"The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families... that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary."
-Sister Lucia dos Santos
The Rosary is a universal prayer that has a three-fold purpose: mystical contemplation, intimate reflection and pious intention.
At Fatima, Our Lady instructed Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta to recite the Rosary often for the conversion of sinners. The Rosary links us closely to the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. When we recite the Rosary, we are invited to meditate on the mysteries: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious.
Fr. Patrick Peyton was a well-known priest who promoted the family Rosary. He used to say: "A family who prays together, stays together." The reality of the Rosary’s power is something that has been manifested many times throughout history. Fr. Peyton himself was cured of advanced tuberculosis while he was in the seminary. He decided thereafter to dedicate his life to the promotion of this great devotion to Mary, and presently his cause for sainthood is in Rome.
In 1571, the recitation of the Rosary stopped the advancement of the Turks at Lepanto, and two years after that, Pope Gregory XIII established the Feast day of the Holy Rosary. In Hiroshima, Japan, in the year 1945, the atomic bomb went off 1 kilometer from a house where eight German Jesuit missionaries faithfully prayed the Rosary every day. The house remained untouched, and the missionaries received no adverse effects from the powerful rays of radiation. They stated that: "we believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary daily in that home."
We all need to know the reasons WHY we should pray the Rosary. We will not feel it necessary to pray it unless we understand WHY we should do so. St. Louis de Montfort’s book, The Secret of the Rosary will help us to understand completely; he tells us: "The holy Rosary is a gift come down from Heaven; a great present that God gives to His most faithful servants. God is the Author of the prayers of which it is composed and of the mysteries it contains."
In a sermon on the Holy Rosary, Clement Losoun said: "After St. Dominic had gone to heaven devotion to the Rosary waned until it was very nearly dead, when a terrible pestilence broke out in several parts of the country. The wretched people sought the advice of a saintly hermit who lived in the desert with great austerity. They besought him to intercede to Almighty God for them. So the hermit called upon the Mother of God for them. So the hermit called upon the Mother of God, imploring her, as Advocate of Sinners, to come to their aid.
"Our Lady then appeared and said: ‘These people have stopped singing my praises. This is why they have been visited with such a scourge. If only they will go back to the ancient devotion of the Most Holy Rosary, they will enjoy my protection.’ So the people did what Mary asked and made themselves Rosaries, which they started saying with all their heart and soul."
Here is Pope John Paul II’s Message for the World Youth Day in 2003: "Dear young people, do not be ashamed to recite the Rosary alone, while you walk along the streets to school, to the university or to work, or as you commute by public transport. Adopt the habit of reciting it among yourselves, in your groups, movements and associations. Do not hesitate to suggest that it be recited at home by your parents and brothers and sisters, because it rekindles and strengthens the bonds between family members. This prayer will help you to be strong in your faith, constant in charity, joyful and persevering in hope."