“The greatest tool we have:” a Rosary Day homily reflection


Fr. Duy animatedly describing the benefits of praying the Rosary. Photo credits: Kate Curry.

Elena Walz, Editor-in-Chief

The Gospel reading from this year’s Rosary Day mass was the account of the Annunciation found in the Gospel of Luke. This is a fitting reading for a mass celebrating Our Lady of the Rosary because the Annunciation is how God put into motion His great plan for Mary being the mother of our Savior. Fr. Duy Le, pastor at San Francisco Solano Catholic Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, celebrated the mass and delivered an insightful homily that touched on several important elements of the Gospel and how we should apply it to our spiritual life.

He opened with an anecdote about several of his friends who converted to Catholicism but did not see praying the Rosary as an important element of their prayer life. This is natural for many Catholics. Though it is a simple prayer comprised of short prayers known by many school age children, it can seem daunting to find time to complete the 53 Hail Mary’s, 6 Our Father’s, 6 Glory Be’s, 5 Fatima Prayer’s, Hail Holy Queen, and Apostles Creed. However, the most emphatic point of Fr. Duy’s homily was that the Rosary is truly the greatest tool we have because when we take time to pray it, anything is possible.

The feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary came about in quite an impossible way. In the 16th century, the threat of Turkish (Ottoman Empire) invasion and dominance over the mostly Christian European continent reached its climax. The Ottoman armada sought control over Lepanto which would be the downfall of a major Christian outpost and give the Ottomans access to more of Europe. At the behest of Pope Pius V, Catholics throughout the continent prayed for the intercession of Mary to secure a victory for Christian civilization over the mighty Ottomans. When the battle was over and the Holy League deemed victorious, Pope Pius V established the day we now celebrate as the Feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.

This battle is proof of the incredible power Catholics hold in their ability to pray the Rosary. Mary interceded to save the future of Christians in Europe in the 16th century and wants to do the same for us in our everyday battles. No matter what temptations we face, Mary desires that we offer up our struggles to her in prayer and meditation. Nothing—not the most powerful army nor the most influential issues in our world—can stop Mary’s ability to help us when we call on her.

Praying the Rosary has not always been a large part of my life, but I am thankful that it is now. As I have grown spiritually, so has my patience and desire for prayer. When we pray intentionally it makes it so much more impactful because God knows how much effort we put into our relationship with Him. He loves us not matter what, but it is up to us to explore His incredible love and deepen our affections for Him using tools like the Rosary.