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A Rosary novena at her parish drew Amanda Lawrence to a love for the prayer she learned from her grandmother.

For as long as I could remember my grandmother prayed the Rosary. She held the sterling silver devotional tool between her fingers, keeping count of her prayers on the blue beads as she went. I always admired the act she held so sacred. So when I was invited to participate in a novena to Our Lady Queen of Peace, I couldn’t pass it up. I procured a silver Rosary and prayed upon its 59 purple orbs alongside other parishioners. Every day we came together like clockwork to honor our Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. We pleaded, “O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, pray for us,” before daily Mass.

We concluded the novena on a feast day but I wasn’t ready for it to end. I added another 44 days to my devotion, calling on Mary for help with my writing. Seventeen more for petition, 27 days in thanksgiving. “Ask and you shall receive,” Jesus promised, so I continued seeking Mary’s intercession for prayers. I pulled out a prayer pamphlet given to me by a parishioner and used it as another tool.

“Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail,” I began before my first solo day. I started with the Joyful Mysteries. The next day I prayed the Luminous Mysteries, then Sorrowful, saving Glorious for last. I repeated the circuit of prayers, tracking my progress in a red leather journal at my desk, crossing out the days in victory.

For a sense of community I followed along with Heather Johnson’s novena on her YouTube channel, grateful for her ministry. As we moved though the five decades, I envisioned colorful rose petals showering down on my work. Snow white, bright yellow, blood red, and full-blown white petals tinged with red falling upon my compositions every day. I bought a novena booklet and used it until the end. With every Hail Mary, I imagined handing Mary a rose and watching her graces pour out like petals onto my work. My faith flourished.


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On day 52 of prayer, an urgency to advocate came over me. I wanted to share my experience. The routine moved me to write. It inspired me to draft two more Rosary novenas in my journal, numbering the days with mysteries; 27 each, separated between petitions and thanks. On day 54 I finished four pieces for this blog.

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With every Hail Mary, I imagined handing Mary a rose and watching her graces pour out like petals onto my work. #catholicmom

Persevering in prayer is so powerful. Asking and receiving concurrently was efficacious proof. My fingers maneuvered the beads in under thirty minutes everyday. A substantial commitment, sure. But I felt like a little girl curled up in my grandmother’s lap all over again, surrounded by her love of God. I got exactly what I needed from my Rosary novena. I’m not ready to stop receiving it. Mary has truly shown herself my Mother.

Thanks be to God.

Copyright 2021 Amanda Lawrence
Image copyright 2021 Amanda Lawrence