The Lord was with Mary and in her. She carried Jesus in her womb and felt Jesus move inside of her. Her blood and milk nourished Jesus. No other human being could feel, know, or love Jesus, the way Mary, his mother, did.
When we follow Mary we follow her straight to her son. Once you know her as your friend and mother, you can’t help but love her so much that you would do anything for her. And all she wants is that we love and know Jesus.
One way of doing this is by praying the rosary. The rosary is a Marian devotion but it is Christ-centered. The prayers and mysteries focus us the Incarnation, Ministry, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus.
The rosary consists of the Sign of the Cross and four prayers; The Apostles’ Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, in addition to one of four sets of Mysteries.
The Apostles’ Creed is a declaration of our basic Christian beliefs. The Our Father is the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:9-13). The Hail Mary is comprised of two scripture verses, Luke 1:2 and 1:42; the name, Jesus; and the request that Mary, the Mother of God, the God-bearer, prays for us. And the Glory Be is a prayer of praise to the Trinity.
The four sets of Mysteries include the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. The Joyful focus on the Incarnation; the Luminous on Jesus’ ministry; the Sorrowful on Christ’s Passion; and the Glorious on the Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, and God’s gift of Mary to us as an advocate and Queen of Heaven and Earth.
(For instruction on how to pray the rosary or ways in which to enhance your rosary prayer experience, see my book, The Rosary Prayer by Prayer.)
Saint Theodora’s devotion to Mary and the rosary is clear in her works and journals. She prayed the rosary daily and often asked for Mary’s guidance. She dedicated her ministry, students, and sisters to Mary in the same way her parents dedicated her.
She also asked Mary for protection. When the sisters were on the ship to America and the weather was so severe they had to stay below deck, Saint Theodora and the sisters “invoked Mary, Star of the Sea” to assist them (Journals and Letters, 21).
Saint Theodora also wrote that in preparation for an upcoming retreat she advised her sisters, “Confide your journey and its dangers to this good and tender Mother. Who has ever perished that entrusted herself to Mary? Take her as your model on the way “(Journals and Letters, 285-6).
October is a special month for Mary, praying the rosary, and also Saint Theodora. The month is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary and especially so on October 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We also celebrate Saint Theodora’s birthday on the 2nd and her feast day on the 3rd.
Honor Saint Theodora this month by praying the rosary, one of her favorite devotions. Consider making it a daily, or at least weekly, part of your routine. You will find praying the rosary to be greatly rewarding as it promotes peace within your heart and a greater love for Mary and Jesus with every prayer.
©2012, Mary K. Doyle