With the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7th, October is considered a month dedicated to the special devotion of the rosary. While I usually review more recent books, I came across 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary by Sr. Patricia Proctor, OSC (Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 2003) in my parish library and wanted to share this wonderful resource. Maybe you’ve heard of the rosary, but have never or rarely prayed one. Maybe you tried praying it once or twice but found it boring and repetitive and decided it was not for you, or maybe the rosary is a treasured part of your prayer life that you can’t imagine living without. Whatever category you fall into, this book is one you should consider adding to your reading list.
Sr. Patricia Proctor gathered the personal testimony of 101 people “who have prayed the rosary and experienced wonderful results.” October 2002 – 2003 was the Year of the Rosary proclaimed by Pope St. John Paul II, and this book was compiled in connection with that year. She also set up a website at Rosary101.com which is still active.
In these pages, you’ll read stories of miraculous healings, miracle births, protection during war, financial blessings, saved marriages, conquering addictions, discernment of vocations, help finding a job, the grace of a happy death, and much more. You can read as few or as many of these stories as you like. It is a great book for opening to a random page and getting a quick dose of uplifting inspiration.
The appendix features Pope St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae as well as a brief history of the rosary (if you are looking for a longer historical examination of the rosary, Fr. Donald Callaway’s Champions of the Rosary is a great resource), the 15 Promises of the Blessed Virgin to Christians who Faithfully Pray the Rosary, simple directions for praying the rosary, and how to make a rosary.
The rosary has been one of my favorite devotions since I was a young girl. I grew up praying it with my mother and have continued that tradition with my own children. I’ve said so many 54 Day Rosary Novenas, I literally wore out my prayer book and had to purchase a new one. It is my go-to prayer for whenever there is a serious need to pray for. I lay all my major intentions at Mary’s feet so that she can bring them to her Son. Some answers come quickly, while others take much more time, but Mary has never failed me. Even when things don’t turn out the way I hoped, I feel a sense of peace with the outcome that I know comes from prayer. I encourage anyone facing a major decision or life crisis to offer a 54 Day Rosary Novena.
Our Blessed Mother at Fatima told us to pray the rosary for peace and the conversion of sinners. With our world and our Church going through such rough times, we need the rosary more than ever. This October, I invite you to make a special effort to pray the rosary. If you’ve tried it before and decided it wasn’t for you, please try it again. And if you’ve ever received a special answer or miracle after praying the rosary for that intention, I invite you to share your story in the comments so that others may be inspired to ask for Mary’s intercession.