It was 1881, and a group of mothers living in the tiny village of Lu in northern Italy gathered every Tuesday for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Their collective prayer intention was for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life from their families. This group of moms also received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month, again specifically praying for an increase in religious vocations. Fast forward several years, and from that tiny village came 323 vocations: 152 priests and 171 nuns. (Read more about this story on pages 18-19 from the booklet Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests).
Never doubt the power of a sincere prayer, huh? The story of how these mothers banded together in simple yet constant prayer has motivated a group of moms here in Des Moines to do likewise. We don't collectively gather once a week for Adoration, but we do daily gather together in spirit and vow to pray for one another and the vocation of motherhood.
A Living Rosary inspired by St. Pope John Paul II
First, all credit goes to my beautiful friend Geneveve who initiated the idea and organized our group. She sent out an email invitation to a group of women, sharing a childhood story of St. Pope John Paul. He and several other boys promised to pray one decade of the Rosary every day. Those boys became part of a living rosary, and Geneveve encouraged us moms to do the same. Beginning on Holy Week, twenty moms began praying a mystery of the Rosary each day, and we promised to continue praying that mystery throughout April and May. For example, I have the Wedding at Cana, so each day I ponder that mystery and pray a decade of Hail Marys, praying specifically for the vocation of motherhood.
But What if You Forget to Pray?
Are you asking that very question? Minor confession: I have neglected, here and there, to pray my daily mystery, as have some of the other moms. But we move on and pick right back up the next day. Our group has found it helpful to have visual reminders throughout our homes prompting us to prayer. For example, placing an image of Mary somewhere in your kitchen helps many of us. (Sarah Reinhard shares some terrific ways to bring Mary into your kitchen here). One mom wears a rosary bracelet. Seeing it around her wrist reminds her to pray her decade, even while driving or standing in line at the store. Moms working outside of the home have prayer cards strategically placed in their office space. I have an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe along my stairwell, and I often light the candle next to her. Each time I pass by, typically no less than 2,301 times a day, the flickering light prompts me to pray a Hail Mary.
The group of twenty moms here in Des Moines have only been doing our living Rosary since April, but it's already been such a blessing to offer up my day in prayer for them and the vocation of motherhood. The group will revisit our future plans after May, but I really do hope we continue on for a long time to come. Now I'm off to go light my candle and offer a Hail Mary!
Have you ever been part of a living Rosary for moms?
I'd love to hear about your experience!
Copyright 2015, Lisa A. Schmidt
Images Copyright 2015, Lisa A. Schmidt
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