Sanctum Rosarium

Next to the cross itself, the most ubiquitous symbol of Catholic devotion is probably the rosary. Usually, in the shorter five-decade form, ‘the beads’ are the basis for the private prayer life of countless millions of people throughout the Church in every land.  

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we learn that ‘medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours’. In fact, in a concise and miniature re-presentation of the Liturgy of the Hours and the liturgy calendar, the rosary takes us through the mysteries of Christ’s redemption. We make the journey mystery by mystery.  While reciting a decade of the rosary, one is expected to meditate on the particular mystery for that decade and on its meaning in our life. Thus we proceed bead by bead, using the words in the New Testament to engage us as we turn our mind and heart to the mystery before us.

The rosary is an exceptionally versatile instrument of prayer. It can be prayed privately as an individual or collectively as a small community. It combines vocal prayer with meditation and can be utilized in almost any setting. I find, as do so many others, that reciting the rosary while driving not only converts a time-consuming activity into a moment of communion with God, but also helps reduce the frustrations and temptations to impatience and anger that are increasingly a part of driving in urban settings.

There is a long-standing tradition in the Church that encourages us to offer each decade of the rosary for a particular intention. In this way we are able to call to mind and place before God our needs and those of our loved ones, our petitions for the good of the Church and our human community. Perhaps you might frequently include as an intention for one of your decades the intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Durante un ricevimento di nobili inglesi a cui erano stati invitati anche famosi artisti e, tra questi, il compositore Joseph Haydn, venne discusso, tra le altre cose, il problema sul modo con cui un artista si dispone a creare in se e intorno a se l’atmosfera adatta per comporre un’opera d’arte, sia essa un dipinto o una poesia o un brano di musica.

Io devo bere almeno una caraffa di vecchio vino d’Oporto’, disse un pittore paesaggista inglese d’alto rango e fama, ‘dopodichè mi sento in forma’. Un altro invitato, un noto pittore scozzese, esclamò: ‘Io ho bisogno di qualche bicchiere di Champagne, poi … nella mia mente spuntano le migliori trovate’. Finalmente fu la volta di Haydn, il geniale creatore di composizioni musicali. Era considerato l’artista più ragguardevole in quel convegno, una vera perla di inestimabile valore. Tutti erano impazienti di conoscere a quali mezzi stimolanti ricorresse il maestro prima di accingersi alla creazione di un’opera d’arte.

Haydn esitava a rispondere, ben sapendo che tra i convenuti c’erano aristocratici frivoli e artisti di vario livello. Ma poi, tutto cerimonioso, infilò la mano destra nella giacca e mostrò ai presenti molto sorpresi, un rosario. ‘Io’, disse con semplicità e modestia, ‘sono solito a pregare prima di mettermi a comporre’.

8 Responses to “Sanctum Rosarium”


  1. 1 Hayal'el April 19, 2010 at 15:16

    Bellissima testimonianza che fa venire voglia di seguire l’esempio. Però anche comporre musica o dipingere un quadro è un modo bello di pregare, se la creazione artistica è fatta a questo scopo.

  2. 2 Daily Grace April 19, 2010 at 15:30

    I did not know that the rosary was a substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours, you always teach me something Gabriella!

    I always use my time commuting on the road as a time to pray the holy rosary. Today I will offer it up for our Pope.

    God bless

  3. 3 Karinann April 19, 2010 at 18:19

    Gabriella,
    I often pray the rosary if I have a drive of 30 or more minutes. I have CD’s for each mystery and they have gotten me through many a long trip.
    Thanks for this beautiful post.

  4. 4 Jacopo P. April 19, 2010 at 18:46

    Super la testimonianza di Haydn!
    Anch’io, come Daily Grace, imparo sempre qualcosa dal tuo blog.
    E come Karinann seguo un CD sul rosario ogni volta che guido e sono solo in macchina.
    Un saluto a tutti. Vi seguo anche se ultimamente non commento spesso.

  5. 5 Lucio April 19, 2010 at 22:47

    Beh, che dire! Abbiamo “qualcosa” in comune…
    Grazie per il tuo sostegno, ciao!

  6. 6 Victor S E MOUBARAK April 20, 2010 at 13:38

    Great post.

    I did not know the story about Haydn.

    God bless.

  7. 7 Rev. Robert Wright April 22, 2010 at 17:07

    Hi,

    My name is Rev Robert Wright, Editor for Christian.com, a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the entire Christian community an outlet to join together and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features like Christian TV, prayer requests, finding a church, receiving church updates and advice. We have emailed you to collaborate with you and your blog to help spread the good word of Christianity. I look forward to your response regarding this matter. Thanks!

    Rev. Robert Wright
    rev.robertwright@gmail.com
    http://www.christian.com

  8. 8 cogitor April 28, 2010 at 20:20

    Una vera e propria ispirazione nelle composizioni di Haydn.
    Ti abbraccio e grazie sempre per la tua amicizia.


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