Our Lady of the Rosary is the title finally given to Our Lady of Victories. The complete and decisive victory over the Ottoman Empire was attributed to the intercession of Mary and especially through the prayers of the Rosary. The Rosary is a prayer that has been used by Christians since the time of St. Dominic who – legend has it – received the Rosary from Mary herself.
The appeal of the prayer of the Rosary could be attributed to many things: miracles associated with the recitation of the Rosary, the scriptural and Christocentric nature of the Hail Mary and Our Father prayers, the repetition that calls to mind the recitation of the 150 Psalms. This prayer is used to meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life, His Passion, death, and Resurrection. It can also be used in a more contemplative way by allowing the mind and heart to cling to the mysteries of our faith with love and the help of the Blessed Virgin.
They sought by a swift path, with which it was possible to go a mile on their sabbath, the well-known walls where Mary, the gateway of God, the virgin mother of her Creator, formed by her own son, was sitting at a religious gathering. The second virgin put to flight the woes of Eve’s crime; there is no harm done to the sex; she restored what the first took away. Let grief not raise up complaints or vex mourning hearts with groaning over the old law; these very forms of wickedness and crime rather cause delight at this bargain, and a better lot comes to the redeemed world from the fall. The person, not the nature [of a woman], caused ruin; in those days [of Eve] a pregnant woman [brought forth] peril. In these [of Mary] one grew great to bring forth God, the one begetting mortal things and the other bearing divine—she through whom the Mediator came forth into the world and carried actual flesh to the heavens.1
JOHN THE MONK:
Wonder! God is come among humanity; he who cannot be contained is contained in a womb; the timeless enters time, and great mystery: his conception is without seed, his emptying past telling! So great is this mystery! For God empties himself, takes flesh and is fashioned as a creature, when the angel tells the pure Virgin of her conception: “Rejoice, you who are full of grace; the Lord who has great mercy is with you!”2
So the Lord now manifestly came to his own. Born by his own created order that he himself bears, he by his obedience on the tree renewed and reversed what was done by disobedience in connection with a tree. The power of that seduction by which the virgin Eve, already betrothed to a man, had been wickedly seduced was broken when the angel in truth brought good tidings to the Virgin Mary, who already by her betrothal belonged to a man. For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against his Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God and so fell, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through the act of a virgin, so was it saved by a virgin was precisely balanced by the obedience of another. Then indeed the sin of the first formed man was amended by the chastisement of the First Begotten, the wisdom of the serpent was conquered by the simplicity of the dove, and the chains were broken by which we were in bondage to death.3
- ON THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 1. Martin, F., & Smith, E. (Eds.). (2006). Acts (pp. 13–14). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- STICHERA OF ANNUNCIATION. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 17). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- AGAINST HERESIES 5.19–20. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (pp. 19–20). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.