We have a beautiful and succinct definition of rosary given in the roman breviary: “Rosary is a certain form of prayer wherein we say fifteen decades or tens of Hail Mary with an Our Father between each ten, while at each of these fifteen decades we recall successively in pious meditation one of the mysteries of our Redemption.”

In the tradition of the Church the Holy Rosary is an antidote to heresy and sin. This powerful and fascinating prayer of the Common Catholic people was most wonderfully published abroad and developed by St.Dominic the monk whom different pontiffs have in various past ages of apostolic letters declared to be the institutor and author of the same devotion. The custom of reciting upon a string with knots or beads thereon at regular intervals has come down from the early days of Christianity, and is still practiced in the Eastern as well as in the western Church. But there is difference of opinions which disapprove the fact that the origin of the Rosary is personally connected with St.Dominic, the monk. We have positive evidence s to show that both the invention of the beads as a counting apparatus and also the practice of repeating a hundred and fifty Aves can’t be due to St.Dominic, because they are both notably older than his time. Further, we are assured that the meditating upon the mysteries was not introduced until two hundred years after St.Dominic’s death.

But my concern is not to prove the tradition of Dominican authorship but to highlight the Devotion of the Most Holt Rosary before and after Vatican II.

The Rosary is a means given by the Blessed Virgin for contemplating Jesus and, meditating on his life, for loving and following him always more faithfully. The traditional image of the Madonna of the Rosary depicts Mary holding the Child Jesus in her arm and giving the Rosary to St.Dominic. The significant iconography shows that the Rosary is a means to follow Jesus deeply by meditating the mysteries of our redemption. This is something that Mary has offered in various apparitions, especially in her apparition at Fatima that took place 90 years ago, She appeared to the three little shepherds [ Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisca] as “The Madonna of the Rosary” and recommended praying the rosary every day to bring an end the war in the world. The Church, committed to the Virgin’s maternal request has been praying the rosary with faith for peace in the world and strongly exhorted the faithful to pray the rosary in the families through out the world with deep faith. The rosary has been the external sign or symbol of Catholic Faith through out the world.

Immense is the good things which this devotion has done in the lives of the devotees all over the world. By the power of the rosary when it was recited with deep devotion and much devotedness, many people have been delivered from sin, or led to a holy life and to a good health. It is very important to keep in mind when we recite the rosary the words said by Our Blessed Mother to St.Eulalia that 5 decades said slowly and devotedly were more pleasing than 15 said hurriedly with little devotion.

The Church has been strongly believed and promoted through various teaching the importance and the power of The Holy Rosary as a means of devotion in order to obtain the peace in the world. The feast in honor of the rosary dates from 1571, when Pope Pius V instituted it in gratitude for Our Blessed Mother’s aid in the great victory over the Turks at Lepanto. It was Pope Leo XIII who declared October the month of the holy rosary. The words of St. Montfort are worth quoting here, “Never will anyone who prays the holy rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”

The devotion to the holy rosary has not diminished but the fervor with which it was practice as the sole Catholic popular devotion has little gone down due to the false propaganda of the Neo-Pentecostal movements. They accuse that the Catholics violate the Lord’s command not to engage in “vain repetition” when praying the Rosary. This is first of all a wrong interpretation of the words of Jesus in Mtt6;7 where He warns about the “empty phrases” of the gentiles not because they repeated them, but because the false gods to whom they prayed didn’t exist at all. That is why Jesus said all their “many words” were vain and useless. But in Bible nowhere we find the prohibition of the practice of praying formula prayers repeatedly. In fact, Bible proves the opposite in Mtt26;39,42,44, where we find the Lord himself repeated the same prayer three times during the agony in the garden. Ps136 is another example of a God-honoring repetitious prayer where the refrain “for his steadfast love endures for ever” is repeated many times. In short, the holy spirit inspired the holy rosary for us to pray. If Jesus would not like us praying the rosary which is a repetitious prayer, why would the holy spirit inspired the writers of the Psalms to repeat this refrain many times?


There are some great popes and saints have said the following reasons to pray the rosary:

“Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary,” said Pope Pius IX. And Pope Pius XII has said that there is no other means of calling down God’s blessings upon the family…. Than the daily recitation of the rosary. But Bishop Hugh Doyle goes one step further in stressing the importance of rosary in the personal life of a Catholic that, “No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the rosary, either they will give up the sin or they will give up the rosary.” The same way Pope John Paul xxiii says that the rosary is magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nation and the entire world.

My impression is that Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the rosary one sees throughout the history. That is why it is my impression that Our Lady wanted to give to ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God.

Stations of The Cross!

The most ardent desires of Christendom centered in the Holy Land, and the lover of crucified gladly faced all hardships in the attempt to visit the scene of the Savior’s passion, though unable to accomplish such a journey strove to find an equivalent by following Christ’s footsteps to Calvary at least in spirit. The exercise of the Stations of the Cross thus formed a miniature pilgrimage.

The Stations of the Cross simply refers to the depiction of the final hours of passion of Jesus and devotion commemorating the passion. The Stations of the Cross helps the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer to the Chief scenes of Christ’s suffering and Death. The most important reason for reviving the practice of making the Stations of the Cross is that it is a powerful way to contemplate, and to enter into, the mystery of Jesus’ gift of Himself to us. It involves my senses, my experience and my emotions. To the extent, I come to experience the love of Jesus for me, to that extent the gratitude I feel will be deep.

So, let us try the stations, and experience the consolation they offer. In addition, return often, to be renewed in this intimate experience of Jesus’ solidarity with all humanity in our way of the cross each day.

THE FIRST STATION: - Jesus is condemned to Death!

Priest: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All : Because by the holy cross you have redeemed the world.

There is havoc in the courtyard of Pontius Pilate. Crucify Him! Crucify Him! [Lk23’21]

Look at the scene! Don’t you be moved by both outrage and gratitude? Look at Jesus. His face. The crown of thorns. The blood. His cloths stuck to the wounds on the back. His hands are tied behind his back. What wrong did He commit? He felt compassion toward the helpless and destitute [Mtt9: 36-37]. He healed the sick. He taught them laws are for human beings and not human beings for the law [mk2:27].

The people who cried yesterday, “come to save us” [mk11; 9] now cry, “Crucify Him!” mk11; 9].

Though Pilate was sure that Jesus was a just man and innocent, he proclaimed the death sentence against Jesus. A sentence that cheats one’s own conscience. The just and loving Jesus is scourged and condemned. Jesus accepted every kind of injustices for me and for you, that we might be free and have eternal life.

As the journey begins, I ask to be with Jesus and to follow his journey by expressing our love and thanks.

PRAYER: Lord! We are extremely sorry for our acts of injustice, give us courage and strength to walk in the path of Truth.

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Priest: We adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the Holy cross…

Contemplate the wood of that Cross. Do imagine how heavy it was. They scourged Jesus and sentenced Him death by crucifixion. The merciless scourging paralyzed his mind and body. Jesus accepted the Cross-on his shoulders that were torn and bleeding.

Jesus carried the heavy cross and began his journey to bring life for me and for you. Jesus leads the journey to life through the lanes of suffering. We can give consolation to Jesus by alleviating the sufferings of the socially rejected and victimized in our midst.

Let us recall to our mind the words of Jesus, “whoever wishes to follow me, let him deny himself, carry the cross and follow me.”

PRAYER: Lord! Help us to bring consolation to those in pain; to listen to the cry of the helpless and rejected, and to put an end to the unjust victimization of people.


Priest: We adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the holy cross…

Jesus was getting weaker and weaker through the loss of blood, lack of food and sleep, and because of the beating, he had received. Sweat, tears and blood roll down his face and body. Therefore, he began to stumble, to tremble. The fall was inevitable.

Glance at the whole body of Jesus and the exhaustion! Don’t stare at the weakness in his eyes? He suffered and fell down as a helpless for me and for you.

Any kind of fall is damage for one’s morale. However, a public fall is specially damaging. Jesus made use of the little chance to regain his strength. And what are going to do when you happened to fall from your state of grace?

Many people today are weighed down by the burdens of life-poverty, sickness, unemployment, debts. When they reach a point where they just can’t cope any longer, and they fall. Jesus says to those people, “Come to me, all you who are labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest.”

PRAYER: Lord! May the impact of Jesus fall awaken in us the desire to recognize the needs of the poor, and to gain inner strength to stand again like you.

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Priest: We adore you…

All : Because by the Holy Cross…

It was a painful meeting-painful for Mary as well as Jesus. What made so painful was the deep love they had for each other. The pain for Mary must have been excruciating to see her only son condemned to death and now being made spectacle in the public.

The bible uses a mother’s love for her child as an image of God’s love for us

[Is49; 15]. Are you able to see the mystery of love’s power to give strength? When a mother has lost a child to tragedy or violence, she would stand helpless in cruel silence.

Families are supposed to be heavens of love where washing one another’s feet is normal, self-sacrifice and self-offering are values. Jesus’ meeting with his mother was a great comfort to him.

Look at the two of them carefully and long for such love and such peace. We need mothers who will offer their children for the good of the world.

PRAYER:- Lord! Forgive us for the breakdowns in our relationships. Help us build up our relationships based on real love and self-sacrifice in our families.

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Priest: We adore you, O Christ…….

All : Because by the Holy Cross…

They seized Simon of Cyrene to shoulder the Cross and carry it behind Jesus [lk23;26].

The pain of being left alone; the body that is completely exhausted; the hurt of seeing the Mother in tears; made Jesus incapable of carrying the weight of the cross. The soldiers thought, “In case Jesus dies on the way; we can’t crucify Him alive? They realized the need for a helper.

Simon of Syrene did not like to help as he did not know who Jesus was and why He was condemned. It is not only a shame to carry a cross of the one condemned to crucifixion, but also the burden of another is twice as heavy as our own burden.

As soon as Simon touched the cross, he experienced a change within him and felt the freedom and joy of helping a close friend. In bearing our daily burdens, we should not be too proud to accept the help of other. So also, when someone is at the end of his strength, learn to lend him support and see what wonders that can work in you. Remember the words of Jesus, “As long as you did it to one of these, you did it to me.” “The person who does a good deed is instantly ennobled,” says Emerson.

PRAYER: Lord! Make my hands like those of Jesus to reach out in help to others in need.

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Priest: we adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the holy cross…

The love of the woman Veronica in face of all rejection received her the ultimate gift, the face of Jesus on her handkerchief. It called for a lot of courage to help someone who was the object of public derision.

Veronica’s gesture was a spontaneous act of kindness. It is good to share the pain of others when they asked, but it is better to help unasked through understanding. Are you able to translate your sympathy into deeds of love like Veronica?

Whom do we see in the pain-stricken Jesus? The homeless children need your love and compassion; elderly people yearn for tolerance and understanding in the evening of their lives. A word, a look and a smile will do great for them.

It I can’t wipe away the tears of others what is the use of the handkerchief of my life?

PRAYER: Lord! We pray for those mothers and nurses who wipe the face of the sick. Imprint in my heart the face of Jesus so that I may wipe the tears of the needy.

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Priest: We adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the Holy Cross…

The weakness came on again. He struggled against it. He started to get dizzy. Before he knew it, he was on the ground. He was not allowed to rest a while. The soldiers dragged him to his feet, shouted at him, and forced him to go on. They wanted to finish their business of crucifying before Sabbath.

There are lot of people for whom life is so cruel. Many of them feel that no one understands them or care about them. Think of the victims of alcoholism and drug addition who, no matter how hard they try, fall again and again. Think also of the families that are dragged down with them.

Remember that, “The success of Christian life is not being perfect but striving to be perfect.

PRAYER: Lord! Imprint in us the image of falling Jesus that we may strive to raise from additions and breakdowns.

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Priest: We adore you, O Christ…….

All: Because by the holy cross….

A good number of women who followed Jesus, were morning and weeping for Him. He told them, “Cry not for me but for yourselves and for your children.”

The women did not hide their sympathy behind stony faces. And they were not afraid of the soldiers to let Jesus know that they cared about Him. Jesus was touched by their love and compassion. He noticed their tear-filled eyes and sobbing hearts. Jesus gets some strength from the compassionate women on his way.

Love, compassion and sympathy do give inner strength to people who carry their daily cross. Do we offer such compassion and consolation to the weak?

PARYER: Lord! May your compassionate face be imprinted in our hearts so that we may weep for our sins before considering the sins of others. In addition, our experience of suffering makes us compassionate towards the suffering.

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Priest: we adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the holy Cross….

Jesus is here absolutely drained and totally exhausted. He could not walk no more. Tired and in pain, His steps are faltering and as a result He falls for the third time. This time it gets harder to recover. Left to himself he probably would not have made it. However, the Calvary vision comes to his mind and some how he makes it to the place of execution.

How many of us are reduced to this sorry state today? How many of us feel utterly helpless and hopeless? Do you feel that the well of energy and strength has run dry?

Why don’t you have the will and the spirit Jesus had to carry on your cross and follow Him? A man with a grain of faith in God never loses hope, because he ever believes in the ultimate triumph of truth, says Gandhi.

PRAYER:- Lord! Forgive us for being men of little faith in the moments of trails. Help us when we are broken, lost and wounded, and bless those who are at the edge of despair and suicide.


PRIEST: We adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the holy Cross…

Everything has been taken away from Jesus. He has nothing now with him. They stripped of his clothes with the aim of further degrading and humiliating Him. To be naked is also to be totally vulnerable. Jesus did not forget who He was, and He maintained His dignity to the end.

Is it not cruelty to pull off clothes when it is stuck to the flesh? Are you able to measure the intensity of pain that Jesus underwent? Shame is imputed not to the one who suffers it but to the one, who inflicts it, says St. Francis of Assisi.

Wealth and luxury may render us blind and insensitive to the plight of the poor. How sad to see in America human beings roaming the streets without food and shelter?

PRAYER: Lord! We feel very sorry for degrading our fellow human beings. We also pray for who are stripped of their dignity and self-worth.


Priest: we adore you, O Christ…….

All : Because by the holy cross…

The hands that blessed and brought the healing touch to so many, and feet that walked the streets of Palestine reaching out to the needy, are now nailed to the wood of the Cross.

The soldiers did what was ordered. They did not consider it their business to question the morality of that order. They just carried their job exactly. The excruciating pain Jesus underwent was beyond imagination. He accepted dead-end pain for me and for you.

Jesus came to seek out and to save the lost. He did accomplish his mission by being sacrificed on the Cross.

PRAYER: Lord! May your fortitude give us strength and support when we struggle for justice and truth.


Priest: we adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the Holy Cross…

It is terrible to be beside a friend or a relative who is suffering or dying, and know there is nothing you can do. It makes you feel useless and inadequate. You desperately want to run away. In those cases, our only ministry is one of simple presence.

Even though this is difficult, it is a precious and vital thing. Like Mary, we must stay with the suffering or dying person. To know that there is somebody there to cares, makes the world of difference. It saves the person from the awful prospect of dying alone and abandoned.

In the face of death, only God can save us.

PRAYER: Lord! Help us to forgive all those who have harmed us in any way. Bless those who are dying and those who minister to them.

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Priest: we adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the Holy Cross….

The Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross, and his mother takes it into her arms. The sorrow for Jesus’ friends was no doubt immense. But for Mary it must have been absolutely overwhelming. Parents do not expect their children to die before them.

Yes, here is a sacrifice of what is most dear---the sacrifice of giving up a son for the salvation of all sons and daughters---- the mother’s sacrifice!

Today, to love Jesus means, going into the world of suffering and getting involved, being affected and hurt by its sorrows.

There is no love without sacrifice; without giving up something we cannot give anyone anything at all. The depth of our love is proved by the cost we are willing to pay.

PRAYER: Lord! We pray for all those who deal with the victims of violence and those who in the emergency rooms of hospitals. Help us to communicate the depths of God’s love to those around us.


Priest: we adore you, O Christ…

All : Because by the holy cross…

Darkness fell, silence wrapped itself around them. They felt numb and empty. A terrible truth began to sink in. it seemed that Jesus was gone forever. They began to grieve. They wanted to have the consolation of giving Him a burial.

Life is only a kind of sowing; the harvest is not here, says Van Gogh.

The human body is temple of the Holy Spirit. It has to be respected and honored even in death. Do we realize that human body is holy? It is true worship when we care to console and comfort the weak, tired and broken bodies that are on the wayside.

PRAYER: Lord! Bless those who are grieving, and for those who are in the tomb of loneliness and depression. Help us to listen to your call and to die for you.

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Let us pray for the intentions of our holy father……

One “Our father…

And a “Hail Mary….

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