The Riches of the Rosary

by Elizabeth Kelly

On August 15, we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, body and soul, into heaven. We celebrate this mystery of our faith not only on this Holy Day of Obligation, but also each time we pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. This special feast day provides an ideal opportunity to reexamine the Marian devotion of praying the Rosary:

Rosaries have worked their way into my purse, my gym bag, my luggage, my computer case, my desk at work. They hang off my bedpost, sit in a tangle on my dresser, and have settled into countless drawers—just as they have settled into the very creases and crevices of my soul’s skin. My little anchors. And of course, they’re not just mine. As I was walking down the street a few days ago, a big, burly guy drove by in a big, burly vehicle with a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror. I smiled and thought to myself, Dude, I know exactly how you feel.

What is the appeal?

The rosary has been called “the epitome of the Gospel,” . . . used throughout the history of the church as a means of teaching the life of Jesus to audiences who either lacked access to books or could not read. The rosary was also a method of drawing believers into communal prayer and greater fellowship. . . . I have grown to love my rosaries and feel the need to have them close by, if not on my person. They remind me of my momma in heaven, that magnificent woman in the sky, always interceding for me, loving me home to heaven. The beads sound good jangling in my pocket or thumping gently against my chest when I go running. I don’t have to be praying a rosary—just as I don’t have to be at Mass or adoration—to feel the presence, strength, comfort, power, life, virtue, and mystery of all that these beads embody.

Excerpted from May Crowning, Mass, and Merton by Elizabeth M. Kelly.

Elizabeth Kelly

Elizabeth Kelly

Elizabeth M. Kelly is an award-winning speaker and the author of six books, including Reasons I Love Being Catholic, which won the Catholic Press Association award in 2007 for Best Popular Presentation of the Faith.

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The Assumption of Mary

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven” (CCC 974).

It goes on to tell us that Mary's Assumption is an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians. While Scripture tells us nothing of Mary's death, the celebration of Mary's Assumption into heaven has been part of Church tradition since the earliest days of the Church and has been in all Christian countries since the Middle Ages.

Excerpts from Catechism of the Catholic Church. English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America copyright © 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Librería Editrice Vaticana. English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica copyright © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Librería Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.