Recalling her mother's devotion to the Rosary, Maria V. Gallagher recalls how she finally adopted it as a daily habit.
I was not the most observant child, but I couldn’t help noticing my mother’s hands. A sapphire-beaded Rosary enveloped them whenever she was in church. I wondered what the beads were for … why she clutched them with such a fierce grip.
What I did not realize at the time was that the Rosary for my mother was a life-saving chain, keeping her safely away from the brink of despair. She had so many worries — the health of her husband, the behavior of her daughters, the financial ruin which seemed to be right around the corner — and she prayed the Rosary for comfort and peace.
When I was a bit older, my father worked for a non-profit agency which struggled to make payroll each week. By then, I had learned the art of praying the Rosary, an art I now had down to a science. And so each week I would fall to my knees and meditate on the mysteries, praying for all my might that my father would get paid so that our family could eat.
For the record, I never missed a meal.
I was considered the most prayerful member of my family, and I recall upping the ante to two Rosaries a day when my Grandma Hazel lay ill in the hospital. I did not receive the miracle I was hoping for, and my beloved grandmother passed away. I learned then that the Rosary was not my lucky charm, but rather a tool for communication between God and me. Sometimes, the answers He provided were hard to accept, but I also knew Him to be all-loving and all-merciful and all about me getting to heaven.
Unfortunately, I drifted away from the Rosary in high school. Overwhelmed by studies and school plays, I could just manage a few Hail Mary’s before a test or in the wake of a flat tire on the family car.
As my devotion to the Rosary slipped away, so did my attachment to my faith. I began to question its teachings and took my place in line in “cafeteria-style Catholicism,” choosing which doctrinal entrees I wanted to relish and which I would discard.
Such was the state of affairs when I met someone who seemed truly serious about the Catholic Church and pro-life ministry. My newfound friend asked me what I was doing for the pro-life cause, and I answered “nothing.” I was a journalist, after all, and there seemed to be rules about such things.
I was persuaded to join a Rosary Walk for Life, and it changed my life for the better. I began to embrace the Rosary as a daily habit, even as I advocated for pregnant women and their children.
Through the Rosary, I found my calling, helping to rebuild the culture of life envisioned by St. Pope John Paul II. Along the way, I grew in love for the God who knew me when I was in my mother’s womb.
My mother passed from this world to the next some years ago, but I continue to share with her the bond that the Rosary created. It is now my life line, as it was hers. And in the recitation of the prayers, I find my peace.
Copyright 2020 Maria V. Gallagher
About the Author
Maria V. Gallagher spends her days advocating for women, children, and families. She is the mother of a beautiful ballerina and a member of the worldwide Cursillo movement. In her spare time, Maria likes to blog, walk, sing, dance, and fill the room with laughter. Read her work at MariaVGallagher.com.