Blessed Alain de la Roche, a famous Dominican apostle of the rosary, recounts the testimony of a virtuous priest who said:
“I have exercised the office of pastor during several years; I have preached on all sorts of subjects as well as I was able; I have neglected nothing which could instruct, touch and convert the souls entrusted to me but, seeing that I worked in vain, and reaped no fruit from my labor, I resolved to sacrifice the studied discourses which I had been accustomed to make and try if I should succeed better by simply preaching the devotion of the holy rosary, explaining the prayers which compose it and the mysteries on which it is grounded.
“I had neglected this excellent custom, notwithstanding the reproaches of my conscience, through human respect, fearing lest the world should ridicule me and consider the subject unworthy of the pulpit. But I declare that, in less than a year, more conversions were made in my parish than during the thirty preceding years combined, when I had only delivered studied discourses.”
Why is the rosary so powerful? Because it is the devotion that is most sanctioned by the Mother of God – the Immaculata. Every time we say the Hail Mary and call her “Mother of God”, her greatest title, we renew in her heart all the joys of the moment of the Incarnation, the moment God chose to take flesh from his Immaculate Mother. As the Mother of God, she has a power to do what no one else can; she has the power over the treasury of God’s graces – graces to convert loved ones, graces to sanctify our souls, graces to avert many evils even as we have seen at Lepanto and in other moments of history.
As we celebrate this feast of the Holy Rosary and continue on with our work of building a home worthy of the Immaculata, may our daily rosaries be said with greater fervor. We do not pray them without a purpose. We can be sure that a project of this size will have plenty of difficulties, yet realizing that it is her project, we can only go to her with great confidence for help, knowing that just as she asked us to honor her with the rosary, so she wants us to honor her with this church. Just as she wants our lips to call her frequently Mother of God and meditate on the life of her Son, so she also wants places where devotion to her Immaculate Heart can stand forth, as the Immaculata will in our nation’s heartland.