No memory of my mother Dorothy is as powerful as watching her recite the Rosary at the kitchen table every morning. Whatever was going on with our family, her day would start with coffee and one of the mysteries.
I grew up in a large Catholic family. Prayer was something my mother taught us. My father was a salesman and had to travel. If he was late, it was not uncommon for her to wake us up and make us kneel on the kitchen floor with our rosaries to pray for his safe return. When we went to mass, we always arrived 15 minutes early to say our Rosary.
Why was saying the rosary such an important tool for my mother to teach her children? The answer is simple. The Rosary is our most powerful bond with Mary, our Blessed Mother and ultimately with her Son, Jesus.
It is believed that the rosary was given to Saint Dominic when he had a
apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1214. In 1475, Saint Alain du Rocher, Dominican priest and theologian, would have had a vision of Jesus declaring the urgency of using the rosary as a form
of prayer. In 1571, Pope Pius V encouraged all of Europe to pray the rosary for victory at the Battle of Lepanto. The Christian victory was celebrated there on October 7. It was later renamed feast
of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Saint Dominic gave us this prophecy by receiving the rosary: “One day with the rosary and the scapular Our Lady will save the world.
According to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri, more than two-thirds of the world’s population use rosaries in their religious practices. “Pearl” itself comes from Old English “to pray”. Rosaries appear in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and possibly even Protestantism. Each time you recite the Rosary, you are looking for a deeper connection with your faith.
The rosary itself is the most famous prayer in the world. As you go through each decade of the Rosary, you tend to feel a rhythm that helps you focus on the mysteries of the life of Christ.
Pope Pius IX said: “Give me an army reciting the Rosary and I will conquer the world”.
One day, the Rosary had a huge impact on my life.
My mother’s rosary was always nearby, so whenever she had a spare moment, she would start her prayers. She fell ill for a while at the age of 81. It was in 1997. I received a phone call from her which I still remember today. She was excited. She said, “This morning, as I was sitting in my chair, I said my rosary and I looked up and the wall in my living room was covered with roses.” I replied, “Well, maybe you imagined it.” She said, “No, Connie (my older sister) came in an hour later and asked me, ‘Did someone send you roses mom?’ – Yes, I said to Connie, smiling. See, the smell was still there when Connie walked in. My mom added, “It means I won’t be here very long. Jesus and his mother Mary are close by.
At the time, I didn’t think much about her explanation – until her death on March 20, 1997. I’m sure she was greeted by Mary and Jesus as she knew she would on the day she was greeted. she was sitting in her chair saying the rosary to him.
Mendenhall-Baugh is a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton.