How to Become a Rosary Ninja

Last weekend I received a very special gift.  My Grandmother gave me a rosary to take with me in August.  It wasn’t just any rosary though.  It belonged to my great-great Aunt Helen, who was a nun!  Furthermore, it was blessed by Pope Pius XII.  Fittingly, he had an especially strong devotion to Mary and the Rosary.

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Praying with this rosary for the first time made me a little nervous, as if it is more powerful.  Then it finally dawned on me – its beauty simply served to remind me of the power of praying the rosary in a way that a cheap plastic one normal does not.  My awe and fear of the rosary was restored.  My conviction to pray it every day was renewed.

Every time Mary has appeared she has reiterated the importance of praying the rosary.  Legend has it that this devotion started when Our Lady herself taught it to St. Dominic.

Why is praying the rosary so powerful?  It is essentially Mary, the person who knew Jesus best, taking us by the hand and helping us to meditate on his life.  It can combine all the forms of prayer – intercession, petition, contemplation and thanksgiving.

Do you want to be a rosary ninja?  Let me introduce you to a super intense way of praying the rosary as a novena – well it’s actually six novenas.

I learned about it from this special lady when she gave a talk at my college about two years ago (she is DEFINITELY a rosary ninja).

You can either use a website such as this or order a handy dandy book (I will be giving mine away if anyone wants it).

This novena is 54 days long.  For the first 27 days you offer the rosary in petition for something.  The second 27 are said in thanksgiving for the answering of that petition – here’s the clincher – whether you are aware of the outcome or not.  Jackie Francois has a funny story about that

Caution: this is not something to be entered into lightly.  It takes discipline and should only be embarked on under a strong prompting from the Holy Spirit.  The devil hates Mary and the rosary so he will try to do everything to keep you from fulfilling a commitment to praying this novena.

Padre Pio was a real rosary ninja (he even bilocated!).  Apparently he had mastered the art of praying the rosary constantly and secretly while doing other things, even having conversations.  He advised us to: “Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.”

Rosary ninjas go forth!

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9 thoughts on “How to Become a Rosary Ninja

  1. What a special gift of your aunt’s rosary. It’s like both of you praying together now. Good luck and Godspeed in your endeavors. Will you be continuing your blog while in the convent? I certainly hope so.

    1. Writer With a Cause

      You’re right Linda, I do feel like I’m praying with her! I’ll have to ask for permission, but I hope I can continue it as well! Thanks for reading, God Bless.

  2. (This is what I learned from a Franciscan brother that at Catholic.com is known was Bro. Jay (JREducation http://forums.catholic.com/member.php?u=71623) about the Rosary. He is a Franciscan Brother of Life and this is his order’s website http://franciscansoflife.org/ I have learned a boat load about religious and consecrated life in general and a ton about Franciscan spiritually from him. Not to mention what Catholic tradition really means in the eyes of the Universal truth)

    1. There is an assumption that the Rosary is required prayer in order to have a Marian cult. This is not true. The Rosary is a very powerful prayer, but the Church has had a Marian cult since the second century. It began in the East when Mary was first referred to as Thetokos.

    2. People are speaking about Dominicans, Carmelites and Franciscans as if they had gone through their formation programs. Some lay members may have, the vast majority of people here have not. Let’s clarify. All three of these orders is very Marian. None of them have the rosary as part of their life of prayer. It is a private devotion that the friars may use or not use. The orders have no authority to impose it. These orders impose: daily mass, Divine Office, Lectio Divina and mental prayer. The rest is up to the individual. In some houses, by agreement, the friars gather to pray the rosary. That’s an agreement, not a mandate.

    3. Along the same lines, the Carmelites, Franciscans and Dominicans predate the rosary as we know it. Contrary to popular opinion, the Dominican Order itself has publicly stated that Our Lady did not give the Rosary to St. Dominic. There is a nice article about it by the Dominicans on Catholic Answers. They explain how that misconception came to be. It was a Dominican friar who created the first rosary as we know it. There were primitive versions of it, but not the same. If the Carmelites, Dominicans and Franciscans used these primitive versions, it was an individual devotion, not a devotion of the order.

    4. The Carmelite Order did not always wear the scapular, contrary to popular mythology. When they returned to Europe they wore a tunic that was striped, white and brown. The Dominican habit and way of life was imposed on them. They kept the original brown and white colors. If you look at their habit, it’s exactly the same as that of the Dominicans. They were forced to abandon the life of hermit and to become mendicants. At the time, the Franciscans were the most influential order in the Apostolic Palace. They were very suspiscious of the Carmelite hermits, because up to that point, all the hermits around them had been heretics, for example, Waldo and company. They pushed and pushed until the Church ordered the Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to become mendicants, adopt the habit of St. Dominic and the work of the Franciscans (1238). No miraculous scapulars were given to them at that time. The vision of St. Simon Stock is later (1251). Though the early historians of the Carmelite Order do not mention it. The first time that it was mentioned was in the 14th century. by 1251, everyone was already wearing a scapular, except for the Franciscans, because Francis did not want the friars to look like religious. That’s a whole other thread.

    5. The universal Church does not pray the Rosary. It is primarily prayed in the Latin Church and in SOME eastern Catholic Churches. However, the Eastern Catholics have great devotion to Our Lady and much of the Marian dogma came out of Eastern Catholicism. The Incarnation and the Dormition of Mary are major holy days in the East. They have incredible writings on Mary that date back to the early days of the Church. It is from them that the Muslims borrowed and how the Muslims came to develop a cult to Mary. Mohamed did not know the Latin Catholics. They did not exist in the Arab world. The Eastern Catholics did. It goes to show how strongly they lived Marian Spirituality that they even influenced Islam. But they had no rosary.

    6. Finally, St. Louis de Montfort should not be taken out of context, because it does him a great dissservice and a disservice to his great work on Mary. You must read all of his writings on Mary to understand him well. What he did was to pull together centuries of Marian spirituality from East and West and restate it in a beautiful and cohesive treatise that is reflective of the Church’s faith. His intent was to promote the faith. He uses Mary as the archetypal of the Church. He’s saying much more than just “Pray the rosary.” He didn’t have to write great theology to say that. He could have sent out a memo.

    Everything that he says about Mary is really about Jesus and his Church. If you pull Mary out and focus on her alone, you destroy the work of St. Louis. She must be understood in the context of that mysterious relationship between Christ and his Body, the Church. It is she, who gives to the Church its humanity, as it was she who gave humanity to the eternal Logos.

    St. Louis points us to the relationship between humanity and divinity found in the Mystical Body. Divinity flows out of the Trinity and humanity from the Mother of the Second Person of the Trinity. Just as the second person of the Trinity uses Mary to become one with us in our humanity, we go through Mary to become one with him, because Mary is the instrument whom God used to unite humanity and divinity. That is the central message of St. Louis de Montford. Therefore, since her role in salvation history is essential, man owes it to God, to honor her whom God created for the sole purpose of reaching us. When we honor the instrument we also honor the craftsman.

    Put it into secular terms. We go to Washington DC to visit the Air and Space Museum. Why do we preserve all of those flying machines? Because they are special. What makes them special? They speak to us about man’s genius and his progress. By preserving and visiting the instruments, we show respect and admiration for human ingenuity.

    By venerating the instrument we show love and respect for Divine intervention in human history.

  3. Pingback: 54-Day Rosary Novena | Jackie & Bobby

  4. Abby

    My question: is it better to start a novena and either not finish it or miss some days, or to not even attempt it? I ask because I was excited at the prospect of at least trying to do this, until you ended with the “caution: only to be tried if you are extreme prompted by the Holy Spirit because the devil hates Mary” and now I’m hesitant. I’d be inclined to think its better to attempt than not to even try…but you seem to think otherwise? I’d appreciate your thoughts in this. Thanks.

    1. Writer With a Cause

      Abby, thanks for the comment! I’d be happy to explain myself further. I was referring to the necessity of having a strong inspiration from the Holy Spirit to begin praying the novena. You may want to try praying for Mary to place a special intention on your heart. If there is already a special intention consistently and persistently on your heart then pray the novena for that! And yes, it is always better to attempt these sort of things – but pray also for the perseverance to complete it! And remember, it may feel as though your prayers aren’t being answered, but they are, though you might not see the outcome till much later.

  5. “Caution: this is not something to be entered into lightly. It takes discipline and should only be embarked on under a strong prompting from the Holy Spirit. The devil hates Mary and the rosary so he will try to do everything to keep you from fulfilling a commitment to praying this novena.”

    I couldn’t agree less with this!

    Once I tried to pray for my vocation, but I was not really prepared. Then I stop after 3 days…hmm… Perseverance and discipline are truly needed.

    However, I knew that I still have the desire to pray this novena. So in silence, I listen to my heart and I feel that I need to pray for my purity. Purity in my heart, my mind, my body, and my soul. Truly by the grace of God, I’m on my 49th day today! No doubt, our Mother’s intercession is super powerful! The fact that I have persevered till now and am still persevering is a miracle haha..

    God bless!

    -Dian-

  6. After years as a single, I prayed for several years the 54 day rosary novena asking God and the Blessed Mother to help me find a good Catholic gentleman to be my spouse. My prayers were answered! My husband and I have been now happily married for six and a half years. The 54 day rosary novena is still my favorite devotion and I have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother who is my patron saint. My husband and I are also Third Order Franciscans. I highly recommend praying this beautiful 54 day rosary novena. May God Bless you and your marriage! Praying for you!

  7. Kathy

    I love saying the rosary. I am praying the 54 day rosary novena right now. Thank you Maria for your comments above. They give me hope 🙂

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