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.
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).
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!