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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rosary Saints

Hello! I have a question about the rosary. What is the point of making specific rosaries associated with a saint? Such as having a rosary with the charm of a saint on that middle connecting piece (I'm not sure what that is called). Are you supposed to be asking them to pray the rosary with you or is it just to be reminded of a saint you like or something along those lines?

I can't think of anything simpler, or more confusing, than the rosary. A lot of variety, a number of different prayers, five sets of five mysteries, which day of the week each mystery is invoked and during which liturgical season.

And then, throw in some saints in the middle of mediating on the Life of Christ as seen through the eyes of His Mother.  

Here's one easy answer: the charm of a saint on the middle connecting piece? is called "the medal".  

Whew! That was easy.

What's for dinner?


Okay, so having a specific saint has to do with the specific saint. For example, one might pray a rosary with St. Michael the Archangel on it for the protection of St. Michael the Archangel. Military families might want to to this, as St. Michael is the protector of soldiers.  And to do that you would simply pray the rosary with that intent, and maybe add a prayer for the intercession of St. Michael somewhere in there.  

Well, not somewhere, really...at the end. And you can look up prayers to say.

Or just make one up. That's okay, too. I don't think Heaven is so picky as we religious often lead everyone to believe.

It follows from there that your "saint rosary" would be said for the intercession of what is considered the patronage of that saint. St. Jude for hopeless causes,  St. Gertrude (also the patron saint of cats and cat lovers) for souls in Purgatory, for example. The list is endless.

And at the risk of confusing you more, more common than rosaries with saints on them (the Miraculous Medal Immaculate Conception Mary Self Portrait is the most common rosary medal), are chaplets for the intercession of saints.

The chaplet, like the rosary, is really a way to count prayers. There are dozens and dozens of different types, for different intentions, with varying numbers of beads and lot and lots of different prayers. The Hail Mary might not even be in there.

Here is the St. Benedict chaplet for your perusal.

And then, just to add one more weinie to the roast, there are Novenas, which also might involve saying a rosary every day for nine days, or nine first Fridays, or more timelines that involve doing something nine times AND are said for the intercession of a particular saint for the intention of a particular cause.

Is dinner ready yet?

Are the saints praying along with you? I'm sure they are.  If you imagine that asking me to pray for you is the same as asking a saint to pray for you (although I believe saints, since they are alive in Heaven, are better at being in harmony with God than I am), then you would imagine that you and I would in some sense be praying together, if not simultaneously.

A lot of people feel very connected to their patron saints, or the patronage of a saint for a specific intention. Praying the rosary is a meditative prayer. This involves (one of my new favorite phrases) mental lingering.  So it leaves a lot of room to connect with Heaven.

And finally, it may just be that you happen to have a rosary that has a saint on it instead of Mary because you found it in your Grandma's junk drawer. That's okay, too. We're just glad you found it and got it out of the junk drawer.

Our neighbor brought us some french apple cake.  Maybe I'll say a rosary and then have some.


Shannon B. said...

This is a great post Sister! I feel very connected to my patron saint, Joan of Arc. I always tell people who wonder why I love her so much, that it's because she is just so real to me. She is my best and dearest friend. I'm a convert to Catholicism, and I just wanna shout out to people that the saints are so real! May our patron saints intercede for us until we meet them at the gates of Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sister!

One of the young Mexican men at my parish (who is now in formation with the Trinitarian fathers in California - please pray for Edgar!) told me that in his culture, they attach medals of their favorite patron saints to the Our Father bead of each decade. That way they remember to ask for that saint's intercession along with Our Lady's.

Sounded like a great idea to me, to I attached medals to my rosary.

Thank you for your blog - I love it! You remind me of the lovely, sensible Humility of Mary sisters who taught me here in Akron, OH.

Much love from Susan