Rosary, the epitome of all Christianity

Source: District of Asia

All that we believe is contained in it. In the very first Mysteries we meet with the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation. The Rosary is, like the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Mass, the memorial of the life, passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord. We dwell on the truths of our last end in the Glorious Mysteries, where they are unfolded in a striking and practical manner. The Rosary, then, is theology, but theology which prays, adores, and says by each of its dogmas: Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

Moral theology which treats of sin and virtue is, in a sense, epitomised in this great devotion. We cannot truly realise the infinite malice of mortal sin until we see, by meditation on the Sorrowful Mysteries, at how fearful a cost the innocent Christ satisfied the demands of divine. justice, what a terrible penalty He had to pay on the Cross, how He was forced to cry out under the weight of our sins: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Each one of these Mysteries contains for us a sublime lesson of virtue. They are not merely examples of heroism; they are the very highest points of the mystical life. The Rosary, then, is moral theology which prays, weeps, expiates, rises to heroism in crying out to Christ: Thou hast redeemed us to God in Thy Blood, and hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests.

All history we find recapitulated in the Rosary, because the object of this devotion is He to Whom all history points, Whose radiant figure dominates every page of the Old and the New Testament. Therefore, the Rosary is history, but history that prays and leads all nations to Christ, Who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

Even the social question itself has been solved by the Rosary, as Leo XIII so eloquently proved. Why are the nations in fear and in trembling? The answer is threefold, according to the Sovereign Pontiff. The first cause is a growing dislike of a simple and laborious life. The remedy for this evil we find in the Joyful Mysteries. The second cause is repugnance to suffering of any kind. The remedy for this evil is found in the Sorrowful Mysteries. The third cause is forgetfulness of our future life and destiny, which ought to be ever present in our minds to inspire us with hope and courage. The remedy for this evil appears in the Glorious Mysteries. Yes, the Rosary gives us the answer to the social problem in that cry of victory: Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat ! Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ rules.

We see, then, how varied are the aspects of the Rosary. It can adapt itself to every condition, every age, every people. It is a form of prayer so simple in its essence, that anyone, no matter how uneducated or illiterate, can take part in it; in fact, it has been called the psalter of the unlearned. On the other hand, the profundity of its Mysteries makes it the inexhaustible summa of theologians. It is, in truth, the great synthesis of Christianity: all is included in the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary, just as all time is encompassed by the two shores of eternity.

Extracted from ‘Sanctity through The Rosary’ by Fr. Édouard Hugon OP.