This is a repost…it’s been a couple years since I’ve run it, but it’s May…the Month of Mary…a perfect time. Written on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary in 2009 after our good priest made this statement: “Everybody has a story about the Rosary…” Those who are devoted to the Rosary and our Lady know the truth of these words and are quick to share their story.

Here’s ours:

We are a family that prays the Rosary. Not nearly as often as we should, nor as often as we’d like, but we do pray it as often as we can. It is the cord that binds us together, strengthening our family as few other devotions have. Rosaries can be found throughout our home, in our cars, in purses and pockets, draped over statues and hanging upon the wall. We’ve made Rosaries for missions and prisons, given them as gifts to friends and family, and nearly everyone of us have worn a Rosary ring at one time or another.

It wasn’t always this way…as converts from protestantism, we had very little experience with what many detractors refer to as “vain and repetitious prayer.” Learning the historicity of the beautiful beads and the prayers attached to each, we came to understand the depth of biblical teaching, dogma and tradition contained in such a seemingly simple series of prayers. I found it intriguingly beautiful…

So I obtained a booklet of the prayers and began to pray the Rosary alone. I was very shy about it…I don’t know why. I would pray in the car. I would pray early in the morning when the children were asleep. Not with my family. Praying the Rosary had become a private devotion, one that I kept a secret.

Until the accident.

In 1995, I was involved in a terrible car accident. While traveling the north bound lane of a major interstate (and praying the 5th Joyful Mystery of the rosary), my vehicle was struck by a semi. The vehicle was propelled across the median, flipped over 1 1/2 times and was skidding on its hood when it was struck by another vehicle in the south bound lane. My vehicle was upside down at the time, and the front of that other vehicle entered the rear of my mini-van and sheared off the driver’s seat (which I was in). At the time of the accident, I was quite sure I would die, and remember asking our Lord (quite calmly, considering the situation) to not “let me kill anyone else”. That prayer was answered in the most perfect way! Six vehicles were involved in this accident, twelve people suffered minor injuries. Hanging upside down, still strapped in my seat belt, I crawled out of my absolutely destroyed vehicle, through a broken window, was sprayed with battery acid and only managed to obtain a cut on my elbow which would later require three stitches. Still clasped tightly in my right hand was my Rosary…I had never once let go of it! Witnesses rushing to assist me as I stumbled from my vehicle stared incredulously. It didn’t seem that anyone could have survived that crash, let alone walked out of it. It was clear that our Lord had preserved my life and I believe firmly that it was through our Lady’s intercession. The Rosary became a constant companion, and I told everyone, everyone about the miracle of our Lady’s intercession…

It certainly seemed obvious that the Rosary was the prayer our family needed to pray most!

The first time our family prayed the Rosary together was on my 31st birthday. Still a bit shy about my “secret” prayer, I requested the recitation of a family Rosary as my birthday gift. I remember, so clearly, one of my older daughters placing a rosary into the hand of my infant son, Joseph, who was sitting in his swing. It was such a lovely sight, I took a photo…long before I’d ever heard of digital photography! I still have that picture…

And so we began…and thus we’ve continued. That first night was awkward. We stumbled through the words, struggling to find a rhythm, haltingly praying with many stops and starts. The little ones would drift off to sleep, an infant would need to be nursed…and we prayed, weaving a lovely “wreath of roses” for our Lord, using this beautiful, powerful devotion.

Grabbing the rosary has become second nature…a nearly involuntary response in times of joy and crisis. It remains the most efficacious way for this family to call Home to Mother…

Blessings,

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