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Ross wrote:

Hi, Mike —

  • Why does Catholic doctrine require one to repeat certain prayers while saying the Rosary?

There is no Catholic doctrine that requires one to pray the Rosary.


  { Why does Catholic doctrine require one to repeat certain prayers while saying the Rosary? }

Mike replied:

Hi Ross,

Thanks for the question.

You said:

  • Why does Catholic doctrine require one to repeat certain prayers while saying the Rosary?

There is no Catholic doctrine that requires one to pray the Rosary.

While the Rosary is highly recommended by Church, you are correct; there is no dogma or doctrine that says Catholics have to pray the Rosary. A Catholic could live his whole life without saying the Rosary and still merit many graces by living a regular sacramental life in the Church.

The reason why the Church highly recommends this prayer is because:

  • It's a structured prayer that gives the Christian a prayer vehicle to remember the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious lives that Our Blessed Lord and Our Blessed Mother lived for us and our salvation.

  • It is also a Scriptural prayer! A Christian who prays the Rosary daily is reciting the Word of God aloud:

    • Matthew 6:9-13, and
    • Luke 1:28, Luke 1:42

      while meditating internally on each of the twenty mysteries, or portions of
      Our Lord's [and|or] Our Lady's life.

Let me share a recent conversation I heard:

Charlie Catholic: Hi, Peter, have you said your Rosary today?

Peter Protestant: Of course not; you nutty Catholics do that, not us!

Charlie Catholic: Why not? Do you have something against the Gospel? The Rosary is Good News - a Scriptural prayer. We pray as Our Lord Jesus tells us to in Matthew 6:9-13, and meditate on God becoming truly man like us, in all things except sin, for our salvation in Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42!

Peter Protestant: Wow, I never thought about it from that point of view.

  • How can I get a Rosary and learn more?

Charlie Catholic: These days, you can also Google for a free Rosary.

Peter Protestant: Thanks, I will!

Charlie Catholic: Mike told me he would expand this apostolate to Catholics too, but he is currently unemployed and can't support the 1.2 billion members that make up the Church.

Peter Protestant: Don't worry, I understand. I'll say a prayer for him and his apostolate.

Wait . . . (pause) . . . If I prayed for him would I be undermining the sole mediation of Jesus? . . . Just joking :-)

If we look at the history of Rosary, we can gain some very good reasons why everyone around the world should pray the Rosary, even non-Christians!

It was in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form, according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners. Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights. During this time, he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God. At this point, our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said,

"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then Our Lady replied, "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter." [emphases mine]

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district, he made straight for the cathedral. At once, unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together, and Saint Dominic began to preach.

Important Side note: The Rosary is a devotional aid (and a sacramental) which can be used in many different ways. Many Christians use the Rosary to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet as well.

Check out these pages for more:

Hope this answers your question.


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