Editor's note: While we're already well into the month of May, it's not too late to jump on board with this wonderful prayer initiative! I thank David Calvillo, author of Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer, for sharing the following. LMH

Real Men Pray the Rosary: 33 Day Rosary Challenge

“The Rosary is for old ladies and funerals.”

Yes, I was one of THOSE people. I thought I was way too cool and sophisticated to pray the Rosary. I was a man. Despite being blessed with a saintly Mom who lovingly tried to convince her eldest son that the path to true holiness and practiced Catholicism was through our Blessed Mother and faithful praying of the Rosary, such quaint and anachronistic practices were for others. Not for me.

Thankfully, my Mom never gave up hope that I would eventually see the light. Sure enough, the Holy Spirit slapped me around a few times in 2008 until finally I woke up and was born again as a revert Catholic. John 3:5.  My new fervor and conviction for our Blessed Mother and promoting the Rosary ignited my wife and I to form an apostolate known as “Real Men Pray The Rosary, Inc.” (“RMPTR”). Since its beginning, we’ve held on for dear life as the apostolate has been swept up in a global movement. In a relatively short period of time, our Facebook page has erupted to over 27,000 “likes” from throughout the Catholic world: the Philippines, Nigeria, Australia, U.K., Canada, India, and here at our home in the United States as well. This story is partially documented in our recently released book “Real Men Pray The Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer” published by the wonderful folks at Ave Maria Press.

RMPTR’s most recent initiative is the “RMPTR 33 Day Rosary Challenge.” In this initiative, we invite all Christians to:

Pray the Rosary every day for 33 days. Pray it daily. Not for 30 days but 33 days. 33 represents the number of years that Jesus dwelt among us in the fullness of his humanity. 33 constitutes a direct connection to the fullness of the Divine- made man, a connection to Jesus himself. One day of praying the Rosary for every year that Jesus set aside his glory as God, and lived, breathed, and walked among us. Pray the Rosary daily for 33 days. Focus on the content of the mysteries. Meditate upon the richness of the Gospel story and apply the lessons to your life. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to receive the fullness of His mystery-the fullness of faith.

Praying the Rosary daily and mediating upon the mysteries permits us to employ the full gospel story, the new covenant salvation story, within our own continuing faith journey. Those who pray the Rosary daily and who respond to the call to faithfully meditate upon the mysteries of the day find that within one week, they live the imminent joy of Advent and the birth of our Lord; cherish the illuminating reality that Jesus walked among us, talked to and taught us directly; intimately observe, with Mary by our side, the sorrowful cruelty meted upon him by our sinful humanity and marvel at his loving response; and yet, experience the glorious joy of promises kept as we stand at the tomb and begin to understand the reality of the covenant satisfied. Our circle of faith is completed by the visceral story prayed by us and lived by us in this daily prayer.

Such frequent relationship with Jesus and Mary for 25-30 minutes a day is bound to change us. As Pope John Paul II reminded us:  “Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar friends, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, … we can become similar to them” and live that elusive, virtuous holy life.

You won’t be praying alone. The entire RMPTR global community will be praying with you. Beginning May 1, the entire RMPTR community, the Body of Christ, will pray along with you. Share your journey with us – on Facebook- or post a comment on your favorite Catholic blog. Share your thoughts on a mystery of the day. You can subscribe to RMPTR’s daily reflection and receive it by email. Ask the RMPTR community to join in your intentions. Share your journey. Share your laughter. Invite someone you love to join the journey. We know it will change your prayer life. We know praying the Rosary daily for at least 33 days will change your life. If you, as I did, need some direction or a refresher on precisely how to pray the rosary, visit our website (www.realmenpraytherosary.org) or download one of our free Rosary pamphlets.

At the end of the 33 days, pray it forward. Share your experience with a loved one. Invite them to continue the 33 day Rosary challenge for themselves. Look closely at the 33 day challenge circular logo, notice the arrow - it continues. The RMPTR 33 day Rosary challenge invites you to make praying the Rosary a permanent and integral part of your spiritual journey. Pray it forward.

Real Men Pray The Rosary, Inc. is a nonprofit apostolate devoted to promoting the Rosary with conviction “in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the liturgy, and in the context of our daily lives.” RMPTR serves as an information source and as a catalyst to encourage praying the Rosary and for honoring our Blessed Mother.

Accept the “Real Men Pray the Rosary 33 day Challenge.” We know our Blessed Mother will lead you to her son. Totus Tuus.

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