Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reflections from the Feast Of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

This year the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary fell on Respect Life Sunday.  This was not something I was aware of when I invited Linda Santo to speak at Our Parish.  I chose the date as I knew that October 7th is always the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.  From our first conversation I also knew that I wanted to have the children's rosary lead the congregation in prayer before her talk.  Linda was thrilled to join the children's rosary.  Both  she and her daughter share a love of children. 

Linda Santo is the mother of Little Audrey Santo currently being considered for beautification by the Catholic Church.  Her daughter had an accident at age 3 and was unable to speak and was confined to her bed for 20 years.  During those many years Linda lovingly cared for her daughter.  Many visitors came to see Audrey while she was alive.  The number grew so large that only family, priests and children were allowed in her room.  This clearly bespeaks the fondness little Audrey had for children.
Children's Rosary

It seemed like Our Lady was giving a beautiful gift to the children's rosary by bringing little Audrey's mother to us.  She was taking the attention Little Audrey has received by her life and now her consideration for canonization and shining some of it back on the children she so loved.  Through the presence of her mother on this Feast and the children's rosary leading the prayers it highlighted what Our Lord has been repeating so many times in the gospels this past week:

But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them,"Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." (Mark 10: 14-15)

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:2-10)

But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great." (Luke 9:46-50)

I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;(Matthew 11:25)

Many of the members of our children's rosary have disabilities.  Some are so small that many would doubt that they could follow formal prayers.  Yet side by side these children knelt before Our Lady.  None of them complaining.  Many upon asking them later in the day whether they had a good time uniformly said, Yes!!

The children are drawn to Our Lady and her love and protection.  

After the prayer service was over so many adults came up to me with bright eyes.  They were happy and hopeful. They could not get over the respect and reverence the children showed.  Many people said that seeing children praying reminded them how beautiful prayer can be.  

People felt inspired and many remarked that they wished they had something like the children's rosary in their Parish.  One parishioner from a Parish with 24 hour adoration shared that many in the adoration chapel are over 65 years old.  As people pass away there are no new young people to take their place.  There even was a point this summer when it appeared the adoration chapel would close.  I felt in my heart that a children's rosary could help this parish, too.  

One group of women who did not have young children also loved seeing the children praying.  When I suggested that they could help start a group they first said that they are already in an adult rosary group.  But after a moment or two both women were mentioning friends of theirs with children and how they might be able to find a few families who might want to give it a try.

Our Lady had opened our eyes to the treasures among us: our children.  They are the future of the church.  If we forget our children and do not show them that they too can pray when will they learn. We can show them that prayer can be something they can do with their friends. That they can have a deep relationship with their heavenly mother and her Son, Jesus.  
Other Posts regarding the Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady Queen of the Holy Rosary:

Crowning of Our Lady Queen of the Holy Rosary
Message of Linda Santo speaker on the Feast
Cupcake Rosary
How to Start a Children's Rosary

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