Article: Our Lady – I know she is always there

Newry Cathedral News

October celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7). The best way to celebrate the month is, of course, to pray the Rosary. If you are like me, brought up in a Catholic, Irish family the Rosary has always been an integral part of my religion and upbringing. Perhaps this has been instilled by the famous words of Patrick Peyton, ‘A family that prays together stays together’. I have precious memories of reciting the Rosary as a young girl, led by my mother, with my six sisters.

I have continued this tradition with my own children and grandchildren, teaching them that Our Blessed Mother is waiting to take care of them as only a mother can. Early stories about Mary have stuck with me, mainly the story of the children of Fatima. Mary appeared to the children at Fatima to pray the Rosary for World Peace. Today more than ever the Rosary should be utilised as a tool to bring about peace in the world, peace within our communities, peace in our relationships, peace within ourselves and peace with God. The gift of Rosary beads brings fond memories of special occasions from my own Holy Communion to religious visits to Lourdes, Fatima and Rome. I have a healthy collection of rosary beads given to me by many friends and family members, but I still go back to my old rosary beads given to me by my late uncle John. The recitation of the Rosary continues to be a daily habit. It can begin my day, end my day or at times do both.

I agree wholeheartedly with Pope Paul VI when he concluded that the Rosary is an excellent prayer, and its intrinsic value should draw people to its “calm recitation.” Life can be very busy and fast. Modern life can at times make us feel lost and tired, when I put my phone down, turn the radio off, saying the Rosary is when I find true rest in a few quiet moments with Our Blessed Mother. I believe she offers the blessing of true peace. At times I may only have time or energy to pray for one decade, that is enough, she is still there, willing to use that little bit of time and bless you because of it. Even more than ever, it is the Rosary that helps me live a life connected to Jesus because the simple and repeated prayers of the Rosary allow me to focus on what Jesus did and said, it has the power to connect me with Jesus. For the Rosary is like a chain that reaches from your hand all the way to heaven, it is a bridge between you and Our Lady. When I pick up my rosary beads, I know she is always there…