Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
(Galatians 2:1-2.7-14; Luke 11:1-4)
What makes a Catholic Christian? In St. Paul’s day this question involved whether a Greek had to be circumcised like Jesus of Nazareth. The Church authorities then decided that circumcision was not necessary but care for the poor was. Could we say the same today about the rosary? Do we have to say the rosary to be Catholic?
The rosary is identified with the Catholic faith. Probably Catholics are the only Christians who use it regularly in devotion. Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, who is Catholic, is said to carry a rosary in his pocket. Besides the Mass Catholics are more likely to recite the rosary when they gather than use any other prayer form. Its focus on a sequential part of Christ’s life, its brevity, and its physicality all contribute to its popularity.
Our Blessed Mother is usually associated with the rosary. The mental reflections prescribed for each decade of the rosary consider her second to Jesus. Indeed, the decade itself is the recitation of a prayer to her repeated ten times. There are also legends of her exhorting the praying of the rosary. Although praying the rosary is not essential to being Catholic, honoring Mary is. And she is especially honored precisely in saying the rosary.