Marian apparitions are generally associated with the Catholic faith, which has great devotion for Mary, the mother of Jesus. She, after all, as mother and teacher of the God child, is known by most to be the first saint. 

From the National Catholic Register: “The Blessed Virgin Mary was not only born a saint — ‘full of grace’ (Luke 1:28) — she was conceived as one, too. In other words, she has always been a saint, even from the very first moment of her existence. There was never an instant in which she existed without this fullness of grace. Jesus’ first miracle (at Cana) is done in response to Mary’s intercession (John 2:1-11). Mary, the icon of the bride and the counterpoint to Jesus the groom, is exactly the importunate supplicant Jesus tells us he is looking for in the parable of the unjust judge (Luke 18:1—8). She doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, but first taps Jesus on the shoulder and says, ‘They have no wine’ and, after a seeming rebuff, goes with perfect trust to the servants and tells them, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”

Mary accompanied her son the entire Way of the Cross and was present at his crucifixion.

Despite her being the mother of Christ, the church does not consider Mary to be divine herself. According to Catholic doctrine, the age of public revelation, which is the deposit of faith and rule of faith that must be lived by all Catholics, ended when John, the last apostle, died around the year 100 A.D.

Don’t you know that Mary has a special place in heaven, standing right there next to Jesus! Just as they were together on earth, she is still so close to him as his beloved mother and ours. And, just as at the wedding feast at Cana, our Mother Mary is ready to intercede for us with her son, bringing attention to our needs.

The rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is a popular prayer for our lady’s intercession. Where does the word come from? It comes from the Latin word Rosaria, which means “a crown of roses or a garden of roses.” It grew up in the second millennium of Christianity, particularly in Western Christianity around the 14th century.

Just how do you pray this rosary? First, the rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is not the first rosary. In fact, the rosary goes back into the first centuries of the church. The early disciples took seriously Paul's admonition to pray without ceasing, and so they looked for ways to constantly keep the presence of God in their lives.

It's attributed to both Saint Dominics, but mostly to the monk.

This St. Dominic, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, was a “Carthusian monk and ascetical writer, born in Poland, 1382.” There is substantial evidence that he added to existing devotions that involved the counting of prayers and created meditations on the life of Christ.

To the 150 Ave Marias which in those days formed the “Psalter of Mary,” he had the thought of adding meditations on the life of Christ and of his holy mother. As in his time, the Ave Maria terminated with the words, “Fructus venturis tui, Jesus;” he joined them to each sentence to recall to mind the mystery … Both Dominic and his friend Adolf sought to spread the use of this form of prayer in the Carthusian Order and among the laity. For these reasons, it is held by some authors that the Psalter of Dominic was the form, or one of the original forms, from which the present rosary developed.

That's why the way to view the rosary is as a time of meditation. We meditate on the great mysteries of the faith.

The rosary is a sequence of prayers. St John Paul II said it's a compendium of the gospel and it's intended to help us grow in our faith as we come to understand more and more about the life, the death, the resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus Christ, and about the church and who we are in the Lord.

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.

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