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Making Catholic Memories: Rosary Making

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The devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary has a very dramatic origin. On October 7, 1571, a small Christian fleet of ships went out to battle the massive Muslim fleet that was dominating the Mediterranean Sea and stood poised to invade Europe. In miraculous fashion, the Christian fleet destroyed the Muslim fleet. That battle is known as the Battle of Lepanto, and, upon hearing about the victorious outcome of the battle, Pope Pius V, who had initiated a Rosary campaign months earlier, attributed the victory to Mary’s intercession and established Oct.7 as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. Pope Gregory XIII later changed the name, but recognition of the Christian victory that day and the influence of Mary’s powerful intercession only grew, and now we celebrate this uniquely efficacious devotion for an entire month!

It is for this reason that we began praying the Rosary with our children shortly after the beginning of this pandemic.

In our house, with seven young children, squeezing in a daily Rosary is no small task. That is why it must start small. When we first started praying the Rosary as a family, we realized that we had to meet our kids where they were, and that meant taking it a decade at a time. It also meant we needed to find a way to help them stay focused. One way that helped was to let them use rosaries they helped make with pipe cleaners or knotted nylon cord rosaries.

Even then, getting children to sit for just those 10 beads took time, patience and practice. Oftentimes we pray our decades with children running around, whining or tumbling around on the living room floor and furniture. Eventually we managed to work up to a full Rosary, and we now say it daily.

It’s not always pretty, and it’s far from perfect… in our eyes, at least. That’s what we keep reminding ourselves. It may not be perfect in our eyes, but Mary loves the prayers of our children, of her children. And so does our Father.

This month, as we pray through the intercession of Mary for an end to abortion, and for all of us to see and respect the inherent beauty and dignity of every human life, let it start in our own homes with our own families. Let us strive to be loving and patient as we pray the Rosary together. May we also recognize that, even in those moments of chaos and imperfection, there is still beauty simply in the fact that we are all created in the image and likeness of God.

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