"..The Holy Rosary, besides, not only serves admirably to overcome the enemies of God and Religion, but is also a stimulus and spur to the practice of evangelic virtues which it injects and cultivates in our souls. Above all, it nourishes the Catholic Faith, which flourishes again by due meditation on the sacred mysteries, and raises minds to the truth revealed to us by God.."
Pope Pius XI, Ingravescentibus malis, 22
As a child, though I did not really know how to pray through it with the mysteries, I was captivated by the rosary. My elementary school cafeteria was located in the basement of a Catholic church, and there were a few shelves on the wall designated to serve as a miniature gift shop. After I finished my lunch, I would sometimes stand in front of the shelves and stare at the rosaries, picking out which one I would buy when I had enough money. It usually did not take long before my younger brothers would get their hands on them and break them, but I never got rid of them -- they were so special to me. I loved when we prayed the rosary together at school, and the annual candle-lit rosary around the church was my favorite event. Learning the stories of Mary appearing to children fascinated me. I used to lie in bed at night praying that she would not appear to me -- because I was too afraid to tell people about it. As the years went on, my faith more or less disappeared -- and so did my awe.
In junior high, I decided that I did believe in God, but I was not going to believe in the Catholic Church (or any of the Christian belief) just because I was born into it. I was not actively pursuing Truth, though -- it did not seem relevant to my life. Somehow unconnected to this decision, around that time I also prayed the rosary every single night for about a three-month time period. I would look online to see what the mysteries were and which days they were designated to be prayed. (Nothing makes sense in junior high.) At some point, we also started praying a decade of the rosary on the way to school in the morning, and for some reason I continued it with my brothers when I started driving us my freshman year of high school.
During my senior year of high school, I did become convicted of the Truth in the Catholic Church -- and during my freshman year of high school, I was challenged to live it out -- beyond attending Mass on Sundays. Returning to what I knew, I started to pray the rosary again. While attending a retreat during my sophomore year, everyone was ready to play games -- except for me. I do not particularly like games, so I decided to go to the chapel by myself and pray a rosary. The night became monumental in my life -- because I got a glimpse of the power of the rosary. I had prayed many before, and I had reflected on the mysteries, but they became very real that night. Jesus' suffering became relevant. My sufferings became understood. My life had purpose. Many tears were shed in the pew of that convent chapel. My experience that night highly impacted the direction of my life, and it has been a driving force to continue praying the rosary. Whether I am personally experiencing it or not, I am convicted that there is power whenever praying the rosary.
It is my desire for everyone to be praying the rosary. I began making rosaries in the spring of 2012, and have very much enjoyed customizing them for people. I would now love to make one for you! Order one, and pray the rosary with me -- every day.