The Promises of the Rosary provide us with motivation and understanding to guide us in our devotional life.
In modern society, where businesses, celebrities and politicians fight for control of our attention, it is important for us to keep it focused on God. One of the principal ways for us to do this is through the recitation of the Holy Rosary. The Rosary provides us with a time to turn away from the world and all distractions and meditate on the “mysteries” of the life of Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The motivation to this devotion is found in the promises of the Rosary that were given to us by the Virgin Mary, for which we ought to hope when we pray.
The Promises of the Rosary
1. Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
In the first of the promises of the Rosary, Mary assures us of signal graces. A “signal grace” is one that is remarkable and distinguishing. Note that Mary identifies the recitation of the Rosary as means of faihtfully serving her.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
While some may say that the grace of salvation, available to all Christians, does not depend on praying the Rosary, we see here that Mary promises the greatest graces to those who do. Looking back through Church history, we find that most of the greatest saints since the 13th century have had a fervent devotion to the Rosary.
3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
The third of the promises of the Rosary is that it provides Christians with spirituam armor. Note the benefits it brings. First, it destroys vice and helps to eliminate bad habits in our lives. Second, it decreases sin, making us worthy of greater blessings. Third, it defeats heresies, filling our minds with the events from the life of Christ that protect us from false teachings.
4. The recitation of the Rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish. It will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God. It will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
Positively, we learn that not only will the recitation of the Rosary keep us from evil, but it will also lead us to good. This promise specifically offers us the virtue of Hope, which vauses us to desire heaven. St. Peter said, “Whoever has this hope in him, purified himself.”
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
Sometimes I think the Rosary is received by the Blessed Virgin as a secret password would be. She has invited us to recite the Rosary and tells us that if we serve her by praying the Rosary, she will intercede for us in a unique way.
6. Those who recite my Rosary devoutly, applying themselves to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. In His justice, God will not chastise them; nor shall they perish by an unprovided death, i.e., be unprepared for heaven. Sinners shall convert. The just shall persevere in grace and become worthy of eternal life.
In this sixth of the promises of the Rosary, Mary tells us that it is not the quantity of prayers offered that gains us these favors, but the quality of them. She says we must recite the Rosary devoutly and attentively. We must not turn the Rosary into a mindless, babbling of words, but meditate carefully on the mysteries.
7. Those who have a true devotion to the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
The Rosary does not, as many falsely suggest, offer us an alternative route to heaven, but helps us to stay in the true way of salvation. We are not offered an alternative to the sacraments, but an aid in making use of them.
8. Those who faithfully recite the Rosary shall have, during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces. At the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
Here again in this eighth of the promises of the Rosary, Mary speaks of the quality of our prayers, saying that we must recite the Rosary “faithfully”. The recitation of the Rosary assues us of access to the merits of the saints at the hour of our death–one of the ways by which Mary fulfills our petition in the Hail Mary.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
Again, Mary does not offer an alternative route to heaven, but promises to assist us in the normal way, delivering us from the suffering of temporal punishments in purgatory. Not that “who have been devoted” suggests the need for regularity and perseverance, not sporadic prayers.
10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
Yet again, Mary speaks of the quality of those devoted to the Rosary, making it impossible to benefit any who recite it carelessly.
11. By the recitation of the Rosary you shall obtain all that you ask of me.
In the eleventh of the promises of the Rosary, the Blessed Virgin does not tell us that the Rosary is a way to get stuff. We must remember that in the fourth promise above, we read the Rosary “will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.” Those are the things that the faithful will be asking Mary for.
12. Those who propagate the holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
In propagating or encouraging others to pray the Rosary, we are assisting Mary in this effort of hers to help men, women and children gain eternal life, which is her desire, and she promises to assist us in our needs.
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of their death.
Here we see that the Rosary does not exalt Mary into the place of a goddess, but that Mary simply offers us the benefits she has been granted by the Lord Jesus Christ.
14. All who recite the Rosary are my beloved children and the brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
During his life, Jesus asked, “Who are my brothers and sisters?”, and here we learn the answer to that question.
15. Devotion for my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
In the last of the promises of the Rosary, we learn that it is not so much that devotion to the Rosary leads us to salvation, but that our salvation will lead us to the Rosary.
When we pray the Rosary, we need to keep the promises of the Rosary in mind and trust that we shall receive them. This not only provide us with great motivation to pray the Rosary, but also helps us to understand why and how it should be recited.
If you need help learning to pray the Rosary, please consider the following:
May God bless you with all of the benefits offered to us in the promises of the Rosary.
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy