A childhood treasure connected to Venerable Patrick Peyton led Rosemary Bogdan to reflect on her experiences with praying the family Rosary.
The green plastic “viewfinder” revealed old-fashioned images of each mystery of the Rosary. I found the old set at my parents’ house as we cleared things out after their passing to eternal life. I smiled as I picked it up and immediately inserted one of the slides. I chuckled at the rudimentary attempts at a 3-D image and the sight of my own childish printing, dividing the slides into each set of mysteries.
When my mother purchased this set, I remember thinking how very wonderful it was. As we said the family rosary we would pass it around so each person could see the picture. I thought it “so cool.” Finding it again brought tears to my eyes. On the side of the box were printed the words of Venerable Patrick Peyton, “The family that prays together stays together.” I’m sure my mother repeated that quote often. If you’d like to know more about Father Peyton’s message, be sure to see the film coming out this October.
As my own family was growing, I remember reading of Marian apparitions and how Mary has instructed us, her children, to pray the Rosary. She has been telling us to recite the Rosary for centuries now. And so we began praying the family Rosary.
There was some hesitation at first with the older kids. The question, “Why do we have to do this?” could always be answered with, “Because we all need to be more like Jesus.” No argument there. Surprisingly, it was not long before no one resisted at all. The children often seemed to enjoy coming together as a family to pray. Even the toddlers would sometimes get us started by saying, “Fro-free?” That was a suggestion impossible to resist.
We tried to make it very do-able. If people were tired, they could get a blanket and pillow and lie on the floor. If they fell asleep, that was OK. Sometimes before we started, we would make tea or hot chocolate for those who wanted it. Very young children did not have to be still. In fact, we let them do whatever they wanted, as long as they stayed in the room and did not talk. They could play quietly with toys and pray as they were able and interested. Older children could color pictures from a Rosary coloring book or draw their own pictures of the mystery, if they liked.
Sometimes I wondered if we should require a little more reverence, a little more self-discipline. But then I reminded myself that these were children and we needed to make the experience not only possible but enjoyable.
Within a short period of time there was a very recognizable increase of peace in our family. Tensions and problems mysteriously disappeared. Both my husband and I noticed this. It was undeniable. I asked him if he were doing anything differently. He had not and I hadn’t either. The praying of the family Rosary was the only explanation.
Saint John Paul II called the Rosary “the prayer in which she feels particularly united with us.” He observed that when we pray the Rosary, “She herself prays with us.” The Queen of Peace prays with us! Who better to invite into our homes and soothe our weary hearts.
There is no doubt in my mind that praying the rosary brings about miracles, as there are many striking examples in my own life. Visit ThePowerOfTheRosary.com for more inspiring quotes on the Rosary from the saints.
When we ask Mary 53 times with each Rosary to “pray for us sinners,” I have no doubt that she does.
Does the Rosary not appeal to you? Is it a devotion to which you are not drawn? My advice is to try praying it every day. Our heavenly Mother knows what’s best for us, and she has instructed us over and over again in her approved apparitions to pray it. I would not decide what to think about the Rosary by simply imagining praying it. Yes, it’s 53 Hail Marys and six Our Fathers. You think it will be monotonous? Focus on meditating on the mystery of each decade. But most importantly, just start praying it. You will feel the grace. You will feel the peace. I daresay you will feel the affirmation of Our Lady.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Look for a new Rosary Story each day throughout October, and use the hashtag #myrosarystory to share yours on social media!
Copyright 2020 Rosemary Bogdan
Images copyright 2020 Rosemary Bogdan
About the Author
Rosemary Bogdan is a wife, mother of six adult children, and a grandmother. She homeschooled her children when they were young and currently substitute teaches at her favorite Catholic school. When not spending time with her family, Rosemary writes at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts and Catholic365.com.