After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office, the most effective prayer is the Most Holy Rosary. For 800 years it has been the cause of innumerable miracles, conversions, and victories. The rosary brings peace; not a false peace, illegitimately gotten through compromise, but a true peace, won honestly by directly opposing evil with good. The rosary, when prayed with humility and a simple confidence in the good God Who lavishes his wonders on his children, saves nations from annihilation. It is a sure vehicle of salvation, to save us from that ultimate annihilation, the only one that really matters in the end–hell.
The enemies of Christ hate the rosary. These pawns of Lucifer have contempt for it. Their malice is a wonderful testimony to the irresistible power arrayed against them. Christians, though, love the rosary; not just for what it accomplishes–that it dispels the darkness of heresy, appeases the wrath of God, and drives away those that hate Christ. They love it simply because of who it leads them to. The 20th century saint, Padre Pio, said, “The rosary is the weapon.” Who is behind it? Who gives it its power? Indeed, “Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” That person is Mary.
It’s tremendous power comes from the exalted position of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. Pope Leo XIII explains, “The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fulfills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in heaven” (Iucunda Semper Expectatione). “The power thus put into her hands is all but unlimited…. Among her many other titles, we find her hailed as ‘our Lady, our Mediatrix,’ ‘the Reparatrix of the whole world,’ ‘the dispenser of all heavenly gifts’” (Adiutricem).
It was Our Lady herself who gave us the rosary eight centuries ago. She called it “her psalter,” indicating the 150 Hail Marys that followed the pattern of the 150 Psalms in the Church’s psalter. She gave it to St. Dominic for the express purpose of finally crushing the depraved Albigensians. “Guided, in fact, by divine inspiration and grace, he foresaw that this devotion, like a most powerful warlike weapon, would be the means of putting the enemy to flight, and of confounding their audacity and mad impiety” (Pope Leo XIII, Supremi Apostolatus Officio).
In our own age, at Fatima, Portugal, Mary–the “Lady of the Rosary,” as she identified herself–urged us to take up the rosary with renewed confidence. Our Queen and Mother told us to rely on the power of her rosary to save souls otherwise bound for hell, to dispel the diabolical confusion that afflicts her Son’s Holy Church, and to protect ourselves from the apostasy and perversion of our own anti-Catholic civilization, infected as it is with rank materialism, Marxism, and rebellion against Jesus Christ, True God and True Man. The rosary then is a prayer that carries special significance for our times. Sister Lucia Santos, the soul chosen by Mary at Fatima to carry Her message, said,
The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.
When we pray the Holy Rosary, we enter, mind, body, and soul into a rich storehouse of spiritual treasure. It is made up of 150 Hail Marys, a number which significantly corresponds to the 150 Psalms; 15 mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary, divided organically into 3 cycles; the Our Father, which introduces each mystery; and the Doxology, which concludes them. These different parts make up such a harmonious, inter-related, indivisible, and integral whole that Pope Pius XII called the Rosary, the “compendium of the entire gospel.” It is simple enough for the most unlearned yet inexhaustible in mystical and theological depth. It can be recited at any time by anybody. Moreover, it is one of the richest sources of plenary and partial indulgences.
With so many benefits, the only sensible thing to do is to hear and follow the words of Pope Pius XI: “The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…. If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” Follow that advice, and you have the assurance of St. Louis de Montfort: “If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.”