pierced Mary’s heart as she saw the Beloved Son she loved more than anything in the world suffer so horribly for us.
Full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.
Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us. Amen