The Family Rosary

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When Praying for Healing

It happens sometimes that the healing of a family member — in spite of persistent and fervent prayer — is impeded because of an unspoken resistance to the prayer or because of indifference to it within the family itself. In asking for the physical, emotional, or spiritual healing of a family member, it is crucial, first of all, that two or three family members — especially married couples — pray together. For this I recommend, above all, the Holy Rosary.

When one's family life is itself fragile or shattered, one should seek out close friends with whom to pray. Again, the Rosary is, I think, the most efficacious prayer. By means of the Rosary, Blessed Bartolo Longo, a layman, rebuilt family life and renewed society in the poverty, ignorance, and desolation of 19th century Pompei. Veritable miracles of grace, all attributed to the Rosary, confirmed Blessed Longo's initiatives and continue to the present day.

The Prayer of Faith

It is possible to add after each decade some invocations drawn from the Gospels, such as: "Lord, the one whom Thou lovest is sick" (Jn 11:3); "If thou canst do any thing, help us, having compassion on us" (Mk 9:21); "I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief" (Mk 9:23); and, especially, the prayer of the centurion repeated in every Mass, "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and N. shall be healed" (Mt 8:8).

The Sacraments

It is also indispensable that those who are praying for the healing of a loved one go to Confession frequently. Everyone — not just the penitent — benefits from the grace of sacramental absolution by which the glorious wounds of Christ are applied to the wounds of our souls.

Married couples do well to receive Holy Communion together at the same Holy Mass, at least on Sundays. So often as spouses receive Holy Communion together, the grace of the Nuptial Mass with which they began their married life can be renewed within them. The renewal of this grace benefits the entire family circle. The supernatural context of all healing is the unity that is the fruit of participation in the Most Holy Eucharist.

Return to the Recitation of the Family Rosary

The Servant of God Pope John Paul II left us this teaching on the Family Rosary in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae:

The Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. At one time this prayer was particularly dear to Christian families, and it certainly brought them closer together. It is important not to lose this precious inheritance. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the Rosary.

The family that prays together stays together. The Holy Rosary, by age-old tradition, has shown itself particularly effective as a prayer which brings the family together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes towards Jesus, also regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God.

Many of the problems facing contemporary families, especially in economically developed societies, result from their increasing difficulty in communicating. Families seldom manage to come together, and the rare occasions when they do are often taken up with watching television. To return to the recitation of the family Rosary means filling daily life with very different images, images of the mystery of salvation: the image of the Redeemer, the image of his most Blessed Mother. The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on.

2 Comments

What about us that our spouses have decided that they believe in nothing? We pray the Rosary for our families every day along with the Divine Mercy. Don't our famlies get some graces for this? Can't our children be helped?

Dear Robin, As I wrote above: "When one's family life is itself fragile or shattered, one should seek out close friends with whom to pray." Being married to an unbeliever is an invitation to believe, to hope, and to love twice as much!

It is not always possible to pray with one's spouse; in that instance one should pray all the same, asking God to grace the unbelieving partner with faith. The problem is not a new one. It goes all the way back to the time of Saint Paul.

Above all, be full of confidence in your prayer, trusting in the merciful love of God. Let your hope be immense and you will not be disappointed.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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